Virtual Travel – Delaware

Our visit to the smallest state in area in the country will also result in the smallest posting, with only 5 maps in the collection, all in the last 20 years. With very few photos of Delaware, this posting will share photos found on the internet.

 

2001 – The Delaware Memorial Bridge. These twin bridges cross the Delaware River, carrying an average of 80,000 cars a day. As the main route from New York, Philadelphia and points north to Baltimore, Washington and points south this route is constantly busy with car and truck traffic.

The bridge was designed by firm HNTB. This same firm designed the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia, and the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge in New York City. All have a similar look.

The Kalmar Nyckel was a Swedish ship built in 1638 to carry settlers to the New World. A replica of that ship was built in Wilmington in the late 1990s.

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This photo from the American Bridge website shows a view from high above the bridge deck.

 

 

 

2003 – Smith Bridge, Brandywine Valley. In 1839 Isaac Smith and his son Edward built a mill, and a covered bridge. This bridge, while reinforced in the 1950s, stood until 1961 when an arsonist burnt the bridge.

It was originally replaced with an open deck wooden bridge, but in 2002 this reproduction bridge was built. It uses the same truss design but the road deck is reinforced steel.

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2006 – Brandywine Park in Wilmington. Located along Brandywine Creek, this park dates from 1886 with assistance from Fredrick Law Olmsted.  The park is listed on the National Historic Registry.

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This photo from the Delaware State Parks website shows the park in spring.

The Van Buren Street bridge, built in 1906

 

 

 

Delaware has a small coastline. This photo show the remains of the Fort Miles Observation Tower. These towers were built during World War I. Later the fort was used as a secret listening post assigned to identify route submarines.

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2012 – Delaware is very proud of Caesar Rodney. While Paul Revere gets all the notoriety for his ride in Massachusetts, Rodney made a 70 mile ride through a thunderstorm on the night of July 1, 1776. His goal – to arrive in time for a July 2nd vote to break a deadlock for Delaware’s addition to the Declaration of Independence.

Government State Delaware 2012.jpg

 

This statue is located in downtown Wilmington. Photo credit to a website called ‘Onlyinyourstate.com’.

Delaware – our small visit to this small state is complete.

 

 

 

 

 

Across America – September – The Depot Tour Continues

The ongoing Train Depot/Station post continues to grow….

 

Manhattan – PATH station in the World Trade Center Oculus.

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The train to Hoboken

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Hoboken Terminal

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Jersey City – New Jersey Transit Light Rail – Newport Station

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Urbana, Ohio

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Columbus – near German Village – The High Street Streetcar Line Car House. Very nicely restored as a banquet facility.

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On this Sunday morning they were setting up for something – so the door was open 🙂

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Berea, Ohio Depot – Now a restaurant and tavern.

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The Berea Depot sits along two major rail lines, and the parking lot had a number of die hard Railfans hanging out to watch the freight trains go blowing by.  Apparently this spot in the best spot east of Chicago for those type of activities.

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While in nearby Olmstead Falls is a small depot that was also once located next door in Berea.

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It is part of a railroad themed shopping and entertainment complex.

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Elyria, Ohio is a medium sized city, so they had a larger station. It too has recently been restored.

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The Elyria station features some nice architectural touches.

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Amherst, Ohio Depot.

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As with many others it too is a community center.

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Oberlin, Ohio is home to to Oberlin College – the oldest co-educational college in America, and second oldest in the world.  It continues to be one of the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in America – in this tiny little northern Ohio town!

Their train depot is located in a small park.

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It is nice to see how many towns have retained these historic buildings.

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Just down the road in Wellington is the Lorain and West Virginia Railway Museum. While situated along the tracks, this depot was moved to the site.

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The museum offers rail excursions.

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The little town of New London, Ohio has a tiny little depot that has been moved to a local park.

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Our last stop of the day was in Galion, Ohio. We came upon this great Queen Anne style station that was open for a ‘Doors Open’ event.

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The station’s interior needs some work,  but it is standing and seemingly solid.

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The stone and brick building still features much of the canopy for waiting passengers.

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This station was home to the ‘Big Four’ railroad – that connected Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus & St Louis (they must have skipped Indiana).

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Outville, Ohio

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Johnstown, Ohio.

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On our Labor Day weekend throughout the Midwest we visit a few stations that were along the way.

Battle Creek, Michigan

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Three Oaks, Michigan – It is now an upscale clothing store in a tiny little tourist town.

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Ada, Ohio

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Forest, Ohio

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Chicago – Union Station (Interiors)

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Buffalo Central Terminal – There is a dedicated posting for this amazing station

https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/05/17/buffalo-may-2017-central-terminal/

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Jersey City – This station is at the dock for the ferries to the Statue of Liberty. Currently unused, it appears to be being restored as part of Liberty State Park

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Portland, Oregon

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St Louis – Union Station. Now a hotel and a shopping mall

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Philadelphia – 30th Street Station

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Boston – South Station

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Denver – Union Station. I understand it has been restored since this photo was taken.

