The back way from Laurel to Haspin Acres
June 30-July 6, 2015
Big bang week
theory this is the week of the big bang, aka the Fourth of July, but we who
read and heed our Guide know that the fireworks began last Saturday in
Saturday is the fourth and our highly recommended site for soaring eyes
is Gaar Mansion on the hill above Richmond’s Glen Miller Park where the city’s
Parks and Rec. department put on the fireworks.
The Gaar House is having the Richmond Community Orchestra perform before
the fireworks again this year, and Sarah Bradley tells us RCO is sounding
especially good this year. So on Saturday bring a blanket, stake out a spot on
the lawn and stop, look and listen.
Thursday, Oxford’s Freedom Festival starts with a parade at 6:30 on High Street
and ends with fireworks. This is a kid-friendly event with lots of tot-loving
stuff to do. Grown-ups can wander in and out of grown-up places which may or
may not give rise to the street name.
Friday Osgood Fairgrounds is the place for the Ripley County Chamber Fireworks.
Again it starts early, around five, with plenty of things to do before the
grand culmination in memory of the birth of our nation.
Metamora Volunteer Fire Department’s Fireman’s Festival is an annual
event that draws a couple thousand people each year. It starts at six with a
parade winding through the old town. This is the funkiest parade you are likely
to see and has a charm all its own.
But this year for the first time, the fireworks will be held at the
Gateway Park across US 52 from the town. Whether the parade is going to meander
across the highway is a mystery only a local firefighter is able to answer.
Also on Saturday the Hillcrest Golf and Country Club is having fireworks
at dusk. Guests probably won’t have free run of the golf course, which when you
think of it, is par for the course.
Greendale is having an all day 4th of July Celebration.
Greendale is a little town pretty much hugging the Indiana/Ohio state line
along US 50. They are starting the day early with competition running and
finishing late with fireworks.
Musical heads up
Peter Frampton is coming to the Lawrenceburg Event Center next Friday,
July 10th, and on the same night Jay Jesse Johnson is featured at
Music on the River also in Lawrenceburg. All this proves that when it rains
music along the Ohio, it pours.
Frampton, of course, is one of the most celebrated guitarists in rock
history, and he will be playing music from his latest album ‘Hummingbird in a
Box’ which was inspired by the Cincinnati Ballet Company. Tickets run from $60
to $90. Call 800 274,6707 for more information.
Jay Jesse Johnson is one of the most celebrated guitarists in Whitewater
Valley history, and while you may want to snicker up your sleeve at that
analogy remember Lonnie Mack is from the Whitewater Valley and unlike Peter
Frampton who is simply ‘most celebrated’, Lonnie Mack is a legend.
like to think Jay Jesse could teach Peter Frampton a thing or two about playing
the guitar, and unlike megabucks Frampton, you can hear Mr. Johnson that Friday
The Harrison Underground
Market Street Grille is the star of a recent video in the History In
Your Own Backyard series, which itself is expanding into Ohio and Kentucky.
According to historian Terri No-Last-Name, It was originally built in 1856 as a
brewery using 100,000 bricks which cost $300.
went through many hands including the Independent Order of Odd Fellows which
renovated it 1893. Among other things they added a higher ceiling on the third
floor so they could have ball-room dancing. Imagine walking up three floors
before you can even start dancing.
When you look at the top of the building today (or tomorrow if you like)
you see the IOOF insignia and the year 1893 embossed in the crown, yet we know
from this video the building dates from 37 years before. Therefore the embossed
historic sign is deceiving, and we wonder how else has history led us astray.
Local historian Terri called it ‘a gem of Harrison’ adding that it won
the 2000 preservation award for excellence in rehabilitation by the Cincinnati
Preservation Association. This would have been four years after the new owners,
siblings Adam Walter, Brenda Leonard, and Paul Eggleston, purchased it and did
all the wonderful things they have done to make it the gem it is.
They kept the original tin roofs in two rooms. The carpet and wallpaper
from the original building hangs in frames in the main dining room, and they
have access to the underground tunnel that went through Harrison. Cody reported
it was originally built to bring goods from the canal and the river into town.
It goes along Main Street all the way from the river to the hill at the east
end of town, and it juts off to every street but one.
