Trip Peek #22
Trip #86
Ohio NR Bus Tour

FOLK movie premierThis picture is from my 2010 Ohio NR Bus Tour day trip along the western half of Ohio’s portion of the National Road. Doug Smith, coauthor of A Traveler’s Guide to the Historic National Road in Ohio, acted as guide and provided much information when we stopped at several landmarks and as we rolled by others. The pictured stop is along the Ohio River to get a look at the 1849 Wheeling Suspension Bridge.

Trip Pic Peeks are short articles published when my world is too busy or too boring for a current events piece to be completed in time for the Sunday posting. In addition to a photo thumbnail from a completed road trip, each Peek includes a brief description of that photo plus links to the full sized photo and the trip journal it is from.

Trip Peek #12
Trip #75
Madonnas and Signs

Foot Print Rock, National Road, OHThis picture is from my 2009 Madonnas and Signs road trip. This was a short trip organized for a small group of friends. On the first day, we drove from Richmond, Indiana, to Springfield, Ohio, on the National Road then to Lebanon, Ohio, primarily on US-68 and US-42. The “Madonnas” in the title refers to the Madonna of the Trail monuments in Richmond and Springfield. The “Signs” in the title comes from the American Sign Museum which we visited on the second day. Since I was acting as a guide and the places we stopped were familiar to me, my journal for the trip is fairly sparse. Other folks on the trip took a lot more pictures than I did.

Trip Pic Peeks are short articles published when my world is too busy or too boring for a current events piece to be completed in time for the Sunday posting. In addition to a photo thumbnail from a completed road trip, each Peek includes a brief description of that photo plus links to the full sized photo and the trip journal it is from.

Trip Pic Peek #11 — Trip #24 — East End of 62

Saint Paddy’s Eve

Guinness at Arnold'sEven though there was lots of rain Friday night and into Saturday morning, the weather guys were claiming it should stop in time for the noon start of Cincinnati’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. I believed them enough to head downtown and not only did the rain stop, the sun broke through the clouds more than an hour before step off time and some pretty serious warming got underway. At Arnold’s, the Guinness parade pictured at right was going on long before I got there and would continue throughout the day.

2013 St Patrick parade in Cincinnati

2013 St Patrick parade in CincinnatiThis parade has followed many routes over the years. Once upon a time, it actually started near Arnold’s but had not been very close is several years. Today’s route passed just a half-block away on Sycamore after running north on Eggleston and — quite briefly — west on Central parkway. The parade is always led by the statue of Saint Patrick seen in the first picture passing the recently opened Horseshoe Casino. The casino wasn’t the only “new” thing on the parade route. At the last minute, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which had marched in the parade last year, was booted. Well behaved but very vocal protesters stood at the turn onto Sycamore.

As often happens, I hadn’t been paying attention. The first I’d heard anything about this was back at Arnold’s where I struck up a conversation with a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The parade is organized by the AOH. Yes, he said, he would be marching but it was a “terrible route”. He decried the fact that the parade would not go through “downtown”, by which I assume he meant Fountain Square. Then he seemed to somehow blame this “terrible route” — a phrase he used several times — on the fact that “we won’t allow gays in the parade.” That could hardly be the case since GLSEN’s banishment became known only Friday but the move did not go over well with city officials. As reported by The Huffington Post, several withdrew from the parade in their own protest. I guess I should start paying attention as this clearly is not the end of the subject.

2013 St Patrick parade in Cincinnati2013 St Patrick parade in Cincinnati2013 St Patrick parade in CincinnatiThere was plenty of  normal parade stuff including what must be one of the largest groups of Irish built cars in the world.

2013 St Patrick parade in Cincinnati2013 St Patrick parade in CincinnatiI’d climbed to the upper floor of a parking garage to get that shot of the DeLoreans and, while there, pointed a long lens toward Arnold’s. It obviously remained busy during the parade and was even busier after. The second picture is in Arnold’s courtyard where I managed to find a spot at the back to listen to the Cincinnati Glee Club perform a medley of Irish tunes. Sláinte!

