History Laying in the Ground

I have always been fascinated by history—a student of historical figures, places and highways—and it often gives me pause for thought. Some years ago, when I was working in rural economic development circles, there was a study published addressing why people travel. Setting aside the travels to visit family, the number one reason people travel is to see art, culture and history. I am one of those.

There is a small, and old cemetery not far from my home. I have passed it many times and barely notice it anymore, but recently, it caught my attention and I wondered where is the cemetery in Morrow, Ohio? If you have followed my travels, you know I have a tendency to photograph old country churches and cemeteries. I have passed through Morrow many times on nearly all quadrants of the village except for the southeastern corner. And so, my exploration took me in that direction. I found what I was looking for … and more to ponder at the Morrow Cemetery.

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The entrance to the cemetery is plain and somewhat deceiving. You find a cemetery on a hillside, but behind that hill is a very large plot of ground where hundreds have been laid to rest. And, like most other cemeteries, the graves of Veterans are marked with flags and plaques designating service.

Next to the entrance a gravesite stands alone, like a family plot, and quite set off from the others, the only gravesite on that side of the road. It’s what caught my eye.

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Morrow_Cemetery_Dec-2018-9David Ayers, Company F, 4th Ohio Cavalry, with a Veteran Plaque designating Civil War Veteran.

I wondered if there was some reason that this gravesite—one of a prominent place—was meaningful to Morrow’s history. I conducted some research, and although not exhaustive, I found a roster of Company F with Ayer’s name. He was mustered into the Army Jan. 5, 1864, at age 25, and mustered out July 15, 1865, when the entire unit was mustered out of service. The company participated in several skirmishes and battles in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Morrow_Cemetery_Dec-2018-14Other than a more recent headstone, I could find little more about David B. Ayers, of Morrow, Ohio. He was a husband, brother, probably father, and most notably, a Civil War Veteran.

The Morrow Cemetery is the resting place of other Veterans with their graves marked with flags and plaques. Their service duly noted. All this history, this service to country, laying in the ground. Families and friends mourned their passing. Were their stories passed on?

Today, our living military and Veterans, who have served our country faithfully, await to tell their stories. Who will write their histories? 

See you on the highway.

Brent

Plain Folk Café, Ohio SR 132

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How many times have you traveled down a two-lane highway, passing through a small town, and come upon a place on the side of the road that looks so inviting? You stop, or maybe pass by saying, ‘I’ll stop next time.’

The Plain Folk Café in Pleasant Plain, Ohio, is one of those places. Giving rebirth to the two-room school house, built in 1913, the café serves up coffee, meals and music.

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The walls, lined with album covers and musical venues, remind one of the former days when patrons wore tie-dyed shirts and drove VW vans. It’s a little bit of nostalgia, and a little bit modern with the free wifi. About half of those album covers are very familiar, for they reside at my home protecting the vinyl LPs inside.

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After passing by so many times, thinking I will stop next time, today was the day I stopped. I’m glad I did. I’ll be back.

Brent

Ohio River at New Richmond

Recently, the Ohio River was near flood stage. It has gone down quite a bit. Here in New Richmond, southeast of Cincinnati, flood stage is at 52’ the same as Cincinnati. You can see on the flood stage marker how high 52’ is, and almost detect the recent waterline mark. That’s a lot of water.

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See you on the highway.

Brent

Visiting a special place

Destinations can offer up plenty of activities and things to do, but sometimes, all you want is a place to sit.

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In downtown St. Joseph, Michigan, which sits at the mouth of the St. Joseph River on Lake Michigan, city leaders were wise enough to preserve the bluff overlooking the lake in a park like setting. Below the bluff, there is some development, but also the greatest asset of the city, Lake Michigan and its beaches.

On the bluff, there is an opening in the trees with a park swing facing the lake. It is the best, uninhibited view of the lake. You can sit and feel the breeze come in off the lake full of the aroma of a large body of water. It’s a sweetness like no other.

Sailboats and fishing boats make their way out the protection of the river into the lake past the St. Joe Lighthouse. It is very calming, relaxing, and near euphoric. Cost of parking: 10 minutes or more of driving around waiting for a spot. Cost of sitting in the park overlooking the lake: nothing. Value of the moment: priceless.

See you on the highway.

Brent