“During the Morgan raids the townspeople hid the livestock and the goods
in the tunnels so the raiders could not take them,” he said.
Then to a slow rock song in the background you drop down a stone
stairway into the tunnel itself where Cody explains about the freight elevator
system the originators used to bring goods up to the shop floor above.
tomblike arching vaults would be a great place for a Halloween romp, and when
you think of it, if Harrison corporate and community undertook the gargantuan
task of digging out these underground tunnels they’d have an historic arcade as
a world-class attraction. Imagine it lined with crafts and vendors and small
tables for enjoying the moment. It would be an all-season way to move people
around town, the Harrison Underground.
Furniture for the future
Heritage furniture is what The Sampler creates. The Sampler is Linda and
Rush County Commissioner Bruce Levi’s business. Its art is the presence one of
their finely crafted items creates. Indiana cherry wood is fashioned and
fastened by a master craftsman here in our neck of the woods, and on display
for all to see at The Sampler Shop in Metamora or the manufacturer’s salesroom
The advantage to visiting Homer is you. Your wants and your needs, your
requirements on a larger scale; are custom made into something on another, more
According to Linda, “Each piece of Sampler cherry furniture is made to
your order, for your style, for your space. We offer a wide range of dining
room, bedroom, and family living designs, all made per customer order. Each
piece is solid cherry and is finished with a hand rubbed china wood oil.
Customers may choose a natural or stained finish.”
the Metamora shop it’s pretty much, ‘What’s displayed here, sells here.’ And
there is plenty to choose from. A wander through the Sampler Shop in Metamora
is a way to build a wish list and a hope chest, a hope chest you may find in
the shop built of Indiana wild black cherry and wrought right.
The Sampler Shop in Metamora on Lovers Lane is open on Saturday and
Sunday. The Sampler in Homer is open Monday through Saturday. Call 765 663-2233
or visit www.samplercherryfurniture.com.
Oxford Farmers Market’s website http://www.oxfordfarmersmarket.com/
you’ll find Craig Harkrider explaining about garlic scapes. You’ve heard of the
Great Escape, but probably not the less great Garlic Scape, so spend a moment
to edumacate yerself.
Almost a milestone
Two hundred eight divided by fifty-two equals four. With this issue
(#208) we complete our fourth year publishing the Whitewater Valley Guide. Some
folks around here don’t usually celebrate the end of something like a year or
the last day you may be whatever year you won’t be when your birthday comes
tomorrow, but we do.
here’s to us, and another year of Whitewater Valley guidance.
Branding for the purposes of tourism
What lessons are there between the lines? The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report recently named Barbados the most competitive destination in the Caribbean. This got me to thinking of the Whitewater Valley as a destination and I thought, ‘Why not?’
The Forum report judges and compares countries not geographic regions, and we are a geographic region but what lessons are there we might take from their criteria?
What they are looking for is the most competitive tourism economy. To do this they create a framework of criteria and objectives. If it were possible to adjust their structure to our needs, we may be able to brand the Whitewater Valley as a tourist destination on a global scale.
Believe it or not, people are already working on this at another level, that is, not branding for the purposes of tourism, but branding the Whitewater Valley as a unique cultural identity worthy of national status and international recognition.
Think of that, the Whitewater Valley being a destination of interest for particular people around the world. Why not?
of travel and tourism’ is one criteria of the Forum’s Competitiveness report.
To do that in the Whitewater Valley agencies and individuals who are already
working in the travel and tourism industry would need to cooperate and
collaborate. It’s time for another Collaboration get-together. This time
directed towards branding for the purposes of tourism.
‘Environmental sustainability’ is another criteria and one
that is as hard to define in tourism terms as it is in any other industry.
Success in the tourism industry means bringing in people, people who come here
by some fossil-fueled locomotion. But once they get here, it would then be time
to apply our brand of environmental sustainability. What would that be?
Something related to our slow pace and moving people. Hikers, bikers, boats,
canoes, golf carts, horses, these would all fall into that category.
The third criteria ‘ground and port infrastructure’ opens
another area Valley-wide touring in various ways, buses, surreys, golf carts,
bikes, boats, canoes, airplanes and trains, cars and motorcycles. Coordination
between counties and municipalities would create multiple packages,
criss-crossing the Valley in unique ways and for specific purposes. A
coordinated tourism program based out of our airports would make flying over
our beautiful valley a bucket list item for adventurous small plane owners.
