Central Ohio – September 2020 – Views from Above Part 2

Part 2 of the Drone Views of Central focus more on structures.

Up first is the Perkins Observatory near the city of Delaware, Ohio. Completed in the 1920s it once had the 3rd largest telescope in the world, but they discovered Ohio’s cloudy weather, and light pollution from Columbus made it impractical.

The Delaware tour continues with the football stadium for the small college called Ohio Wesleyan. It too dates from the 1920s – with the claim to fame that all 9000 seats are between the 15 yard lines.

The Delaware County Fairgrounds is home to one of the largest harness races in the country with the Little Brown Jug. The race will occur this year, without spectators.

Somewhat of a continuation of the posting from earlier this year of Columbus Sports Venues is this birds eye view of a few of them, starting with the vacant and partially torn down former Cooper baseball stadium.

From above it is easy to see the outline of the field. The stands continued around the first base side – but were torn down years ago.

Not far away is the new stadium, Huntington Park.

The Ohio State Fairgrounds is home to Mapre Stadium – the Columbus Crew soccer stadium.

The new stadium is under construction just down the street from Huntington Park.

All over town you see ‘brown field in fills’, taking either vacant in town property or tearing down existing structures to build new apartments and condos.

Another brown field redevelopment near Grandview Heights.

Even suburban Dublin, Ohio has gotten into this, with this large new area called Bridge Park replacing a car dealership and shopping center.

A park in Dublin is home to Chief Leatherlips, who was a renown leader of the local Wyandot. This interesting sculpture of him goes down the side of a hill.

O’Saughnessy Dam and Bridge – This is one of my favorite of the recent drone photos.

In this part of Ohio we grow plastic houses in our fields.

The confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. Clearly low water season.

From Bicentennial Park. The building on the left of the river is Center of Science and Industry (AKA – COSI).

The drone does provide some nice views of the bridges and buildings.

German Village is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in town – but tough to shoot with the drone because of all of the trees.

I will recreate later in fall after the leaves drop.

We end up in suburbia – with the distant view of the skyline of downtown along the horizon.

Central Ohio – September 2020 – Views From Above Part 1

Today’s posting is a collection of drone views from various points around Central Ohio.

We start with a number of Metro Parks.

Below is a smaller one called Homestead Metro Park. The large white bubble in the back right is an indoor tennis court.

There are numerous covered bridges in Central Ohio, and they are popular enough they build new ones on trails as shown in the center here.

Nearby is Prairie Oaks, featuring this lake for fishing.

The northern end of the park crosses Big Darby Creek with a unique bridge (I need a drone with a zoom!). This cable stay suspension bridge has towers 86′ above the creek.

As the name suggests Prairie Oaks is in the middle of fields with some trees.

The late summer colors were vivid.

The last of the Metro Parks for this day is Darby Creek.

Darby Creek is famed for their bison (again – drone with a zoom is needed).

The park was once a massive farm/estate of the Galbraith family, who owned (among other things) race horses.

Closer into town is this interesting view from above. My first thought when I saw the photo is it looks like a graveyard.

From the ground we see the concrete corn cob sculptures – indeed a graveyard for the farmlands of Ohio.

There are a number of abandoned quarries around Columbus. This one is partially filled with water.

Another mystery from above

It is a Native American mound. The natives in this area were prolific mound builders, this one (Shrum) being one of the smaller ones.

The military cemetery portion of Greenlawn Cemetery from the ground.

Much more impressive from 200′ up.

The drone views will continue with part 2 in a day or two.

Eastern Ohio Towns – August 2020 – Architecture Along the National Road

The final posting on the National Road day is of architecture in the towns and small cities along the way. Much like in Wheeling, there is both nicely restored and the delightfully appealing vacant buildings.

Every county has restored their historic courthouse – could be a theme for a posting of it’s own in the future – the 88 courthouses of Ohio.

St Clairsville, Ohio

Morrisville, Ohio

Cambridge, Ohio

Zanesville, Ohio

Wheeling, West Virginia – August 2020 – Architecture

Wheeling, West Virginia is typical of a number of cities in the Ohio River Valley and on into Pennsylvania – it has had a population drop for decades.

Peaking out at about 62,000 people, the city now has about 25,000, which is less than lived there in 1880. As a result there are a number of old buildings, many vacant.

Beautifully restored, or interestingly vacant, it makes for great photography. In addition there are more ‘ghost signs’ in Wheeling that anywhere I have ever seen.

National Road Revisit – August 2020 – Views from the Ground and Above

In 2015 we did a trip across Ohio on the National Road – the original cross country road. This posting is a revisit focusing on the bridges, using the drone for additional views.

The National Road eventually gave way to U.S.40, which in turn was replaced by Interstate 70. All 3 have been considered ‘The National Road’.

