Marion, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Marion County

This posting is the start of a series of Ohio County focused random views. Unintentionally many of Marion County’s turned out to be barns and other structures in various states of disrepair.

A right hand drive Rolls Royce.

The late summer provided many contrasting colors with the barns.

The corn is so high it felt like walls along the road.

Marion is a railroad town. The light off in the distance was an oncoming train, but is a couple of miles away.

Marion was home to President Harding.

They have built a new Presidential Library for Harding, showing that no matter how crooked you are you will eventually get a Presidential Library.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Marion, Ohio – April 2017 – National Robotics Challenge

With the good times we had at the robotics competition in Cleveland, we decided to go to Marion, Ohio for the National Robotics Challenge. This event bills themselves as different from the other robotics events due to the fact that there is no kit, rather they encourage the contestants to find materials and equipment best suited for the problem at hand. This results in a lower cost.

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In addition this event is open to anyone from 6th grade through graduate school, although we only saw middle school and high school contestants.

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It was obvious from the start the concept of freelance approach, as they appeared like erector sets with servos, motors and wheels. This is not a slam on the approach, in fact it is a testament to ingenuity.

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It did seem to lead to very uneven competition though. We watched the finals for ‘Sumo Robotics’, Robot Hockey and very small robots in battle in a glass case. It was clear that one would be far superior to the rest.

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The only downside to the event was the venue, and more specifically the placement of the rings for competition. They were up against the one side of stands, with a railing that made it difficult to see, and with judges and some contestants standing it was virtually impossible to get a decent view of the action. The judges should recognize this and take into consideration the paying spectators.

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Marion, OH – March 2017 – Railroad Museum

Marion, Ohio is known mostly for being the hometown of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G Harding. But Marion is also a big railroad town, with both North-South and East-West mainline freight tracks going through town.

To most people this would be terrible, with the constantly rumbling of freight trains rolling through town. But there are a number of people who are known as Railfans, who love this sort of thing.

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The former Marion Union Depot is now the home to a group of Railfans, as well as Model Railroad enthusiasts. They have a nice collection of railroad artifacts, including a couple of interlocking units (used to make sure no more ‘Casey Jones’ incidents occur).

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We were lucky enough to meet a couple of enthusiastic volunteers who showed us around the Depot, as well as took us up in the tower.

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For something that was totally unplanned it was cool, in a geeky 1910 technology way. Which is still very cool.

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The depot draws hundreds of railfans each year, mostly because the depot sits inthe middle of three mainlines, and is squared off by two double sets of diamonds, basically tracks crossing at a 90 degree angle. While we were there a train went by, no surprise there!

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Marysville to Marion – April 2015 – Honda’s and Popcorn

This weekend’s adventures began at the Honda Heritage Center, across from the Marysville Honda Auto Factory.

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2015 04 18 2 Marysville Honda Heritage Center

 

In 1978 Honda began to produce motorcycles at a factory in Marysville, with an auto plant following in 1982. Because of this Ohio connection the company chose Marysville to built the company’s new Heritage Center, which will showcase its advances in automobiles, powersports, power equipment, aviation and robotics over the past 55 years.

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The displays included a number of automobiles, motorcycles, engines and even a jet airplane. While the museum details the brand’s 55-year history in North America, its primary focus will be on Honda’s history in Ohio.

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The day we visited it was very quiet as they hadn’t yet advertised their opening and we had the place to ourselves.

From Marysville we made the 30 mile trip to Marion, the adult home of Warren Harding. Marion in general is a run down town, and the Harding Home is in a nondescript east side neighborhood.

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The Harding Home, the residence of Warren G. and Florence Harding from 1891 to 1921, has been open continuously as a museum since 1926. The museum opened just three years after President Harding died from a heart attack in 1923. Mrs. Harding died just 15 months later from kidney disease, which had plagued her for many years. In her will, she made arrangements for the home and the bulk of the contents to go into the hands of the Harding Memorial Association.

The home was built for Harding and his then fiancé in 1891. When the principal contenders for the 1920 Republican presidential nomination deadlocked, party leaders picked Harding as the compromise candidate. During the campaign Harding spoke to thousands of people from the wide Colonial Revival front porch of his home. He was famous as an orator, with a powerful, expressive voice. So many people came to hear him that the family had to replace the front lawn with gravel.

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The small white clapboard building behind the house served as press headquarters during the 1920 campaign. A portable tin voting booth used during the 1920 election is on the property as well.

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Across town is the Harding Tomb. The structure was completed in 1927. It is designed in the style of a circular Greek temple with marble columns, built of Georgia white marble and are 28 feet high and 5 feet in diameter at the base. The structure is 103 feet in diameter and 53 feet in height.

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At their deaths, the bodies of the Hardings were entombed in Marion Cemetery.  Once the Harding Memorial was completed in 1927, the bodies were re interred in the Memorial’s sarcophagus and it was sealed. Because Harding’s reputation was damaged by personal controversies and presidential scandals, the Harding Memorial was not officially dedicated until 1931 by President Herbert Hoover.

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The Marion Union Station is still standing, and it serves as a clubhouse for the Marion Railfans. This station sits at a unique rail crossing where the tracks cross each other at 90 degree angles.

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The Old U.S. Post Office in Marion was built in 1910, it is currently used as the Heritage Hall museum by the Marion County Historical Society. Heritage Hall is also home of the Wyandot Popcorn Museum, the “only museum in the world dedicated to popcorn and its associated memorabilia.

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Some of the notable items in the collections are: a large collection of political badges used during the 1920 Presidential campaign; an 1879 hand-pulled pumper used by the Marion Fire Department; memorabilia related to the 1938 Miss America reign of Marilyn Meseke, as well as Prince Imperial Norman horse born in France in 1865.

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Under a colorful circus tent inside Heritage Hall is the largest, most impressive collection of popcorn wagons and peanut roasters in the United States. The perfect setting for the Wyandot Popcorn Museum. These priceless wagons date back as far as the turn of the century and have been restored to their original condition.

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Actor Paul Newman’s antique popcorn wagon, which sat in New York City’s Central Park, is also on display at the museum. All of the classic antique poppers are here – Cretors, Dunbar, Kingery, Holcomb & Hoke, Cracker Jack, Long-Eakin, Excel and more. Even a few homemade one-of-a-kind antiques. Wyandot museum craftsmen have done the restorations so well you will think they were built yesterday. Two are 100 years old.

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This museum center was nicely done, the docents were enthusiastic, and best yet, they gave us fresh popcorn at the end of our visit.

The Marion County Fairgrounds has a building that houses the Huber Manufacturing Museum. Edward Huber came to Marion to build his revolving hay rake. Besides the hay rake, you will see almost every model of early gas farm tractor and, a 1914 Steam Traction Engine, a corn shredder, several separator/threshers, and other farm machines. Some of the construction equipment include an original 5D grader and a Model 600 Huber Maintainer, a 3-wheel road roller, two two-wheeled transportable road rollers and a 1920 Model 21 Marion Steam Shovel.

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The building was open to wander, with a few of the machines open to climb on. The volunteers had first had knowledge of the equipment and gave great insight into the company, the equipment and their functions.

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