(The Whitewater Valley Little CAFÉ, comes to mind. CAFÉ in this case
refers to aircraft efficiency and is the core of the competition up at Oshkosh
every year. That’s where the flyers are going whom we see on those odd Tuesdays
in July at the Hagerstown Airport. Modify the rules to include flying and
landing at the various participating airports in the Valley and it will be a
small-scale international draw.)
Three pillars the Forum report analyzes are Enabling Environment, Travel
and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions, and Infrastructure and Natural and
Cultural Resources. Of Enabling Environment we have only the opportunity. Of
Travel and Tourism Policy the same, though it would make a good goal for the
second or even third Collaboration seminar.
Natural and Cultural Resources we have more than our share in the Whitewater
Valley. Take away the things that every geographic area about the same size
would have and we still have a lot, and sometimes, in a good way, a lot less.
The right place for this to begin is with the only local non-government
organization with a mandate and history to do it, the Whitewater Canal Byway
Association. A successful effort would show itself as the growth of another
such organization, an organization with a slightly different name and game, the
branding of the Whitewater Valley.
May 26-June 1, 2015
Summer daze socials
Outdoor activites are in the offing this weekend. With a ‘Premium Pour
Tent’, a beer garden and live music, the 2015 Oxford Wine Festival is our choice for headliner of the week.
Here’s a quote from the hosts, the Oxford Chamber, “Be prepared to
cleanse your palate a number of times as you taste a wide variety of delicious
international and domestic wines and beer, while helping to support the
Chamber’s scholarship fund.”
the north we have the notorious Old National Road Yard Sale. We know it winds from Baltimore to somewhere way
out west, but we’re only concerned about the Whitewater Valley part and that
would be Preble County in Ohio and Wayne County in Indiana. The National Road
Yard Sale runs Thursday through Sunday all along the route.
Daze, a little further south in the
Valley, takes place Friday and Saturday. The Sunman Chamber is hosting the
Daze celebrates local businesses and neighbors with sidewalk sales, specials,
family yard sales, farmers market and Walking Warrior’s Grilling with Bill at
FCN Bank,” wrote Natasha Bischoff.
Franklin County historical challenge
The Franklin County Historical Society considers History in Your Own
Backyard “a very worthwhile
program” but the Brookville-based NGO are not able financially to consider
doing it on their own at this time, according to Martha Shea, president of
Satolli Glassmeyer of HYOB said, “Franklin County has hundreds
of historic buildings and sites” and he’d like to work with the
Historical Society to document some of them on video. His company has
been working throughout Dearborn and Ripley Counties. “We already have about 85
videos produced and should have another 60 by the end of summer,” he wrote.
in a shameless effort to support this historical video program for, by and
about the Whitewater Valley, we ask you to think about becoming a sponsor.
Satolli writes, “It's not unusual for businesses to sponsor a video
and in return we do a small advertisement at the end of that
video basically saying ‘This video was sponsored by the ABC Restaurant 123
Main Street, Brookville, Indiana 765-555-1111, www.ABCRestaurant.com.’”
don’t have the details on costs, but can say you will get a double bang from
your sponsorship buck. The first will come from your business contact
information at the end of the video, but that’s small potatoes compared to the
potential write-off of your entire investment.
the check for your sponsorship is made out to the Franklin County Historical
Society and since FCHS is a tax-deductible organization, you should be able to
deduct it from your annual federal tax obligation. It’s like giving away Uncle
What are you waiting for? Start
your sponsorship by visiting HYOB’s
website. You may also email the president of FCHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While you’re in a Franklin County historical mode, visit FCHS’s
website where we found this sweet little snapshot:
“A New Holiday”
When Dave Secrist, one of Laurel’s stone quarry men, was trustee of
Laurel Township, he hired a teacher, William Zacharias, who was newly arrived
from Germany. Although an
excellent teacher, he was not acquainted with the holidays of the American
people, so fell an easy victim to the prank that the fun-loving Trustee played
On the second day of February, or better known to most of us as “Ground
Hog Day,” the teacher was met, as he was making his way to his country school,
by the Trustee, who asked him if he did not know that that day was a
Mr. Zacharias, taking the Trustee seriously, immediately dismissed his
school as soon as he reached the schoolhouse, to the great delight of the
pupils. This “new holiday” was a
great joke and became widespread in its publicity.
