November 2011 Issue
Editor's Note: No Place Like Home
As we were preparing the sixth annual Best Hometowns cover story, Ohio Magazine
editors reflected back on the communities that have been recognized
over the years. All have outstanding services, good schools, parks and
cultural amenities. But one characteristic stands out: community pride.
Residents of this year’s Best Hometowns — Archbold, Hilliard,
Lebanon, Nelsonville and Oberlin — like those who preceded them,
enthusiastically describe their attachment to their communities, both in
nomination materials and in conversations with the editors who visited
each town to prepare the stories that begin on page 58.
Archbold’s entry materials, for example, begin by colorfully
describing the community: “Rising from the cornfields of Northwest Ohio,
the Village of Archbold … is a gem in western Fulton County. Charming
homes, well-manicured lawns and beautiful parks dot the local scenery,
and the recently renovated downtown … offers a picture-perfect downtown
Supporting the community’s worthiness as a Best Hometown are
anecdotes describing Archbold residents’ compassion for their neighbors,
including the remarkable effort by a group of schoolchildren, ages 5 to
18: When they learned in 2009 that a fellow student was living in a
home without heat, the kids rebuilt their classmate’s home during summer
break, with the guidance of parents and community contractors. Supplies
were donated by local businesses. Archbold’s residents are justifiably
proud of that effort.
Similar stories of community pride accompanied other entries.
Several residents of Lebanon wrote about the charms of the Southwest
Ohio town, including friendly residents, historic homes and shopping
districts and festivals in every season. Hilliard residents described
their efforts to preserve the past and create new traditions in this
growing Central Ohio community. Nelsonville’s community spirit has
transformed the tiny Southeast Ohio community into a visual- and
performing-arts destination. Meanwhile, Oberlin has partnered with
nationally recognized Oberlin College to offer high-school students
outstanding educational opportunities.
Read these stories and you’ll understand why the people who live in
this year’s Best Hometowns are so proud of their communities. And you’ll
also feel proud to live in Ohio, where so many similar narratives
unfold every day.