Ohio State

Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site

Photo By Chris Light at English Wikipedia

219 N Paul Laurence Dunbar St,
Dayton, OH 45402

https://www.nps.gov/daav/planyourvisit/paul-laurence-dunbar-house-historic-site.htm

Some places in Ohio are run by local history groups. Some places in Ohio are important enough for the Ohio History Connection to get involved. A select number of places in Ohio have even gotten the National Parks service to recognize them. One place in Ohio is run by the local, state, and national historical systems, The Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site.

Paul Laurence Dunbar was an African American poet at the turn of the 20th century. He wrote in both dialect and standard English. Dunbar became famous as a poet after self publishing Oak and Ivy, his first book, in 1892. After the popularity of the book he began to tour around the state, then then the nation, and finally England.  At the height of his career in 1902 Dunbar bought a house in Dayton for his mother. After he started to suffer medical issues he moved in to the house with his mother. On February 9, 1906 in the house he had bought for his mother Paul Laurence Dunbar died of tuberculosis.

The House was bought by the state in 1936 and turned into the first state memorial to an African American. It was later in the century that people started to notice his works effect on the larger literary world. Maya Angelou even named her first book after a line in Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy.” In 1962 the house became a National Historic Landmark. 30 years later it was incorporated in to larger Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park when the park was created.

The Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site is a small location with just the house and accompanying visitor center. The center contains a short film on the life of Dunbar, a few of his artifacts, and information about the history of the house. The House itself is a small 2 story building common of the area. Together the entire site can be visited in 1.5 hours.

While that may seem to small for a journey to the area, the House is only .5 miles from the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park’s Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. The center contains more information on the life of the printers of Dunbar’s first Newspaper, Orville and Wilbur Wright. One could easily spend an entire morning visiting both the Paul Laurence Dunbar House and Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, grab lunch at one of the areas great restaurants, and spend the heat of the afternoon walking around Woodland Cemetery where both the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar are buried. With the Carillon Historical Park, National Museum of United States Air Force, and the rest of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park one could make a long weekend in Dayton. Even being rewarded if they go to enough places.

When Did Ohio Become a State?

Happy Statehood Day Ohio!

But why is today Statehood Day? Why is it not on February 19? On that day in 1803 Thomas Jefferson signed a resolution approving the constitution and the state’s borders. The General Assembly did not meet until March 1st however and that is why that date is set as Statehood Day. Well, yes, and no. That was the first day the assembly met, and that is why it is is Statehood Day. However it was not set in 1803. It was set in 1953. It took 150 to officially set a date .

Before 1812 and the admittance of Louisiana no formal process was established for states entering the union. The first 13 were granted statehood as soon as the country was established. The next few, Ohio included, entered quite fast after the US constitution was approved. Because the formal process was not needed, and it had been 9 years since Ohio had become a state, nobody thought about it. In 1953 when the state was gearing up for it’s Sesquicentennial the error was noticed. George H Bender introduced a bill before the U.S. Congress to admit Ohio as a state. To make sure that everything was legal, and for the pomp, the Ohio General Assembly meet in its first headquarters in Chillicothe and forged a new petition for statehood. This petition , for even more pomp, was delivered to the U.S. Capitol on horseback as it would have been done in 1803. To finally set everything right, and not have Ohio be thought of as the 50th state, the formal date of Ohio’s statehood was set to March 1st, 1803. On August 7th Eisenhower signed the papers and the whole matter was finally finished.

That is why in 1953 Ohio was given statehood in 1803 and today we celebrate that great and powerful statehood.

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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.  

Happy Flag Day

“I salute the flag of the state of Ohio and pledge to the buckeye state respect and loyalty”

On this day we honor flag of Ohio. May the burgee fly with pride.

“The flag of the state shall be burgee-shaped. It shall have three red and two white horizontal stripes that represent the roads and waterways of the state. The union of the flag shall be seventeen five-pointed stars, white in a blue triangular field that represents the state’s hills and valleys, the base of which shall be the staff end or vertical edge of the flag, and the apex of which shall be the center of the middle red stripe. The stars shall be grouped around a red disc superimposed upon a white circular “O.” The thirteen stars grouped around the “O” represent the original states of the United States and the four stars added to the peak of the triangle symbolize that Ohio was the seventeenth state admitted to the union. The “O” represents the “O” in “Ohio” and suggests the state’s nickname, the buckeye state. The proportional dimensions of the flag and of its various parts shall be according to the official design on file in the office of the secretary of state.” –Ohio Code

Ohio’s Great 8: A large collection of presidential sites in Ohio

Ohio has given this mother of presigreat nation 8 of its 44 presidents. Because Ohio is “The Mother of Presidents” it has gained a large collection of presidential items and locations. From small knick knacks to house, planes, and even battlefields her is our list of places to see a bit of presidential history.