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New York – Grand Central Terminal. I have amazingly few photos of this great terminal despite having been in and out of there numerous times.

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Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania Station. Now luxury apartments.

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The Amtrak station is connected, but in an ugly little building near the lower level

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Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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Latrobe, Pennsylvania

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Dennison, Ohio – This nice little station has been restored into a museum.

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Scranton, Pennsylvania – Steamtown National Historic Park has a great roundhouse that serves as the museum.

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Also in Scranton is an old station.

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Canon City, Colorado – The spectacular Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad station.

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Greeley, Colorado – Centennial Village Union Pacific Depot

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Bowling Green, Ohio Depot – now located at Dayton’s Carillon Park

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Glendale, Ohio – Now serves at the Visitor Center

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Dearborn, Michigan – Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum.

A roundhouse

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Thurmond, West Virginia – Located in the New River Gorge National Park.

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Ironwood, Michigan

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Superior, Wisconsin

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Fargo, North Dakota

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Nelsonville, Ohio – Home of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad

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Elmore, Ohio – Another visitor center

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Bellville Depot – It has been restored and is now a rest stop along a ‘rails to trails’ path.

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A stylish clock is on the other side of the path, facing a great looking bridge.

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The overall scene of the Bellville depot.

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The town of Mt Vernon has two passenger depots and a former freight building. The first building was a Baltimore & Ohio depot.

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It actually sits along active tracks.

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Used by the local community development organization, it is beautifully restored inside and out.

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The second station, just a few blocks away is restored as well.

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A passenger station for the Pennsylvania Railroad, it closely resembles the B &O station. If you have ever wondered why some towns have ‘Union Stations’ it is because of this, why have 2 stations – have a ‘union’ of railroads and build one.

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The tracks here have been converted to a rails to trails as well.

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The interior is fantastic.

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Even the heating radiators are stylish.

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We arrived at Granville in the pouring down rain, so I took a couple photos out the car window. As with many of the others, it is a stop on a rails to trails.

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Leaving the rain we stopped in the tiny town of Alexandria, where the station has been moved a mile or so from it’s original location to a parking lot of a business.

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The next day we headed to western Ohio to the town of South Charleston. This depot had the best of both worlds, it was on a bike trail going one way and an active track going the other way.

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Across the tracks was a park with a couple of cabooses.

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The small city of London, Ohio was our next stop.

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The station here was along unused tracks, and appears to be owned by a club. The building appears to have been restored, but the area around the building is a bit shabby.

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As with most of the medium size stations there is some character to the architecture.

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I had read that a depot from the southern Ohio town of Bainbridge had been moved to a place called Greene’s Museum Village, but when we found it, the place looked overgrown and someplace I didn’t want to go knock on a door – so a photo from across the corn fields sufficed.

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Finally back in Columbus we unexpectedly passed by some remnants of the streetcar years. This unused building is just north of downtown and was the business offices for the streetcar company.

A streetcar barn had been located across the street but has been torn down years ago.

I can’t believe someone hasn’t restored this great building.

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On the east side of Columbus, near Franklin Park is the Kelton Avenue streetcar barn. Actually this is the repair shop, the storage barns have been torn down here as well.

I have added the rest of the streetcar remnants to my list of places to go see, so stay tuned for more in the future.

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The Brice Station served a small town just east of Columbus, now it is part of an events center on the northwest side of town.

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We were lucky enough to meet a Reverend who was getting ready for his Sunday morning services. He was more than happy to let us look around the nicely restored station.

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In the back they have a dining car, that still functions as a dining car – it just doesn’t move.

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The counter is a work of art.

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Our next stop is owned by the same people, only located across town. It is called the Golf Depot, and serves as the restaurant and clubhouse for the golf course.

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I was immediately impressed with the views. Central Ohio is very flat and I was surprised that we were on a small rise, with a skyline view and a view of the nearby airport.

Where did this hill come from you ask? It was a huge landfill/garbage dump that they have re-purposed into this golf course. As with the last depot, the train never stopped here, since there were never any tracks anywhere close to here.

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They do celebrate their rail history with a mural.

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The depot was moved in tact and placed on the course.

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The restaurant has all of the original wood.

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We were having such good luck finding great little depots we headed 30 miles away to the small town of Sunbury, Ohio. I had read they too had a station, and a model train exhibit inside. Unfortunately the station was covered in some hideous faux shake shingles.

2018 08 19 160 Sunbury OH Depot.jpg

 

 

It was located where the tracks were, but are now gone. In it’s place is a very nice rails to trails path. I was disappointed in the depot, but the hike made up for it.