Fifth Street Brewpub, Dayton, OHOn top of the parade, my weekend plans included a Saturday night concert in Oxford and a Sunday afternoon book presentation in Greenville. Between the parade and the concert, I stopped by the open house at Fifth Street Brewpub in Dayton. This is the first co-op brewpub in Ohio and only the second in the nation. I can now honestly tell people I own a brewpub.

Golden Inn, New Paris, OHSouthern Comfort Bar & Grill, New Paris, OHAlthough I could have driven home between each of these events, I made it a little easier by spending Saturday night at one of my favorite independent motels. The Golden Inn is on the National Road near New Paris, Ohio, and more or less half way between Oxford and Greenville. Lea Ann Golden, who runs the place with husband Jeff, mentioned a new restaurant in town and I tried it out. No pictures but the meat loaf and okra were excellent.

Michael Johnathon & Lisa Biales at Big Song Music HouseMichael Johnathon at Big Song Music HouseThe concert was at the home of Marc and Lisa Biales, a.k.a. The Big Song Music House. The performer was Michael Johnathon of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. I really do need to get to the show in Lexington but this will do for now. Lisa has appeared on the show and tonight she opened and returned near the end for couple of duets. Another great evening of music in the Oxford countryside.

Trip Peek #5
Trip #26
Pair of Madonnas

Madonna at Springfield, OHThis picture is from the my 2004 Pair of Madonnas day trip. The trip was loosely organized around the Madonna of the Trail monuments in Springfield, Ohio, and Richmond, Indiana. From home, I headed northeast to intersect the National Road east of Springfield then more or less followed it west to Richmond. The photograph shows the Springfield Madonna in its nicely landscaped but hard to reach spot near Snyder Park on the west edge of town. In the fall of 2011, the statue was moved to a new park near the center of town. The new home is much more accessible but is even further from the statue’s original location a half mile or so west of Snyder Park.

Trip Pic Peek #4 — Trip #60 — Crescent City Christmas

Trip Pic Peeks are short articles published when my world is too busy or too boring for a current events piece to be completed in time for the Sunday posting. In addition to a photo thumbnail from a completed road trip, each Peek includes a brief description of that photo plus links to the full sized photo and the trip journal it is from.

Morristown 2012 Holiday Tour of Homes

Methodist Church MorristownOn Saturday I toured several nicely restored and decorated homes on the National Road in Morristown, Ohio. An Oddment page on the Holiday Tour of Homes is here.

This entry provides a place for comments on that Oddment as well as covering some “support activities”.

Twin Pines MotelTwin Pines MotelMy bed for the night was at the Twin Pines Motel a few miles east of Morristown. I had read a couple of reviews that made it sound OK and it was. It’s a clean and reasonably maintained older place with no frills but all the necessities including wi-fi. Price was about $50 with tax. There is a look at my room here.

ChapzChapzChapz is on the National Road between Morristown and the Twin Pines. I stopped there for a beer before the home tour and for a ‘burger after. Anything that looks that unhealthy just has to taste great and it did. Just as the sign shows, female bartenders and waitresses wear Daisy Dukes and motorcycle chaps. Depending on age and size that can look really hot… or not.


Ohio National Road Meetup

Springs Motel, Yellow Springs, OhioAlthough I did spend a night away from home, it wasn’t really a road trip and, though I did attend an event, it wasn’t the sort of thing that produces a lot of pictures for an Oddment page. Good thing I’ve got a blog, eh?

The focal point of my little outing was Friday’s annual meeting of the Ohio National Road Association. These meetings are held in the Columbus area and, while it would be feasible for me to drive home after one of them, it wouldn’t be all that much fun. In the past, I’ve used them as an excuse to spend a night near Columbus and do Columbusy things. This year’s meeting was in Lafayette, Ohio, about midway between Columbus and Springfield. I thought about using it as an excuse to spend the night in Springfield then had a better idea.