Reference: A – Mr. John
Secrist, Laurel, Indiana.
Branding for the purposes of tourism
What lessons are there between the lines? The World Economic Forum’s
Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report recently named Barbados the most
competitive destination in the Caribbean. This got me to thinking of the
Whitewater Valley as a destination and I thought, ‘Why not?’
The Forum report judges and compares countries not geographic regions,
and we are a geographic region but what lessons are there we might take from
What they are looking for is the most competitive tourism economy. To do
this they create a framework of criteria and objectives. If it were possible to
adjust their structure to our needs, we may be able to brand the Whitewater
Valley as a tourist destination on a global scale.
Believe it or not, people are already working on this at another level,
that is, not branding for the purposes of tourism, but branding the Whitewater
Valley as a unique cultural identity worthy of national status and
Think of that, the Whitewater Valley being a destination of interest for
particular people around the world. Why not?
Strawberries will be in this week at Oxford Farmers Market Uptown.
few weeks ago Oxford Farmers Market’s Larry Slocum visited Scott Downing’s
orchard with Holly Larson R.D. and took a picture of the peach tree in full
blossom and Scott standing next to an apple tree ready to bloom.
“If you think we are working hard to provide a great market look at what
these tree are doing for us,” Larry wrote.
Farmers Market’s are now open throughout the Valley including Lawrenceburg,
Richmond, Union County in Liberty, Oxford Farmers Market, of course, Brookville
at their new location on south Main, Bright, Batesville and probably a few
others we can’t think of.
Visit them and help make them a happening. Support local growers and
we’ll have more local growers, and that’s the way to sustainability.
Sponsored by Oxford Farmers Market Uptown
Historic home on Brookville's Main Street
Think regionally and prosper
Once in awhile Indianapolis comes through with fleeting opportunities.
This was the case last year when Governor Pence announced he found $35 million
to help buy land for conservation. This year, well last week, he signed a bill
into law that is expected to have a ‘transitional effect’ on the entire state.
The law creates the Regional City Initiative which Governor Pence said
will “encourage collaboration among Hoosier communities to develop ways to bolster
investment, attract talent, and continue Indiana on a pathway to economic
growth and success.”
There is a pot of $85 million with which to kick-start this economic
development initiative between like-minded communities. The key phrase here is
not ‘$85 million.’ It is ‘economic development.’
There is a phrase among positive thinking types which is applicable
here: Opportunity favors the prepared mind. Communities which have an economic
development team in place are the ‘prepared mind’ in this instance. Communities
like Franklin County which kicked out or rather back-bit its last dynamic
economic development director will have to hustle to win the favor of Dame
This Regional City Initiative can be a great thing for the Whitewater Valley
as a whole. Through the efforts of the Whitewater Canal Byway Association we
have learned to think of ourselves as citizens of the Whitewater Valley. This
Whitewater Valley Guide you are reading has carried that torch for the past
five years and now this.
believe we in the Whitewater Valley have a leg up on the rest of the state of
Indiana, whether we can work together to take fiscal advantage of our position
is another question.
The trouble is we think parochially. We think me first and
not so much you. We need ideas that break down geographic barriers like city
and county limits. And we wouldn’t be me if we didn’t have a bunch of ideas
waiting for the air to billow them out to some semblance of reality.
There’s a list of ideas we have been compiling on our website www.whitewatervalleyguide.com:
Scroll down to ‘Pie in the Sky’ and widen out your thinking. Then let’s get
together and make things happen. Eighty-five million dollars is too large a
figure to be left out of.
‘All for one and one for all’
you need you swash buckled sit yourself down at the Murray Theatre for the
final offering of the Richmond Community Theatre’s season. It is Alexandre
Dumas’ ‘The Three Musketeers’.
