Day 2: April 26, 2008
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Rain was falling when I left the motel but it was spotty and seemed to be decreasing. It was little more than a mist when I turned onto an old alignment, just a few miles east of Marion, that borders the Claridon Prairie. Protected by chance and the parallel tracks and roadway, this narrow strip is one of the few surviving fragments of the Sandusky Plains.

Another remnant of the old alignment passes through the town of Caledonia and past the childhood home of Warren G. Harding.

The remains of a Toledo and Central Ohio Railroad viaduct are on a section of old road between Caledonia and Iberia. In an admittedly limited examination, I found no date for the unusual bridge beyond the viaduct.

I reached Galion with some time to look around before the meeting. My first stop was the Big Four Depot. As I walked around the impressive structure I heard a train whistle and got to watch a CXS locomotive pull a string of cars through the nearby intersection. A readable version of that historical marker is here.

After its brief stint as the Lincoln Highway, the road through Marion and Kenton used the name Marion Way then, after the death of the president, Harding Highway. Yesterday, near Lima, I spotted a couple of street markers with the name Harding Highway on them. Neither offered a convenient stopping place plus I was sure I would see more. I didn't. So this shot of a Harding Way sign in Galion is the only proof I can offer.

Galion remained on the Lincoln Highway only until 1920 so was not part of the route for the 1928 final marking. This marker is a replica.

Only when it came time to start the meeting was it discovered that the flag that should have been in the room was behind locked doors upstairs. Galion City Manager Dave Oles saved the day with a small flag from his car and he then lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. He also told us a little about his city and read a proclamation making this Lincoln Highway Day in Galion. National Lincoln Highway Association President Jan Shupert-Arick updated us on some Association happenings before presenting ODOT representative Kirk Slusher with an award recognizing ODOT's nice promotion of the Lincoln Highway at the I-75 crossover near Beaverdam. That's Ohio Lincoln Highway League President Make Buettner taking care of business in the last photo. Next year, Mike will also serve as Ohio's representative on the national board of directors.

After lunch in a neighboring room, re-enactor Ted Bruner mixed one part entertainment with one part education in telling of about "Colonel Crawford's Battle of Olentangy". The battle preceded the Lincoln Highway by more than a century but identifying the location of various events in terms of their relation to the highway seemed natural and was certainly effective for this audience.

It was cool but dry at meeting's end and I walked through "Uptowne" (it's on a hill) Galion to Brownella Cottage. On the way I grabbed pictures of the Carnegie Library and the 1949 Galion Theater. Some truck damage repairs are underway but all neon works and I understand it's pretty impressive at night. I'll be back.

That's Brownella Cottage in the third picture. This was the home of Bishop William Brown and his wife, Ella. Brownella? Brown + Ella. Simple. Cottage? Not so simple. The story goes that a visiting bishop, accustomed to the stately homes of the clergy in Cleveland, remarked on leaving that it was a "very nice cottage". Apparently the Browns were amused and the name stuck. Brown's 1922 trial for heresy sold a lot of newspapers and brought much attention to Galion. The guy who lived in the last home pictured sold a lot of jeans. Henry Lee lived here for about a year before divorcing his wife and moving west where he founded what became Lee Apparel.

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