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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Newark, Ohio – March 2018 – Historic Licking County Jail

The Historic Licking County Jail in Newark, Ohio was opened in 1889 and closed 100 years later. It remains however one of Newark’s top tourist spots, with a reputation of being haunted.

Built out of massive sandstone blocks, the entire building has a fortress or castle feel to it from the outside. In addition they added many architectural details such as the downspouts coming out the frogs mouth on the bulkhead above the doorway below.

 

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The jail also served as the sheriff’s residence, as well as a couple of other apartments for workers. One worker was the female matron and cook.

It was here we met Nelson, who’s mother was the matron and cook in the 1960s, and where Nelson grew up. Without a doubt his story telling of a ‘youth growing up in jail’ added to the tour.

The favorite amongst the staff is a story where as a young teenager he and his mother lived on a 3rd floor apartment, directly above the office where the night shift guards hung out. One night his mother was out late and the guards had fallen asleep on the job, so Nelson thought it would be humorous to drop a lit firecracker out their apartment window and have it explode just outside the guards window – which he did.

The result was excited guards calling out all the police in the town with a report of a prisoner having a weapon. After hours of lock down and a complete search of the prisoners no gun was found (obviously) – Nelson indicated he was an adult before he fessed up about his prank!

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Imagine coming home as a teenager and winding your way up the stairs in cages to get home…

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With neighbors being the prisoners who were normally locked up for up to 6 months. Most were doing a bit of time for drunk driving or other relatively minor offenses. The more serious criminals were sent to prisons after their trials.

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Security was critical though, as noted by the gun port for the guards.

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Apparently bridge builders had the skill with steel and iron to build the cells.

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The photo below is the mechanics of the door that makes that infamous prison door slamming sound.

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A sad irony of our times is this country’s obsession with carrying around guns – so much so there has to be a ‘no weapons on site’ sign for a jail. Still with Nelson’s excellent story telling, and the rest of the staff’s passion with the history and legends of the building, it was an enjoyable couple of hours being ‘in the clink’, although no ghosts were sighted 🙂

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Newark, Ohio – March 2018 – Trying to Come Back

Newark, Ohio is a city of 50,000 located 30 miles east of Columbus. While the entire Licking County area is growing in population thanks to the proximity of Columbus, downtown Newark has seen better days.

The town however, appears to be working hard to spruce up downtown, and as a result has some nice areas popping up.

The center of town is dominated by the 1876 Licking County Courthouse.

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Just to the south of the courthouse is a farmers market area facing the backs of the buildings on the courthouse square. They have made good use of this area by painting a number of well done murals, although this one is marred by the unfortunate location of the garbage cans.

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Apparently in the early 1900s farmers shipped their produce via Fedex.

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The streetcar in the mural was built in Newark.

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A well designed parking deck added symmetry to the scene.

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While some buildings are awaiting restoration…

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The train station has been restored and is used as offices by a local business.

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But the highlight of the day is in the next post – the Historic Licking County Jail!

 

 

Newark, OH – September 2016 – Bluegrass Festival

One of my favorite quotes from the movie Blues Brothers is where they end up at Bob’s Country Bunker, and Jake asks the lady there what kind of music do you have here? Why both kinds, Country and Western! I love it because I am not a country music fan, but I do on occasion enjoy bluegrass (no whining in bluegrass)

I found that there was a festival called Bluegrass on Main Street on Church Street in Newark, Ohio. Basically they shut down a block of a street, usually Main Street but it was under construction so they moved to Church Street.

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As we got off the freeway in Newark we found the entire courthouse area blocked from construction, but we eventually found somewhere to park and walked to the Courthouse Square where we went to lunch at Park Place Bistro, which was surprisingly upscale and contemporary for downtown Newark, Ohio.

After lunch we made our way over to the festival area, arriving as a group called T N T Bluegrass was playing. Based out of Columbus, they featured two guitars, a mandolin and a banjo, putting on an entertaining hour long show.

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Next up was a group from Dennison University took the stage, consisting mostly of students, but lead by a couple of professors. For young musicians they were quite good, although their set seemed shorter than the others.

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The last group we watched was Michael Cleveland and his band. Michael is a blind fiddle player who has won numerous honors, which were well deserved as he was very good. His band, all dressed in suits on this hot September day, were strong in backing him.

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All in all we enjoyed our few hours of bluegrass in the middle of a street in Newark, Ohio.

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Newark, Ohio – May 2015 – Native Mounds and Quarries

For Saturday May 2nd, we headed east of Columbus. Our first stop was in Westerville at Inniswood Metro Gardens. The garden contains more than 2,000 plant species, including collections of conifers, daffodils, daylillies, hostas and theme gardens.

The day started out at Inniswood Gardens in Westerville. The garden contains more than 2000 plant species including collections of conifers, daffodils, daylillies and hostas. There are also themed gardens such as a biblical, herbal, medicinal, rose and woodland rock garden.

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There is also a nice children’s area built to resemble a farm house and surroundings. The gardens were nice but they are located too close to the Outerbelt and any serenity is constantly broken by the hum of 8 lanes of freeway traffic.

Our firsts stop in Newark were the Great Circle Earthworks. This 1,054-foot wide circle is one of the largest circular earthwork in America, at least in construction effort. The 8 feet high walls surround a 5 feet deep moat, except at the entrance where the dimensions are even greater and more impressive.

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Researchers have analyzed the placements, alignments, dimensions, and site-to-site interrelationships of the earthworks. This research has revealed that the Native cultures in the area had advanced scientific understanding as the basis of their complex construction.

Another nearby earthworks was converted into a golf course in the early 1900s, and it remains in that use today. An impressive sight, it gives one a great deal of sadness at the complete disrespect the developers of this country have had for the Native cultures that were found here.

East of Newark we visited the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve, a 4-mile-long sandstone formation through which the Licking River flows

Over the years canal boats, railroads, interurbans and eventually automobiles travelled through the gorge. It is named for the black hand petroglyph that was found on the cliff face by the first settlers to the area.

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The hiking trail that traverses the gorge is a result of a rails to trails effort, and it an excellent way to enjoy the gorge. Well paved, it provides viewpoints with signs that explain the highlights. Overall this park is a nice place for a short hike.

Continuing south we stopped at Flint Ridge State Memorial, a Native America flint quarry located in southeastern Licking County. Old quarry pits are visible, and a museum is on the site. The museum has a pit in the middle of it.

Flint Ridge contains quarry pits where all of the ancient people of Ohio came to get flint for both tools and weapons.

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Just south of Flint Ridge you can pick up the National Road, which we did, and enjoy the slower route. Just east of Jacktown there is an interesting monument to the National Road called Eagles Nest, a large rock with a carving of an old car, conestoga wagon and other transportation related items.

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Once we arrived in Jacktown we had lunch at a small crossroad restaurant/bar called appropriately The Crossroads. It was interesting crowd of good old boys watching golf!

The Dawes Arboretum is a non-profit arboretum a few miles south of Newark. As one of the premier public gardens in North America, The Dawes Arboretum has over 1,800 acres of plant collections, gardens and natural areas. Eight miles of hiking trails and a four-mile auto tour allow guests to explore the arboretum’s natural beauty.

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Among the features; The Japanese Garden features a meditation house, pond and rock garden; an outlook tower located on the south side of The Arboretum allows visitors to view of The Arboretum’s hedge letters; a bonsai collection is located in the courtyard adjacent to the Visitors Center;

The Arboretum features plants tolerant of central Ohio’s climate representing 5,701 individual plant names. Overall this arboretum is nice, but not nearly as well landscaped and appealing as the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio.