On a Small Town

Embed from Getty Images

To municipalities of various sizes, the Ohio River is home. Numerous cities, towns, villages, and hamlets occupy the banks of the 981 miles (1579 km) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois – but this post is about only one of them.

Neville, Ohio is a rural village along the Mighty Ohio in the southern part of my county (Clermont). Other than driving through it several times over the past 40 years, my history with Neville is nil. Founded in 1808 by Gen. Presley Neville, a Revolutionary War veteran. The US government established a post office there in Neville 10 years later – which is still operating today.

From the war memorial, to store names, to officials, certain families have dominated its history – but that’s normal in a small town. By 1880, Neville’s commercial district was vibrant as the population grew to 445.

Being along the Ohio River, Neville has battled its share of floods – especially the major floods of 1913, 1919, 1937, 1964, and 1997. The ‘97 flood the caused more than half of the population to move because, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bought land and demolished buildings so nobody would build again on those locations.

As a village, Neville depended on funding assistance from the Ohio’s Local Government Fund. In 2010, in order to balance the state’s budget, our newly elected governor slashed the fund’s existence. Besides saving the state money, the survival-of-the-fittest approach would force local governments to either streamline their expenditures to become part of the surrounding township or merge with another municipality.

In the last 10 years, about 10 governments have dissolved – the majority since the 2011. Ohio Auditor’s office gave Neville’s mayor a choice: vote to dissolve or eventually face a court-ordered dissolution.

Today, Neville’s population of 100 has a median income of about $31,000. No businesses exist within its boundaries … and the state of Ohio has a budget surplus. This past March 15th, voters in three more villages across Ohio faced the dissolution decision on the ballot.

Somerville (Butler County) will close its doors, but Smithfield (Jefferson County) and Neville thumbed their noses at the state in order to live another day – at least until the next dissolution vote.

On a Walktober Town Walk

Loveland Sign

Loveland Sign

As part of Robin’s Walktober, welcome to Loveland, the town where my wife and I reside. Instead of sharing our beauty fall colors, I’ve chosen to take you for a town walk of this northeastern Cincinnati suburb.

Lt. Colonel Thomas Paxton may have first lived in a house like this …

Rich Cabin

Rich Cabin @ the Loveland Historical Museum

… but his daughter and husband built this home in 1840 …

White Pillars

White Pillars

… and all are buried in the family cemetery (both the home and cemetery are now part of a subdivision)

Paxton Cemetery

Paxton Family Cemetery

In the early days, Loveland thrived as a railroad community because two lines intersected here, thus served at least 14 trains a day … (and one railway still operates as I hear the train’s horn several times a day)

Loveland Station

Loveland Station

One of the railroad beds is now a very popular 70-mile bike trail, which also intersects with other trails in the state

Loveland straddles both sides the Little Miami River, which is a designated sceinic waterway at both the state and national level, thus is popular for canoeing … plus the bike trail follows the river

Between the bike trail and the river is a wonderful city park with picnic tables, an amphitheater, and access to the river bank

Old Town offers a some shops, eateries, and a movie theater that the local firefighters converted into a playhouse for the community theater company

Other sights include a studio for local artists, an old church that is now someone’s home (I’m told the owners call it their chouse), and even a mural for Resa

Loveland honors its veterans from all wars and area firefighters

The city’s motto is The Sweetheart of Ohio, besides, people love to send Valentine’s Day cards with the Loveland post office mark

A City Symbol

The Sweetheart of Ohio

From Loveland, Ohio, good day and good night … and don’t forget to vist


On Scoop Ohio

Although the final debate is in progress during the publishing of this post, I decided to make it a clean sweep – thus I did not watch. Nonetheless, this post is about the information that you don’t hear.

As anyone tracking the U.S. presidential campaign knows, Ohio is one of the key battleground states. As the country 17th state and our 18 electoral votes, we (unfortunately) lead the country in campaign ads. Nonetheless, with all the campaign reports from Ohio, this post is about information you may not know.

