Southern Ohio – October 2020 – Views from Above

Todays Drone Tour starts out along the Ohio River at Portsmouth. The first view shows the flood wall covered in murals (later posting revisiting the murals).

The sun was just rising in the east, giving the U.S. Grant Bridge and the Ohio River some interesting lighting.

The Carl Perkins Bridge across the Ohio River, where the Scioto River enters.

The hills in Kentucky with the clouds reflected in the river.

Spartan Stadium was home to the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans from 1928 until 1933, when the NFL had teams in relatively small cities. The Spartans moved to Detroit and live on to this day as the Detroit Lions.

An overview of the city of Portsmouth. The town has for decades lost population, dropping from a high of 43,000 in 1930 to the current population of 20,000.

The view east

Norfolk Southern Railroad has a large yard along the river in east Portsmouth.

Lake White State Park near Waverly.

The next stop was the city of Chillicothe. This view is of a large paper mill.

The same neighborhood has this large grain elevator. Unfortunately at this time the rain came and the drone became grounded.

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.

Chicago – History Through Maps and Photographs – Part 1 The World Fairs

As we continue to be restricted to any travel the ‘virtual travel’ series is continuing with some history. This posting will detail the history of Chicago through maps and photographs, and take a look at what it looks like now.

 

In 1840 when New York City already had over 300,000 people, Chicago was just starting as a town with just a few thousand. By 1860 is was in the top 10 with over 100,000, and just 30 years later there was 1.1 million people and Chicago was ‘The Second City’, doubling in population from 1880 to 1890.

 

Celebrating Chicago through World’s Fairs

It was around this time that Chicago decided to make it’s presence known on the world stage by hosting a World’s Fair. Local leaders lobbied hard to land the right to host this fair with the federal government, winning out over New York, Washington and St Louis.

The site chosen, Jackson Park, provided the 600 acres required. The lead architect was the famed Daniel Burnham, who was a proponent of the ‘City Beautiful’ movement.

While most of the buildings were designed and built to be temporary, there are a few that remain to this day.

With all of the buildings built in a neo-classical design and painted the same color, it became known as The White City.

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Getting to the Fair

With the incredible growth of the city from the end of the Civil War to 1890, Chicago’s transit struggled to keep up. Initially private companies had built horse drawn trolleys downtown. In 1892 the first of the famed El’s was completed from 39th Street (Pershing Road) to the Loop. The next year the Chicago and South Side Elevated Railway extended this to the fair site at Jackson Park.

The map below dates from the 1930s but clearly shows the line going south before turning left towards the lake, ending at Jackson Park. (Red Lines denote the El). This company failed not long after the fair ended because there was not enough ridership to maintain financial stability, being sold under foreclosure.

Of note this line was originally not electrified, the coaches were pulled by an engine.

el 1893

 

The Chicago History Center has one of the original cars on display.

2019 02 17 106 Chicago History Center

 

Green Line Train today

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Also note the Midway Plaisance connecting Washington Park and Jackson Park (Green strip on map between the parks). This area was the Entertainment section of the park (more on this below).

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Today the Green Line takes a very similar route, although the spur towards the lake only goes to Cottage Grove Avenue, and the southernmost branch is gone.

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As noted in the photo description this is the entrance at the Midway Plaisance.

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The map detail shows some of the highlights of this area, including the famed Ferris Wheel. While there had been a wooden wheel built in Atlantic City in 1891, but it burned down the next year.

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Ferris’s wheel was to be Chicago’s answer to Paris’s Eiffel Tower. It was massive – 264 feet high, with a capacity of 2,160 passengers. So renown was this feature that for many years Ferris Wheel’s were known as ‘Chicago Wheels’

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Today Chicago’s Navy Pier has one that, while impressive, is shorter than the original.

2018 10 14 713 Chicago Open House

 

The Midway Plaisance today serves as a park area next to the University of Chicago. There are a few reminders of the fair.

 

 

The grounds and buildings were magnificent.

 

 

The Palace of Fine Arts was one of the few buildings built to remain after the fair.

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It serves today as the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

2017 12 27 22 Chicago Museum of Science & Industry

 

 

The Statue of the Republic Was the Centerpiece of the Basin.

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While no longer surrounded by water it is one of the few remaining structures from the fair.

2018 09 02 33 Chicago Jackson Park

 

 

 

But Chicago had a second chance at a World’s Fair just 40 years later, when they hosted the Century of Progress, which ran from May 1933 until October 1934, taking the winter off.

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But the city, and world, has had significant change since 1893.

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The Auto Club sponsored ‘Routes’ with fair themed names for automobile travelers to come to the city. In addition they sponsored ‘Motor Villages’, campgrounds and motels on the outskirts of town,.

