Whitewater Valley Guide
Serving southeast Indiana and southwest Ohio 
 

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Snow fog
Pie in the Sky

Whitewater Valley 
Cemetery Trail

Whitewater Valley Archeological Trail

Creation of the Whitewater Valley Culinary Arts College with campuses throughout the Valley.

Valley educators teaching about covered bridges engineering and history.

A group with a Valley-wide scope and mission that actually practices collaboration.

A hiking trail system along the entire length of the Whitewater Valley on the Indiana side.

Whitewater Valley Hostel Association

Pocket Park system along creeks on property now publicly owned by townships or municipalities.

Little Detroit Museum in Connersville

Whitewater Valley Covered Bridge Trail

Cedar Grove Bridge Park

A designated bike trail with lots of loops throughout the Whitewater Valley.
For this week's 
Whitewater Valley 
Calendar of Events

Professional level golf fun

   Our local professional golf hero is Bo Van Pelt who got his name on the second page of the leader board at the Masters this year before fading to par. Bo was born in Richmond and was trained, maybe is still being trained, by a pro from Oxford.

   What that means to you is there are enough golf courses in and around the Whitewater Valley to train like a pro. But if you just want to knock some around, you can also be comfortable with our local courses.

   At the Sagamore Resort on Brookville Lake is the 18-hole Buck Point Course. This Pete Dye-designed beauty is over 7000 acres of par 72 golf.

   Brookville has Brook Hill Golf Club on either side or Reservoir Road, north of SR1 as you head towards Blooming Grove. It is an 18-hole public par 71 course covering over 6,000 acres.

   Liberty Country Club is on US 27 about 16 miles north of Brookville. It is a par 70, 18-hole public course.

   Also 16 miles from Brookville but along Brookville Pike to Oxford, Ohio, then up Brown Road is Hueston Woods State Park Golf Course. It is listed as a municipal golf course. It is 18 holes with a par of 72 and since it is a state park there will be a gate admission.

   Willowbrook Country Club is open to the public in Connersville, a mere 18 miles from Brookville Lake. It features 18 holes and par for the course is 72.

   Cricket Hollow is public nine-hole facility on Pocket Road between Oldenburg and Batesville with a course par of 35.

Old channel bed
Whitewater River
West Fork

    Valley Pride

    According to a hydrography map, the watersheds of the Great Miami River include Preble, Butler Hamilton counties in Ohio and Wayne, Fayette, Union, Franklin and parts of Ripley and Dearborn counties in Indiana. 

    This means our Whitewater River is seen as merely a tributary of the Miami River, but we know it is what makes the Miami Great.

(Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MiamiRivers_watershed.png if you don’t believe me.)

Wilbur Wright,
One famous Whitewater Valley man


Second call for hostels

Free Images
   We had a few esponses to our Facebook question which wasn't posed as a question but a request. The request was to read thoughtfully and perhaps for the second time Hustling for Hostels. It's in Issue 66 which you can access by scrolling down a bit in the column to the right.

    The point is, creating a Whitewater Valley Hostel Association is a good idea. It should be done through an organization with a scope large enough to encompass all counties in the Valley.

    Wonder who that could be?

Early September 
Photo Essay:

Glidewell Mound 
and beach path

   

    Traveling through the gate of Mounds SRA and past the turnoff to the camping area, Mounds Beach Road slithers down to the beach beside large shoulders of mown grass on either side.  

    The lawn sometimes sports picnic tables in cozy spots like under the green eaves of a small blue spruce grove. 

    An estuary formed by one of the fingers of the lake is the temporary home of a flock of migrating or formerly migrating Canada Geese. 

    They converge on the strip of sand that begins to grow into the ample beach at the Mounds SRA. We assume the beach sand has been augmented by several hundred truckloads of store-bought sand. 

    Sunbathers have the beach almost to themselves on a Friday afternoon in early September. The air still has all the force of summer though in a week’s time nightly temperatures would drop into the 40s and the air become tinged with the clarity of imminent change—the coming of winter. 

    The only active boats in the vicinity are two jet skies patrolling close to shore near the beach before taking off around Glidewell Point. The Glidewell Mound overlooks this ancient river bed now filled with surplus water. 