Presidential Memorabilia:
The National Museum of the United States Air Force – Planes from every president to fly
Golden Lamb – Historic Inn and restaurant that has been visited by every Ohio president and many more.
First Ladies National Historical Site – The home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley which celebrates the wives of all presidents
Ohio Statehouse – Houses artifacts from presidential visits
Ohio Historical Center – Houses many artifacts ( not many on display) from Ohio’s historical presidential campaigns
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – Tells the story of slavery and the struggle to end it. Talks about Lincoln, and many other presidents, struggle with the dreaded institution of slavery.
Cleveland History Center – Talks about the history of northwest Ohio and the area that made James Garfield. Right next door to Garfield Tomb.

William Henry Harrison:
Fallen Timber Battlefield
Fort Miegs
Adena Mansion and Garden – Visited many times as a Governor and General.
Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama – A loud Outdoor Drama telling the life and troubles of the great Tecumseh and his interaction with Harrison.
Tomb of William Henry Harrison

Ulysses S. Grant
Land of Grant – Birthplace, Boyhood home, and Schoolhouse

Rutherford B Hayes
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center – Also house the Tomb of the late President

James A. Garfield
James Garfield Birthplace
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
James A Garfield Tomb

Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison Birthplace – A small plaque .3 miles from his grandfathers tomb denotes the site of his birth

William McKinley
The William McKinley Birthplace Museum 
William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum – Also house the Tomb of the late President

William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft National Historical Site

Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding Home
Warren G. Harding Tomb

 

Ohio’s Great 8: Warren G Harding

Warren G. Harding was the 8th person from Ohio to become President of the United States of America, the 29th overall. Born  November 2, 1865. The Civil War had just ended and the long stretch of Ohio presidents was beginning at the time. Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio. His birthplace is now only marked with a sign.

Harding went to school at Ohio Central College and started the school newspaper while there. Newspapers were to play a big part in the rest of his life. While he was a senior his family moved to Marion, Ohio.  After school Harding saved up money to buy a failing newspaper, The Marion Star.

Warren G. Harding used to papers train pass to visit the 1884 Republican National Convention. While there he met many famous reporters of the time. His paper, however, was taken over by the sheriff while he was away. After he got his paper back harding decided to turn it into a nonpartisan paper. This pleased the advertisers of the democratic Marion County and the republican Marion, Ohio. Harding was starting to show that he had an eye for politics.

Harding soon married Florence Kling, the daughter of his rival. This marriage was a boon for the Marion Star as Florence took over the papers financial.  Mrs. Harding’s work behind the scenes would be one of the major factors leading Warren to the presidency. Some say even up until his death.

During the 1896 election Warren G. Harding made a name for himself while campaigning statewide for William McKinley. At the time the strategy for an Ohioan running for office was the Front Porch Campaign, where in the candidate would stay at home receiving visitors and send out others to do his campaigning. This was a perfect opportunity of up and coming young politicians to get a chance to meet the public. Harding used this opportunity as a stepping stone to State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and finally in 1914, U.S. Senator.  A position held until the 1920 elections.

1920 was the biggest year of the 20th century for Ohio politics.During the presidential campaign Harding floundered in the early primaries. He finally gained the republican nominate on the tenth vote of the republican convention. his opponent in the general election was fellow western Ohio newspaperman, and sitting governor, James Cox. Cox’s running mate was Franklin D Roosevelt. With little to separate the candidates, the campaign came down to the issues. Harding took to the Ohio style Front Porch Campaign. The home and porch is now a museum. Cox used a more active style. On August 18th 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote. This meant that the 1920 presidential election was the first national election that women would vote in.

Teapot Dome at the time of the scandal

March 4, 1921 Warren G. Harding was inaugurated as 29th President. While not a fan of the League of Nations, he formally ended World War I with the signing of Knox-Porter Resolution. Harding did many things during his presidency but he is most remembered for his scandals. The Teapot Dome Scandal was the worst of time. The scandal involved the lease of oilfields for low rates without competitive bidding. In the end Hardings first Secretary of the Interior Albert Falls was sent to prison for one year. Hardings Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty was thought to be in league with bootleggers. Harding also had trouble with Charles Forbes, the head of the Veterans Bureau. Forbes was found to have taken kickbacks and selling off property for personal gain.

Most of the scandals didn’t come to light during Hardings presidency however. During a trip to San Fransisco Warren G Harding began failing on July 27, 1923. On August 2, 1923 the president suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. His final resting place is  in his memorial in Marion Ohio. He wife rests next to him.

Harding -2015 ror

While he may have been forgotten as a president Harding’s influence on an era has not. Both Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey have used his presidency and it’s scandals as a major story line. If it had not been for Nixon he may still be known as having one of the biggest scandals and everything would be known as “dome” instead of “gate.”

PS. The 1920 campaign saw the first widespread use of telemarketing in a presidential campaign.

Cryptozohio: Your stories?

cryptohio
Do you have a story of the strange and unusual in Ohio? Creatures that should not be, places that are too eerie to go to. We are looking to fill up the series with stories from the depths of Ohio.

If you are a place make sure to include your website so that we can let people know how to visit you. If you do not want people to visit email us and we will obscure the details.

So if you have a story to tell please leave us a comment or email us.

Ohio’s Great 8: William McKinley

from Wikipedia

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States of America and the 6th from Ohio. He was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio. His birthplace is now part of a museum and research center. He spent his schoolboy days in Poland, Ohio and went to college at Allegheny College, in Pennsylvania. He only spent a year there before returning to Ohio and going to Mount Union College. McKinley left there early too.

