Hubbard House/Underground Railroad Museum and Ashtabula Maritime & Surface Transportation Museum

8/23/13 Friday at Williamsfield, OH (Pymatuning Adventure Resort-ROD)

Spent the morning with usual routine, then some computer browsing and campground walk until lunch. After some discussion we decided that, since the Dential Hygenist school’s Dental Clinics won’t start up until September and they’ll need to have 2 appointments with John, we just didn’t have enough time in one place until October. We’ll call in September to make appointments then.

IMG_1583Speaking of September: those leaves are starting to turn already!

At 11:15 am we drove to Ashtabula. On the way we saw Amish clothes hanging on a line that ran from the house to the top of a tall pole, via a pulley. Really sorry I didn’t have my camera ready.

IMG_1584 IMG_1585When we arrived we stopped at “Steak and Shake” for lunch, since we’d heard from Susan that they were very good. She was right!!! We had Portabella mushroom ‘burgers and a “Hershey’s Dark Chocolate” shake. Perfect!

IMG_1586 Ashtabula Bridge IMG_1589 On Ashtabula BridgeWe did a little grocery shopping, since a store was near, then we got to drive up Bridge street until we were granted the chance to wait for the actual bridge to complete it’s lifting and settle down so we could drive on.

IMG_1594The Underground Railroad was a metaphor for the slaves walking to freedom in Canada. Thus the homes they stopped at were called stations, the end of the line, here at the Hubbard House (in Ohio) was called a terminus. This house had no underground tunnels, although our new friend Don said he’d bought such an underground house that actually had such a tunnel. In fact, he said one day he’d parked his truck and the tunnel fell into itself, right under that truck! Until then he hadn’t known where it was. So here (Fee: $4/senior 60 years old) we really saw items from the early 1800’s and information on the Underground Railroad. They had a quilt that showed the different quilt squares that were signals to the slaves as they searched for the next safe place. They also had a map of the trails. Wonder if the slaves had any maps. Two of the secret code names for this house were: Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard and Great Emporium. Ohio was big into freeing the slaves, was the first state to make it illegal to own a slave, yet it shared a boundary with Virginia (firmly a slave state) before West Virginia was formed, because that part of Virginia was against slavery.

Wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to take a photo of the house itself!  UPDATE:  TOOK A PHOTO LATER AND UPLOADED IT HERE.  They had used dirt from the banks of lake Erie to make bricks, then dry and heat them. The house was is pretty bad shape when the Historical Society took over and renovated the whole thing. We did see original bricks, wood flooring and a small section of lathe in the wall. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, so not only do you not get the visuals, but my memory can’t recall much without them! One item I remember was a wool coat made in 1833, by Catherine by hand, shearing IMG_1672the sheep, carding, then spinning the wool, then weaving it. She even dyed it with natural items (leaves?). It was worn by her husband and successive sons until given to the museum a few years ago. It looks good enough for someone to wear it today.

Not far away is the Maritime Museum (Fee: $5/Adult). I have to admit, I as pretty tired by now and not so fascinated by ships and their stuff. This place had lots of both,even a great photograph where it looks like the ship is coming to you when you stand way to the right, yet is seems the same when you stand to the left of it. You even get to explore the equipment in a real pilot house from a ship. We were also not allowed to take photos here. The lady explained that they used to allow it, but some people would spend a lot of time, with tripods, taking lots of photos. When they found out that one man was selling his photos on Ebay, they stopped allowing anyone to take anymore.

IMG_1596 IMG_1599I did get photos of the bridge to carry minerals from one side of the river to the other side of the river, then loading it on the ships. You can see the piles to the left in the second image.

IMG_1600 Ashtabula Bridge 2Just across from the Maritime Museum is Point Park, where I got a shot of the Ashtabula Bridge as it was settling back down. You can see it lifted some on the right. It lifts on the hour and ½ hour.

Now, 2 tired puppies headed home for our supper, then TV.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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