On the south side of Columbus along US Route 23, a man by the name of Doctor Samuel B. Hartman owned what was once the largest operating farm in the United States. There, he grew grapes and processed them for his invention…the “Cure-All” for every ailment. From measles to blindness to arthritis to the common cold, Hartman’s Peruna, or as he spelled it PE-RU-NA, was the cure for everyday Catarrhal illnesses. Perhaps this was due to the large amount of alcohol the so-called cure-all drug contained, nearly 25%. When doctors finally convinced medical associations that Peruna was nothing more than a strong whiskey, the drug was discontinued. Hartman’s medicine empire came to an end in the 1940s.
However, the Hartman Farm was much more than just a place to raise grapes for the defunct medicine. One of the uses was as a large dairy farm. Many say that Columbus became known as “Cow Town” when southerners traveled north along Route 23 to look for work. When they passed through Hartman Farm and saw the massive dairy farm, they knew they had arrived in Columbus. Hartman Farm also included a horse stable near the present day Scioto Downs Racino.
Today most of the land the Hartman Farm once occupied is a huge quarry, one of the largest in the Columbus area. Sections of I-270 were also built atop the old farmland. Only a few of the original buildings have survived, including one of the dairy barns that is now used for storage at the quarry, an occupied home that sits next to a modern barn, a lonely one-room schoolhouse that has been abandoned since the 1960s, and a home along Parsons Avenue. There are rumors that once the quarry operation is complete, they will transform the land into a park named Hartman Lake.
The Ohio Exploration Society has ordered and received some of the original Peruna Almanacs from the late 1800s and early 1900s. We have also received an old tin can that used to hold the pill form of Peruna, called Man-a-lin, several empty Peruna bottles, a Hartman laxative bottle complete with box, and three Hartman Farm milk bottles. We are in search of a full bottle of Peruna to add to our collection. If you have further information, photographs, or experiences of the Hartman empire or Peruna that you would like to share, please send an email to . You will be credited for anything you may contribute. Below are the photos we’ve gathered so far.
Location Information: Demolished
Hartman Farms was located on US Route 23 south of Interstate 270 in south Columbus; Franklin County.