Rutherford B. Hayes and the Easter Egg Roll connection

When Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president,of the U.S. he started the tradition of the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. The tradition has since carried over to Hayes’ estate in Fremont, Ohio. Every year, kids show up at Spiegel Grove with hardboiled, colored eggs in hand to participate in egg related contests and scarf down Easter goodies. This year, it’s March 22. So, that’s one afternoon. What about the rest of the year?

The estate, part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, has the original gates from the White House and is where Hayes and his wife Lucy are buried. Other points of interest are the presidential library— the first ever presidential library, in fact. Also, there are Hayes’ and his wife’s 31-room mansion, and a museum that chronicles Hayes’ life, presidency and Ohio history to add to a trip here.

For some reason, unknown even to me, (and I’ve written about this place before), I left the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center out of my U.S. presidents with Ohio connections round-up post. So, if you’re going to head to the spots where U.S. presidents lived, head here. It’s part of the Ohio Historical Society’s several landmark holdings, and one of the state’s signature places.

Geauga Lake Amusement Park Bites the Dust

Here are is an amusement park I’ve never been to, but I am sad it is closing. Partly because it holds memories for my husband’s family, and partly because it is an indication of how history does change things. It’s an era gone by.

Geauga Lake, at least the ride section, has seen its last season. Waterparks, like malls that look like small towns, are in in the U.S. (I don’t quite get why people don’t go to a real small town to shop instead of a mall that looks like a town. Pet peeve.)

Wild Water Kingdom that adjoins Geauga Lake has grown and grown in the past few years as the crowds on the coasters have diminished. Too bad. Founded in 1888, Geauga Lake is one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States. It started out as a place for picnics. In 1889, when a steam carousel was added, its role as an amusement park to entertain the masses was on it’s way. In its 100th year attendance was high, but Cedar Point, also in northern Ohio, has been competition it couldn’t keep up with. From what my relatives have said, Geauga Lake was a perfect place to go with kids because lines were not long and the rides were just the right size for the younger set.

I’m wondering what will happen to all the rides? Once when I was writing an article on Christmas light displays in Ohio, I interviewed a man who had bought the huge wooden soldiers from Coney Island (Ohio’s Coney Island) in an auction. Coney Island closed as a major amusement park in the early 70s and Kings Island became home to some of its rides. This photo is from Geauga Lake Today. If you go to the site, you’ll find a gallery of vintage postcard shots.

Black History Month: Harriet Tubman and Underground Railroad Tours

When I was a kid I was enthralled by Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. I remember it took a little while for me to understand that the Underground Railroad wasn’t actually a railroad under the ground, but a series of “safe” places for slaves to stop for the night or get help as they fled from the southern part of the United States to their freedom in the north.

Harriet Tubman, often called the “Moses of her people” led hundreds of slaves along the Underground Railroad in several trips from the south to the north. Since I live in Ohio, a state that’s rich with Underground Railroad history, every once in awhile, someone will mention to me about some house or church they know of that was a railroad “station.” It’s possible to take in several of them on an Underground Railroad tour. Here is a list of tours I found in Ohio, New York, New Jersey and Canada. Also, in Auburn, New York you can visit Harriet Tubman’s house.