Morrow, Ohio, is this quaint small town with some historical character. It was laid out in 1845 and named after Ohio’s ninth governor, Jeremiah Morrow. The town was created when the Little Miami Railroad laid enough track alongside the Little Miami River to reach this spot.
Today, US 22/Ohio SR 3 passes through the town and intersects with Ohio SR 123. What was originally the rail line is now the Little Miami Recreation Trail, which starts near Cincinnati and ends in Springfield–74 miles of paved Rails to Trails.
I have always found this piece of Morrow fascinating. Although the depot is in very good shape, it does not appear to be used on a regular basis. It has aged well since being built about 1852. Originally, there were two rail lines meeting at this spot. The Little Miami Railroad on one side, and the Pennsylvania Line on the other, giving the building its odd shape. Careful observation reveals the Pennsylvania Line route including abutments for brides that no longer exist–something easily discovered while motorcycling near and around Morrow.
Speaking of motorcycling, the depot is a great place for a photo op. And across the street is Miranda’s Ice Cream Shop. That’s worth a stop too.
Despite the lovely weather, the forecast for the weekend and beyond was rain, rain and more rain. If I was going to get in a ride, it was Thursday. So, I rolled the Moto Guzzi V7 out of the garage, threw a leg over, fired it up and headed out of the neighborhood.
Wandering the backroads, I headed towards Loveland, OH, a lovely small town with lots going on.
Looking for a photo-op, I decided to stop at the Loveland Veterans’ Memorial, near the Little Miami River.
Having paid my respects, I turned towards home on familiar roads. The Guzzi hummed along like a faithful steed.
All things considered, I really want to finish this project. Accidentally, it began when I moved to the Cincinnati area and started photographing towns along the Ohio River. Eventually, I realized I had a project.
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.
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.
David 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.
Other 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?
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.
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.
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.