Happy Centennial National Parks

Today marks the 100th birthday of our National Parks Service. The parks service started in 1916. The first park was established in Ohio in 1923.  From that day forward the parks have been one of the great attractions in the state. The parks have something for everyone.

A Brief Timeline of National Parks Service in Ohio

1923 –Hopewell Culture: Started as part of the Mound City Group National Monument. It is fitting that this was the first park because it is dedicated to the history of Ohio’s earliest inhabitants

1966 – Perry’s Victory & International Peace MemorialA monument to the Commander of the Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. Also memorializes the war as the last conflict between the United States, Britain, and Canada.

1969 – William Howard Taft National Historic Site: The boyhood home, and later family home, of the 27th president of the United States.

1980 – David Berger National MonumentA monument to one of athletes killed at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
North Country Scenic Trail: Established as one of the longest of the 11 scenic trails. In Ohio it connects to the Buckeye Trail and runs through Hocking Hills, one of Ohio’s most hiked areas.
James A Garfield National Historical Site: The Home of 20th President James A Garfield. Considered the first Presidential Library in America.

1992 – Dayton Aviation HeritageCelebrates the history of flight and the two Dayton Brothers who solved the problems of getting man in the air. Is spread out in 5 different locations through out Dayton.

1999 – Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis: The site of the battle of Fallen Timbers, the final battle in the Northwest Indian War, and the site of Fort Miamis, a British fort built to stop Gen. Wayne, which he eventually held.

2000 – Cuyahoga Valley: Originally created as a recreational area in 1974, Cuyahoga became a National park in 2000. This park celebrates the history of the people, canals, and nature of the northwestern Ohio valley.
First Ladies National Historical Site: Built in the home of Ida McKinley, this site is dedicated to the history of the wives of the Presidents of The United States.

2004 – National Heritage AreaIncorporated just after the Centennial of Flight this large area of western Ohio houses the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, and Woodlawn Cemetery (with the graves of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and The Wright Brothers)

2013 – Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers: So new that it is not even finished opening yet. The Monument is dedicated to one of the most famous Buffalo Soldiers and first African-American national park Superintendent.

David Warther Carvings

IMG_0136Address: 1775 State Route 39
Sugarcreek, Ohio   44681

http://www.warther.org

Rating: *****

This is a museum/gift shop/workshop/headquarters. It is located in the heart of Ohio Amish Country.  David Warther is a master carver who has been carving since a young age. David comes from a tradition of carving, as his farther, who also has a museum, and grandfather are carvers. The main carvings that David does ships made of ivory.

The museum is a display of many of David’s carvings. There is a cost to visit the museum.  The building has many spacious rooms. You will see ships through out history. You will see boats from ancient Egypt all the way up to the 1900s. The museum offers tours, which is a great way to learn not just about the ships, but also the carving techniques. A lot of the time David Warther himself will show some of his techniques or lead a tour.The museum guest is helped out by magnifying glasses strategically place around the exhibits. You really need these to see all the tiny details. The carvings have lots of tiny scrimshaw, intricately carved pieces, and small work on the ships, which is amazing to look at. When we were at the museum we were able to talk to David and he showed us some of his techniques. You can also see into his workshop and him at work. You get a feel for his passion and his willingness to share, when you got to the museum.

This is truly and not to miss attraction. The museum is easy to navigate. The price is well worth it. You will not be disappointed.

Alpine Hills Historical Museum & Sugarcreek Information Center

Address: 106 W Main St, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
This museum has three floors and tons of displays. The museum displays the Amish, Swiss, and German heritage of the area. There are interactive and static exhibits. The exhibits do a good job in showing how people live and lived in the area. There are many displays showing what the insides of homes and businesses in the past. There is an audio accompanying these displays, which is a nice touch. Everywhere you turn in this museum you will find an artifact. This museum is stuffed with items to look at. The overall time in museum will depend on how long one stops to read and look at each artifact. One could spend between 1 to 3 hours in this place. There are many interesting items to look at. This museum also serves as the information center for the area. This museum is a must stop if in the area. When we went the museum was free, but accepted donations. It would be a good idea to bring a little cash to donate, so the museum can continue.
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Belgrade Gardens

401 E State St, Barberton, OH 44203

Link: http://www.belgradegardenschicken.com

Rating: ****

In order to understand Belgrade Gardens Restaurant you will need to know about Barberton chicken. Barberton chicken is a kind of chicken the originated in Barberton and is Serbain-American style. Here is what the chicken looks like.

