February 2007 Issue
You don't have to head for the hills to find adventure: It's around every bend in the road. For seven years, the 35 members of the Ohio Exploration Society have traveled to sites around the state -- from those steeped in history to places that are in danger of being demolished for new development. The group's goal: to photographically record them for posterity.
Canal Winchester resident and OES founder Jason Robinson admits to having had an interest in history since high school. But mere curiosity turned into a full-fledged passion during the summer of 2000, when he purchased a digital camera.
"One day while driving around taking pictures, I ran across an old abandoned cemetery near Columbus. I didn't know it even existed," Robinson recalls. "Taking pictures gave me a different perspective on the past."
Robinson soon discovered he was not alone. Friends and fellow travelers, as well as history buffs he met during picture-taking sojourns, form the nucleus of his group.
"I have run across all kinds of people," Robinson says. "It's amazing how many are interested in the group and want to be a part of it." To date, more than 200 sites are documented on the society's Web site, www.ohioexploration.com. Some, including Malabar Farm and the Newark Earthworks, are well-known tourist spots. Others, such as Junction City Prison and Hendren Cemetery, are a bit off the beaten path.
"We see things disappear every day," Robinson reflects. "Once they're gone, they're gone. Unless there are photos, no one will even remember it was there."
To find out more about OES, call 614/494-2602.