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.
Portsmouth easily has one of the best collection of murals in the country. They have taken a massive, ugly concrete flood wall and created almost 1/2 mile of murals celebrating the towns history.
The drone view give an idea of how large they are – this is just a small portion.
The theme of the walls was 2000 years of history in 2000 feet of flood walls. They were created by a team lead by Robert Dafford, a famed mural painter.
Most sections of the wall are 40′ wide x 20′ high. Some, such as the view of Portsmouth in 1903, take up multiple sections.
Some aren’t even on the flood wall, including this mural on the side of the local Kroger Grocery store.
The floodwall not only runs along the river but in places goes inland. One of the inland sections celebrates sports, including the ‘Tour of the Scioto River Valley’, an annual bicycling event that goes the 100 miles from Columbus to Portsmouth, then back.
Another section of the inland wall includes a tribute to the local labor unions.
Another includes Portsmouth’s rich baseball history.
The original U.S Grant bridge is featured on this panel.
For a short time there was an amusement park located in Portsmouth, but it was badly damaged in the 1913 flood.
The shoe industry was one of the major employers in Portsmouth.
Streetcars provided transportation from the late 1800s until 1939.
Government Square was the center of the city in the early 1900s.
The murals are done with fantastic depth.
One of the original NFL teams, the Portsmouth Spartans.
Portsmouth has had a few devastating floods, including 1937.
Chillicothe Street has always been the main commercial street in town.
Industry in Portsmouth.
A close up of the detail of the right panel for industry.
A 3 panel education mural shows various periods.
Situated in southernmost Ohio, the railroads have always been an important part of Portsmouth’s industry.
The Portsmouth Motorcycle Club is the oldest in the world, having been founded in 1893. Obviously it had to be founded as a bicycle club first since the first motorcycle was not invented until 1898.
It was known as the Portsmouth Cycling Club from 1893 until 1913.
This western view would be the actual view if the flood wall was not in the way.
Much like the European settlers later, the Native Americans utilized trails that went through the area. One originated on Lake Erie near Sandusky and went south along the Scioto River to Portsmouth.
The original village was known as Alexandria, but was abandoned due to frequent flooding.
The first European settlers arrived in larger numbers in the early 1800s.
The completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal was a boom to the area.
Built in 1901 this rail station served both Norfolk and Western as well as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroads. It was used until 1931 when an art deco station was completed.
A close up of the Chillicothe Street mural.
The Riverfront in 1903.
The Portsmouth Murals are one of the most impressive art installations in Ohio – well worth a trip.
Part 2 of the Drone Views of Central focus more on structures.
Up first is the Perkins Observatory near the city of Delaware, Ohio. Completed in the 1920s it once had the 3rd largest telescope in the world, but they discovered Ohio’s cloudy weather, and light pollution from Columbus made it impractical.
The Delaware tour continues with the football stadium for the small college called Ohio Wesleyan. It too dates from the 1920s – with the claim to fame that all 9000 seats are between the 15 yard lines.
The Delaware County Fairgrounds is home to one of the largest harness races in the country with the Little Brown Jug. The race will occur this year, without spectators.
Somewhat of a continuation of the posting from earlier this year of Columbus Sports Venues is this birds eye view of a few of them, starting with the vacant and partially torn down former Cooper baseball stadium.
From above it is easy to see the outline of the field. The stands continued around the first base side – but were torn down years ago.
Not far away is the new stadium, Huntington Park.
The Ohio State Fairgrounds is home to Mapre Stadium – the Columbus Crew soccer stadium.
The new stadium is under construction just down the street from Huntington Park.
All over town you see ‘brown field in fills’, taking either vacant in town property or tearing down existing structures to build new apartments and condos.
Another brown field redevelopment near Grandview Heights.
Even suburban Dublin, Ohio has gotten into this, with this large new area called Bridge Park replacing a car dealership and shopping center.
A park in Dublin is home to Chief Leatherlips, who was a renown leader of the local Wyandot. This interesting sculpture of him goes down the side of a hill.
O’Saughnessy Dam and Bridge – This is one of my favorite of the recent drone photos.
In this part of Ohio we grow plastic houses in our fields.
The confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. Clearly low water season.
From Bicentennial Park. The building on the left of the river is Center of Science and Industry (AKA – COSI).
The drone does provide some nice views of the bridges and buildings.
German Village is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in town – but tough to shoot with the drone because of all of the trees.
I will recreate later in fall after the leaves drop.
We end up in suburbia – with the distant view of the skyline of downtown along the horizon.
I have been fortunate enough to have been in all 50 states, and all but 2 provinces of Canada – Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Today’s visit takes us there (obviously all photos will be from the Internet).
Manitoba is home to 1.4 million people, most of which live near Winnipeg. The city has long, cold winters with November through March all having average HIGHS below freezing (32 f/0 c). It is listed as the second sunniest city in Canada, so you have that going for you.
But eventually it does thaw out!
It has a very diverse economy, with no one industry being dominate.
It is the capital of the province, so government is big business.
Winnipeg has the highest population of aboriginal people in all of Canada. The city is 12% Native Canadian
The small, far northern town of Churchill each fall has a migration of polar bears pass through town as they migrate from their summer home to their winter home.
Tours are apparently very popular
Riding Mountain National Park is also in Northern Manitoba, just not nearly as far north.
It is known for it’s bison
As well as the moose
Our final stop – an Indiana Jones nightmare – is the Narcisse Snake Dens. Tens of thousands of red sided garter snakes reside here during the winter before migrating to a nearby swamp.
Let’s move westward to Saskatchewan.
