Archive for Discoveries

My Town Monday: How the Village Got Its Name

The Village of Peninsula, population 602, is nestled in the hills where the Cuyahoga River bends sharply. Years ago, before the Valley Railway came through town, the old river made a meander that formed a peninsula. When the train was planned, 2 bridges would have needed to be engineered and built in order to cross the crooked river called the Cuyahoga. Instead of doing that, the engineers decided to cut through the neck of Peninsula’s peninsula, changing the course of the Cuyahoga.

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If you look slightly NE of the arrow, you can still see where the River used to flow.

Back in the day, Peninsula had 14 bars and 5 hotels, to house, feed and quench the thirsts of the many transient and permanent workers and visitors who came though the Village. There were 2 sandstone quarries, 2 dry docks, 4 boatyards, 3 blacksmith shops, a harness shop, 3 dry goods and grocery stores, a cheese factory, 3 churches, and a town hall that doubled as a theater.

Today the Village is home to shops, studios and galleries, as well as places to eat and to stay.
The proprietor of the Downtown Emporium has been a strong presence in my town for a long time. She knows a lot about the comings and goings in this Village, from its history to its past and current politics. With has an eye for collectibles, from the objects in her store to the stories that go with them, she will tell you about the item, where it came from and how it came to be. The Emporuim sits on the corner of Main Street, across from the Village Hall and the Methodist Church. It’s porch is a wonderful place to sit and watch as people wander through our town.

Thanks to Travis Ervin who has invited folks to join him in sharing their towns each Monday.

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My Town Monday: Life Happens

I had the best of intentions this week—really, I did. I was going to share all kinds of things about my town: why the Village of Peninsula is called Peninsula; and what happened to the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1913; and about how the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park came to be. I was going to write about Ronda, and about some of the other artists who share my town.

But: LIFE HAPPENED, including emergency dental visits and a root canal for #2 daughter.
Stay tuned…..

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My Town Monday: Good Things Come in Small Packages

I’m pleased to join Travis Erwin again in his My Town Monday venture. This is a great opportunity to look at things and places in a new way, and to find out what makes everyone’s town special.

The Village of Peninsula, population 602, has a rich and interesting history. Located in the Cuyahoga Valley, a 22-mile river valley nestled between Cleveland and Akron, Peninsula was carved out of the wilderness. It sat on the edge of a forest that was so dense that the native people called it the Black Forest. The land was rich, wildlife plentiful, and the crooked river they called the Cuyahoga was full of fish and other aquatic life.

The first settler in what is now known as Peninsula was New Englander Alonzo Dee. He settled in the Village in 1818. Later, in 1824, Hermon Bronson arrived, and in 1837, he requested that the village be surveyed. It was then officially known as Peninsula. Why Peninsula? There was a large bend in the Cuyahoga River that enclosed nearly 20 acres of land forming a peninsula.

Today, this little Village is home to art galleries and studios, places to eat and to stay. It is still an incredible place to visit. You can take a walking tour of the historical buildings , take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, or explore an amazing variety of resources in an incredibly beautiful place.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll introduce you to some of the people and places that make my town special. The Village of Peninsula, built by the hands and hearts of generations; gently resisting change since 1837.

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My Town Monday: Take a Tour

Travis Erwin, the originator of My Town Monday, commented that he hoped to learn more about this little Village. Here you go, Travis—-with time to spare.

The Village of Peninsula, population 602, is an incredible example of what a community can to do preserve itself. Many of the buildings have been lovingly restored and are in the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and much of Main Street is an Historic District.

In addition to the historic architecture and the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula is home to the Quarry:

A home for summer fun since 1956. A place from the past where childhood memories live! Come join us at this historical swimming area with its rustic setting and make memories of your own.

Surrounded by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, The Quarry lies in a serene setting of natural quarry rock, shade trees and grass-covered hillsides in Peninsula, Ohio.

Little swimmers can splash in the shallow waters or build dreams in the sand. More experienced swimmers will enjoy the diving boards extending from the broken edges of the Quarry walls.

The Village of Peninsula, built by the hands and hearts of generations; gently resisting change since 1837.

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My Town Monday

Travis Ervin has a way of describing things. His blog, One Word, One Rung, One Day is always an adventure. Travis has instituted My Town Monday, in which he invites others to share their towns. I usually think about it late Tuesday evening or when I am too tired to link thoughts cohesively. I am happy that at 8:28 DST, I remembered.