Springs Motel, Yellow Springs, OhioSprings Motel, Yellow Springs, OhioThe Springs Motel is about ten miles south of Springfield near the town of Yellow Springs. I stopped here a few years back to check out the place as a possible overnight on a weekend cruise being planned. It didn’t work out that time but it has remained in my mind as a place I’d like to stay. I had envisioned staying here in the summer when I could sit outside and chat with the neighbors but temperatures in the twenties pretty much eliminated any chance of that happening. I still very much enjoyed my stay, however. The twelve room motel was built in 1956 and refurbished in 2002. It’s reasonably priced, quite comfortable, and operated the way an independent motel should be. Its owner has imprinted it with a personality that comes through on the website and in placards like this. Folks often rent the entire motel for family gatherings or events in Yellow Springs.

Red Brick Tavern, Lafayette, OhioThe meeting in Lafayette was at the Red Brick Tavern which identifies itself as “A house of hospitality since 1837”. Its construction anticipated completion of the National Road in this area by just a bit but it was soon providing food, refreshments, and lodging to travelers on the new road. What better place for a bunch of National Road fans to meet than in a building that started serving our kind about 175 years ago? The tavern’s fortunes fell with the coming of the railroads, rose with the coming of automobiles, and fell again when I-70 pulled traffic away from the National Road/US 40. It was idle and about to be auctioned when the current owners, Madonna Christy and Cris Cummins brought it back to life. It was sure busy Friday night. Of course, our group of near forty helped but, in addition to the dining room that we occupied, the main dining room seemed just as full and the bar area was overflowing. Partly because of the crowd, I took no pictures inside and barely got this one outside as the sun was setting. I had to deal with on going construction as the road is widened once again. I wonder how may times the Red Brick Tavern has seen that happen.

An excellent meal was immediately followed by the business meeting. Highlights included a report on the ongoing interpretive signs project and the ramping up of a project to replace or repair missing or badly damaged mile markers. Two Milestone Awards are given each year. Mike Peppe received the Leadership Award for his work with the interpretive signs while  Madonna Christy and Cris Cummins received the Preservation Award for their resurrection of the Red Brick Tavern. Dean Ringle will remain on the board as Immediate Past President while Doug Smith ends his possibly record setting run as Vice President to become President. Mary Ellen Weingartner is the new Vice President.

Springs Motel, Yellow Springs, OhioSprings Motel, Yellow Springs, OhioIt was full on dark when I drove back to the motel so the lighted sign and neon bordered building were welcome sights. My room was also quite welcoming. Take a look here.

Winds Cafe, Yellow Springs, OhioWinds Cafe, Yellow Springs, OhioOn Saturday, I hung around Yellow Springs long enough to try out the highly acclaimed Winds Cafe. This place gets considerable press and I found it classy but not stuffy. I was there for lunch so it’s possible that dinner time is different but I doubt it. Menus, featuring local ingredients, change seasonally. Today’s offerings included an omelette and, this being my first meal of the day, that was my pick. This was not, however, a ham & cheese omelette from some chain restaurant. This was a smoked trout and Boursin omelette “flipped the traditional way” in a French iron pan and that’s exactly what it tasted like. Excellent!

War protestors, Yellow Springs, OhioAs I headed south out of Yellow Springs, I passed something that could have been part of an SNL skit about old hippies. Of course it also looked like something I could probably be a part of so I smiled and waved as I drove by. I get to Yellow Springs a few times each year but I guess I’ve not been there between noon and 1:00 on a Saturday in at least ten years. Since late 2002, a small group of anti-war protesters has been spending the first hour of each Saturday afternoon standing on  a Yellow Springs street corner. A nice article here tells much more. I have immense respect for those people and they’ve got me thinking about digging out my old beads and scrounging up some cardboard.

Trip Peek #1
Trip #42
Dayton Cutoff

The Western RejoiningThis picture is from my 2006 Dayton Cutoff day trip. The Dayton Cutoff was an alternative to the official National Road between Springfield, Ohio, and Richmond, Indiana. It passed through both Dayton and Eaton, Ohio, and was much more popular than the official National Road. In fact, it was included in the National Old Trails Road automobile trail in 1912. A century of development has moved things around a bit and the name National Old Trails Road seems to have morphed into Old National Road but this is where the modern equivalent of the National Old Trails Road (a.k.a. Dayton Cutoff) connects with the National Road at Richmond.

