Linworth Run, Carhart Ditch,
Smoky Row Ditch, and Potters Creek

There is considerable lack of consistency in the naming of these Perry Township streams when comparing various records. Carhart Ditch - just north of 161 - enters the Olentangy at RM 9.90. The sign at the bridge at Olentangy River Road identifies it as Linworth Run. However, several sources identify the stream a little farther north that enters the river at RM 10.15 as Linworth Run. The "real" Linworth Run extends to the railroad tracks, and is fed by a northern branch that flows through Perry Park. This branch has historical identification as Smoky Row Ditch, but recently is being referred to as Potters Creek.

This is a better view of the roads in the area, but Smoky Row Ditch/Potters Creek does not appear.

USGS National Hydrography Database shows the western section of the LInworth Run stopping at the tracks; the section going north through Perry Park was called Smoky Row Ditch.

1968 topographical map, where Linworth Run is "Unnamed Trib" at RM 10.15


Articles in Ravinia, Fall 2010/Winter 2011 describe early life on Linworth Run.


Carhart Ditch: In 1999 The Ohio EPA monitored the tributary that enters the Olentangy River at RM 9.90 at Linworth Road. Water quality in this stream appeared threatened (Ohio EPA 1999). As classified by the Palmer Drought Severity Index, severe to extreme drought conditions were indicated for the period between July and October 1999 (Ohio DNR 1999).

Smoky Row Ditch/Potters Creek: FLOW has been working on this stream in the Perry Park area (starting at Snouffer) since 2019, starting with an Earth Day seedling planting event with Battelle River and Streams. Two pollinator gardens were added to Perry Park in 2019. A grant enabled us to replant the lower portion of the stream corridor to support the insect and birds.


2021 sampling site

2021 monitoring data for Potters Creek
(Macroinvertebrate Cumulative Index Value rating: poor)


Information from Jeff Pierce, Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District


The first stream just north of SR 161 on the west side is identified as the Carhart Ditch in the stream resource geodatabase and includes Gale Run as a feeder in the headwaters. The Carhart Ditch was originally a county-petitioned tile in 1893 that showed up as a surface drainage project for the WPA in the late 1930s or early 1940s. It is not a named system in the Federal Board of Geographic Names database and was not a named system in the original Auditor’s primary or secondary hydrology files from 1997, but I believe that the name appeared on the historical drainage maps at the Franklin County Engineer’s office that were put together for the WPA projects and may have appeared in Franklin County Engineer’s field books and on some later landowner parcel books in the 1950s.


The second stream just north on SR 161 on the west side is identified as Linworth Run in the stream resource geodatabase and includes the Smoky Row Ditch as a feeder in the headwaters. This is the stream that crosses under Whieldon Lane before it reaches the Olentangy River. It is not a named system in the Federal Board of Geographic Names database, but it is marked as Linworth Run on the Franklin County Road Map and Street Locator and was listed as Linworth Run in the original hydrography dataset from the Franklin County Auditor’s Office in 1995.

The USGS National Hydrography Database also shows the tributary listed as Linworth Run turning to the west and stopping at the railroad tracks south of Perry Park. The tributary that comes down through Perry Park has a county ditch petition history dating back to 1889 as the Smoky Row Ditch (the petitions also included a portion of what is now called Linworth Run down to the crossing at Linworth Road).

See the photo to the left showing the USGS NHD line (teal) branching to the west and to the railroad tracks. Everything above that branch is in the dataset as Smoky Row Ditch for the main tributary and Smoky Row Ditch watershed for the unnamed tributaries.


History: the Village of Elwood became Linworth at some point between 1910 and 1950, and both the Carhart Ditch and Linworth Run are very close to Linworth. A landowner named Ruth Potter also shows up as owning 61.31 acres south of Perry Park and west of Linworth Road that was turned into housing at some point in the past. Worthington may be using a local variant taken from the Potter family name, but the tributary is officially marked as Linworth Run on the County Engineer’s Road Map and in the Franklin County Auditor’s GIS system. The name Potters Creek does not appear in data from the late 1990s, so it may be a more recent local variant.

Information from Benjamin W. McCown, GIS Manager, Franklin County Engineer

We have found that the stream in question, running east into the Olentangy btw SR 161 and Pleasenton Dr is not Linworth Run (Linworth Run is north of Pleasenton Dr).

Unfortunately, we are not able to find a better name for the stream in question, yet.

Ditches are different than other streams in that they are engineered as opposed to naturally occurring. We name these projects sometimes for the person petitioning the work, sometimes for the area that it is located. This particular stream had a petition in 1893 known in our records as the Carhart Ditch. The 1872 township map also places the annotation “Ditch” in the same area, so there most likely was a petitioned project there before. Somehow that petitioned name was applied to the entire stream.

We see this in our bridge data set also, where this stream crosses under Linworth Rd and Olentangy River Rd.

Photos of Carhart Ditch

Summer 2020, by Ellie Nowels

Culvert under Linworth Road. It was necessary to cut across a landowner's mown property to exit the stream.
A section on the north side, closer to Linworth Road, has been cleared of honeysuckle in the past.
This was the only major landowner addition in this stretch.
There are no clear paths along this section of the stream; it took a good deal of climbing under and over fallen trees and through underbrush to navigate this section.
Some excess nutrients were evident, but only in this one area.
Several landowners have been mowing right up to the stream's edge.
Close to Olentangy River Road.
The culvert under Olentangy River Road. To get here I had to take a steep descent along a small drainage area and climb over some fences.

Photos of Smoky Row Ditch/Potters Creek

Downstream of Perry Park

Head cut downstream of pedestrian bridge