Visiting Ohio is visiting the world: Amsterdam, Athens, Baltic, Berlin, Cadiz, Calcutta, Dresden, Dublin, Dunkirk, Geneva, Genoa, Holland, Lebanon, Lima, Lisbon, Milan, London, Macedonia, Moscow, Ontario, Poland, Seville, Sidney, Toledo, Venice, and Versailles

Visiting Ohio is visiting the UK: Dover, East Liverpool, Glouster, Guernsey, Kent, London, Oxford, and Sheffield

Visiting Ohio is visiting biblical sites: Bethel, Bethesda, Damascus, Delphos, Goshen, Pisgah, and Shiloh

Visiting Ohio is visiting the USA: Albany, Baltimore, Buffalo, Fresno, Louisville, Nevada, Oregon, Reno, Syracuse, Washington, and Wyoming

Visiting Ohio for its many new places: New Athens, New Boston, New Breman, New Carlisle, New Concord, New Lebanon, New Lexington, New London, New Madison, New Metamora, New Miami, New Middletown, New Paris, New Philadelphia, New Richmond, New Springfield, New Straitsville, New Vienna, New Washington, and New Waterford; then toss in Newark, Newburgh Heights, Newcomerstown, Newport, Newton Falls, and Newtown

Visiting Ohio to climb the mountain towns of Mt. Carmel, Mt. Gilead, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Orab, Mt. Repose, Mt. Sterling, and Mt. Vernon (of which many are flat)

Visiting Ohio for people names: Amanda, Amelia, Ashley, Beverly, Bevis, Bryan, Clyde, Dayton, Felicity, Franklin, Geneva, Harrison, Heath, Hiram, Jackson, Kent, Logan, Lucas, Mack, Marion, Mason, Perry, Randolph, Ross, Quincy, Shelby, Sidney, Spencer, Troy, Warren, Wayne, and Willard

Visiting Ohio with a pronouncing guide

  • Berlin (BURR lin)
  • Lancaster (LAN ca ster)
  • Lebanon (LEB bun un)
  • Lima (LIE muh)
  • Milan (MY lund)
  • Moscow (MOSS cow)
  • Rio Grande (RYE o grand)
  • Russia (RUE she)
  • Toledo (toe LEE doe)
  • Versailles (Vur SALES)
  • Wooster (WUH ster)
  • I let you try “Gnadenhutten”

Visiting Ohio to visit colorful towns starting with Blue, Red, White, Green, Black, Brown, Yellow, and Orange

I have been to Coolville, but never to Hicksville

I am from a county named after a man with the first name Return

Upper Sandusky is south and west of Sandusky

Some guys fall so in love they forget if they Dayton people from Eaton, or … I’ll let you figure out the rest

For more past posts about Ohio, click here or click Ohio under Category in the sidebar

Enjoy the song and slide show. (Although I see several visual mistakes)

On Vacation Ohio Museums

Ohio is home to several halls of fames, numerous first-class museums, the best roller coaster parks, and numerous other vacation stops. While an earlier post focused on festivals in Ohio, this one is about museums. Besides, this, along with last week’s post about festivals, will help a certain Canadian and a New Yorker with their Vacation Ohio planning.

Sure, you could visit Cincinnati’s Museum Center or Freedom Center, Center of Science and Industry (Columbus), United States Air Force Museum (WPAFB, near Dayton), Cleveland’s Museum of Natural History or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Football Hall of Fame (Canton), National Inventors Hall of Fame (Akron), and other well known museums, this post provides those stops that one may not consider and may not find in the published tour book or at Discover Ohio.