I knew when I started this blog that interesting things might not happen in my life with adequate frequency to feed a weekly post. I consider it important to post on a regular basis but knew some weeks would just be flat out boring and others simply would not have enough open time to write anything. The My Gear and My Apps series of articles were conceived to address the problem. Since their subject matter was not tied to the current date, I could write the articles during those boring weeks and post them whenever the need arose. That worked rather well until my recent twenty-eight day trip.

I anticipated being gone three Sundays and left home with almost three articles ready and waiting. I figured that, sometime before the third Sunday rolled around, I’d find the time to finish off that third article. Wrong. When the third Sunday arrived, not only didn’t I have a blog post ready, my daily trip journal was about three days behind and what computer time I had was spent trying to get it current. I gave up and posted a white flag in the blog. When I did that, experienced blogger Jim Grey gave me some advice. He suggested that I pick some photos from completed road trips, write a paragraph or two about them, and save them for an empty or too full Sunday.

This is pretty much how My Gear and My Apps work but there are some important differences. Talking about gear and apps tends to run into more than a paragraph or two and typically requires a little research. Finding appropriate pictures can also take a little time. Jim’s idea uses pictures I already have and I soon realized I could shorten the process even more. I’ve already picked a picture from each of my completed trips to appear at the top of this site’s home page. A different picture is randomly selected each time the page is displayed so I even have an automatic way to select a next picture for the blog. As Jim stated at the end of his tip, “Problem solved.”

Both My Gear and My Apps will continue but I’ll also be filling some Sundays with a picture from one of my road trips. The thumbnail will link to the full sized version of the picture and a link to the trip it is from will be contained in the descriptive text. This is the first.

Book Review
Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More
Tracy Lawson

Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More coverIn 1990, Tracy Lawson’s parents gave her a stack of twenty-one photocopied pages as a Christmas present. Transcribed onto the typewritten pages was the journal of her third great-grandfather’s 1838 trip from a Cincinnati suburb to New York City. In 2012, Lawson is sharing those pages and the experiences they triggered, in Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More. The book is comprised of two sections. “Section I — 1838” contains the journal along with Lawson’s illuminating comments and notes. “Section II — 2003-2009” contains accounts of the author’s own trips along the route. Both sections are liberally illustrated with black and white photos and drawings.

The writer of the 1838 journal was Henry Rogers, who operated a successful mill in Mount Pleasant (now Mount Healthy), Ohio. Traveling with the 32 year old Henry were his wife and her parents. The miller was both literate and observant and he sets out to record “…all interesting subjects and things that come under my observation”. The journal provides a most interesting look at nineteenth century roadtripping. Henry recorded expenses and named names so we know, for example, that the group spent a night at Winchester’s hotel in Jefferson (now West Jefferson), Ohio and paid $2.50 for the privilege. That $2.50 covered bed and board for four people and two horses. Along the way, he records expenses for tolls, horseshoes, wagon tyres, and “face barbering”, etc..

The travelers picked up the National Road in Jefferson, Ohio, and followed it and its extensions to Hagerstown, Maryland. As a fan of the National Road, I enjoyed reading Henry’s descriptions and found his pre-bridge entry to Wheeling, Virginia, which required a ferry over each of the two Ohio River channels at costs of 25 and 37.5 cents, especially interesting. They passed through Brownsville, Pennsylvania, during construction of the first cast iron bridge in the United States. It doesn’t appear as if Henry realized that the bridge that would soon carry the National road over Dunlap’s Creek was the first of its kind but he described it as “splendid” while being forced to cross on an “..old narrow bridge that looked as though it would scarcely bear its own weight.” At Hagerstown, the group turned northeast and headed toward Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, then through Abbottstown and York to Lancaster. Roadies will recognize the Gettysburg to Lancaster route as the future path of the Lincoln Highway. From Lancaster, they continued northeast to Trenton, New Jersey, where they spent a little time and made a visit to Philadelphia before moving onto New York City.

The 1838 journal is accompanied by sidebars that explain unfamiliar terms or provide background for certain passages. The journal’s text is cross referenced to a set of end notes. A subsection titled “Expansions” contains short dissertations on subjects that were part of Henry Rogers’ world. These include mills, finances, politics, medicine, fashion, and more.

The author made three trips specifically to experience and research the route her great-great-great-grandparents had followed. Two were driving trips with her daughter and one was a solo fly-and-drive outing. These trips are covered in “Section II” with a blend of genealogy, personal discovery, and general history. It’s fun reading that mirrors Henry’s journal in the sense that both are straight forward reports of some relatively unscripted travel. Henry’s journal held my interest more but there is a good chance that this was because his travel was so much different from today’s. Lawson describes some of the places she stayed and ate much as Henry did and there is even an encounter with a less than savory character that is reminiscent of some of the “scoundrels and topers” encountered by Henry. But Ramada and Cracker Barrel don’t have the same zing as names like Sign of the Bear and Cross Keys Tavern.

Lawson does locate and visit several of the places mentioned in the journal including a few, such as Pennsylvania’s 7 Stars Inn, that are still operating. She also picked up some information at libraries and local historical societies though the trips were not as rich in field research as she had hoped. They were more successful, it seems, on a personal level. She was able to familiarize herself with the path her ancestors traveled and the world they lived in The mother-daughter time was, as the ads say, priceless.

That personal connection won’t be there for most readers of Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, but it is still an entertaining and informative look at a road trip back when thirty-one and a half cents fed a family of four and two horsepower was plenty.

There are some minor errors. Perhaps I’m just sensitized to this sort of thing but referring to US 36 as State Route 36 and saying the Madonna of the Trail Monuments were “erected … on US Route 40 and US Route 66” with no mention of the National Old Trails Road bothered me. Aside from increased knowledge of her own ancestors and the world of 1838, it seems Tracy Lawson gained some insight into heritage road trips. In the Epilogue she says “And if I were driving the National Road again, I would eat at all the restaurants that were once taverns Henry mentioned in his journal!” I hope she makes that happen.

Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, Tracy Lawson, The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, April 2012, paperback, 9.1 x 7.1 inches, 156 pages, ISBN 978-1935778196

Roads, Women, and Cars

Dayton Road MeetI’d have probably been overpowered if they had all been present at the same time, but, over the course of the weekend, I managed a “road meet”, an all female concert, and a gathering of killer cars. The photo at the right is of the “road geeks” who participated in the “road meet” which was in Dayton, Ohio.

“Road geeks” are different from “roadies”. “Roadies” are attracted to old roads and the culture around them. “Road geeks” are attracted to newer roads and to their design and construction. Neither definition is perfect and the groups certainly overlap. I’m a mainstream “roadie” and a fringe “road geek”. Most in the picture tend to be the other way ’round.

The difference is illustrated by a couple of events from Saturday. One of the participants is planning a drive to and from California in the near future. It was one of the things we chatted about over lunch. He mentioned that the return trip would be more leisurely and relaxed since they would be covering only 500-600 miles instead of the 700-800 of some of the west bound days. My target range is something like 150-200 miles a day. The other event was the “clinching” of a road. “Clinching” means traveling the full length of a road. I’ve clinched a few; Route 66, Lincoln Highway, US-62. I-675 is a quarter-circle expressway on the south east edge of Dayton that the whole group “clinched” on Saturday. I believe that’s the first interstate I’ve ever “clinched” and am certain it’s the first I’ve done intentionally.

Dayton Road MeetDayton Road MeetFor the most part, though, the differences are a matter of degree and both “roadies” and “road geeks” are very friendly people who enjoy roads and each other. There are certainly some “roadies” who would cringe at the thought of looking over the recently reworked I-70 & I-75 interchange from a park bench but I’ve now seen members of both groups roaming around the former Dixie Highway & National Road intersection with cameras clicking. The sign being photographed is the “Crossroads of America” sign. The title has no shortage of claimants but both of these intersections are legitimate contenders. The DH and the NR, clearly major highways of their day, morphed into US-25 and US-40 respectively. I-75 is the interstate era successor to US-25 and I-70 is the successor to US-40.

