History

The past that made Ohio the place it is today

The Virtual Ohio State Fair 2020

2019 Ohio State Fair Butter Cow

2019 Ohio State Fair Butter Cow

Today is the start of the start of The Ohio State Fair. Normally the fair is one of the largest in the country. Due to the current situation of the world the State fair of Ohio has gone virtual. Now anyone anywhere can attend.

Want some history of the Fair before you attend? the podcast has great backstories and information: https://ohiostatefair.com/podcast/

How to attend:

The Ohio State Fair has created a great website to visit the Virtual Fair:  https://ohiostatefair.com/anywhere/
The site contains links to a virtual midway, Entertainers and Attractions, Food Demonstrations, Fair Competitions, Music, Recipes, a Shop with many of the vendors that would be at the fair, and so much more. It even has a large selection of historical playlist and information.

Along with the virtual fair are links to the Fair’s Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram pages where much of the virtual fair including Contest, photos, videos, and more will be posted.

The Virtual Fair will run from July 29 – August 8th, 2020

Drive-In Restaurants of Ohio

In the 1950’s Drive-ins were all the rage. A place where a family could take the kids without having to dress up. A place where teens could meet up and hang out. While the Drive-in movie theatre has updated with new technology and moved in to the modern area, many a drive-in restaurant has keep the look and feel of the early days.

The old fashioned atmosphere helps to make them less of a fast food joint and more of a community gathering place. Most of the drive-ins in Ohio opened in the 60’s or before and the old fashion decor is not just a gimmick but tradition. Unlike a drive through where there is another car waiting to be served and one must get it and go, these places are more about parking, being waited on by the friendly staff, and enjoying the good food and good times. The pace of life seems to take a breather as the nostalgia over comes the place.

So here is a list of a few places to find a good burger, fries, and of course a frosty root beer.


Cincinnati:
https://www.therootbeerstand.com 

Cleveland and Northeast: http://swensonsdriveins.com (many locations from Columbus north)

Columbus: https://www.dansdrivein.com/

Chillicothe: http://www.sumburger.com

Dayton: http://www.rootbeerstande.com

Tiffin: http://www.jollysdrivein.com

And so many more:  Just look for one in any area of Ohio and chances are there’s one nearby.

In Ohio the weather can be unpredictable. Sometimes the winter is harsh and early. Sometimes it is mild and hard to find. Because it is hard to work in winter conditions, some of the Drive-ins are only open seasonally.

Ohio in the round: COSI

As we have been working to bring you closer to the sights of Ohio we have felt like photos were missing something. Now we bring to you 360° photospheres of our state. They can be clicked and dragged, or any device with a motion sensor should be able to move around and track the photo.

We start with the Center of Science and Industry’s Progress Exhibit.

1898:


Not a video, a 360° photo. Click and drag to see more, or use mobile device and move device around.

1962:


Not a video, a 360° photo. Click and drag to see more, or use mobile device and move device around.

if this does not work in your browser here are the photos:

360 of COSI Progress Exhibit: 1892

360 photosphere of COSI Progress Exhibit: 1892

360 of COSI Progress Exhibit: 1962

360 photosphere of COSI Progress Exhibit: 1962

1920 primary

In summer of 1920 the United States Congress had just proposed the 19th Constitutional Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and was waiting for the states to ratify it. In the mean time the presidential election was still in full swing. Through out the states no candidate earned major support. Both parties had to go to their conventions without a major front runner.

Republicans:

The republican party was Had many front running candidates during the state primaries. The least of which was Warren G. Harding. He only won his home state of Ohio. Many other candidates, including Hiram Johnson, Leonard Wood, and Frank Lowden, had gotten more popular votes and won more delegates. By the time of the June 8th convention no candidate had won a majority of the delegates.

Over nine ballots the party was deadlocked. As the story goes in a “smoke filled back room” of the Blackstone Hotel the republican leaders decided to nominate the Senator from Ohio to make sure and win that state away from the democrats who were expected to nominate Ohioan James Cox. Being the 3rd largest number of electoral votes Ohio was a major battleground state. On the tenth Ballot the next day the republican party had chosen a candidate. They hoped a former newspaper editor from western Ohio could win them the office. The man they chose was the  Senator from Ohio, Warren G. Harding. His running mate was Massachusetts Governor, and future president, Calvin Coolidge.

Democrats:

The Democrats at the time held the White House with Woodrow Wilson, who had beaten Ohioan William Howard Taft. Having won the Great War, Wilson had tried to stop the next major war by forming the League of Nations ( an early version of the United Nations.)  The stress of the war and the fight for the League exacerbated the president’s health problems.  On October 2, 1919 he suffered a stroke. By February of the next year it was publicly known. Wilson believed he was a shoe in for a third term. Democratic officials knew they needed a new candidate for president.