Mining is the largest industry in the province, whereas the finance and insurance industry makes up the largest white collar sector.
As the Guess Who sang, it is time for ‘Running Back to Saskatoon’.
Saskatoon is the largest city with a population of nearly 300,000. The population is fairly diverse.
Much like Winnipeg it is bitterly cold in the winter.
But it too eventually thaws out.
For a city of it’s size it has an excellent collection of architecture.
Regina is the 2nd largest city in the province. It is the provincial capital.
The Prince Edward Theater is a classic old hall.
The First Nations University has incorporated a tepee into the building design.
But our prairie time has come to an end, time to move further west to Alberta tomorrow.
Quebec is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas, and nearly as large as Alaska, stretching from the USA border to past the Arctic Circle, with nearly all the people living within 100 miles of the American border.
With French being the primary language it truly feels like you have arrived in Europe, only it looks ‘North American’. I have always enjoyed visits to Quebec and look forward to going back.
Quebec City is the capital of the province. It is one of the oldest towns in North America, having been first settled in 1535, and founded as a town in 1608.
Nearby is Montmorency Falls, one of the largest volume waterfalls on the continent.
Canyon Saint Anne is another impressive natural setting, with a series of waterfalls dropping over 200′ through the canyon.
Pohenegamook is a small town on the Maine border, where some houses literally are sitting in both countries.
Montreal is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world.
Old Montreal was the original setting for the town. Today it is the tourist center.
Montreal is home to a number of impressive cathedrals.
Parc Jean Drapeau is on a couple of islands in the middle of the St Lawrence River. It is home to, among other things, the Formula 1 racetrack. It is easily accessible via the Metro.
The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest in the world.
Montreal was host to the 1976 Olympics.
Olympic Stadium was home to the Montreal Expos until left town to move to Washington DC
While I have more years of Texas maps, I have more overall West Virginia maps as they published monthly in the 1940s.
1949 1958 1960 1963 1992 2010
West Virginia State Capitol (Photo from whereverImayroam.com)
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 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.
Point Pleasant is an Ohio River town that live on the legend of the Mothman.
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.
Helvetia was originally a Swiss colony far back in the Appalachian Mountains.
The Greenbrier has been a premier resort since 1778, with 27 of the 45 Presidents having visited.
West Virginia is all mountains and hills, with unique histories. One of those interesting places is Matewan, where a famed labor battle occurred.
Roads and Bridges
1940 January – Canaan Valley Route 32 1962 – Interstate 77 1965 1980 – New River Gorge Bridge 1990 2011 2014
The New River Gorge Bridge is one of the highest bridges in the world.
The Ohio River Valley has a collection of old, cool and quirky bridges. Not all are still in use.
West Virginia Culture and Sights
1940 June – Rhododendron Festival 1940 August 1940 September 1940 December 1941 January – WVU Martin Hall 1943 1947 1968 1976 1978 1988 1998 2005 2006 2008
Green Bank, West Virginia is home to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. As such it is in an area known as a National Radio Quiet Zone – no cell phones, radios, etc.
New Vrindaban is a temple built outside of Wheeling in the 1970s and 1980s.
Two now closed incarceration facilities are now tourist attractions in West Virginia, including the Trans- Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston.
Not to be outdone Moundsville ha their former prison open for tours. With that we are breaking out of West Virginia and headed on….
As with Ohio I have spent considerable time in Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh feeling like a ‘hometown’ (Go Pens/Pirates/Steelers!)
History & State Capitol
1938 1955 1956 1986 2013
As with most states, the state capital is located (somewhat) in the middle of the state. Given that the vast majority of the people of Pennsylvania live on the ends, this meant a smaller city has been the capital – Harrisburg.
While outside the Pennsylvania Capitol looks like many others, inside is amazing!
Unusual State Symbols
Official State Aircraft – Piper J-3 Cub. For decades Piper Cubs were built in Lock Haven, PA.
State Colors – Blue and Gold Featured on the flag and every license plate ever.
But in Pittsburgh the colors are Black & Gold! All the sports teams follow this color scheme.
Pennsylvania has a long industrial history, much of which has been lost. The city of Bethlehem has a vacant steel mill that is now a National Park site that serves as a reminder of this legacy.
1952 1960 1964 1973 1974
It is impossible to find a city with more cool bridges and tunnels than Pittsburgh. While it makes the commutes tough, it is a great visual experience driving around the city
The Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest, and most famous railroad in the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This history is celebrated at two major rail museums, Steamtown in Scranton, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Not to be outdone the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA has a great collection of streetcars and interurbans.
1976 – Philadelphia
There is another large city in Pennsylvania other than Pittsburgh 🙂
Philadelphia of course is the seat of the independence movement in the 1700s. That history is on evidence everywhere in the city. Trivia moment of the day – there are only 2 cities that have been in the top 10 in population for every official United States Census – New York and Philadelphia.
Near Philadelphia is one of the world’s best gardens – Longwood.
1989 – Seasons
Most of Pennsylvania is beautiful rolling hills and mountains. Much of this area is filled with small towns and wooded countryside.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous structure is located in these hills – Fallingwater. Nearby is a second FLW house – Kentuck Knob. Both are stunning.
U.S. Route 6 traverses Northern Pennsylvania, and passes a number of interesting venues including Kinzua Bridge. When completed in 1882 it was the tallest bridge in the world, towering 300′ above the valley. It was decommissioned in the early 1960s and sold to the state with the purpose of becoming a park.
In 2003 a tornado struck the bridge and destroyed a large portion of it, but the remainder makes for a great walk.