Series: Roadside Monuments of Ohio

For the next several weeks (perhaps longer) I shall be writing posts about monuments and memorials from the state of Ohio. I will be using notes that I have compiled for over the course of several years. Roadside historical have always been an errant interest of mine, and I have always believed Ohio’s to be the best. I’m sure there are a number of political, historical and geographical reasons for this. I don’t really care about any of them. I shall be treating Ohio as though it were any other place, because that is after all what it is. I did not begin the Monuments of Ohio project because I was interested in Ohio history or because I have a fondness for the place. I was born in an Ohio town, but I know almost nothing about Ohio. I have not visited any of the monuments I will be writing about. I only know about them because they are included in a road atlas that I won in a geography bee when I was in middle school. I would look at this atlas compulsively—and still do—and I would study the place names and markers. This is how I became acquainted with Ohio’s odd “points of interest”, like the Dental Museum of Bainbridge or the Mac-o-Cheek chateau; America’s first stretch of paved road; the myriad birthplaces of presidents, civil war and astronauts; the one or two frontier battle fields and the countless others that were forgotten and lost. I found them on a map and looked them up on the internet. If I there was a phone number to a front desk or something I would call and ask the person who answered to explain where they were and what they were doing there. For a long time I wanted to make a book out of these notes, but there was not unifying principle I could use to organize them, no cohesive theme beside basic fact of proximity. That these things reside in a place which had recently been termed Ohio is not a good enough commonality for me. As I commit my findings to the Golden Assay logs, I shall be attempting to understand what they mean, and what there is to be learned from them beyond the plain reality of their existence.

Leave a Reply