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The breading and chicken only seasoned with salt and pepper and are fried in lard. Maybe there was no salt and pepper, we are getting a few conflicting internet recipes, but it was for sure not heavily seasoned with lots of spices. The chicken is available in many different cuts.

Belgrade Gardens has been around since the 1930s in an old farmhouse. The place has been expanded and if you walk around you can see that the restaurant is huge and can seat hundreds of people. It has won many awards and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television. They even won a Food Network TV show. The place is comfortable and the menu is more than just chicken with many daily specials. When we went we had great service and the great food.

The chicken is well know, but the sides are also great. They have a dish called hot sauce. We were expecting some sauce in a bottle, but were surprised when this dish came out. IMG_0312

Their hot sauce has rice, tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers in it. It was very tasty and just the right amount of heat. The peppers might of been removed before the dish was served, we did not bite into a really hot part.

We ordered the regular which came with chicken, fries, hot sauce, and cole slaw. Each item was well done and very tasty. We also ordered there root beer, which was a nice treat.

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In the area, or not, this is really worth the drive. The chicken is crisp, but not too crisp and very fresh. The breading has a nice chew to it and is not over hard. The chicken was very juicy and not dried out. This is a restaurant that really knows what they are doing and sticks to recipes and dishes they make well. This restaurant has a local feeling.

If you want to experience good food and a great time this is your restaurant. Worth the trip no matter how far.

Note: The restaurant’s website has a great about section. Yes, we saved that for last so you would not jump over too soon.

Random Facts About Ohio: 50 more than before

  1. Ohio has 88 counties
  2. Scripps of the National Spelling Bee fame is headquartered in Cincinnati.
  3. Only 2 presidents never gave a State of The Union address. W.H. Harrison and James Garfield. Both die before they needed to.
  4. OCLC from Dublin is in charge of the Dewey Decimal System
  5. Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima built all of the Tanks for the United States Army.
  6. 1865 the steamboat Sultana exploded, killing over 1,700 including 791 Ohioans.
  7. Ted Turner of CNN fame was born in Cincinnati
  8. Ohio has 146 miles of border shared with Canada (or Canada has 235 km of shared border)
  9. Middle Island, the southernmost point in Canada, is 150 meters from the Ohio Border
  10. Grand Lake St Marys was built as a supply feed for the Miami and Erie Canal
  11. It was the high point of the canal, supplying water in both directions.
  12. Grand Lake St Marys is the largest inland lake entirely with in Ohio’s borders
  13. Grand Lake St Marys was the site of the first offshore oil wells.
  14. The 2016 Republican Convention is the 3rd time it has been held in the state of Ohio. The first one was in 1876, the second one in 1936.
  15. The only Democratic convention to be held in Ohio was in 1880.
  16. The only Democrat to be nominated for office from Ohio was James M. Cox. He lost to an Ohioan.
  17. Every Republican from Ohio nominated for president has won the office.
  18. Ohio has had four capitals since 1803. 1. Chillicothe: 1803 – 18092. Zanesville: 1809 – 18123. Chillicothe: 1812 – 18164. Columbus: 1816 – present
  19. The first State Fair was held in Cincinnati.
  20. The fair moved to its current location for the 1874 fair.
  21. the 1896 fair was the first state fair to be electrically lit.
  22. The first Butter cow was in 1903
  23. The Newark Earthworks are the states Prehistoric Monument
  24. State Wildflower: White Trillium
  25. The first Motion Picture projector was invented by Dayton, Ohio native Charles Francis Jenkins
  26. Israel Ludlow help to plan out both Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton
  27. Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton all have a Ludlow Street
  28. The first automobile insurance was purchased in Dayton.  In 1897, resident Gilbert J. Loomis purchased a liability insurance policy from the Travelers Insurance Company.
  29. The first doctor to use an automobile was Dr. Carlos C. Booth from Youngstown in 1897.
  30. On October 19, 1874, the first aerial wedding took place over Cincinnati.
  31. The Vermont, the car Horatio Nelson Jackson took the first drove across the nation in, was Winton Motor Car.
  32. Daytonian Walter Richard Brookins, in 1910, made the first night flight.
  33. The same year he flew to 6,175 feet, making him the first to fly over 1 mile high.
  34. Goodyear built 104 blimps at WingFoot Lake in Akron for the military during WWII.
  35. 1953, Harold Moore, of Cincinnati, and Harry C. Jeffers, of Newark, made the first Alantic Crossing in a Helicopter.
  36. Elektro, the famous robot from the 1939 World’s Fair, was built by Westinghouse in Mansfield.
  37. He is currently on display at the Mansfield Memorial Museum.
  38. John Smith was Ohio’s first senator.
  39. Jeremiah Morrow was the states first Congressperson.
  40. Ohio only had one seat in The United States House of Representatives until 1813. After the it’s first national census in 1810 it gained five more seats for a total of 6.
  41. In 1935 Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron.
  42. The site of the first meeting is now a part of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.
  43. William Henry Harrison was the first major party candidate from Ohio. He lost the 1836 election to Martin Van Buren. He defeated him in 1840.
  44. The American Society of Materials is housed under a giant Geodesic Dome in  Russell Township,Geauga County.
  45. Between the 1964 Browns’ NFL Championship and the historic 2016 Cavaliers’ NBA Title over 146 different sports seasons had passed with out a win.
  46. That was over 12,660 games with played between titles.
  47. Made a National Monument in 1923, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park is the oldest national park in the state.
  48. Designated on March 25, 2013, Charles Young Buffalo Solider National Monument is the newest.
  49. Miami University is 87 years older than the city in Florida.
  50. The city in Florida was conceived by Cleveland Native Julia Tuttle.

