Friday, December 07, 2007

New Riegel, Ohio

About 10 miles southeast of Fostoria, on Rt. 587, is the small farming community of New Riegel. The population is approximately 300. One story I was told was that the town was originally settled by an Amish sect from Riegel, Germany.

The focal point of this town is definitely the New Riegel Cafe. Home of some of the finest BBQ ribs you will ever eat. (Although, they haven't passed the Beamis test, yet) People come from miles around to dine here; their reputation is quite impressive. I've overheard waitresses talking to customers and mentioning that they have worked there for over 30 years.

The BBQ sauce that is used is, of course, a secret. I really don't know how to describe it. It's not sweet, it's not tangy, it's not vinegar-y. There is plenty of garlic and I think that celery is the secret ingredient. Not celery salt or celery seed, but ground up celery. Regardless, the ribs are delicious.

I usually get a takeout order on Friday. I pick up my Dad at 4:15 and we arrive there shortly after they open for dinner at 4:30. We place our order - ribs with extra sauce - and enjoy a 7&7 at the bar while waiting. The orders come with french fries, butter bread and celery. The orders are then wrapped in foil and stuffed in a plastic bag. We're usually back by 5:00 or 5:15 for the feast.

The feast washed down with a cold bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola

The font of the elixir that is a 7&7

Old school bowling game

A peek into the dining room

Booth seating near the bar

Post Office

Always liked this portico design on buildings

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hardin County, Ohio

Welcome to Hardin County

I lit out to the southwest along backroads until I hit Rt. 68 at Arlington, OH. From there, I headed south into Hardin County. Nothing but corn and soy bean fields and the occasional stand of trees. The air was crisp, the sun was bright and the tunes flowed from my iPod.

Dunkirk, OH - Home of Hardin-Northern High School...and not much else.

Wait, they have a Dairy Dream. Keep the Dream alive!

With a little paint and a few throw pillows...

United Methodist Church


Kenton, OH - The county seat along the upper reaches of the Scioto River. Supposedly, there is a rather large Amish community in the area, but I didn't see any. Probably out harvesting. The one thing I noticed about downtown Kenton - you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a church steeple.

The Hi-Road Drive-In Theater just north of town

A fortress-like downtown building. Prepare the vat of boiling oil!

United Methodist Church

St. John's United Church of Christ

Church of the Immaculate Conception

First Reformed Church

Presbyterian Church

Kenton Depot

Let's go to The Bar. By the way, it was open

Ada, OH - Home of Ohio Northern University and Wilson Sporting Goods, the only manufacturing plant that makes footballs for the NFL.

Ohio Northern University

ONU Campus

Golden symmetry

Downtown movie theater

Are you kidding? The Regal Beagle? I bet Jack and Chrissy and Janet are inside. Maybe Larry, too

All footballs used by the NFL are made here

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Maumee River Valley - NW Ohio

Built by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne

Last Sunday, I took advantage of a beautiful, mild, autumn day and took a roadtrip along the Maumee River. The Maumee flows northeast from the Ft. Wayne, IN area and dumps into Lake Erie at Toledo. My trip started in Defiance, OH where I traveled along the north side of the river through the towns of Independence, Florida, Napoleon and the ghost town of Providence. (A separate post on Providence is below.) At Providence, I crossed the river to the south side to the town of Grand Rapids.

Defiance, OH - Built up around the former Ft. Defiance, which was built during the Indian Wars of 1790-1795. At the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers.

Marker on a bluff above the confluence

Site of Ft. Defiance

Independence, OH - small river town just east of Defiance on Rte. 424

Independence Dam State Park

Picnic shelter built by the Mexican Yes-Men

Florida, OH - East of Independence on Rte 424

Florida Public Library

Napoleon, OH - Home of the largest Campbell Soup plant in the world.

Hobbits in Napoleon?

Ritter Park

The shimmering Maumee

Henry County Courthouse

Grand Rapids, OH - Historic canal town that is now a tourist town with galleries, arts and crafts stores, etc.

Grand Rapids Town Hall

Downtown Grand Rapids

LaRoe's Bar and Restaurant

My meal of baked chicken, salad, honeydew melon and a 7&7 to wash it down

Every village needs an apothecary

The Isaac Ludwig Mill, looking across the river from Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Isaac Ludwig Mill - Providence, OH

Isaac Ludwig Mill

Across the river from Grand Rapids is the ghost town of Providence. At one time, it was a stop on the Miami and Erie Canal that ran from Cincinnati to Toledo. The town was wiped out by a cholera epidemic in 1854 and never recovered. The mill and nearby canal lock are now part of the Toledo Metropark system and are operated by living historians in period costumes. The mill is both a sawmill and grist mill and the canal has an operational canal boat ride pulled by mules along a towpath.

Roller mills

Grain being fed into the grist mill

Mill stone

Roller mill up close

Flour packer

A smut separator. Yes, a smut separator

Flour bags of days gone by.

A GE hydroelectric power generator



The office

Country strong

View from top floor of mill

RR bridge across the Maumee River

Miami and Erie Canal

Lock #44

Mule power

Canal boat coming trough the lock