Columbus – June 2017 – Comfest

Held in Goodale Park in Columbus, Comfest is a community festival that according to their website is guided by the principals that people ought to work for the collective good of all people rather than for personal gain; The basic necessities of life are a right and not a privilege; People should strive to conduct their lives in harmony with the environment; We recognize that there are primary attitudes which divide and oppress people – We seek to eliminate these attitudes (they are actually longer – check their website for full details)

The festival is full of crafts, music, various groups making various political statements, and thousands of people having a good time – easily the highlight are the people. Another highly recommended event.

Making art to the music.

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One of the members of a band. They had the Dead covers down perfect.

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Someone who decorated one of the portable toilets.

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Promoting Veganism.

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A happy dancer

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Another happy dancer

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More happy dancers

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Bongo session.

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He was in a kilt – and I was standing next to some cool sculpture – what could be better.

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London, OH – June 2017 – Cobra Club Gathering

In the early 1960s small British car manufacturer AC partnered with famed automotive genius Carroll Shelby to build the Cobra. This fabulous 2 seater has remained to this day one of the best examples of a sports car ever built.

A series of events over the years has lead to a large ‘replica’ market. We caught up with the Cobra Club at a truck stop near an interstate west of Columbus as they prepared to parade into the small town of London. With nearly 100 Cobra’s it was impossible for me to find the replica’s from the originals. Either way it was an impressive site, these spectacular sports cars gathered amongst the trucks.


Cars were from all over the U.S. and Canada.

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A Daytona – original or replica???

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The parade awaits…

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They are off…

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Some proud Canadians…

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An unusual site for those not expecting it, these classic cars sailing across the Ohio soybean and cornfields.

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Hilliard, OH – May 2017 – N Scale Model Trains

A rainy Sunday morning meant trying to find something inside to do. Fortunately there was a N Scale Model Train show in Hilliard, Ohio. N Scale is a very small scale, and the scenery that the various groups did was very intricate.

The model rail clubs came from throughout Ohio and surrounding states. The best was easily the Dayton N Scale club, as they had working carnival rides, ski lifts, and many others.

A German Rail Station

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With the small scale they build models in suitcases, and in this case, a guitar case.

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Some of the scenery the trains run through included a drive in movie theater.

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The ski lift.

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Clubs came from as far away as Indiana and New Jersey.

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The small, fast moving trains proved to be tricky to photograph.

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Another station.

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Columbus – May 2017 – National Historic Registry Buildings

With the success of finding interesting places that had Ohio Historical Markers, and realizing my original intention was to find the National Historic Registry Buildings, we set out to find the latter.

The buildings:

Budd Dairy Building – The Budd Dairy Company administration building was completed in 1916. Situated on North 4th Street in Italian Village in Columbus. This neighborhood is undergoing substantial gentrification, and this building, while vacant for years, has a proposal for refurbishment.

The building was noteworthy for holding ‘Radio Dance’ events in the 1920s. These events played radio broadcast from KDKA in Pittsburgh, which was the first, and one of the few radio stations in the 1920s.

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Berry Brothers Bolt Company – A former factory that produced bolts used in the buggie production (Columbus was buggie manufacturing capital of the world). The building is dark brick, with numerous windows, including a series along the roofline. Today the building houses Uber and radio stations.

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Jeffrey Manufacturing Building – Joseph Jeffrey was a junior partner in a bank in Columbus in the late 1800s when he partnered with a German-American designer named Francis Lechner to build machinery that would make coal mining easier and safer (from an 1800s perspective). From 1888 until 1999 the Jeffrey Mining Machinery company produced mining machinery and various industrial products were manufactured on this site. At one time more than 5000 people were employed for the firm. Today the building has been modified to condo’s.

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Fort Hayes – Established as a military post during the Civil War, Fort Hayes consists of numerous buildings across a campus just north of downtown. The most noteworthy building is the main tower.  In the early 2000s the campus was transferred to the Columbus Board of Education.

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Flatiron Building – There are numerous cities across America with ‘Flatiron’ buildings, the most famous being in Manhattan. This building was built in 1914 by Herbert Aloysius, as noted with the inscription in a stone at the top of the building. Originally it housed a small saloon and grocery store, with apartments on the upper floors. Due to the unusual size of the lot, the building is 8’ wide on it’s smallest side, yet is four floors high. Today it houses a restaurant.

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Ohio State Arsenal – The Arsenal was built in 1861 for the storage of arms, which was it’s use until the 1970s when it was transferred to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. The building was dedicated as the Columbus Cultural Arts Center in 1978.

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Born Capital Brewing Company – Conrad Born had first established a brewery in 1859. Eventually this brewery became known as Capital Brewing. Across the street is the statue of the ‘Drunken King’. Today the building houses apartments.

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Southern Hotel – Designed by Frank Packard and Joseph Yost, it was opened in 1897 as a ‘Fireproof Hotel’. Many 1800 era hotels were made fully of wood, and had a poor record as fire traps. The Southern’s design of steel, brick and concrete was ahead of its time. Attached to the hotel is the Southern Theater.

Today it has been refurbished as a Westin Hotel.

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United States Carriage Company/Mercantile Building – The Mercantile Building was built in 1902 as offices and production facilities for the United States Carriage Company, which built horse drawn funeral carriages. In the 1920s a chemical maker called DeVore Manufacturing took over.

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Hartman Building – Opened as a hotel in 1901, the Hartman was built by Samuel Hartman in the Neo Classical style by Kremar & Hart. It was so opulent it served as Governor Andrew Harris’s official residence during his term from 1906-1909. President Theodore Roosevelt once stayed there. Among it’s features were a large gymnasium, a ladies parlor and a men’s smoking room, as well as a 6th floor grand dining room. Hartman had made his money by peddling a ‘cure all’ tonic, that turned out to be 30% alcohol.

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Masonic Hall – This hall was dedicated in 1899, with an additional section being built in 1912. It was known as one of the largest masonic hall’s in the world when built. In 1996 it was saved from demolition and re marketed as a commercial catering facility.

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Engine Company 16 – This former fire station now houses the Central Ohio Fire Fighting Museum. Of note is the tall hose drying tower.

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Atlas Building – The building was opened in 1905 for the Columbus Savings & Trust Company. Another landmark designed by Frank Packard it has an elaborate base, with a simple center, but topped by one of the best cornices of any building in the city. From the street it is obvious it is composed of 3 types of material, as the exterior color transitions from Red to Orange to White.

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YMCA – The building was opened in 1922, with it’s ornate trim. It continues to house the YMCA.

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Hayden Buildings – There are two buildings, side by side on East Broad Street built by Peter Hayden. The first was completed in 1869 and is the oldest building on Capital Square. The second, taller building is considered the 2nd skyscraper in Columbus, having been completed in 1901. Of note this building served as the headquarters of the NFL from 1921-1939.

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