Tonight I went for a little ride during a “level 1 snow emergency”. Yes, that’s what they call it when you can still drive without problems, very few accidents on the road, and only spotty power outages. I’m not sure how the fit “emergency” into that equation, but I do know it drives milk and bread sales.
To me, a level 1 snow emergency meant to grab my camera. It was so beautiful out.
I’m not a medical person by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to wonder if they may be misdiagnosing Seasonal Affective Disorder to some degree. From my observations, depression and anxiety greatly increases in people around me with the bullshit calls to weather alerts that are nothing to be alarmed about. They provide no reassurance that very few people will die from a few inches of snow and that if you take the time to venture out into it, you’ll experience a beautiful world that you haven’t seen for quite a few months.
I finally had the chance to see The Woodward Opera House in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The theater operated from the 1850’s – 1920’s. What an interesting experience to stand in a theater vacated since the 1920’s! It’s likely that I had ancestors that visited this theater.
Part of the reason that this incredible building is standing is that it was part of a building that had many other uses. While theater might have only been used for storage, the rest of the building remained active.
Growing up in Mount Vernon, I was around many eccentric people. My best guess is that the combination of Kenyon College, farmers, and industrial types of people brought in the inventors and other types of intelligent people that had their own ideas about what would work.
I was happy to find this Jaguar collection. It let me know that the eccentricity was still alive, even though much of the industry is leaving or gone and the farming has left the hands of many private farmers.
I have to wonder how many city ordinances he would be breaking in so many other places in the country. It’s a great thing where you can still do want on property that you “own”.
I found these cars to be inspirational. I’m not sure what he’s doing with them or what the future plans are. Right now, the collection is just intriguing and interesting.
I’m learning something about photography and that is that if you want the really cool shots, you have to keep returning to the really cool places. Everytime I return to Shawnee, Ohio, I meet more people and learn more things.
This Winter I went to Shawnee a few times. I met Jason, a friendly native of Shawnee a few times. He keeps a good an eye on things and is quick to direct you to whoever you need to talk to if you want more information. He said he left Shawnee for a while, but returned and bought the house he grew up in. Then there’s Charlie and his friendly(and very large) Burmese Mountain Dog. This last visit, there was George Biggs. He gave us the grand tour of the interior of The Tecumseh Theater.
George Biggs gave me so much information that I’m not sure I got it all straight. A can refer you to the Tecumseh Theater website or the Tecumseh Commons Facebook page for more information. The rest of this post is a collection of photos I took of the interior.
The first big site George showed us was the old marquee for The New Linda Theater.
The Tecumseh as a lot of antiques from around the town too. There is a wall of bottles that were from the drugstore that closed across the street. Corby’s Whiskey was probably a stable of the working man then too.
As we entered, the antique remnants of the film days were displayed. These are the old film reels and canisters. Each one could hold about 20 minutes of a movie. The plastic reels were used for shipping for cheap shipping weights and the metal were used during the operation of the projector.
This is an old Peerless Magnarc movie projector. The “arc” in the name Magnarc comes from the fact that the old movie projectors operated by arcing 2 welding rods together to create light for the projection. The pipe on top was needed to vent out the gasses from the burning welding rods.
I thank George Biggs for his hospitality and the tour. The Tecumseh Theater is an ongoing project that history buffs may want to take more interest in. George explained that the geographic location of the town kind of keeps it off the radar for many and they’re working to change that.
If you’re in the area, stop and do some exploring of your own in Shawnee. The Tecumseh is just one building in a group of that are worth exploring.
The Wesley Chapel Church is located in the Hocking Hills area of Ohio. Some may find it sad that this old church is falling apart. I found it interesting.
There are many churches still standing built in the same time period all around Ohio. They are giant churches made with stone and brick masonry and they probably will be there for 100’s of more years.
This church is just a clapboard building that poor homesteaders put together in the rugged Hocking Hills. With this construction in mind, it’s a wonder that it’s still standing today.
The pioneers that attended this church were a different breed and this church was likely one of the most cherished places in the area.
The interior shows the serious signs of impending doom. You cannot tell in the photo, but there is a giant bow in the middle of the floor. The cross has been vandalized with paint and windows are broken out. The long altar makes you wonder how many prayers were prayed and what they were praying for so many years ago.
Most who attended this church have either passed or moved on to much more modern amenities. Most of the property in the area is for recreation with campgrounds and rental cabins surrounding the area. I don’t feel much sadness for it’s decay, but I’m happy I was able to see it.
This photo is one of my top favorites for the Winter of 2016.
I’ve spotted it while driving by many times before, but the snow and the evening sky made it perfect. I had my wife watch for traffic coming behind us, grabbed the camera and shot out the drivers window.
It was exciting to see the capture come to life as I opened it in Photoshop and began to manipulate it into what my mind seen.
Shawnee, Ohio is an old boom town that went bust in the “Cities Of Black Diamonds” area of Southeast Ohio. There’s a lot of history to it, but I have yet to talk to a true expert on the subject. A Google search will give you the history. I’ll tell you my experience from what it’s like now.
As you can imagine, a ghost town is susceptible to trespassers of all sorts. It wasn’t surprising to see signs warning visitors away. The place had deteriorated so far that I wondered if the sign was really needed anymore.
I didn’t find anything to lead me to believe the place was haunted. I would say that it was haunting. There were so many things that were just out of place.
There were children running around playing, then they would disappear. They weren’t harming anything, but they didn’t speak when I greeted them. It just seems that children would face a lot of dangers in the area and that you wouldn’t see them.
There were many things out of place. Store windows were loaded with antiques as if at some point, the owners had tried to recreate what the stores would have sold. Kind of a museum effect. The thing was, the museum style setups had also got really old.
Broken glass was common, but it was not from vandalism. The buildings had settled so bad that it was popping out of the frames.
A look up gave this view of a somewhat intact porch with windows and a door, but no building behind it.
For reasons unknown to me, a broken statue of Jesus was kept in this store window. The peeling paint revealing red and the missing arms made it very odd and haunting.
Someday I want to talk to a person who really understands the history. I’m curious about the future of a place like this too. It would seem the entire town fits the bill for historical significance.
For more photos of Shawnee, there are a few from a past visit in the Perry County Section of my Ohio Photography Project.
If you follow the trails in a couple of miles, you’ll come to a large abandoned farm. It was a huge operation and today, there’s not even a road left leading to it. There is a large house, old farm equipment, and many outbuildings just rotting away.
I find it interesting how nature will always reclaim everything if you let it. Most of the reserve is full of evidence of that happening. From scrub land trying to become a forest, old Indian mounds, and then this farm.
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