Our last stop of the road trip was Ohio. You in the northeast may be wondering “why Ohio.” I used to think that, too. But they have miles of great biking trails, kayaking, hiking, beaches and a national park. If it rains there is always the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll hall of Fame and the Stan Hywet Mansion to visit. And Lehmans, the greatest hardware store in the world. With all these activities to do the question becomes: ” why not Ohio.”
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Canal Fulton, Ohio
Biking at Nimisila Reservoir, part of Portage Lakes State Park, Ohio
Stan Hywet House – Akron, Ohio
In Akron we visited the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. The estate of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company co-founder F.A. Seiberling it contains a 64,000 square foot Tudor style mansion on 1500 acres. We kept asking who Stan Hywet was and finally found out it means “rock hewn” in old English. It is (according to their brochure), the 6th largest historic home open to the public. The English Garden, the Great Garden, the Rose Garden and best of all, the Japanese Garden, will have you holding your breath in admiration.
The Western Reserve
Most of our time was spent in the northeast corner of Ohio, formerly known as the Connecticut Western Reserve or New Connecticut. It consists of 3.4 million acres of land once claimed by the state of Connecticut and was larger than “Old Connecticut.” CT sold the land for $1,200,000 per acre to the CT Land Company in 1796. The money was set aside in a fund for public education. In his book The Western Reserve, copyright 1900, William Stowell Mills wrote that this was an “exhibition of prudence, forethought and economy that does honor to the men who composed the CT Legislature.” That was possibly the last time these adjectives have been used to describe CT’s legislature.
The CT Land Company was a group of investors mostly from Suffield, Connecticut. In 1797 the Land Company sent surveyors, under the supervision of Moses Cleaveland of Canterbury, to the Reserve to divide the land into townships. While the men were surveying, Cleaveland went to an area in the center of the Reserve. He looked out over Lake Erie pronounced it a good spot and founded Cleaveland (the “a” was later dropped to conserve printing costs.)
Connecticut unfortunately ceded sovereignty over the Western Reserve in 1800. Most likely, since it took 2 months to get there, they probably realized the difficulty of administering it. If only there had been an internet and Zoom meetings, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be part of CT. Along with 300 more miles of beach and a lot of corn. And a lot more tax revenue.
Home in CT
We arrived in CT two days later, just in time to catch to this beautiful foliage display behind our house.
For more details on Ohio, see my article, to be published in The Thompson Villager on Friday, November 6th. http://www.villagernewspapers.com/