Breakfast Places

Breakfast PlacesHere are a few places that we have been to for breakfast. A good breakfast place needs to have good coffee, reasonable prices, good food, and be a place that is either close or worth the drive. The food can be simple or complex, it does not matter. One can tell if a restaurant is good if locals go there and conversations are going on. You also need a wait staff that is friendly and attentive. Make sure to look at times as many of these places are not all day.

Breakfast Club Cafe

http://breakfastclubcafe.com/

102 N Broadway St

Lebanon, OH 45036

Rating *****

This is a great local place with a good menu. This business also has a restaurant in Dayton. The food is homemade and you can tell that love and care goes into the food. There are many of your typical breakfast type foods there. You can get pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs, omelets, sandwiches, burgers, soup, salad. They have great waffles, with many different kinds available. They also roasts their own coffee. The coffee is great and can be sipped in many different varieties. The service was great when we went, we were attended on but not over bothered. This is the type of place you could go to every week, and it seemed people did.

Buckeye Donuts

http://alwaysopen.buckeye-donuts.com/

1998 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201

Rating*****
Buckeye Donuts is in Columbus near the university. It is open 24 hours a day, so anytime you get a craving for donut, you can get one. They have a menu that includes more than just donuts. You can get good coffee or a sandwich. They have your standard donuts and some a little fancier, what they do not have is those over priced hipster donuts in the fad places. Just expect good quality donuts, not hype. Good hand cut donuts. The place is smallish and even Saturday afternoon in the summer is filled with people. It might be a wait during the school year. What is nice about the place is you can hang out or it is set up for a quick pick up of donuts. They also do catering, so you could fill your office with their great donuts. If you in Columbus make sure to stop by this place.
 Koffee Kup
428 S. First St.
Miamisburg, OH 45342
This is a restaurant we have passed many times and thought nothing about it. We then decided. The food is your typical breakfast and lunch fair. The service was friendly and the food was hot and fast. We enjoyed the food and like the reasonable prices. The place is not huge, but just the right size. The food is good and this would be a great place to go before going out the local bike trails.
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Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice: An update on Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal

In 2014 the citizens of Hamilton County voted to increase the sales tax of their county to pay for a restoration of the historic Union Terminal. Due to the the work that needs to be done on the building Cincinnati Museum Center’s two history museums will be closed during the process. The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Special Exhibits should remain open during construction.