2018 08 19 162 Sunbury OH Depot.jpg

 

 

We continued back toward the city by stopping in the small city of Delaware, Ohio where the list said there were 2 stations very close to each other. The list was correct, there was this small wooden depot.

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Mostly hidden behind barbed wire fence.

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And a larger one across the tracks.

2018 08 19 168 Delaware OH Depots.jpg

 

 

That had warning signs of the hazardous conditions. So much for our good luck with finding cool little depots this day.

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This small depot is located the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

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The small station serves as a display area for the museum.

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Bucyrus, Ohio is currently restoring their fine brick station.

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We are looking forward to a return visit when it is completed.

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Newark’s is already restored and serves as an office for a local business.

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While a nearby mural celebrates their rail history.

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The small town of Canal Winchester (so named because the Ohio and Erie canal went through the town before the railroads) has two stations – this one if for the Interurbans (regional trains).

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It serves as a community center.

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On the other side of town is a small depot for the mainline trains.

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A small museum resides inside.

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With a couple of restored cars outside.

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The Marion station is one of the nicer ones. The exterior is in great shape, and the interior is not bad. A local rail fan club maintains the building.

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Marion is located near multiple main freight lines and attract numerous rail fans.

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The building has a classic look.

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The nearby control tower oversees the activities.

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In a Lima part there is a small depot called Lincoln Park. This small depot was located in a nearby town and moved to the park as part of the rail display.

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It currently serves as offices for the park.

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The Franklin County Fairgrounds is the home of the Hilliard Depot.

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The National Road is more famous for automobile traffic, but this little depot served interurbans that eventually lost out to the cars.

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Another small depot in the town of Pickerington.

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Our last couple are more impressive stations. The Columbus and Toledo station on the near west side of Columbus is a great building with a pagoda look.

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With the main Columbus station gone, it is fantastic that this one survived.

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It currently serves as a union hall, but they rent it out for weddings and other events.

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Finally – Cincinnati Union Terminal.

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On of the best domes in the world, it is mostly used for a number of museums that make their home there.

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But Amtrak does use a portion of the building.

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Easily one of the best train stations in America, the woodwork is stunning.

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Art deco at it’s finest. My plan is to update this posting as we visit more depots and stations around Ohio.

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Delaware, OH – July 2018 – Fun with Funghi

Our hot weekend continued with a visit to a local Metro Park – Gallant Woods – that was holding a ‘Mushroom Hike’. Lead by Kari, one of the Education leaders from the park service, we wandered through the woods for an hour while she and others spotted various types of mushrooms.

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Our group was small, with Kari and another family who was into foraging for mushrooms, making it very educational.

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Most of the mushrooms were quite small, but still very interesting.

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We found interesting growth on trees.

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A red one on a small twig.

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Mushy ones on another dead tree.

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It was fascinating how when you start looking closely how many different types there are. Much time was spent explaining how difficult it is to see the difference between poisonous ones and those that are edible.

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Kari would often pick them to give us a closer look.

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When you looked closely the details are amazing.

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One large tree had them growing all the way up the 50′ tall tree.

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While you are supposed to leave the mushrooms where they grow for others to enjoy, we were permitted to keep some since Kari picked them as part of our tour.

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Across the road is the original homestead complete with a restored 1930s farm house.

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The entire county parks system is featuring flight this year so one of the barns had a great exhibit with model planes.

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The exhibit’s planes were very impressive.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our hike with Kari, and the time spent with the other staff and volunteers afterwards in the farm house. The staff was even kind enough to share some mushroom quiche they had been preparing in the 1930s stove.

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Delaware, OH – April 2018 – Architectural Tour

The small city of Delaware, Ohio is the county seat of a county of the same name. Located just north of Columbus it was for more than 150 years the center of a farming county, as well as the home of the small college, Ohio Wesleyan.

With Columbus suburbs fast approaching, most of the county to the south has been developed  in tract housing and shopping centers, and it now has a population of over 200,000, and is recognized as having the highest per capita income in the state.

The town of Delaware however still feels like a small town, with many historic buildings.

First up is Beiber’s Mill which was was built in 1877 as a grist mill. Long abandoned, it sits directly on the Olentangy River – there were enough No Trespassing signs, and neighbors that looked like they would have shotguns that we took the photos from the road.

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The next stop was Perkins Observatory.  While in town there is an observatory that was built in 1896 that is still standing (barely), this building is about 3 miles south of town, next to a golf course.

Built in 1925 it has been in use ever since, but has over time reduced in scope as central Ohio is not very conducive to astrological observations – due to the low altitude, cloud cover and light pollution from the cities.

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As we arrived on the small campus of the 1900 student Ohio Wesleyan University, we found Edwards Gymnasium. Built in 1905 it is a spectacular building with an amazing wood ceiling with skylights.