    A thin path between the waving grasses heads to a strip of natural beach which itself winds around a corner and heads around a lagoon still spiked by the trees that were drowned when the lake was created. 

    If you follow the gravel shore around the lagoon you could reach the Fairfield trail connecting by foot the Fairfield Causeway to Mounds Beach Road just at the point where the Glidewell Trail begins. 

   

    The Glidewell Trail is not part of the Adena Trace Hiking Trail system. Both Fairfield Trail and Templeton Trail are. They meet just before Fairfield Trail hits the road. Templeton then carries on another two miles before again connecting, this time with the happily named .7 mile Wildlife Wander. 

    Glidewell Trail begins as a two lane wooded path before it offers a short loop of only two miles. Its possible maybe even logical to assume, even with what we know about assumptions, the longer four mile route was created for Dr. George W. Hosmer’s wagon to carry his team to the mound.

     “This is the most renowned mound in the county,” according to Frank M. Setzler who reported in ‘The Archaeology of the Whitewater Valley’ that when Dr. George W. Hosmer partially excavated the Glidewell Mound it was 15 feet high and 60 feet in diameter. The slump of soil that is today’s mound is the merest shadow of this mound in its glory.

    While he first visited the mound in 1871, in June of 1879 Dr. Hosmer began the excavations; he published his “Remains on White Water River” beginning on page 732 of the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1882. 

Festival week in Oxford

    Wednesday, April 22nd is officially Earth Day, but don’t tell the town of Oxford that. Oxford is off and running early with what we at the Whitewater Valley Guide are calling Festival Week in Oxford.

    The wildest, craziest and possibly most fun is the annual Oxford Kinetics Festival, but this week the Miami University college town is also hosting EarthFest-Oxford’s Community Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, the Geocaching Tournament on Friday, the Oxford Writing Festival also on Friday, the Asian Culture Festival yet again on Friday, the Creativity Fair on Wednesday, and the Teacher Job Fair 2015 on Thursday.

    Some of these like last one mentioned are a little too specific to reach the Guide’s calendar, but they certainly can be counted in the festival total.

    The Kinetics Festival happens from noon to 5 pm this Sunday. This year’s theme is ‘Flight of the Flyer’ and, we are told, “It’s going to be awesome!” Awesome is a word that is usually misused as a font for our exuberance about anything from clean socks to a burger order, but in this case it’s spot on. Judging by the number of things to do and how they are done, Kinetics Festival is awesome.

    New this year is The Dog’s Breakfast, an alley cat-style race for adults from Oxford Community Arts Center to the grounds of Millett Hall, dba festival central.

    If you need an incentive to spend the Saturday night in Oxford, we recommend the Next Kinetic Picture Show. It features live music by Chris Dance and the Holy Echo playing in the pavilion in the Uptown Park. In addition, you are encouraged to stroll High Street and watch a variety of films about the kinetic art process projected in storefront windows up and down the red brick way.

    To events planners in the Valley, especially those Main Street types who are desperately trying to figure out ways to get people to come downtown, we suggest you try some variation of this formula. You already know about music as a draw, but you might not have thought about locally made films being shown at random (or otherwise) in storefront windows. It takes window browsing to a new level, calls upon the creativity of the art community and can tell your town’s story and/or history.

 

A new vocal resource

    When I think of Voice of America, I think of the Cold War, and if you’re like me you might want to rearrange that fossilized befuddlement by scheduling a trip Saturday morning to that hot bed of international affairs, Okeana, Ohio.

    At the Morgan Township admin building on Chapel Road, Jack Dominic, executive director of the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, will be giving  a PowerPoint presentation to the Morgan Township Historical Society on “the significance of what happened to the Voice of America, the world’s most powerful radio transmission facility, and what it will become as an educational resource for the region and the nation.”

    Obviously that last bit takes this presentation from the hinterlands of history to the uncharted fantasyland of tomorrow. How will Voice of America become “an educational resource for the region” and how can I/we tap into that resource?

    Guests are welcome and we are told, after the meeting, the 1858 Morgan Township Museum, 6464 Okeana Drewersburg Road will be open for tours until 2 pm. 

 

The Pit Not and other business

    Brookville is going to have a new outdoor event venue just off Main Street in the near future. Right now if you walk past the Turning Point Fitness Center at 734 Main you’ll see orange construction barrels and fencing keeping the public on Main from falling into a 20 foot pit which looks like the former basement of some long-gone building.