Towns have personalities that have developed over time. The Village of Peninsula is unlike any other place I have been. Nestled in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley, the Village sports a rich history. It was a place where many Indian tribes enjoyed the incredible array of resources: plentiful game, rich soil and the crooked river, which they called the Cuyahoga. The river, then the Ohio and Erie Canal , then the railroad brought commerce to the area. This also fostered diversity, both in the population and in flora and fauna.

We’ve had our studio/gallery in Peninsula for almost 20 years. What an incredible community of which to be part. Creativity, compassion, diversity and independent thinking are valued in this little Village. We’re proud to be part of it. We invite you to visit us, and to discover, and to explore Peninsula. Let us know what you think.

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Tis the Season?

Twenty two inches of snow and it is still snowing. We closed our studio/gallery early yesterday and stayed home today. We couldn’t have gone anywhere if we had wanted——safely. Roads were closed except for essential travel.
The silence is incredible; the snow plentiful and heavy, glistening in the light of the lamp post. The dogs, delighted to go out again, waded through the drifts. Lily did her toy poodle-in- the-snow dance; all we could see was the black of her muzzle. We trudged up to the barn and onward toward the hillside, collapsing in the knee deep white stuff. The enormity of it all; the majesty of Nature is humbling.

Returning to this old house we peeled off the layers, our Carhartts stiff with snow. The familiar smell of wet dogs and wet clothing mingles with that of baking bread. We grab snacks, plop on the couch and listen to the wind outside.

How did you spend your Saturday?

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Frozen in Northeast Ohio

Snow. And more snow. And more is coming; Friday is expected to bring another 4-7 inches to top off the 18 inches we already have. I felt like I stepped through the back of the Wardrobe into Narnia yesterday morning.

Walking the dogs was interesting. Snow up to my knees. A Tibetan Terrier, a Shepherd Sheltie mix and……… a toy poodle.
Lily tips the scales at 8.3 pounds but she doesn’t know that she’s small. She waited for me to go first, clearing a bit of a path as I trudged through the woods. She reminded me of a cross between a kangaroo, a rabbit, and a ballerina as she navigated the terrain, stopping to clear her face after she inhaled the cold white stuff. Snow angels for puppies!

When we returned to this old house, I placed her in tepid water to melt the snow balls that clung to every curl on her body. She shook, sprinkling the entire kitchen (and me, too); then she looked at me as if to say, “Can we go out again, Mom.”
Funny little dog.

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A Walk When the Moon Is Full

When my kids were little, we took full moon walks almost every month. Winter was especially intense: the cold clear light reflecting off the snow took our breaths away. Some months it was too bright and clear for us to venture into the woods.

There is a full moon tonight, and the promise of a lunar eclipse. The thermometer tells me that it’s 9 degrees outside. My body screams that it’s much colder than that. I started out through the woods, beginning with all 3 dogs, and ending with 2 dogs and a cat. The moon was rising; the air was clear and cold. I crunched along the trails through the woods, stopping to check on the moon’s progress.

I returned to the warmth of this old house, peeled off my layers and slipped into the slippers waiting in front of the heater. My oldest daughter called from her college dorm in New York City. She shared the events of her day. I asked her if she remembered our full moon walks. I could hear her smile as we reminisced.

The lunar eclipse was just starting. I asked my daughter if she could see the moon from her window. She described the moon at which I was looking, “We’re looking at the same moon!”

Fifteen years later, 456 miles apart, we looked at the same full moon, sharing. It truly doesn’t get much better than that.

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One World, One Heart

I came across the One World, One Heart site kind of by accident. Lisa Oceandreamer, the creator of this event, describes it:

The original idea behind this giveaway event was to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people, and in the process possibly win a prize or many prizes along the way.

For me, it is another manifestation of the power of this medium. It is a way that we can embrace our humanity, and share it freely. It is interesting to me that it is the high tech that is providing the high touch in this high tech world.

On February 14, Valentine’s Day, I will be joining bloggers from all over this amazing planet as we choose a name from those who comment on this post by midnight February 13. The person whose name is drawn will win a Little Blue Santa. Please make sure we have a way to contact you–either by your blog site or email address. From these hearts and hands to yours. THE DRAWING HAS BEEN COMPLETED AND THE WINNER NOTIFIED.

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