After a weak showing in the state primaries no candidate was a front runner for the office by June 28th.  Wilson was still hopeful and blocked candidates hoping to make himself the default choice. Democrats considered  William Gibbs McAdoo and  Alexander Mitchell Palmer, both in Wilson’s cabinet. After 44 votes the party finally decided on a candidate. They hoped a former newspaper editor from western Ohio could win them the office. The man they chose was the Governor of Ohio, James M. Cox. His running mate was the assistant Secretary of the Navy, and future president, Franklin Roosevelt.

More information: 

The Library of Congress collection on 1920 elections has many a great selection of memorabilia and recordings from the candidates and campaigns. The songs, sample ballots and speeches are a great way to see how elections were held in the past.

Patterson Homestead Plaque

Patterson Homestead

https://www.daytonhistory.org/visit/dayton-history-sites/patterson-homestead/

1815 Brown St, Dayton, OH 45409

Before Ohio could become a state it needed residents. Before settlers would arrive there needed to be someone to explore the area and decide on a good place to settle. Along the Ohio river in what is now southwest Ohio that group was American Revolutionary War Col. Robert Patterson, Israel Ludlow, John Filson, and Matthias Denman. They bought a portion of land from the Symmes Purchase and founded the city of Losantiville, which was later renamed Cincinnati. After all his fighting and founding Patterson decided to settle down in the newly formed city of Dayton in 1804. He would stay there until his death in 1827. The homestead he left would go on to house 3 generations of his family, including John Patterson, the Industrialist and founder of NCR.

At one point the homestead covered 3 sq miles and was a major fixture of the city. The house is a small 2 story structure located on top of a hill. It has three rooms on each of its two floors. At the time of its construction it was adequate for it use. The majority of the family’s life would have been spent out on the large farm.  Over the years that farm became the University of Dayton, NCR national Headquarters, and many other places in the city.

Today the homestead is a museum and event center near the University of Dayton. The house is open once a month during most months of the year for a free open house and tours. Tours are given by well informed guides and only take an hour. The house is not much different than other historic homes of the era. While it is a simple home tour, the nearby Woodland Cemetery , where Robert Patterson and many of his family are buried, can make a full day of Dayton history.

CRYPTOZOHIO: Creepy Columbus

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

We have talked about a lot of creepy places across the city before. The ghosts of OSU, the creepy graves of Green Lawn, the creepy creatures of the Ohio History Center, or the most haunted government building. Here are a few more creepy places:

Camp Chase:
During the Civil war space was needed to train soldiers. Space was also needed to house prisoners of the war. Camp Chase was such a place. Unfortunately not all the prisoners made it to the end of the war. The training grounds are gone but the graves remain in the Camp Chase Cemetery. A lady in grey is said to be found from time to time searching the grave markers for her lost love. Soldiers have also been reported come back to the site.

Ghost Trolley:
Just outside Columbus is a little hidden gem of a museum. The Ohio Railway Museum. While most of the state may not know of the place, come October it is crowded with people hoping to get a ride on the Ghost Trolley. Aimed at younger kids, riders are given a short ride then the lights are turned out and the story of the Ghost Trolley is told.

Chief Leatherlips:
Chief SHATEYORANYAH was a Wyandot leader. He was well liked by most and was given the name “leatherlips” because he always kept his promises. He was also one of the signers of the Treaty of Greenville. He was also worked with the American settlers. This angered many of his people, including his brother Roundhead. He ordered Leatherlips executed for witchcraft.  He was buried in Dublin, Ohio.

After his death the site was untouched until 1889 when a monument was built. As the story goes when it was built workers unknowingly had the correct location and disturbed his bones. The bones were replaced and the headstone was lovingly placed. All was good. A local golf tournament that is held nearby is said to be cursed however for bringing to much traffic and noise to the area. Almost every year the event is rained on, with it having to be shortened some years.

In a near by park is a larger statue honoring the man. This statue is more well known and is where most people visit. The head is large and an overlook is on top it. The face seems to be staring off in to the distance.

Otherworld:
Otherworld (https://otherworldohio.com) is a permanent art display in an abandoned shopping center. It is a strange place with things everywhere, but unlike an art museum this place is open for touch. Half of the exhibit is just figuring out what is interactive and what is not. There is no description to the story and the visitor must find out what is going on on their own. All that is known is

“You have volunteered as a beta tester at Otherworld Industries, a pioneering tech company specializing in alternate realm tourism. But upon arrival at the desolate research facility, you’re left on your own… Exploring restricted laboratories inevitably leads you to discover a gateway to bioluminescent dreamscapes featuring alien flora, primordial creatures, and expanses of abstract light and geometry…”

The whole place is well themed and trippy. While the place is not haunted it is very creepy. The artists did a great job of theming the location. Every room is different but fit well together. A great place to have a night out and be creeped out, without worrying about bringing anything strange back with you.