If you’ve been watching ‘Wolf
Hall’ on Masterpiece Theatre you may be in the mood for this French royal
intrigue set in the 1600s. It is called “one of the great adventure novels of
all times. This stage adaption is by “one of the best comedy playwrights of
recent years,” Ken Ludwig.
runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the same again next week.
Brookville and moving people
Main Street group is doing something a little different this year. Instead of
holding their opening up Main Street with music and shops once a month, this
season they will be having special programs each month.
May’s program happening this Saturday is a History Tour of Brookville
via horse drawn carriage. Tours will be leaving from the Eagles parking lot at
one hour intervals starting at 1 pm until concluding at 4 pm.
And if you are a quilter or just one of those people who like to stay
warm in the winter, you might get the carriage driver to drop you off at the
old high school/new government center on Franklin Avenue. In the high school
gym you’ll find the fourth annual Franklin County Quilt show carrying on from
10 am until 5 pm. The quilt show starts on Friday from 10 am until 8 pm, so
there’s plenty of time to check them out.
And speaking of touring in a carriage, below is a picture of an
eight-seater golf cart which was recently delivered by Quality Carts on SR 46
outside of Morris to a nursing home center. The old folks love to get a chance
to pile in and go for a ride, said Nancy Roepke of Quality Carts.
add it here as food for thought. How many uses does a cart like this have in
the field of tourism? Certainly one of these would be useful in any historic
district for guided tours. While the payload would be seven in the cart itself,
we are told the engine is strong enough to pull a car, meaning it would easily
handle a four wheel trailer configured with another eight or so seats which
would make this a nice little profit maker for some enterprising entrepreneur.
The bluegrass blues
We received a sad email from Amos
Collins last week saying Connersville Bluegrass Music Association is closing
‘until further notice.’ We tried to find out why but have yet to hear back from
the ‘further notice’ never comes, we wonder whither will bluegrass next take
root in the Whitewater Valley. In our brief history here, 13 years or so,
bluegrass moved from Coy Willis’ Ox Barn stage on Stipps Hill Road outside of
Metamora to Connersville with the Bluegrass Music Association.
predict it will move back to Metamora, and wouldn’t be surprised if it lands in
a place called the Opry Barn where the stage is set and the players in place.
Thank you Amos and Pauline Collins for keeping great live bluegrass
music in front of us week after week, year after year. Connersville should give
you some kind of medal.
A showy RCO
Richmond Community Orchestra is offering a ‘showy’ concert this Sunday
in Goddard Auditorium at Earlham College and it’s free.
Don Shrader says it will feature “a variety of show tunes and other
music for one and all to enjoy. If
you like the more traditional orchestral numbers then you will enjoy the ever
popular ‘Finlandia’ by Sebelius as well as ‘King Duncan’s March’ from
MacBeth. Show tunes include a
‘Star Wars Medley,’ a ‘James Bond Medley,’ as well as tribute pieces to Leroy
Anderson, George Gershwin, and Gilbert and Sullivan.”
The opening number, Prelude for a Celebration, was composed for the RCO
by its director Jay Conrad of Eaton.
Art camps opportunity
you live in the northeastern part of the Valley and have kids who have latent
talent, you might want to enroll them in Preble County Art Association’s summer
camps in June and July.
There are six weeks to choose from with full and half day options each
week. All camps are taught by professional artists and introduce students to
techniques in different mediums to teach them skills and craftsmanship. Camps
are Monday through Friday.
half-day camp is offered June 1-5 for the littlest people, kids pre-K and
kindergarten to explore the world of art through stories. Four weeks of camp
are available for kids grades K-6, offering options in pottery, painting,
movies and more. Teen week is July 13-17 and is for grades 5-12 to build skills
in portraits and public art.
For further details go to camps.takepartinart.net.
Of violets and goats
Debra Bowles has identified our mystery flower from last week. They are
white violets and since they were found at the woods edge, they are wild white
violets, and that’s a pretty mouthful. Thank you Debra may great rewards be
exchanged at your market stall this Saturday at Oxford Farmers Market Uptown.
