Some of my trips have involved going out on Sunday, staying overnight, and coming back the next day; that enables more. But last Sunday, I was looking forward to staying home, so I planned for a day trip Monday to Fairfield and Pickaway Counties. These are right in the center of Ohio, south and southeast of Columbus, our capital.
Since I was on a tight schedule, I took the Interstate all the way to Columbus, and turned south on U.S. 33 toward my first stop, Lockville, in Fairfield County. There's not much there, other than a park with several locks of the old Ohio and Erie Canal (not to be confused with the Miami and Erie, which passed north from Cincinnati all the way to Lake Erie, passing near where I live now). Here are some shots:
As I walked between these walls, I thought of how each of these stones was cut and shaped; such work!
This bridge was moved here, of course. It can be rented for picnics; there are tables nearby as well.
After this, I decided to investigate a place with a curious name: Lithopolis. On the way I passed some apple trees with their fruit being harvested . . .
. . . and a horse in a pasture. I wanted to get out and visit the horse, but I wondered if the owner would come along, and maybe the horse would object?
Lithopolis did indeed turn out to be interesting.
Across the street from the war memorial was this inviting sign; alas, the place was closed!
Then I noticed a store, and I went in to visit and maybe get something to drink. The store had water (75 cents! what a deal!); I asked about Coke Zero. "Oh, we have that, but she (referring to the unseen helper in the back) drinks it! We have Pepsi One." I stuck with water. Here's the friendly clerk:
I asked her about some signs I saw for "Honeyfest." Was it upcoming, or did I miss it? "You missed it, it was last weekend." There were bee keeping demonstrations and so forth! Sounded like fun. She also told me about the Wagnall Memorial which was just down the street, so I went there:
She explained this was in memory of Adam Wagnalls, who was part of the Funk and Wagnalls publishing company, which used to produce encyclopedias and dictionaries, among other books. The clerk added that the books were printed there in Lithopolis at one time. I wanted to ask about the "mayonnaise jar" from the porch, but I lost my nerve. Anyway, here are two original Norman Rockwell paintings on display at the Wagnalls Memorial, which has a church attached, by the way:
The clerk also steered me toward the mill at Rock Mill, so I headed that way. I passed the Bloom Township offices, here they are:
Feeling a little peckish, I noticed this brewery -- maybe they had lunch? But it was closed:
And here was the mill, in Rock Mill. It is open for weekends for demonstrations, I think; but not open on Monday. I met a nice older couple looking around and we talked a bit.
Here's a view of the Hocking River, which powered the mill. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but it has high rock walls and the river spills down from an even narrower channel on the left.
Now it was time to head toward Pickaway County, which was named for a band of Shawnee Indians who used to live here. I meandered my way toward Marcy (right on the county line), where I found a store and restaurant in business since 1840. Here it is:
I ordered a burger and got a pop. "Do you have Coke Zero?" "Usually, but the truck hasn't arrived today." I settled for a diet Dr Pepper. While I waited, I noticed this display:
I took my lunch with me, planning to visit the working farm in nearby Slate Run Park. It was closed. I ate my lunch at the park, and decided to meander further. I found my way to Saint Paul, which seemed just a few homes grouped around a Lutheran church named . . . St. Paul. Here it is:
From there I wandered over toward a point on the map called "Little Chicago," near Ashville, but that turned out to be a bust. I am skipping over my unfortunate encounter with a tailgater -- nothing bad, actually amusing in a way, but no time. I passed through Commercial Point, where I saw this former IOOF hall -- that's the International Order of Odd Fellows, an esoteric fraternal organization something like the Freemasons. My great-grandfather was an Odd Fellow, and he's buried in their section at Cincinnati's Spring Grove. I have certainly seen many of their halls, some of which I've photographed for this tour. The IOOF still exists, with something like a quarter-million members worldwide.
From Commercial Point, I headed up toward Orient, where there is a massive "correctional institute." Sorry, no pictures -- it's illegal to take photos of Ohio prisons! From there I drove up toward London -- what a nice place, I should go back! -- but I was headed toward I-70 and home. Before I got on the interstate, I passed through Summerford, which was located right on U.S. 40, built on the old National Road. Here's another IOOF hall:
And here's a view of old U.S. 40, which might be built right on the National Road, that was so important in our nation's building: