Whitewater Valley Guide
Serving southeast Indiana and southwest Ohio 
 

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Snow fog
Pie in the Sky

Whitewater Valley 
Cemetery Trail

Whitewater Valley Archeological Trail

Creation of the Whitewater Valley Culinary Arts College with campuses throughout the Valley.

Valley educators teaching about covered bridges engineering and history.

A group with a Valley-wide scope and mission that actually practices collaboration.

A hiking trail system along the entire length of the Whitewater Valley on the Indiana side.

Whitewater Valley Hostel Association

Pocket Park system along creeks on property now publicly owned by townships or municipalities.

Little Detroit Museum in Connersville

Whitewater Valley Covered Bridge Trail

Cedar Grove Bridge Park

A designated bike trail with lots of loops throughout the Whitewater Valley.
For this week's 
Whitewater Valley 
Calendar of Events

Professional level golf fun

   Our local professional golf hero is Bo Van Pelt who got his name on the second page of the leader board at the Masters this year before fading to par. Bo was born in Richmond and was trained, maybe is still being trained, by a pro from Oxford.

   What that means to you is there are enough golf courses in and around the Whitewater Valley to train like a pro. But if you just want to knock some around, you can also be comfortable with our local courses.

   At the Sagamore Resort on Brookville Lake is the 18-hole Buck Point Course. This Pete Dye-designed beauty is over 7000 acres of par 72 golf.

   Brookville has Brook Hill Golf Club on either side or Reservoir Road, north of SR1 as you head towards Blooming Grove. It is an 18-hole public par 71 course covering over 6,000 acres.

   Liberty Country Club is on US 27 about 16 miles north of Brookville. It is a par 70, 18-hole public course.

   Also 16 miles from Brookville but along Brookville Pike to Oxford, Ohio, then up Brown Road is Hueston Woods State Park Golf Course. It is listed as a municipal golf course. It is 18 holes with a par of 72 and since it is a state park there will be a gate admission.

   Willowbrook Country Club is open to the public in Connersville, a mere 18 miles from Brookville Lake. It features 18 holes and par for the course is 72.

   Cricket Hollow is public nine-hole facility on Pocket Road between Oldenburg and Batesville with a course par of 35.

Old channel bed
Whitewater River
West Fork

    Valley Pride

    According to a hydrography map, the watersheds of the Great Miami River include Preble, Butler Hamilton counties in Ohio and Wayne, Fayette, Union, Franklin and parts of Ripley and Dearborn counties in Indiana. 

    This means our Whitewater River is seen as merely a tributary of the Miami River, but we know it is what makes the Miami Great.

(Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MiamiRivers_watershed.png if you don’t believe me.)

Wilbur Wright,
One famous Whitewater Valley man


Second call for hostels

Free Images
   We had a few esponses to our Facebook question which wasn't posed as a question but a request. The request was to read thoughtfully and perhaps for the second time Hustling for Hostels. It's in Issue 66 which you can access by scrolling down a bit in the column to the right.

    The point is, creating a Whitewater Valley Hostel Association is a good idea. It should be done through an organization with a scope large enough to encompass all counties in the Valley.

    Wonder who that could be?

Early September 
Photo Essay:

Glidewell Mound 
and beach path

   

    Traveling through the gate of Mounds SRA and past the turnoff to the camping area, Mounds Beach Road slithers down to the beach beside large shoulders of mown grass on either side.  

    The lawn sometimes sports picnic tables in cozy spots like under the green eaves of a small blue spruce grove. 

    An estuary formed by one of the fingers of the lake is the temporary home of a flock of migrating or formerly migrating Canada Geese. 

    They converge on the strip of sand that begins to grow into the ample beach at the Mounds SRA. We assume the beach sand has been augmented by several hundred truckloads of store-bought sand. 

    Sunbathers have the beach almost to themselves on a Friday afternoon in early September. The air still has all the force of summer though in a week’s time nightly temperatures would drop into the 40s and the air become tinged with the clarity of imminent change—the coming of winter. 

    The only active boats in the vicinity are two jet skies patrolling close to shore near the beach before taking off around Glidewell Point. The Glidewell Mound overlooks this ancient river bed now filled with surplus water. 


    A thin path between the waving grasses heads to a strip of natural beach which itself winds around a corner and heads around a lagoon still spiked by the trees that were drowned when the lake was created. 

    If you follow the gravel shore around the lagoon you could reach the Fairfield trail connecting by foot the Fairfield Causeway to Mounds Beach Road just at the point where the Glidewell Trail begins. 

   

    The Glidewell Trail is not part of the Adena Trace Hiking Trail system. Both Fairfield Trail and Templeton Trail are. They meet just before Fairfield Trail hits the road. Templeton then carries on another two miles before again connecting, this time with the happily named .7 mile Wildlife Wander. 

    Glidewell Trail begins as a two lane wooded path before it offers a short loop of only two miles. Its possible maybe even logical to assume, even with what we know about assumptions, the longer four mile route was created for Dr. George W. Hosmer’s wagon to carry his team to the mound.

     “This is the most renowned mound in the county,” according to Frank M. Setzler who reported in ‘The Archaeology of the Whitewater Valley’ that when Dr. George W. Hosmer partially excavated the Glidewell Mound it was 15 feet high and 60 feet in diameter. The slump of soil that is today’s mound is the merest shadow of this mound in its glory.

    While he first visited the mound in 1871, in June of 1879 Dr. Hosmer began the excavations; he published his “Remains on White Water River” beginning on page 732 of the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1882. 


