Whitewater Valley Guide
Serving southeast Indiana and southwest Ohio 
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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.
The back way from Laurel to Haspin Acres

    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. 

An identified flying object soars over southern Wayne County. It's a promotion for a film, believe it or not, flying over corn fields and forests in search of filmgoers, presumably.

 

Another September song

    People have been saying since June, ‘I can’t believe it. Summer’s almost over already.’

This week I believe it.

    The other day we got caught up in the madness that is Oxford when the new students start to arrive and came away with a distinct craving for college football. But larger than that, next week is September. Because we are prone to pray that September go slowly, we are happy to report that we, the people, have found a new way to extend it.

    With the help of the public schools coming into session so early, we can imagine all the rest of August a sort of pseudo-September, especially when those bonus days of the month we love the most top out at 80 degrees and drop into the low 60s at night.

    This year we expect September to extend the other way, too, into October, the tenth month of the year whose name says it’s the eighth.

    Since we’re in this weather reporting mode, we might as well add that this is going to be a milder winter than the past few. The reason is we haven’t had those summer spells like the past few years when old man winter’s nasty cold zephyr came swooping out of the north regularly.

    Our goal here is to extend September to at least two months and this year it seems we’re on the right track.

 

Fleet feet for Shakespeare meet

    You have to act quickly when you’re in a play, and in this case, to see the play you have to act quickly. Seven p.m. Tuesday evening the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be presenting ‘Romeo and Juliet’ presumably on the Uptown Parks stage where the Oxford Summer Music Festival is held.

    This might be the last time this summer when you’ll have a chance to don your Montague coat or your Capulet cap, depending on which side you’re on. So get thee to the pre-performance Art Festival where you’ll find people from local art organizations likewise dressed for this Shakespearean themed activity.

    The Art Festival begins at 6, the play at 7. You are asked to bring a picnic and a lawn chair and we advise any other items which might enhance your pre-September evening.

 

Wine stompers ball

    Vevay may be a little out of the way for folks in Preble County, Ohio, but then the feeling is mutual. Folks from one should be happy to visit activities in the other, especially when there’s a good reason.

    The covered bridge festival held in Eaton and environs two years back was a good reason for Vevayers to sashay to Eaton. And this week the Swiss Wine Festival provides a good reason for traffic to head the other way, that is south and west on the Ohio River Scenic Byway a relatively short way to Vevay.

    The Swiss Wine Festival is ‘where the good times flow!’ Get it? Flow, as in wine pouring. The opening ceremonies are at 6:30 on Thursday evening and the next few hours are devoted to teen pageants. No Where Bound will be performing classic rock from 8 to 10 pm.

    On Friday the Chicago Boyz Acrobatics start the program at 5:30 with activities going on until 1:30 in the morning. The bands on Friday are the Skallywags, Parmalee and Remember Me Monday.

    Also at 7:30 the Grape Stomp Competition begins and we believe this is what sets this wine festival apart. At other wine festivals you want to wear your best white linen and sample you whites and reds with your pinky finger in the air or near it, but here you better wear your grape stomping duds if you really want to sample the Swiss Wine Festival essence.

    The grape stomp competition continues on Saturday and Sunday when at 4 pm we expect the best stomper to be announced.  Activities continue all day Saturday and conclude with a fireworks show at 10:20 or so. Sunday the festival opens and 10:30 and concludes around 5.

 

Outdoor and indoor music

    Walhill Farm is throwing an art and music extravaganza this weekend. It’s called ‘Bacon, Blues & Brew’. The bacon will be provided by Walhill Farms in the form of ‘fantastic food’. The blues will be provided by Luke Winslow King, Devon Allman, Ana Popovic, The Defibulators, and HoneyHoney. The brew is by local breweries and since Samuel Adams is a prime sponsor you’d expect some of their many lines.

    The outdoor stage and artist booths are free, though the artists named above will be inside The Barn where admission will be charged. You are invited to come, browse, listen and munch though the munchin’ might cost you. VIP ticket holders will enjoy a lavish Sunday brunch. Other activities take place on Friday and Saturday.

    ‘Bacon, Blues & Brew’ is billed as ‘a festival inspired by the roots of American music and the beauty of handmade art.” The festival runs from Friday through Sunday at the 106 acre working farm on Six Pine Ranch Road in Batesville.

 

 

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