EG Kight at Big Song Music HouseFrom Dayton I headed over to Oxford, Ohio, for another show at the Big Song Music House. This one featured “The Georgia Songbird”, EG Kight. As she has for the other shows I’ve attended here, Lisa Biales, who owns Big Song Music House with her husband Marc, opened with a few tunes. Then EG  took the stage and, in the intimate setting that seemed to fit her perfectly, entertained us with both music and conversation that triggered many smiles and several chuckles. Of course, smiles were not restricted to the time between tunes. EGs humor frequently shows up in her songs, too.

EG Kight at Big Song Music HouseEG Kight at Big Song Music HouseLisa is close friends with both acts, Ricky Nye and Ronstadt Generations, that I’ve seen here in the past and she joined each of them a few times during their performances. EG and Lisa are certainly friends and EG produced and contributed to Lisa’s most recent CD, Just Like Honey, but it’s probably the musical similarities that makes their performing together something special. Both have powerful and clear voices, they both know their way around a guitar, and both are capable of delivering both real and lyrical winks. Lisa joined EG several times, both with and without her guitar, and the two powerful voices combined to produce some pow-pow-powerful harmonies.

Ault Park Concours d’EleganceI took an overnight break before heading out to my third event of the weekend, the 35th Ault Park Concours d’Elegance in Cincinnati. In years past, I’ve parked as close as I could (which never seemed to be very close) and trudged up the hills to the Concours. This year a friend and I took advantage of the free offsite parking and shuttle. Not a bit of trudging and the fact that the shuttle buses were air-conditioned was deeply appreciated after we had walked all over the grounds and were heading back to the car.

Ault Park Concours d’EleganceAult Park Concours d’EleganceThere were plenty of “normal” concours vehicles like Duesenburgs, and Hudsons and brass era cars such as the 1914 Packard above, but the title of this year’s event was A Century of American Power so there were also some cars on display that you might not immediately think of when you hear Concours d’Elegance. Prominent among these were 1960s & ’70s muscle cars and dragsters from the same period.

Ault Park Concours d’EleganceAult Park Concours d’EleganceAult Park Concours d’Elegance




Prime examples of Detroit muscle are the 427 CI 425 HP V8 in a 1964 Ford Galaxy and the 426 CI 425 HP (for insurance purposes) V8 in a 1963 Dodge Polara. That’s Cincinnati muscle in the third picture. The 44 CI 26.5 HP I4 in a 1951 Crosley Hotshot might not seem like a symbol of …American Power but it was a Hotshot that won, through handicapping, the first Sebring Endurance Race in 1950.

Ault Park Concours d’EleganceThis picture might make you think that texting while driving was encouraged back when the  alphabet was smaller but it is actually the push-button transmission controls in a 1958 Edsel Citation.

Carey Murdock Mansion Hill TavernThis is something of a bonus. Carey Murdock is another singer-songwriter I learned of through Josh Hisle. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee. I came close to connecting with him there last Christmas but missed and actually met him for the first time tonight as we both walked across the street to Mansion Hill Tavern. Carey had prearranged a stop at Mansion Hill as a “featured guest” which essentially means a half hour slot at a regularly scheduled blues jam with lots of musicians waiting to form groups and get some stage time. This is obviously not the best showcase situation but Carey handled it well and the crowd seemed to like him. I definitely did.

More Horses (and a bit on a madonna)

Last night I completed the trifecta of southwest Ohio horse parades. I just happened to be in Greenville on the occasion of their parade two weeks ago. I blogged about it here. Last week I was again in Greenville and came home through Springfield with a goal of getting some pictures of the recently relocated Madonna of the Trail statue. (More on that later.) I was surprised to see downtown Springfield blocked off and more surprised to learn that it was for the city’s first ever hose parade. I certainly had to stick around for that.

Springfield Horse ParadeCarriage rides were available before the parade and, yes, I took one. Neither the carriage rides nor the parade actually passed the Madonna. The picture at right shows one of the “public” carriages leaving the blocked off area in anticipation of the parade itself. The parade formed behind where I stood to take the picture and turned right to reach the parade route proper.

Springfield Horse ParadeSpringfield Horse ParadeAs mentioned, this was Springfield’s first year for a parade and there were just fourteen entries. All were “hitches”. In other words, there were no horseback riders. The portrayal of  the Christmas story in a setting where eighteenth and and nineteenth century covered wagons (albeit with pneumatic rubber tires) was the norm was simultaneously shocking and 100% fitting. I liked it. Future generations of Springfieldians may have a very unique take on the whole Christmas-pioneer-Madonna-covered-wagon thing.