 

 

Despite the introduction of the automobile, train travel was still the primary way to get to Chicago.

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This Conoco map shows an Illinois Central Railway Station at the entrance to the fair.

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In addition to the station at the fairgrounds entrance, there were another 6 train stations downtown, including the commuter rail stations.

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Today there are 3, two for the commuter rail and Union Station, and even that station is just a portion of what it was.

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Union Station is still very nice, but this grand space above was torn down in 1969.

2019 02 14 37 Chicago Union Station

2019 02 14 17 Chicago Union Station

 

 

Once you were in town the El or streetcar network would take you to where you needed to go.

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El to Fair

 

Including directly to the Fair.

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Welcome to the Century of Progress World’s Fair entrance.

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The skyride took passengers from the main entrance on Columbus Drive to the lake shore. In this photo the Field Museum and the skyline of downtown is clearly visible.

One of the features of the 1933 fair compared to 1893’s is that it was essentially downtown, whereas the Columbian Exposition was a couple of miles south of downtown.

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The 1930s was the height of the Art Deco movement (a favorite of mine), and the advertising for the fair highlighted this.

 

 

The industrialists of the day had major exhibits. GM even built an assembly line.

 

You could see the homes of tomorrow.

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After the fair an investor purchased the homes and moved them by barge to nearby Indiana, and placed them along the lake shore as an attraction to the community he was building.

Time was tough on the homes, but over the last 20 years or so the state of Indiana has sponsored a program where you can lease them for $1 with the stipulation you fix them up (which costs $1m +). The results are fantastic.

2016 10 15 128 Indiana Dunes Century of Progress Homes

2016 10 15 94 Indiana Dunes Century of Progress Homes

 

 

Many Chicago landmarks were part of the fair including Adler Planetarium

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2018 10 14 607 Chicago Open House

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as well as the Field Museum and Soldier Field.

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2018 10 14 605 Chicago Open House

2017 10 13 91 Chicago

 

 

Chicago has always used their lake shore for the public’s enjoyment, never more so than during the two World’s Fairs. Part 2 of this series in a few days will focus more on the development of the transportation in the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – British Columbia

Our last province, British Columbia. As the saying goes, we saved the best for last!

2017 09 06 34 Rearguard Falls BC - Copy

 

 

We start out in far southeastern BC at the town of Sparwood. Named for the lumber that went into making spars (poles) for ships, Sparwood is a mining town. As you enter town you can’t miss Terex Titan, one of the largest trucks in the world, now retired in front of the visitor center.

 

 

Eastern BC has a number of great waterfalls including those below: Helmcken, Dawson and Rearguard Falls.

2017 09 06 50 Helmcken Falls BC - Copy

 

 

The town of Lake Country BC is home to a Kangaroo Farm! It was very cool, especially holding a baby kangaroo.

2017 09 07 62 Lake Country BC Kangaroo Farm - Copy

 

 

High above the town of Kamloops is the Myrna Canyon Trestle Trail. Once a railway, now one of the best bike paths anywhere.

2017 09 07 111 Kelowna BC Myrna Canyon Tresle Trail - Copy

 

 

In Hope BC there is another path, much lower that goes through the Othello Tunnels. Nearby is the Bridal Veil Falls.

2017 09 08 23 Hope BC Othello Tunnels Trail - Copy

 

 

The Vancouver suburb of Burnaby has a great park with these native statues. The persistent rain and fog added to the atmosphere.

2017 09 08 60 Burnaby BC - Copy

 

 

Capilano Park in North Vancouver has an amazing bridge (that bounces!) and a forest canopy walk, along with more totem poles.

2017 09 08 121d Vancouver Capilano Park - Copy

 

 

Vancouver is one of the world’s great cities. Situated on a bay, with islands and the mountains, the views are fantastic. They have height limits on the buildings so that they don’t block the views.

 

 

The Museum of Anthropology has the largest native sculpture collection anywhere.

2017 09 09 16 Vancouver MOA

 

 

Vancouver is even better from the ‘Lookout’, especially after a nice walk along the harbour.

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Vancouver has character!

 

 

 

Our final stop is Victoria, on Vancouver Island (which Vancouver is not). BC Ferries will get you there.

2017 09 10 25 Ferry to Victoria BC

 

 

 

The city is the capital of the province, and has a great history.

2017 09 10 233 Victoria BC

 

 

It is also home to numerous gardens, including Hartley Castle and Gardens.

2017 09 10 50 Victoria BC Hatley Castle & Gardens

 

 

 

Our virtual trips across North America has come to an end, but there is more coming – up next Chicago – History through Maps and Photos…. stay tuned.

