The Arthur Boke Bridge

I run downtown often. I cross over and through bridges all the time and am usually aware of my surroundings. I truly appreciate the hard work that goes into the design and development in everything.

I saw this sign for the first time today and wish I could’ve noticed it sooner!  The first noted attempt to bridge the gap in racial divide and slavery. Another great story of love and compassion over social norms.

The Arthur Boke bridge connects the Franklinton community over the Scioto River towards Confluence Park and Downtown Columbus.


Arthur Boke was the first African American born in Franklinton. He was born to a slave woman in 1803 and abandoned at birth. The wife and co-founder of Franklinton, Sarah Starling Sullivant, adopted him and was named after a Military friend.

Since Arthur was considered a slave, he was not allowed to learn to read or write, but Lucas Sullivant taught him many skills. This included surveying. Their work was used to help develop Franklinton and the City of Columbus.

#columbusohio #columbushistory #arthurboke #firstafricanamerican #history #franklinton

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