After the attack on Fort Sumner many men in Ohio joined the army. McKinley was one of many that became privates in the Union army. Because of the sharp rise in enlistments, supplies were short. This caused problems between the enlisted men, including McKinley, and their officers. Rutherford B. Hayes , a major at the time, convinced the men to take what was given. Hayes’ style of leadership impressed McKinley and they formed a lifelong friendship. McKinley saw much action through out the war and served under many different commanders.  By the end of the conflict he had risen to the rank of Brevet Major. William McKinley was the last person that served in the Civil War to become president.

After the war McKinley returned to Ohio to study law. Eventually he partnered with George W. Belden in Canton, Ohio. His law practice made him rich enough to buy an entire block of buildings in Canton. When Rutherford B. Hayes ran for Governor of Ohio McKinley made speeches for him. This was the first time McKinley had entered in to politics, but would not be the last.

Ida McKinley

William McKinley soon met and wooed Ida Saxton and they married on January 25, 1871. on Christmas day of that year they had their first child, Katherine. Two years later they had their second child, Ida, but she died with in a few months of birth. Only two years after that Katherine too died. This lose of both daughters sent Ida into a deep depression that would effect the rest of her husbands political career.

Despite her own problems Ida encouraged William to go further into politics. In August, 1876, McKinley was nominated to the republican seat of the 17th Ohio district. At the same time fellow Ohioan, and friend, Rutherford B Hayes was running for office of President. McKinley was not only successful in winning his own seat but was a great help in Hayes win the most contentious presidential race in history.

As McKinley’s time in Congress came to an end his party asked him run for Governor of his home state. In 1891 he won the election becoming the 39th governor of Ohio. After 1 term in office McKinley decided to make his run for president. In 1896 he ran against William J. Bryan, soon to be known as the prosecutor in the Scopes Monkey Trial. As with most Ohioans who ran for president before him, McKinley used the front porch campaign style. His campaign would become the most famous use of this style.

William McKinley’s presidency is best known for  The Spanish-American War. Cuba had been fighting for independence from Spain for many years. McKinley thought that the conflict could be settled peacefully, but sent in the USS Maine to protect American

interests in the area. While in harbor the ship blew up. At the time many newspapers advocated war but McKinley wanted to wait for the outcome of the investigation into the indecent. In the end war was inevitable. The war soon expanded to the Pacific with the involvement of  Spanish controlled Philippines. Lasting only 3 months, the war would have a huge impact on the politics of both Cuba and the United States up until the present day.

The victory in Cuba and the popularity of his first term made for an easy run for reelection. This time, however, McKinley would need a new running mate, as his vice president had died the year before. He choose Teddy Roosevelt, a leader of the “Easy Riders” during the Spanish American War.

As popular as he was , McKinley’s second term was not to last long. On September 5th, while on a trip to the Pan-American Expo in Buffalo, he was shot by Leon Czolgosz. On September 14th, William McKinley died. He was the 5th president to die in office. His death lead to much grief through out the nation. The president was put to rest in the receiving vault of West Lawn Cemetery until his final resting place was completed. On September 30th, 1907 the William McKinley Memorial was dedicated in Canton, Ohio. One can still visit the impressive marble building and pay respects to one of Ohio’s Great Eight.

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Final resting place of William McKinley

P.s. The  Mountain was named after him during his first presidential campaign. A gold miner who supported his stance to keep the dollar tied to gold gave it the name. Later when the park was created around it the name stuck.

The Ohio State Fair

(Only till August 9th, 2009…. check site for yearly dates)

717 E 17th Ave,
Columbus, OH 43211
http://www.ohiostatefair.com/

Quick Review: Cows, pigs, horse, and rides. all deep fried.

Review: The Ohio State Fair is a monument to all things Ohio. From the animals to the vegetables to the arts, everything Ohio is celebrated at the State Fair. Then it’s deep fried.

The fair has many things to do. One of the easiest and most popular is to look at all the livestock. With horses, cows, pigs, ducks, bunnies, and chickens all competing the place becomes a huge barnyard. Check the website to see when the competitions are and how the animals are judged. After the competition some of the animals go home.

If all of the livestock makes you hungry food is plentiful. From French Fries to Fried Cheese most of it is simple and greasy. If one looks around they will find a good variety of healthy alternatives. Check out the Taste of Ohio pavilion, The buffet, or even the great ohio vendors (like Der Dutchman and Schmidt’s)

Besides the livestock the fair offers many arts and crafts to view, from duct tape competitions to Christmas tree decorations. The Craft building is a great place to see many works of folk art by state residents. The modern art gallery is not that different from other galleries in the state, however.

For the crazy at heart there is a midway. With a ton of midway games and rides one can spend most of the day here. The rides are standard Carnival fare and are safe enough, but not  for the faint at heart. For a great thrill buy a ride bracelet and ride everything once. It’s an experiance to remember.

The fair is a great place to take the young and the young at heart. (But probably not the weak at heart. A lot of walking.)

Quick tip: Check the website for coupons and discounts.