 

 

Virtual Travel – Ontario

Welcome to Ontario – Canada’s largest province by population, and the center of the country’s media.

It is also home to more NHL hockey players than any other place in the world.

2019 07 28 174 Toronto

 

Government/History

1931     1946     1948     1952     1955 – Parliment Buildings     1968     1970     1973    1996 – Yonge Street

 

 

 

 

Ottawa

The Canadian National Capital is in Ottawa. The collection of buildings are on what is known as Parliament Hill. They were built between 1859 and 1927.

The metro area is the 5th largest in the country with 1.3 million people.

2019 07 29 185 Ottawa

 

Many of the buildings are open for tours. The main assembly hall has started a 10 year reconstruction effort, so a new hall was built in what was previously an open space between buildings.

 

 

The city is located at the confluence of the Rideau Canal and the Rideau River.

 

 

During the summer the buildings are lit up in the evenings with an impressive light show.

 

 

 

 

Roads and Bridges

1957     1958     1959     1960     1962     1964     1965     1967    1986 – Ivy Lea Bridge    2010 – Highway 406 St Catharines

 

 

Toronto is by far the largest city in Canada, and one of the major cities in North America. It is also one of my favorite cities in the world.

2019 07 28 6 Toronto

 

 

The CN Tower was completed in 1973 as the worldest tallest freestanding structure, a record it held until 2007.

 

 

The railroads and the lakes built the city. Today the city still has long distance train travel, as well as an extensive subway and streetcar network.

 

 

The lakeshore was once an industrial area, but is now filled with luxury condos and apartments.

 

 

The entire downtown area is filled with great architecture.

 

 

 

 

Toronto is the center of the hockey universe, including the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

Hamilton is located 50 miles from Toronto, but it is one continuous city. Once a steel town, it still has some industry, but has transition to a more diverse economy today.

It is also home to Tim Horton’s #1!!

2019 07 27 5 Hamilton ON

 

 

 

Windsor is across the river from downtown Detroit.

2017 06 17 116 Windsor ON

 

 

 

 

Countryside

1966     1974     1978     1980     1990 – Highway 17 – Wawa      1992 – Algonquin Provincial Park           2001 – Algonquin Provincial Park      2003 – Pancake Bay     2005 – Pancake Bay Provincial Park      2006 – Highway 118 Muskoka      2008 – Highway 141 – Muskoka     2014 – Highway 69 French River

 

 

Niagara Falls is shared with New York, but the Ontario side is much nicer.

2016 09 11 4 Niagara Falls

 

 

 

Scarborough is now part of the city of Toronto but was for many years a separate suburb. It is home to Guild Park – home of relics from down demolished buildings in downtown Toronto.

 

2019 07 29 38 Toronto Guild Park

 

 

It is also home to the RC Harris Water Treatment Facility AKA – Palace of Purification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – West Virginia

Take Me Home Country Roads – to West Virginia.

2018 05 08 34 Morgantown WV Coopers Rocks

 

While I have more years of Texas maps, I have more overall West Virginia maps as they published monthly in the 1940s.

 

State Capitol

1949     1958     1960     1963    1992     2010

Government State West Virginia 1992

 

West Virginia State Capitol (Photo from whereverImayroam.com)

West Virginia's State Capitol has the Stunning Midas Touch

 

When West Virginia was formed during the Civil War, it took years for them to settle on a permanent state capital Finally they decided Charleston is the place, and in 1932 completed this building.

 

State Symbol 

State Firearm – Hall Flintlock Model 1819. This weapon was produced in Harpers Ferry.

 

 

Rivers and Streams

1937 – Potomac River South Branch     1940 February – Kanawha River     1941 September – New River Gorge and River     1954 – Randolph County Lake     1967 – New River Gorge and River     1986     1994 – New River Gorge and River

 

 

West Virginia has a number of rivers that served the coal industry for decades. One of those coal towns was Thurmond. Today it is a ghost town, but at one time was a center of coal production.

It is situated on the New River, which is an attraction for tourists and adventurers.

 

 

Huntington is the 2nd largest town in the state. It was founded as a railway center, and that history is celebrated with decorated model engines around downtown.

The most noteworthy is the one dedicated to those who died in the Marshall University Football team’s airplane crash in 1970.

2015 07 25 50 Huntington WV Hot Dog Festival

 

 

Point Pleasant is an Ohio River town that live on the legend of the Mothman.

2015 03 28 166 Point Pleasant WV

 

 

 

Mountains

1939 January     1939 February     1940 May     1974 – White Sulfur Springs     1983     2002 – Coopers Rocks     2017

 

 

Cooper’s Rocks is a scenic area above Morgantown, near the Maryland border.

2018 05 08 41 Morgantown WV Coopers Rocks