We start out again in Wheeling, West Virginia with the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world when completed in 1849.

Currently it is closed to vehicle traffic – making a perfect place to stand in the middle of the bridge for photos.

This view from the Wheeling Island side is 60′ up with the drone.

Just west of Wheeling, back in Ohio, is the Blaine Viaduct. This bridge was built in the 1930s to carry U.S. 40 traffic. Below it is the original National Road S Bridge from 1828, and just to the right (out of the photo) is Interstate 70.

The Viaduct bridge has massive concrete arches.

The views of the S Bridge from the drone.

Once you crossed the S bridge there was a steep incline of the road, made completely out of bricks. A portion of the Viaduct is visible in the background.

Further west U.S. 40 the road becomes abandoned.

The view from the drone shows why, I-70 was built directly over top it’s path.

Reaching Guernsey County we find another fantastic stone S Bridge.

This bridge still has a road on it, but it has been closed off to traffic.

Our final S bridge is located just west of the town of New Concord. Again U.S. 40 is literally next to it.

Our final bridge is the famed Y Bridge in Zanesville. This is actually the 5th Y Bridge built at this site.

Union County, Ohio – August 2020 – Droning on About Bridges

It is time to revisit some historic bridges in Union County, Ohio, only this time with the drone (for most photos). This posting will start a series of postings featuring some drone photos.

Bridgeport Iron Bridge

What goes up can also come down. A number of views of the Culbertson Bridge.

Interestingly there is a fjord just next to it so trucks can get past, as this is one of the few old bridges you can still drive across.

Above Spain Creek Bridge.

Finally Pottersburg Bridge crossing a sea of soybeans.

Mt Vernon, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Knox County

The tour of Central Ohio counties continues with Knox County, with more photography approaching abstract.

For a classic car find the ultimate is to find a ‘barn car’. Basically a car someone owned then stored it in a barn for 40 years forgetting about it. The result is an original condition ‘gem’.

Look closely you will see a 1960s Chevy tucked into the side barn.

The small town of Gambier is home to Kenyon College. This small college has produced a number of famous people including President Rutherford B Hayes, Paul Newman and others.

Most of the buildings have a strong Gothic and Romanesque look.

Nearby Mt Vernon has a couple of well restored train stations, including the one below that serves as a (currently closed) visitor center.

A great stone bridge with a ghost sign on an old building is just across the river from the visitor center.

Aerial Foundation Park is on the grounds of a former glass factory, with some remains of the buildings left behind as art.

A perfect red barn with the flags flying in the breeze.

Just across the county line into Delaware County is the small town of Kilbourne. While most of the town appears to be abandoned it is making a comeback as someone has purchased the block and is in the process of restoring. It appears it will take some time to finish.

Newark, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Licking County

Today’s tour is Licking County. The unusual name comes from the proliferation of ‘Salt Licks’ that were in the area when it was settled by Europeans. Salt Likes are a natural occurrence that wildlife used to gain critical minerals.

While many of the barn photos on earlier postings were dilapidated, but today’s is in excellent condition.

The small town of Granville is home to Denison University. It is a liberal arts college that attract students from out of state.

Swasey Chapel sits high on a hill above town.

Next door is Swasey Observatory. Apparently Swasey gave you both the virtual view of the heavens as well as the physical.

The Doane Administration building.

Newark is home to a number of large earthworks. The Hopewell Native Americans were prolific mound builders.

The photo below shows the Octagon Mound. In the early 1900s this area was sold to a group who built a golf course around the mounds.

The Ohio Historical Society owns the land now, and is in the process of evicting the golf course to return it to it’s original state.

The nearby Great Circle Earthworks is one of the largest in the world.

Interestingly it is restricted airspace so the drone wouldn’t go into the circle for a photo.

Newark is known as ‘Mound City’.

The area around the courthouse square has a number of historic buildings.

Lancaster, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Fairfield County

The Random Views of Ohio Counties continues with Fairfield County. This county is the transition from suburban Columbus flatlands to southern Ohio rolling hills.

Rock Mill is a restored grain mill in a park, but with Covid it was closed.

It appears the field in the foreground was soybeans this year, but corn last year – with a few left overs regrowing. They look as though they have been left behind from the rest of the corn in the far field.

Random views of the countryside, most with an abstract approach.

The largest city is Lancaster. As you approach town from the east you pass the vintage Skyview Drive In Movie Theater. With the social distancing the drive in movies are making a comeback, but the Skyview has been there since 1948 (old photo is from their website)

Downtown Lancaster is comprised of almost all 100 year old buildings. This one has not only been well restored with ornate details, it has a couple of great ‘ghost signs’ on the side.

An old shoe factory is starting to come back to life.

The county fairground’s famed round barn.

