The Chamber

A History of Southeastern Butler County and the West Chester ▪ Liberty Chamber Alliance

Our Area Then

The history of growth in Southeastern Butler County follows the history of improvements in transportation. The earliest recorded settlers came in 1795 following the buffalo trails, accessible only by horse and mule. We now know these trails as Route 42 and Cincinnati-Dayton Roads.

Thirty years later, the roads supported stagecoach travel. Soon taverns, inns and other retail establishments appeared along the way. The majority of the residents in Southeastern Butler County were farmers until 1827, when the next improvement in transportation was built. The Miami and Erie canal connected Cincinnati with Toledo, bringing paper mills and the ice business, which, along with the grain farmers, supported breweries, saloons and taverns downstream in Cincinnati.

In 1851, the canal trade began to diminish due to another form of transportation- the railroad. The railroad brought prosperity to the local communities of Maud and Gano. A century later, the railroads were overshadowed in 1956 by the opening of Interstate -75. This superhighway, closely following the same route as the canals, brought another wave of people and business to the area.

Our Area Now

The most recent boon to the population and economy in Southeastern Butler County was the opening of the new Union Centre Boulevard interchange with I-75. Union Centre Boulevard is the first new interchange in southwest Ohio in over 20 years and has business growth exploding around it. This interchange was completed without any state or federal funds. The master plan for the West Chester Centre area has good blend of Class A, commercial, and retail space, including the Cincinnati Marriott North and the Savannah Center, which opened in the winter of 2007.

As Dayton and Cincinnati grow together, Southeastern Butler County is becoming the consolidation point commercially and residentially. To manage growth with vision, the West Chester Township trustees adopted a land use plan in 1997-98. They envisioned with full integration of residential, commercial, recreation, and industrial development.

Recently there were several defining infrastructure projects.  The following have spurned growth opportunities that we see today and envision in our future:

  • 1997: Union Centre Boulevard Interchange – opened up 3000 acres for commercial development, anchored West  Chester’s Central Business District, provided an additional connector to the City of Fairfield and catalyst for commercial growth from I-275 north along the I-75 growth corridor.

  • 1999: State Route 129 – opened up an 11 mile stretch of highway from I-75 to Hamilton, anchored the beginning of Liberty Township’s Central Business Direct, provided direct access to retail and restaurants in Fairfield Township and supported the need for a Liberty Way interchange.

  • 2008: Liberty Way Interchange – opened up 600 acres for commercial development in Liberty Township, initial focus is on office/healthcare and an urban center, done in collaboration with surrounding communities and will provide a gateway for business along the I-75 growth corridor to the new Austin Boulevard interchange.   

The West Chester ▪ Liberty Chamber Alliance

With the expansion of the business community in the 1970s came a need to talk about what was happening and to share ideas. The Pisgah Businessman's Association was formed over 20 years ago to answer that need. Later, they became the Union Township Chamber of Commerce, and met at Beckett Ridge Golf and Country Club. Boasting a base of 20 members in the 1970s, the Chamber grew to over 100 members in the next decade. In the 90s, the Chamber changed its name to the West Chester Chamber Alliance to reflect a growing membership from Liberty Township. In January of 2010 the name evolved to West Chester ▪ Liberty Chamber Alliance as Liberty Township has always been a part of our core and now it's recognized in our name. 

Today, the West Chester ▪ Liberty Chamber Alliance is our region’s fourth largest Chamber, representing the interests of more than 700 member businesses. Our mission is to establish West Chester and Liberty Townships as our region’s business epicenter. Our Chamber serves our membership and our community through Chambernomics, educational forums, government advocacy, special events, member benefit programs, leadership development, networking opportunities and regional collaboration. 

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