    Look again and you’ll see new concrete poured on the sidewalk, a red metal stairway and down below, the well-finished floor of the former basement. That’s the new outdoor event space and, according to owner Mick Wilz, everyone calls it ‘The Pit,’ a name he wants to somehow overcome because of its obvious negative connotations, unless, of course, he were opening a barbeque place then it would be fine, we suppose.

    The floor is gravel rolled over so many times it is almost like terrazzo but without the binder. Mick is in the process of installing a fine, grape-arbor themed high wrought iron screen up on the Main Street side, something he picked up in Chicago.

    Off the alley at the level of the performer formerly known as The Pit, he said there would be another fence which will allow for security and controlling the passage of people who come to any particular event.

    He is hoping to bring in live, high-quality entertainment three or four times a year and having live local music events at other times. It is also available for renting and as he pointed out, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the entire thing can be moved up to the Harmony Crown Room which is on the top floor above the fitness center which is on the second floor above Keys To The Past Antiques which is on the ground floor. For those slow on the mathematical uptake, that would make it a three-story building.

    From the basement floor of the former Pit, this makes for a very interesting high wall of well-used brick which itself could be a major attraction creatively lit somewhere near or just after sunset, when the patrons themselves might be equally so, creatively lit that is.

    Mick and his wife Jenny, who, Facebook tells us, recently twisted her ankle and won’t be Zumba-ing in the near future, have also purchased the building next door to the place we are not to call The Pit. It is fashioned for business, small business, to be exact. It has two rows of office cubicles, each available for $150 per month. This price includes all utilities and high-speed cable. It is also in the construction phase and when finished will include a conference room on the second floor and a small printing company in the back.

    We, being creative types who can never mind our own business, have come up with a suggestion for the re-naming of the former basement. The short name is Sub Mission. The long name is The Pit Not—Sub Mission. If it takes, we are hoping some day to sample there a fine house wine called The Pit Not Pinot Noir, and remarking intelligently on its poetic symmetry.

    If you want to get an early bird look at all this wonderment, we suggest you turn up (turned out, of course) Saturday evening around seven for ‘A Wine and Cheese Tasting Event,’ sponsored by Main Street Brookville. The wines are from Ertel Cellars Winery, Holtkamp Winery, and J&J Winery. (I just noticed. ‘Winery’ is not one of those words you want to say too many times in a row. It sounds too much like you’re whining.)     

    The cheese is from Jacobs & Brichford Farmstead Cheese. In addition, there will be fresh baked pies auctioned off by Brookville’s favorite caller, Dave White.

Bask in the bisque

   More goings on in Eaton are again of the Preble County Art Association variety. Last week we reported on the financial success of PCAA’s inaugeral ‘Bad Art, Good Folk’ competition. Well, they are also opening a café sans café. Instead of coffee, they will be serving pottery. The Clay Café is a new paint-your-own pottery studio located in the new Visual Art Center.

    This seems like another brilliant idea. Not everyone can shape a pot properly, be that pot a cup, a bowl or a plate. But anyone - a much larger number than ‘not everyone’- can paint a pot, be it a cup, etc.

    The Clay Cafe will allow customers to choose bisqueware (unglazed pottery) and apply glazes to decorate the piece as they like. Once completed the studio fires the pottery in a kiln, resulting in the glassy look of ceramic pieces.

    “Many people enjoy making art and being creative but a class is not always accessible due to timing” says Executive Director Vicky Fanberg. “Having the Clay Cafe will allow our guests to be creative and artistic when they want to and be able to spend what they want.”

    The Clay Cafe can accommodate people of all ages and skill levels. Prices range from $2- $30 for bisqueware items.  Studio fee, or sitting fee, is free to members of the Preble County Art Association, memberships start at $25 for an individual.  Non-member studio fee is $8 for an adult and $5 for a child.  

