Road Trips: Ohio Roadside Finds
These curiosities provide a glimpse into local heritage, Ohio history and sheer creativity. They also make for some great social media moments.
Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees), Dublin: Artist Malcolm Cochran’s lines of 6-foot-tall concrete ears of corn — 109 in all — reflect the history of the land on which they stand. The property now known as Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park was once the site of the couple’s farm, where they worked with The Ohio State University to hybridize corn. 4995 Rings Rd., Dublin 43017, dublinarts.org
World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, Sugarcreek: This timekeeper stood behind the Alpine Alpa restaurant in Wilmot for years before it was refurbished and installed in Ohio’s “Little Switzerland” in 2011. Stretching 24 feet long and standing 23 1/2 high, the clock comes to life every 30 minutes with a mechanized polka band and dancers taking the stage. Operates April through November (weather permitting); 100 N. Broadway St., Sugarcreek 44681, visitsugarcreek.com
Mushroom House, Cincinnati: With its cedar-shingle-covered exterior, cone-shaped addition and flowing orange metal staircase, architect Terry Brown’s Mushroom House shows what happens when whimsy meets careful planning. The structure, which started as a bungalow housing Brown’s studio, was created with help from metal workers, glass artists and architecture students from the University of Cincinnati. 3331 Erie Ave., Cincinnati 45208
Big Muskie’s Bucket, McConnelsville: Going to work in 1969, the $25 million Big Muskie was the largest dragline ever built. Standing 240 feet tall, the enormous machine moved more than 483 million cubic yards of earth during its operating years to harvest coal for American Electric Power. Today, the gargantuan bucket of the digging machine rests at Miner’s Memorial Park in McConnelsville. 4798 St. Rte. 78, McConnelsville 43756
Hartman Rock Garden, Springfield: Self-taught artist Ben Hartman constructed an elaborate folk art installation behind his home between 1932 and 1944. Borrowing inspiration from books, radio shows and films of the time, he used concrete, metal, glass, pieces of wood and stone to construct his art. Today, Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden preserve this unique American masterpiece. 1905 Russell Ave., Springfield 45506, hartmanrocks.org
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