My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Ode to Ohio

I’d like to offer you a few small words of caution concerning the dissing of states other than your own, especially those which may be close- say bordering your state, for example. The reason being that there is always a likelihood of someone actually from that state being within hearing range.

Today at work we were discussing our travel plans for the holidays and somehow the conversation got around to how much we hate having to drive through Ohio: It’s boring, ugly, the speed limit is ridiculous, the cops there suck.  On and on we went listing the state’s many and varied flaws before I ultimately summed it up by declaring “Those boring Ohioans!!”

I then asked a heretofore silent co-worker, a recent new hire, “Where are you going for the holiday?”

“Back to Ohio.”

Yikes, foot in mouth! 

Ohio, I officially absolve all of your residents of any responsiblity for your boring and ghastly western percentage. It’s really not their fault. I also acknowledge your attempt to rectify the situation by having a fascinating and comely eastern smidge and (provided you stop comparing Cleveland to Detroit) promise to only hang my head in silent shame over our shared border.

December 22, 2010 Posted by | Car, Cities/Regions, Detroit, Travel, United States | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abandoned Houses

While on a weekend trip to Ohio last weekend, I made a pleasant discovery. Thanks to phones with the ability to access both web pages and navigation systems, it is easy to look up attractions coming up along your travel route. This allows me to combine travel with another favorite of mine: ghost towns and abandoned houses. I actually located a ghost town along our route, North Milan, and we stopped by. Disappointingly, there’s relatively little to see- just a small small graveyard. I don’t think my husband was very impressed with his first ghost town, but we’ll keep trying. I’ve been interested in ghost towns for maybe a couple years now, but my fascination with abandoned houses is really a life-long obsession.

When I lived in Walla Walla, there was an old house on a lonely road surrounded with the most beautiful weeping willows. The inside of the house was pretty much ravaged and destroyed, but out back I find a small camper that was untouched. Inside were the various accouterments of camping life- including a toothbrush, comb, blankets. That was one of my first experiences with a truly abandoned house. The house is now completely gone and a brand new housing complex has gone up in its place.

While in Mexico on our honeymoon, my husband and I took a walk down Meroma beach and found an interesting abandoned house alongside the half-finished and elegant two-story open concrete structure with a purpose that we couldn’t quite determine (House, resort, theater?  From what we later saw people saying on forums, it was going to be a private home, but money ran out during construction. This is, however, only one of several stories going around).  We did take a few pictures, but this couple actually used the place as a stage for their wedding photography.

A few weeks ago while biking nearby our neighborhood, we passed an abandoned house almost invisible past the trees and overgrowth along the side of the road. We didn’t have lights to see inside (the windows were all boarded up), but we did poke around outside, where there was a full tennis court and a couple of outbuildings.

After discovering various websites dedicated to listing various ghost towns around the country, I began to wonder if there was such a following for abandoned houses as well. It’s easy to find a few abandoned houses nearby, but if there was some sort of list for places you might pass by while traveling, that would be even better!

Anyway, I have begun to search for such a thing- and yes it does exist!- and have so far found a really interesting site for abandoned houses in Ohio. I go to Ohio every once in awhile since one of my best friends lives there, so maybe I’ll be able to visit some of these places soon.  Not Mudhouse Mansion, though, as the current owner seems to be a little too likely to call the police on anyone who tries to explore her decrepit property….  Franklin Castle, considered the most haunted house in Ohio, seems a little more promising.  I’m disappointed by the author of the site’s inability to find the secret passageways when he explored the house, though.  I’d have to say that that would be the biggest pull for me.  I LOVE the idea of secret passageways, rooms, whatever! The sad thing that I keep coming across, however, is that many of these houses, even the ones that some people were just recently able to explore, have since been torn down or in some way been made inaccessible.

I will definitely search for abandoned houses in my area to explore, and I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, enjoy the tales of this Ohio explorer as he tells stories of his exploits in some of the most famous (and haunted) houses in his state.

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Abandoned Houses, Franklin Castle, Ghost Towns, Mudhouse Mansion, North Milan, Secrets Maroma Beach | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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