    The Clay Cafe 601 Hillcrest Drive in Eaton, Ohio is open Tuesdays-Wednesdays 1-5 pm, Thursday-Friday 1-8 pm and Saturdays 1-4 pm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metamora landmark receives rare national designation

    It’s no secret the Duck Creek Aqueduct on the Whitewater Canal in Metamora is something special, but just how special is growing by leaps and bounds. The first leap was in 1973 when it was listed along with the Metamora Grist Mill on the National Register of Historic Places. The second was in 1992 when it was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

    The third happened recently when Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Johnathan B. Jarvis announced it was named a National Historic Landmark along with eight other national sites. There are more than 96,251 historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but only 2,544 National Historic Landmarks, making this latest designation a rare honor.

    In making the announcement Secretary Jewell said, “By designating these new national landmarks we ensure that America's history of innovation, vision and diversity are celebrated today and for future generations. . . . These new national historic landmarks can educate and inspire Americans with their country’s rich history, as well as drive tourism and boost local economies.”

    A plaque beside the structure says, “The Duck Creek Aqueduct was originally built in 1843 to convey the canal over Duck Creek 16 feet below. Flood waters in 1847 destroyed the aqueduct, which was soon replaced by the present 70-foot, Burr arch truss structure.”

    The Burr arch of the Duck Creek Aqueduct is not a true Burr arch, according to Metamora historian Paul Baudendistel. He said a true Burr arch would link into the rock abutments. But after the 1847 flood the original arch was replaced with what is called a modified Burr arch which only goes to the floor of the structure not all the way to the abutments.

    There was some question among local authorities about how this designation came about. Jay Dishman, the Metamora site manager for Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, was not aware of any actions by his department to that end. He said the long process of paperwork may have begun when the Department of Natural Resources was in charge of the site.

    But an email from Indiana historic bridge expert Dr. James Cooper cleared up the mystery. He passed along an email from Christopher H. Marston, Architect & Project Leader of the National Park Service’s American Engineering Record. In it Mr. Marston writes, “This achievement represents a twelve-year effort by the Historic American Engineering Record as part of the Federal Highway Administration's National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program.”

    Gail Ginther of Historic Metamora said, Mr. Marston “led the team that was here doing the intensive survey of the aqueduct a few years ago.”

    The National Park Service nomination declares, “Duck Creek Aqueduct is the only surviving covered wood aqueduct in the United States.” Whether there was another such structure had been an outstanding question in Metamora until this authoritative declaration.

Ejected


I wonder if a wandering choir

could serve as a balm

for the souls of the sensitive Catholic worshippers

in places like St. Marys and Cedar Grove

who’ve lost the holy connection

between their church and the Catholic God.

 

Oh almighty Archdiocese of Indianapolese,

you sever yourself as you sever our churches

from your Holy body.

We see your wrath upon the Batesville Deanery

27 churches ordered away.

We are all smaller, weaker

in the face of the inevitability you wield,

handcrafting as you have

our severance from the Holy Papal Order,

turning those same churches,

breathing with the stones of bygone loved ones

in the cemetery beyond, cold and shuttered.

 

A blanket of emptiness covers

the former portal to the Catholic God.

Other Gods may remain

but they are and always have been

invisible to the parishioners.

 

I wonder if a chorale of voices

sung in intergenerational joy

could resonate so deep to sooth the sores

made by the proverbial sword

of that servant of the Lord,

that beaner of the Batesville Deanery,

that gleaner of no things frivolous,

that purser of the purse strings of the Catholic gods,

The Archdiocese of Indianapolese.

 

Gary August Schlueter

June 7, 2014


One Sparrow

 

Rolling Thunder awoke the morning sky

above the graying clouds rumbled

not yet vanquished by his all night vigil

Spattering raindrops tumbled as they fell

trembling between the weight of gravity

and the calling of the Thunder Being above.

 

Anon somewhere east of here

a Sun content to simply light overcast

arose to the calling of a single sparrow

Intrepid, indomitable, feathers soaked through

yet dreading not the rumbling above

to the rising in the east the slathered sparrow sung.

 

Lonely was his song for his fellows remained silent

on this morning when the voice of the west was nigh

When the all night rain dampened the zeal

of even the bravest heart

one who knew not what his betters decreed by their silence

One solo sparrow, one foolish fellow

raised his voice in a glee club of one

to the morning ritual of the rising sun.

 

One Sparrow’s mission –

To gather the clan,

to unite the tribe,

to re-grow the forest.

 

 

 

Gary Schlueter

Metamora

May 14, 2009

 

 


Grandfather Smoke