The construction is expected to take up to two years and be completed around Nov of 2018.

For more information visit the website of Cincinnati Museum Center

Here are a few pictures of what the museum looked like before the renovation.

 

Hocking Hills State Park Updated

Here is an update of the park after a recent visit. This will give you some idea of what the park looks like in the Summer. Might inspire you to get out an hike it.

Address: 19852 State Route 664 S
Logan, Ohio 43138

Rating ****

Links: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/hocking/tabid/743/Default.aspx

Quick Review: State park loaded with tons of outdoor activities and camping.

Review: Hocking Hills State Park is best summed up by what is said on its website:

“Hocking Hills provides a variety of recreational opportunities in a splendid natural setting. Towering cliffs, waterfalls and deep hemlock-shaded gorges lure the hiker and naturalist and serve as a backdrop to popular facilities and accommodations.”

Hocking Hills is located near Logan, Ohio. When going to hocking hills one can spend the day hiking, fishing, playing games, doing archery, swimming (seasonal), enjoying nature programs, visiting the visitors center. camping, ice fishing (seasonal), and visiting the near by area. One thing to mention is that a rock climbing/rappelling area is available in the adjacent Hocking Hills State Forest. An easy hike or drive if you wanted to do rock climbing while on your stay to Hocking Hills State Park.

Hocking Hills has lots of camping opportunities. Hocking Hills has basically four camping options. Lets start at the most basic and work our way up. Hocking Hills about 12 – 13 camp sites without electricity, 156 with electricity, 3 camper cabins, and 40 cottages. This gives a person many different options to what kind of camping they would like to do. The most popular and probably hardest to get are the cottages, so book well in advance (months). Major holidays in the summer like Labor Day, July Fourth, and Memorial Day probably fill up the fastest. What is nice is that Hocking Hills website gives a person a great way to see if cottages are available. So visit the website or call before traveling to the park. These cottages, are gas-heated, air-conditioned, family housekeeping cottages that sleep up to six persons, have showers, gas burning fireplaces, complete kitchens, dining areas, and screened porches. This would meet the needs of any family camping. There are also group camping sites for perfect for any youth or adult organization.

One of the most popular activities to do while at Hocking Hills is hiking. The are 26 miles of hiking trails located on the park. The trails range from easy with handicap access to difficult. Most of the trails are of a moderate difficulty. One great trail to take is the Old Man’s Cave Trail. This is the place to see a mile long gorge, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, rock formations, and the the 149 foot tall hemlock said to be the tallest tree in Ohio. The rock formations have names like Devil’s Bathtub, Sphinx Head, Eagle Rock, and Whale in the Wall. The major reason to go on Old Man’s Cave Trail is to see old mans cave, the rock shelter that was once the home of Richard Rowe, a 19th-century hermit. What is fun to do is to make a list of all of the features of Old Man’s Cave Trail and then while on the trail try to make sure to find each thing, a scavenger hunt of sorts. What is great about the trails in the park is that a hiker gets to see many different rock formations, trees, and natural landscapes. Some of the trails in the park are also sections of the Buckey Trail. The park has many maps available for the trails. Visit the visitors center or park office for a map.

There is tons to do at Hocking Hills State Park for a long stay or just one day. The park is easily explorable without staying the night. The park could also be the jumping off spot for a visit to the surrounding area. In the Hocking Valley there are lots of shopping opportunities, the Adena Mansion and Gardens to visit, other nature parks, and many tourist activities. This truly is a beautiful part of Ohio.

Hocking Hills State Park is a great park to visit for the day or the week. This park will connect or reconnect one with all of nature’s grandness while also providing an experience one is not going to forget.

The Hocking Hills Dining Lodge – http://hockinglodge.com/ is next to Old Man’s Cave and in the park. They are a home made family style restaurant.  They are open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.