American Packard Museum (Dayton)

American Sign Museum (Cincinnati)

American Toy Marble Museum (Akron)

Autograph Hot Dog Buns Display (Toledo)

J.H. Fentress Antique Popcorn Museum (Holland)

National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame Museum (Euclid)

Marietta Soda Museum (Marietta)

Merry-Go-Round Museum (Sandusky)

One and Only Presidential Museum (Williamsfield)

Paperweight and Glass Museum (Cambridge)

Pencil Sharpener Museum (Nelsonville) (NOTE: This may not longer be available)

Swallowed Object Exhibit @ the Allen County Museum (Lima)

Toy and Plastic Brick Museum (Unofficial Lego Museum) (Bellaire)

Trapshooting Hall of Fame and Museum (Vandalia)

TV Dinner Club Museum (online)

Map image from Dreamtime.com

On Vacation Ohio Festivals

Summer is approaching, which also means people are planning vacations. I know a certain Canadian and a New Yorker who are researching ideas for coming to Ohio for other reasons than seeing me. So, being a thoughtful soul, in upcoming weeks I want to offer Vacation Ohio suggestions to my friends and readers.

Like any of state, Ohio has its share of festivals. Some festivals honor/feature food items as corn, walleye, perch, fish, strawberries, grapes, gourds, potatoes, melons, pumpkins, sugar maple, bratwurst, apples, sweet corn, BBQ, ice cream, maple, sauerkraut, honey, caramel, pork, and apple butter.

Others offer tributes to various heritages as French, Germans, Greeks, Irish, Italians, Polish, and Swiss. Now throw in other odds-and-ends as arts, tobacco, carnations, rivers, dams, covered bridges, antiques, sternwheelers, baskets, Ohio beer, wine, blues, jazz, quilts, films, dogwoods, Celtic music, railroads, hot air balloons, chalk art, leaves, and scarecrows.

On the other hand, here are a few that may interest adventure seekers of all ages. I listed them in chronological order, and one could combine them together for an extraordinary weekend. Most of these have a web site for more information. Welcome to the Buckeye State! Plus here’s are links to Ohio Tourism, Ohio Fest, and the Ohio Festival and Events Association.

Image from DreamTime.com

On More Ohio Firsts

Since readers are enthralled with learning about Ohio, here’s another list of firsts for the Buckeye state to go along with this earlier post. For even more information about the Buckeye state to help anyone prepare to be a Jeopardy contestant, see Categories > Ohio in the sidebar.

Public Services

  • First traffic light in the U.S. (Cleveland, 1914)
  • First pedestrian button for the control of a traffic light (Cleveland
  • First professional fire department (Cincinnati, (1853)
  • First state to enact laws protecting working women (1852)
  • First county-wide library in the U.S.; Brumlack Library (Van Wert, 1901)

Public Service

  • First Black mayor elected in U.S.; Carl Stokes, Cleveland (1967)
  • First woman elected judge in U.S.; Florence Allen (1920)
  • First woman appointed to U.S. Court of Appeals, Florence Allen (1934)
  • First woman U.S. Appellate Court Chief Justice; Florence Allen (1958)
  • First woman delegate to a national political convention; Bernice Pyke (Dem)
  • First Black elected to office in U.S.; John Langston (1855)


  • First college in the Northwest Territory; Ohio University (1804)
  • First coed college; Oberlin College (1837)
  • First school for the blind; Ohio Institute for the Blind, Columbus (1837)
  • First kindergarten in the U.S., Columbus (1838)
  • First Black woman to earn a college degree, Lucy Sessions/Oblerlin College
  • First college for Black Americans; Wilberforce University (1856)
  • First Black woman to earn a B.A. degree; Mary Jane Patterson (Oberlin College)
  • First college conservatory of music, Oberlin College (1865)
  • First junior high in U.S. (1909)
  • First public Montessori school in the U.S. (1978) Sands Montessori (Cincinnati)
  • First cooperative educational program in the U.S.; Antioch College (1921)
  • First college of polymer science engineering in the world; University of Akron


  • First Morman temple, Kirkland (1836)
  • First woman rabbi in the U.S., Sally Jane Priesand (1972)
  • First religious newspaper in the U.S., The Weekly Recorder (Chillicothe, 1814)


  • Site of John Dillinger’s first bank robbery
  • Oldest HS football rivalry in the country: Hughes-Woodward – Two Cincinnati Public Schools first played in 1878. (Cincinnati Enquirer article for anyone interested)

On Ohio Karma

This past spring the mind behind The Karmic Boomerang contact me, along with other Ohioans, to provide information about Ohio for his feature. Regretfully, I was knee-deep in a project and didn’t respond. Good karma suggests that I write a feature supporting his efforts; not duplicating, but adding too his original post.