Kahiki Supper Club

Kahiki Supper Club

Long ago in the land of Columbus was a special place where visitors could take a journey to a far away land and experience the magic of the Island life, all with out leaving Ohio. The place was the Kahiki Supper Club. The largest Tiki themed restaurant in the country and it was a sight to see.

In the late 1940’s Servicemen returning from the war in the pacific brought back idealized stories of the island life. As the 1950’s economic boom spurred on the consumer culture, people began looking for things to do. With Hawaii on track to become a state, and the stories of the servicemen becoming more romanticized, Tiki culture was born. For a few dollars average citizens could escape to a far away island.

Lee Henry and Bill Sapp were looking to cash in on this cultural trend. They decided not only to make a themed restaurant, but to make one of the largest. The Kahiki Supper Club, 3583 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43213, was a landmark. The building was designed to look like a traditional men’s meeting house of new Zealand, but much, much larger. From the street the the complex looked like a Las Vegas resort. The building was at the center with a driveway leading past it to a parking lot. The light up signage was in a faux polynesian font. The landscaping was low and framed the building. To enter the restaurant guest passed to massive Heads. Beyond them was a moat and a small bridge. By the time visitors had even stepped inside  they were already being transported away.

Kahiki Menu Picture

The lobby housed a fountain, with a gift shop and restrooms around the sides. George, the fountain, is now on display at Grass Skirt Tiki Room. Once inside the main dining room the true vision of the owners could be seen. The room was set up like a small Tahitian village. The lobby, bars,  and side seating areas were separate buildings. One wall was aquatic with many fish tanks. The other wall was a rainforest with a thunderstorm brewing outside. Watching over the whole place was a giant tiki head fireplace. The fireplace became the icon of the restaurant ending up on menus, and almost anything it could be placed on in the gift shop.

One of the main aspects that drew people to tiki culture was the drinks. In traditional pacific culture rum was not used. In American Tiki culture the Caribbean island staple was added to almost every drink. The drink menu at the Kahiki was as large as the fireplace and as vast Pacific itself. The restaurant had not one but 3 bars, The Maui Bar and Cocktail lounge, The Outrigger Bar, and the Music Bar, where the Kahiki Beachcomber Trio would preform. They even recorded an album there.

Kahiki drink menu

In the 1970’s Tiki culture started to wain. Restaurants and buildings were starting to get old and in need of updating. Many tiki places were lost. The Kahiki was a landmark of Columbus and Ohio. It stayed strong. In 1988 the owners decided to sell to Michael Tsao. Tsao wanted to expand the brand and started a line of frozen food. Eventually in the late 90’s the building was in need of repair. The neighborhood had changed and the tiki culture was dying. Tsao decided to sell the land. He had hoped to rebuild in a new location, but died before any plans could be made. The Kahiki was torn down and a chain drugstore was put up in its place.

As the Tiki culture, and having a night out as an adventure, makes a comeback citizens of columbus and Ohio fondly remember back on the great restaurant of the islands.

 

Day Trips in the Dayton Area

Have a day to spend in Dayton? Want something to do, and You’ve already done The National Museum of The United States Air Force. Here are a few day trips you can take.

History of Dayton

  1. Carillon Historical Park – Website – The historical Museum of Montgomery County. A great place to learn about what made Dayton a worldwide name. Well worth a visit.
  2. Woodland Cemetery – Website – Where all the most famous citizens of Dayton are laid to rest.
  3. Pine Club – Website – The best steakhouse in the area. Has an old school feel. Does not take reservations, and is cash only, but is worth it.

The Birthplace of Aviation (Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park)

  1. Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center – Website – The starting point of the National Park. Tells the early life and times of the brothers and the area. Has a recreated Bike shop next door.
  2. Paul Laurence Dunbar House – Website – The house of famous poet and friend to the Wright Brothers.
  3. Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center – Website – teaches about the field in which the Wright Brothers perfected flight.
  4. Huffman Prairie Flying Field – Located on an Air Force Base and can be closed at times – The field where the Brothers made flight a reality and the oldest flying field in the world.

Sports!

  1. Wegerzyn Gardens Metro Park – Website – a neat garden with many things to do and see
  2. Triangle Park – Website – Site of the First ever NFL game.
  3. Taqueria Mixteca – Website – A very authentic Mexican Joint
  4. Fifth Third Field – Website –  Home to the Dayton Dragons. The only field that has sold out ever game it ever has had (over 1400).

The Arts

  1. Dayton Art Institute – Website – celebrating the visual arts in Dayton for over 100 years. A great place to take kids
  2. Dayton Metro Library – Main Branch – Website – A really big building dedicated to educating the community. Has great art, books on art, and a little bit more inside and all around.
  3. The Benjamin and Marian Schuster Center – Website – Dayton’s largest theater in the preforming arts district. Almost always something to see.

This is only a small idea of things to do in Dayton. As with most all in Ohio there is way more to do than can probably be done in a week.