She will have her soaps, her baked goods, her Grainola which, she spells
a little differently emphasizing the content, and maybe one of her goats like
Little BooBob. Otherwise, visit Artisty Farms digitally at http://artallover.com/.
the way, OFMU is also the one MU in Oxford that does not refer to Miami
Metamora landmark receives rare national designation
It’s no secret the Duck Creek Aqueduct on the Whitewater Canal in Metamora is something special, but just how special is growing by leaps and bounds. The first leap was in 1973 when it was listed along with the Metamora Grist Mill on the National Register of Historic Places. The second was in 1992 when it was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
The third happened recently when Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Johnathan B. Jarvis announced it was named a National Historic Landmark along with eight other national sites. There are more than 96,251 historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but only 2,544 National Historic Landmarks, making this latest designation a rare honor.
In making the announcement Secretary Jewell said, “By designating these new national landmarks we ensure that America's history of innovation, vision and diversity are celebrated today and for future generations. . . . These new national historic landmarks can educate and inspire Americans with their country’s rich history, as well as drive tourism and boost local economies.”
A plaque beside the structure says, “The Duck Creek Aqueduct was originally built in 1843 to convey the canal over Duck Creek 16 feet below. Flood waters in 1847 destroyed the aqueduct, which was soon replaced by the present 70-foot, Burr arch truss structure.”
The Burr arch of the Duck Creek Aqueduct is not a true Burr arch, according to Metamora historian Paul Baudendistel. He said a true Burr arch would link into the rock abutments. But after the 1847 flood the original arch was replaced with what is called a modified Burr arch which only goes to the floor of the structure not all the way to the abutments.
There was some question among local authorities about how this designation came about. Jay Dishman, the Metamora site manager for Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, was not aware of any actions by his department to that end. He said the long process of paperwork may have begun when the Department of Natural Resources was in charge of the site.
But an email from Indiana historic bridge expert Dr. James Cooper cleared up the mystery. He passed along an email from Christopher H. Marston, Architect & Project Leader of the National Park Service’s American Engineering Record. In it Mr. Marston writes, “This achievement represents a twelve-year effort by the Historic American Engineering Record as part of the Federal Highway Administration's National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program.”
Gail Ginther of Historic Metamora said, Mr. Marston “led the team that was here doing the intensive survey of the aqueduct a few years ago.”
The National Park Service nomination declares, “Duck Creek Aqueduct is the only surviving covered wood aqueduct in the United States.” Whether there was another such structure had been an outstanding question in Metamora until this authoritative declaration.
I wonder if a wandering choir
could serve as a balm
for the souls of the sensitive Catholic worshippers
in places like St. Marys and Cedar Grove
who’ve lost the holy connection
between their church and the Catholic God.
Oh almighty Archdiocese of Indianapolese,
you sever yourself as you sever our churches
from your Holy body.
We see your wrath upon the Batesville Deanery
27 churches ordered away.
We are all smaller, weaker
in the face of the inevitability you wield,
handcrafting as you have
our severance from the Holy Papal Order,
turning those same churches,
breathing with the stones of bygone loved ones
in the cemetery beyond, cold and shuttered.
A blanket of emptiness covers
the former portal to the Catholic God.
Other Gods may remain
but they are and always have been
invisible to the parishioners.
I wonder if a chorale of voices
sung in intergenerational joy
could resonate so deep to sooth the sores
made by the proverbial sword
of that servant of the Lord,
that beaner of the Batesville Deanery,
that gleaner of no things frivolous,
that purser of the purse strings of the Catholic gods,
The Archdiocese of Indianapolese.
Gary August Schlueter
June 7, 2014
Rolling Thunder awoke the morning sky
above the graying clouds rumbled
not yet vanquished by his all night vigil
Spattering raindrops tumbled as they fell
trembling between the weight of gravity
and the calling of the Thunder Being above.
Anon somewhere east of here
a Sun content to simply light overcast
arose to the calling of a single sparrow
Intrepid, indomitable, feathers soaked through
yet dreading not the rumbling above
to the rising in the east the slathered sparrow sung.
Lonely was his song for his fellows remained silent
on this morning when the voice of the west was nigh
When the all night rain dampened the zeal
of even the bravest heart
one who knew not what his betters decreed by their silence
One solo sparrow, one foolish fellow
raised his voice in a glee club of one
to the morning ritual of the rising sun.
One Sparrow’s mission –
To gather the clan,
to unite the tribe,
to re-grow the forest.
May 14, 2009