The village of Utica (formerly called Wilmington), was founded in 1810 by Major William Robertson, seven years after Ohio became the 17th state. In 1817, when the population reached 100, the name was changed to Utica in order to obtain a post office.
The early 1900s brought the gas boom and with abundant gas, the hand blown glass business developed, making Utica the largest producer of glass in the United States. In 1900, the population was 826 and in 1917, it showed 2,500. The gas fields died out near the mid 1900s and the glass industry moved, so that in 1960 the official census showed a population of 1,839. Last census the population was 2,134.
Utica is located very near the center of Ohio in Licking county. It is 12 miles south of Mount Vernon, 12 miles north of Newark, both being on State Route 13, and 35 miles east of Columbus, the state capitol, on U.S. Route 62.
The Holophane plant, a fluorescent light manufacturing company, is the major industry in the village. The Velvet Ice Cream Company is located just south of Utica.The village is serviced by the Licking Rural Electrification Inc., Ohio Power Company, Columbia Gas System, Sprint and Time Warner Cable TV. An ample village-owned water supply and a maintained sewer system is provided for a population of up to 10,000 residents. An elected mayor and council is the form of government. Twenty-four hour police protection is provided, a well-trained volunteer medical squad and a modern, well-equipped volunteer fire department also serve the residents. Approximately 110 business places render all services necessary for a good community.There is one doctor of internal medicine, one chiropractor, one dentist and one veterinarian in the village. There are two hospitals within 15 miles. An excellent computerized library with a hookup to the Newark Library, provides good reading and research capabilities. Two banks, a weekly newspaper, a major grocery, two gas stations, seven Protestant churches and one Catholic church, and numerous clubs and service organizations are available also.Educational opportunities abound. Utica boast a fine educational system with a senior high, junior high and two elementary schools, housing grades kindergarten through twelve. Students desiring to attend parochial or vocational schools are transported.
Competitive sports for both boys and girls, as well as vocal and instrumental music are offered. There are several colleges, universities, trade, technical and business schools within a 40-mile radius. The main campus of The Ohio State University, located in Columbus, draws much attention to its major sporting events.
Recreational activities are available also. During the summer months, Velvet's Ye Olde Mill features guest entertainers and special fun events for its visitors. The Utica Homecoming and Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival, annual events, bring hundreds of visitors to the area. There are numerous lakes in the surrounding area for both boating, swimming and fishing, and there are several 18-hole golf courses within 15 miles. Playground and ball diamonds for the area youth are furnished by the American Legion and Miller Park, the latter of which also is equipped with tennis courts and picnic areas for family entertainment.
A bowling center hosts year-round leagues for kids of all ages, and for winter sports enthusiast, ice skating and snow skiing are relatively close by. A 30-minute drive in any direction provides many cultural activities such as theater, plays, ballet, concerts, symphonies, etc., as well as numerous movie theaters.
The Village of Utica is nestled in a lush valley surrounded by tree-covered hills and rich agricultural land. It is a clean, restful setting, a place of friendliness, and residents can walk its streets without a sense of fear. It is a great place to live and work and bring up your kids.