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Just up the hill is Slocum Hall, which contains a library.

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As well as a great skylight.

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Next door is the University Hall and Chapel, although it appears to me very similar to most of the county court houses and jails around the state.

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On the west side of the campus are a series of newer buildings.

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Leaving campus we moved on to an area where all of the Delaware County Government buildings are located including what was a Carnegie Library – now the County Commissioners home.

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Next door is the old courthouse.

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Our last stop is what should be the main attraction of the town – the birthplace of a U.S. President – in this case Rutherford B. Hayes. However someone messed that one up long ago when the home was torn down, so now it is the Rutherford B Hayes Memorial BP Gas Station. But it is the only Presidential Gas Station in America, so Delaware, Ohio has that going for them.

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Delaware, Ohio – October 2017 – Can’t Be Bored at a Gourd Show

The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio was the host for the annual Gourd Show. Apparently a lot of people like making art out of gourds. With the results it is obvious there are some skilled gourd-artist around.

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There was also entertainment. While we were there a band called the ‘Rum River Blend’ played a mix of acoustic rock, bluegrass and folk. Their fiddle player, Carl, was 95 years old (he was the 1948 Ohio Fiddle Champion)!

Let’s give it up for Carl!

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Bellefontaine, Ohio – April 2015 – Caverns and a BP Station in honor of a President

Ohio Caverns is the largest of all the cave systems in Ohio and contains many crystal formations. Approximately 90% of its stalactite and stalagmite formations are still active. The cavern system was originally an aquifier, holding an underground river of melted glacier water. This river eventually receded to lower levels of the ground and is now unseen.

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The tunnel system known today as the Ohio Caverns was discovered in 1897 by a farmhand who worked on the land. Shortly after they started tours in the small section discovered, nearly destroyed it by removing crystal formations in that area and writing their names on the walls and ceilings.

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More controlled tours have occurred since then, and in the 1980s professional cave lighting was added. The day we were there we were the only two people on the tour with a young guide. He took the time to explain everything and show us special views that you normally wouldn’t have seen with a larger group.

2015 04 04 42 Ohio Caverns

 

 

Nearby are two faux castles that have been tourist attractions for many years. They are called the Piatt Castles, built in the 1870s and are called Mac-o-Chee and Mac-o-Cheek. For this trip they were still closed for winter, but we were able to view them from the outside.

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Once we completed our tour we continued on into the town of Bellefontaine, who have two claims to fame, both involving streets.

They claim that in 1891 George Bartholomew guaranteed the city that he could pave the street around the courthouse with the newly created compound called concrete, and that it would last 5 years. That street has lasted over 120 years. They are so proud of their street and George, that it is now closed to automobiles and there is a statue of George in the middle of it.

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A couple of blocks away is McKinley Street, which is 15’ long. For many years this was known to be the shortest street in the world, but recently there has been some controversy that a street in Scotland is shorter.

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After this much excitement it was time for lunch, and we found a local pizzeria called Six Hundred Downtown. After a lunch of cheesesteak and a sausage calzone, that was very good, we were now ready for the afternoon activities.

Ohio, while it has rolling hills throughout much of the eastern and southern portions, is a relatively flat state with no real mountains. The best we can do is 1550’ above sea level at Campbell Hill, just outside of Bellefontaine. We made the long trek up the hill, about 100 foot walk from the car (!), and took some photos of the panorama.

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Our last stop in Bellefontaine was the Logan County History and Transportation Museum at the Orr Mansion. This complex was impressive for such a small city.

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The history museum had a number of rooms built to represent small business of the early and mid 1900s in Bellefontaine. The mansion was well appointed with period pieces.

The most recent addition, the Transportation Museum, is in the shape of a railroad roundhouse, and include several larger transportation artifacts including the Shawver-Shick covered wagon, Kingsbury & Crockett carriage built in Bellefontaine, a sleigh used by the Sharp family of West Liberty, a 1920s airplane designed and built by Clarence Wissler of Bellefontaine, a 1921 West Liberty fire truck, a 1947 A.J. Miller hearse built in Bellefontaine, a 1950’s railroad maintenance car that was used in the Bellefontaine railroad yard, and vehicles on loan from Honda of America made in Logan County, as well as an extensive motorcycle collection from Honda.

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A scenic route home took us through Delaware, Ohio. This town’s most famous native son was President Rutherford B Hayes, who was born there in 1822. The house he was born in was torn down in 1925, never to be rebuilt. What is at this site, the Rutherford B Hayes Memorial BP Station. A presidential birthplace is a gas station, and a British owned one at that.

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After a brief stop at the historic Selby Stadium at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware we headed out of town for our last stop of the day, a giant cottonwood tree in Galena. Measurements have shown it is nearly 30’ around the base.

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