College Sports
Ohio has 8 FCS football programs, 13 Division I basketball programs, and 3 college hockey teams.

Big school men’s NCAA national championship teams include Ohio State (football*, baseball, basketball, fencing, golf, gymnastics, outdoor track), Cincinnati (basketball), and Bowling Green (hockey).

* The NCAA does not issue a national championship for FCS/D1 football. See list of champions for confirmation, but semi-recognizes the BCS champions.

The University of Cincinnati had 5 consecutive trips to the Final 4, which hasn’t been bested by many.

Youngstown St won 4 D-1AA football championships and Central State: D-II Cross Country

Ohio colleges are prominent NCAA D-III champions
Football: Wittenberg, Baldwin-Wallace, Dayton, Mt. Union
Ashland: Cross Country (M)
Capital: Basketball (W)
Kenyon: Tennis (W)
Marietta: Baseball
Mt. Union: Cross Country (M)
Muskingham: Softball,
Ohio Wesleyan: Soccer (M & W)
Wilmington: Basketball (W)
Wooster: Golf (M)

Special distinction to Kenyon for winning every D-III men’s swimming and diving championship since 1980; that’s 29 in a row and counting!

Pro Sports
The NFL Portsmouth Spartans became the Detroit Lions.

Paul Brown selected orange and brown for the Cleveland Browns after seeing the colors at Bowling Green.

Professional football’s Canton Bulldogs only played 6 seasons.

People & Business
Bevo Francis, scoring legend at Rio Grande College (yes, in Ohio, not Texas), captivated the nation by averaging 48.3 ppg in 1953.  If you never heard of Bevo, here’s his ESPN Sports Century biography.

Entertainers Bob Hope, Clark Gable, Dean Martin, Paul Newman, and Steven Spielberg  have Ohio roots.

So to notables Harriet Beecher Stowe, Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, 8 U.S. presidents, 3 vice presidents, 3 speakers of the house, 3 chief justices, 8 justices, 4 secretary of states, 6 attorney generals, and 32 others in cabinet positions,

CNN news anchors are from Ohio: Carol Costello, Robin Meede, and Christy Paul. Robin Meade was a Miss Ohio (’92) and Christy Paul was the 3rd runner up the following year.

North Carolina and Ohio both claim to be first in flight. The Wright Brothers first successful flight was in North Carolina after doing the majority of work in Ohio.

Ohio is the corporate home to more than a few names you may know: Procter & Gamble, Society/Key Bank, 5th/3rd Bank, Macy’s, Iams, Kroger, Mead, LensCrafters, Longaberger, Rubbermade, Goodyear,  Wendy’s, Bob Evans Farms, Sherwin-Williams, Cooper Tires, Smuckers, Mac Tools, Parker-Hannifin, Battelle, Cintas, and Bobby Rahal Racing to name a few.

Geography & Culture
Pomeroy is listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the only town of its size without a crossroad.

Chillicothe was the first state capital.

Go figure – Centerburg (Knox County) is the geographic center.

South Point is the most southern spot, Middleport is half way between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, but Northfield isn’t the most-northern field.

Given its most extreme points, Ohio is 25 miles wider than its length.
Of Ohio’s 88 counties, Stark County borders the most counties: 8.

Lancaster anyone? Ohio has LANC-aster, but lan-CASTER is located elsewhere.

The longest bar in the world is at the Beer Barrel Salon in Put-in-Bay.

Ohio has festivals celebrating sugar maple, dogwoods, spring plowing, ribs, hot air balloons, strawberries, sweet corn, pumpkins, zucchini, twins, melons, marigolds, tobacco, popcorn, bratwurst, grapes, kites, sternwheelers, ice cream, apples, apple butter, apple dumplings, sauerkraut, dulcimers, turkeys, fish, and buzzards; as well as the Irish, Germans, Italians, Appalachians, Pioneers, Swiss, and Farmers.