The Ohio Bird Sanctuary, Mansfield OH

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a haven for the native birds, a nature preserve and a living museum. Their team is dedicated to caring for and rehabilitating Ohio native birds, protecting natural habitat, and creating opportunities to engage with nature. Their mission is achieved through educating the public by providing family-friendly programming and school-based programs, managing a 90 acre preserve and actively aiding sick and injured birds back to health.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a private non-profit organization that was founded in 1988. (originally entitled the Richland County Raptor Center). The Sanctuary was operated from the private farm of Chris & Gail Laux. It began as three enclosures built adjacent to a barn that housed the first educational birds and the barn itself was used to condition birds for flight. Over the next 10 years four flight cages were designed and built to condition recovering raptors for release and additional enclosures were constructed to house the growing educational collection. The first 10 years established the Sanctuary as serving an important need in the community.

Visit the Sanctuary on Saturdays at 1pm for a bird encounter. Meet an owl up close, watch a Red-shoulder Hawk soar over an open field to a handler’s fist. Programs vary each week and with the season. However, there is always an opportunity to meet one of the Sanctuary’s avian ambassadors up close.

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides at President Haye’s Estate, Speigel Grove, Fremont, OH

Ride through the grounds of Spiegel Grove in a horse-drawn sleigh, as President Hayes did when he lived here. Rides are by South Creek Clydesdales.

Spiegel Grove is the name given to the estate of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. It was so named for the large puddles of rainwater that collect beneath the towering trees following a storm. “Spiegel” is the German word for mirror – an accurate description for these nature-made reflecting pools. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located within 25-acres of the President’s original estate.

President Rutherford B. Hayes inherited the property known as Spiegel Grove from his maternal uncle, Sardis Birchard. Birchard purchased the property on November 5, 1846. He had long admired the large wooded acreage. Its large trees and thick underbrush are said to have reminded him of the German fairy tales of his youth. He kept the property in its natural state until 1859 when he began construction of a house on the property. Birchard never married. His intent was that his nephew and family reside there with him in his retirement.

The grounds of President Hayes’ 25-estate, Spiegel Grove, are open year-round. They are beautiful in any season but especially so when there is snow. Sleigh Rides available through December 31st.

World War II Fashions at Kent State

The world renowned Kent State fashion program and museum are at it again with an interesting new display of fashion from times passed. The curators at Rockwell Hall have set their sights on fashions from the WWII era. Of the new exhibition the museum website has this to say:

“The 1940s was a tumultuous period in history and the fashions of the time reflected the upheaval. World War II led to restrictions on what Americans and Europeans could wear because of rationing for civilian populations and uniforms for those who enlisted. The end of the war brought new freedoms. Christian Dior’s groundbreaking 1947 collection was known as the ‘New Look’ which came to refer more generally to the fuller skirts and hourglass silhouettes that predicted the styles of the 1950s.

The 1940s represented the moment when American designers first began to break free of rigidly following European fashion. Among the innovative American designers and name brands in the exhibition are Adrian, Hattie Carnegie, Sophie Gimbel, Charles James, Claire McCardell, and Valentina. This exhibition showcases a variety of different looks that typified the whole span of the 1940s including uniforms, suits, underwear, outerwear, swimwear, and even glamorous evening dresses.”

Visiting Lake Erie? Visit the Historical South Bass Island Lighthouse!

From July 1897 to October 1962, the South Bass Island Light Station provided guidance to ships on Lake Erie. Situated between lighthouses at Green Island to the west and Marblehead to the east, the South Bass Island Station was a navigation point on the lake’s south passage. The tour allows you to climb the stairs to take in a great view of Put-in-Bay from the top of the tower, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Increasing tourist traffic to the island prompted the construction of the lighthouse. The light was to help to mark the southern passage from Sandusky to Toledo, along with several other lights in the vicinity. The site chosen was Parker Point on the southwest corner of the island, and in 1895 a two-acre plot was purchased. Construction was protracted due to the failure of the original contractors to secure proper bonds, and the light was not brought into service until 1897. It is an atypical structure for its era, a large  two and one half story brick Queen Anne house with a two story tower built into one corner. It was fitted with a fourth order Fresnel lens, originally lit by oil, but eventually converted to electricity.

In 1962 the light was deactivated, replaced by a steel tower standing adjacent to the old house. The lens was transferred to the Lake Erie Island Historical Museum, where it can still be seen. Five years later, the property was declared surplus. Ohio State, which maintains the Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island at nearby Put-in-Bay, saw an opportunity for expanded facilities; eventually a thirty-year quit claim deed was negotiated, and when this expired in 1997, the university took permanent possession, save for the replacement light tower. An automated NOAA meteorological station was placed on the property in 1983. The lighthouse is used to house university researchers and staff; beginning in the summer of 2007 it was also made available for tours. The exterior of the house is almost unaltered.

Kent State University Fashion Timeline Exhibit, Kent OH

Located on Kent Campus, the Kent State University Museum presents one of a kind exhibit of historic fashion which brings together two centuries of fashion history. The exhibition contextualizes the changes in fashion through the lens of politics, technology and cultural evolution.

Gallery one looks at the late 18th and early 19th century styles. American and French Revolutions radically changed the political landscapes while the industrial revolution transformed how clothing and textiles were made. The gallery exhibits the transition from rococo excess to romanticism and neoclassicism.

The next room includes the second half of the nineteenth century to the dawn of World War I. Synthetic dyes opened up a world of color and the sewing machine facilitated the application of yards of ruffles, pleats, and fringe. The upholstered, heavy styles of the Victorian era eventually gave way to Edwardian froth and lace.

The final gallery finishes the timeline with fashions of the early twentieth century. While it may have been a period of world wars and depression, fashions also reflected the heydays of jazz and swing, the boldness of Art Deco, and the endless possibilities of technology from plastics to rockets.

In addition to the garments on view in the Palmer and Mull Galleries, an array of accessories, particularly shoes and hats, line the hallways. The silhouettes are the most obvious changes that can be seen, but there are also changes in textiles and colors. The display is intended to be a permanent feature at the museum, but the individual pieces will be rotated frequently so there is always something new to see.