 

    April Fool’s Day and Easter are in the same week this year. April Fool’s Day usually passes without much pomp and/or circumstance, but Easter, now that’s another matter. Easter began as the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, but has become more popular as a time for Easter Egg hunts.

    Check out our calendar this week and you’ll see what I mean, and these are only a few of the many which are happening the length and breadth of the Whitewater Valley but for some reason didn’t make our calendar.

    On Thursday, there’s an Easter Egg hunt in Roberts Park Pavilion in Connersville. On Friday the hunt moves to the Heritage House, about two miles east of Roberts Park, and on Saturday, staying with the Connersville ovoid-theme, it’s the Whitewater Valley Railroad’s Easter Bunny Express.

    This is the 15th year for the Easter Bunny Express and we’re told the ten-dollar tickets are going fast. The train, complete with a life-sized Easter Bunny, makes four two-mile trips to the Easter Bunny patch where kids will search for the golden egg.

    Since Easter is a movable holiday, that is not fixed to a specific date, and since the first of April is also a slippery-slidey kind of thing, we’re looking forward to the day when Easter actually falls on April Fool’s Day. But, caution should be the byword on any April Fool’s Easter Egg hunt.

 

Two weeks of ‘Twelfth Night’

    Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ is coming to the Wilkinson Theatre for the next two weekends, if Fridays and Saturdays are actually considered the weekend.

    The Earlham Theatre Arts Department explains the wonder of ‘Twelfth Night:’ “Separated from her twin by a violent shipwreck, a young noblewoman is cast ashore to begin life anew in a world where the old rules no longer apply. Romantic delusions, music, mistaken identities, pranks and alcohol complicate the search for love in this gender bending comedy. The madness of love and loss thrust young and old alike into new explorations of identity as it becomes evident that love has a wisdom all its own.”

 

Get to know your wildside

    If you’re just learning about this now, it may be too late this year, but if by some slim chance you are willing to change your life on a whim, here’s an option: Become a Master Naturalist.

    To do so you want to make it to the Cope Environmental Center Tuesday evening at 6 pm for the first session in an eight-week course.  The itinerary begins with People & Natural Resources, then Reptiles & Amphibians, Water, Botany, Insects, Geology, Trees and finally Birds. It costs $65 and about 24 hours of class-time, but the rewards are great.

 

Hagerstown home listed as a national historic place

    The Stonebraker House on Washington Street in Hagerstown has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation puts protections on the house and adds the possibility for preservation tax credits.

    The house is a combination of Italianate and Eastlake architecture, according to Indiana Landmarks who ran a story written by the Palladium-Item’s own Millie Martin in the Eastern Regional monthly newsletter for March. The Italianate part is seen in the height of the 1870s building and the overhanging eaves. The Eastlake section is seen in the porch.

    Wikipedia explains Eastlake as, “The geometric ornaments, spindles, low relief carvings, and incised lines were designed to be affordable and easy to clean; nevertheless, many of the designs which resulted are artistically complex.”

 

Effort to save Cedar Grove Bridge fails

    Speaking of structures which have recently made the National Register of Historic Places, the effort to save the Cedar Grove Bridge has ground to a halt and the deadline set by INDOT for the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge to get all its ducks in a row has passed.

    That date was March 1st and the Friends made one last ditch effort to find a local government entity to serve as a pass-through, but failed. INDOT and any Indiana government entity cannot give property to an individual, business or non-government organization. It must go through a local government, who would then pass it along to the individual, business or NGO.

    The last week in February the Friends made a pitch to the Mt. Carmel Town Council, offering them $10,000 to serve as a pass-through. Although Mt. Carmel reportedly needed the money, they were concerned about what they perceived as lingering fiscal obligations and declined the offer.

    Since then the Friends have not met and it is expected that INDOT will issue a request for proposals to demolish the bridge. Once that is issued, it will simply be a matter of time before the 100-year old bridge is torn down and an important part of Cedar Grove’s history will be lost forever.

    Funds that you may have donated to the effort were never used and are sitting in the coffers of Whitewater Canal Trail, Inc. Anyone who made a donation and would like that money returned should email me at garyaschlueter@gmail.com, and I’ll start that process rolling. Otherwise it will be designated for trail use, but not necessarily WCT trail use.

    Let me explain, the ad hoc committee that created the Bicentennial Legacy Trail a few months ago, is talking about becoming its own non-profit. If that occurs this money, under $500 in all, could be used to help start that organization.

    Personally, it’s a great loss for me. I first walked over the bridge in 2003 when I lived in Cedar Grove and at that time began the long effort to try to save it. The first thing was to get it recognized as historically important. This was done with the help of Dr. James Cooper who did the research and paperwork.

    Nothing much happened for the next eight years, then in August 2011 Dr. Cooper notified me and other bridge lovers in and around Franklin County that INDOT was planning to demolish the bridge. We created the Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge and met monthly from then on.

    Indiana Landmarks’ Eastern Regional Office manager J.P. Hall was with us on the bridge that August day and in the trenches with us at just about every meeting. His help and that of Indiana Landmarks was invaluable. Without them we never would have done the engineering report that proved to us the bridge was worth saving and also showed us how that could be accomplished.

    And without Indiana Landmarks’ support we never could have gotten the bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thank you Indiana Landmarks and all the Friends who kept this possibility alive so long.

 



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.

Ejected


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


One Sparrow

 

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.

 

 

 

Gary Schlueter

Metamora

May 14, 2009

 

 


Grandfather Smoke