Black Horse Tavern at the Golden LambSo, after attending Springfield’s first and Greenville’s eighth more or less by accident, I felt almost obligated to attend Lebanon’s twenty-third horse parade. It’s not only the oldest of the three but, with 122 entries, far and away the biggest. It’s also the only double header. There is a daylight version at 1:00 and an in-the-dark illuminated-carriage version at 7:00. Other commitments kept me away from Lebanon until something after 1:00 but I headed there anyway thinking I might catch the tail end of the matinee. I couldn’t even get close. I whiled away the afternoon on the far side of town then returned thinking it entirely possible that I would just pass through again and head home. But I found a parking spot about three blocks from the Golden Lamb. In the Lamb’s Black Horse Tavern, I ran into some friends I hadn’t seen in quite awhile and managed to while away another couple of hours until parade time was near.

Lebanon Horse ParadeLebanon Horse ParadeI’ve attended both light and dark versions of the Lebanon parade before but it’s been a long time. Both the parade and attendance have had time to grow and they certainly have. All of downtown Lebanon was pretty much shoulder to shoulder and withers to withers.

Lebanon Horse Parade ClydesdalesLebanon Horse Parade Fire EngineSeveral of the parade participants had been at Greenville and a few had been at Springfield but with more than eight times Springfied’s entries and nearly double Greenville’s, Lebanon obviously had some exclusives. Foremost among these were a nineteenth century fire engine and a team of Clydesdales. Both of these actually brought cheers from the crowd when they charged down the street.

Golden LambDuring the parade I managed to somehow walk to it’s origin and back. Some of it was pretty awkward but in the end I just stepped into the street and paced the parade. I recall my father once telling me that the secret to getting around a military base is to carry a clipboard and walk briskly. The same technique works with parades using a camera. The friends I had met in the bar told of past success in watching the parade from the balcony at the Golden Lamb. Even though that appeared to be a bit more challenging than in prior years, they were going to give it a try. As the parade wrapped up, I snapped this picture of the hotel’s balcony just in case they were up there. No, I later learned, they had been blocked from the balcony but found an empty third floor dining room where they and another couple watched the parade in relative privacy. The only intruder was a hotel employee who stopped by now and then to take drink orders.

Ohio Madonna of the TrailNow, about that Madonna. In 1928 and ’29, as the era of named auto trails came to an end, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a Madonna of the Trail statue in each of the twelve states through which the National Old Trails Road passed. The one for Ohio was placed in Springfield. Two of the four sides on each statue’s base were inscribed with information specific to the statue and its placement. On Ohio’s Madonna these concerned the end of federally funded construction, which was quite close to the statue’s original placement, and George Rogers Clark victory at Peckuwe which was about three miles from the original placement as noted in the inscription. In the mid 1950s, highway construction caused the statue to be moved about a half mile east. The inscriptions were no longer as accurate as they had been but they weren’t off too much. A bigger problem with the move was that, once US-40 became four lanes wide, there was no convenient access to the statue. Reaching it involved either pulling over on the busy highway or parking in a safe spot and walking along the busy highway.

Ohio Madonna of the TrailIn September, the statue was again moved. This move was about two miles distance to a park in downtown Springfield. The setting makes the statue much more accessible while making the inscriptions much less accurate. Some consider this a net win; Others don’t. During the hour or so I hung around the statue last Saturday, I saw about twenty people take note of the statue in some way. There was a lot of foot traffic in the area Saturday and the majority seemed oblivious to both the new park and the relocated statue. Of those that noticed it, about half recognized it including one fellow who arrived with camera and tripod to photograph the old gal in her new home. Quite a few of those who had no idea what it was did read at least one panel. Several read them all. Whether or not any of them develop even the slightest interest in any aspect of the history that this Madonna of the Trail represents is anybody’s guess.

A newspaper article about the September 22 move is here. The Madonna can be seen thirteen days before the move here and here.