Normally this time of year the fairgrounds is getting ready for the big event – the county fair. Not this year – just vacant grandstands.

Fairfield County has one of the largest collections of covered bridges in the country. This one is located on the community college grounds.

Central Ohio Transportation History Through Historical Markers – July 2020

As you travel around Ohio you will often see historical markers – there are 1700 of them scattered throughout the state. Using sound caution during these challenging times I spent a couple of hours running around the area finding markers that highlight the history of transportation in Central Ohio. This allowed me to start again the photo efforts, as well as history research, while avoiding people.

 

The National Road

Ohio was still wilderness in the late 1700s, inhabited by only Native Americans. When the Europeans arrived and started to push west from the eastern seaboard the state was one of the first destinations. The primary route for many of these settlers was the National Road.

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In Ohio the National Road started on the western end of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River. (this historic marker is from West Virginia)

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Initially it was just a trail through the countryside. This non paved alley in a small Ohio town is the exact location of the trail.

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The National Road had mile markers indicating how far you were from Cumberland, Maryland, the eastern terminus.

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A number of the famed ‘S’ bridges were along the route. This one dates from the early days of the automobile.

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This S Bridge dates from the pre-automotive days.

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Of course as soon as you have people and transportation someone is going to go off course.

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Canals

Not long after the National Road was first completed the canals started to be built. This transportation mode was the primary driver that lead Ohio to become the the 3rd most populated state by 1840, a position it would hold until Illinois passed it in 1900.

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The canals opened up the interior of the state with connections to the Great Lakes and the Ohio River.

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In addition to the main canals, there were ‘feeder canals’ branching off to spur industrial development.

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The little village of Lockville has 3 locks in a short distance, as well as a vintage covered bridge that would’ve once crossed it.

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The city of Groveport has restored their lock.

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The town of Lockbourne is proud of their canal and lock heritage, although their one lock could us a bit of attention.

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Trains

The canals had their heyday until the trains became prevalent in the 1850s.

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While the mainline trains carried commerce and passengers across the state and beyond, Ohio became a center for the ‘Interurban’.

The Interurban served as a local transportation option between cities closely aligned, essentially the same as today’s commuter rail systems.

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The map below shows how extensive the interurban network was in the state.

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As one of the larger cities in the state, Columbus was a hub for the interurban transportation.

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The line going south out of the city was known as the Scioto Valley Interurban.

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Amazingly it had a third rail in the countryside (providing the power from a rail in the ground, not overhead wires).  You would think that a number of cows became instant steaks by stepping on these…

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The rails are still part of a street in the town of Groveport.

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Canal Winchester has restored their Interurban station as a community center.

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While nearby the town had a mainline train station.

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Airports

While the Wright Brothers were the first developers of the airplane in nearby Dayton in the first decade of the 1900s, it took until 1923 for Columbus to have it’s first permanent air field.

It was named Norton Field, and as the historical marker indicates, was named after a Columbus native and World War I casualty John Norton. The opening was attended by Eddie Rickenbacker (more below on Eddie).

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The field was located east of the city, just south of the current airport.

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It was used primarily by the military, and was shut down as suburbia reached the area in the 1950s. Today the only reminder of it’s history (other than the marker) is the park in the neighborhood.

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Just north of Norton Field is John Glenn Columbus International Airport, whose airport code is CMH – Columbus Metropolitan Hangar – the original name for the field.

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The airport location was selected by Charles Lindbergh as the eastern terminus of the Transcontinental Air Transport. This unique design had passengers travel to Columbus from New York on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

From Columbus the passengers could fly to a town called Waynoka, Oklhoma, where they would again get on a train – this time to Clovis, New Mexico.

In Clovis they would again get on an airplane and fly on to Los Angeles.

The photo below clearly shows how close the train was to the airport. Note the T-A-T airplanes in the foreground – they later merged with Western Air Express to become TWA.

The entire concept was a disaster. In 18 months they lost $2.7m, was involved in the first plane crash on a regular commercial route, and eventually became involved in a scandal known as the Air Mail scandal.

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But the airport survived. This photo looking southwest shows the field.

Norton Field is in the upper left grassy area, and on the center right is the construction of Curtiss-Wright Airplane factory. This factory built military aircraft until the 1988.

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The original terminal sits unused in a distant corner of the airport.

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A sign of the times are a number of currently mothballed aircraft – waiting for travel to return after COVID.

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Eddie Rickenbacker grew up in this modest house on the east side of Columbus. From this start Eddie lead a most eventful life. He was a World War I fighter pilot – race car driver – automobile designer – and pioneer in air transportation, leading Pan Am Airlines.

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Eddie’s name graces the former air force base turned freight airport – Rickenbacker International Airport.

 

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Central Ohio has had a long history of transportation – perhaps a Hyperloop is next…

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