Sister Cities: East Hanover, New Jersey, Meet the Village of Hanover, Ohio

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By Steve Sears

Rocky Fork Creek (credit: Leigh Morgan)

Ohio’s Village of Hanover is located in the northwestern part of Hanover Township in Licking County.

With 1,270 residents and weighing in at just over one and a half square miles in size, the Village of Hanover, which is located about an hour from the state capital of Columbus, is obviously much smaller than our East Hanover Township, which has over 12,000 people and is over eight square miles in size. East Hanover Township is bisected by Route 10 and clipped at the top by Route 80, while its midwestern “sister” has Route 16 running below at its southern edge.

“The Old Hanover section is a portion of our village that has a small remnant of the original village of Hanover,” explains Nicole D. Gieseler, Village of Hanover Fiscal Officer. “Hanover was destroyed in a flood in the 1950s. There was a dam project that was underway, and I believe a storm that caused the water to back up ended up destroying our lower village. All our historic sites for the most part – any of the doctor’s offices, the repair and maintenance shops, restaurants – were all destroyed in that flood, and Hanover High School was in that area.”

Gieseler’s grandfather, 96-year-old Chester Flowers, who is still a member of the Village Council, had a farm northwest of Old Hanover, and to save the village charter, he worked with an engineer and some other folks and reestablished Hanover just a bit off to the side. “The thought was he was helping to resettle the displaced people and to keep Hanover village,” Geiseler adds.

According to Geiseler, the Village of Hanover sits in a valley, and whether you arrive from the east or west, you

The Cottage Restaurant (credit: Leigh Morgan)

come in at the highest point and look down on the village. It is quite a sight. “We’re nestled in a valley; it is very beautiful. It is a quaint, rural town.  We are pretty much a simple town, conservative by nature, and we love our neighbors.”

Some prime spots in town to dine are the locally owned Panther Pizza & Bakery with their highlight homemade cookies and stromboli, and Hanover Pizza & Ice Cream Unlimited, which offers a popular garlic crusted pizza. Says Geiseler, “I am a big fan of most anything at The Cottage Restaurant. They have Cottage fries which are cubed potatoes covered in cheese and bacon dipped in ranch dressing. They have wonderful mashed potatoes and chicken, too, as well as a big club sandwich. I also love their buffalo chicken salad.” The Overlook at Virtues Golf Club has a super chicken wrap with Thai chili sauce, as well as great prime rib and meat loaf. If staying in or near the Village of Hanover, there are a few options. Shelter Valley Cabins offers four private log cabins for rent, and along Route 16 but just outside of town is the DoubleTree Hotel in neighboring Newark. 

The Village of Hanover is a haven for nature lovers as Rocky Fork Creek runs into the Licking River. Geiseler says, “My family and I love to kayak it, and it is rough kayaking, so it is like literally picking up your kayak and walking through shallow places. But you can take your kayak down from the village to the Licking River which goes into a beautiful nature preserve called Blackhand Gorge. And that is one of our historical nature preserves. It is picturesque, it is gorgeous.” The Village of Hanover is also near the Newark Earthworks in Heath, Ohio. Geiseler adds, “There’s a lot of Native American heritage in and around us.”

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