A Blend of Old & New
If I tried, I could claim that I knew downtown Dublin 40 years ago and
that would make me a part of the old guard in this city and in Dublin CC.
Indeed, I was riding through downtown Dublin back in the mid 1960’s when my
brother was at OSU and in the late 60’s and early 70’s when I was
at OSU. You take 33 from the Lima
area and go right through this city and get to the campus. But it is really
stretching the point to claim that I really knew Dublin…either back then or today. So
it was with great enthusiasm that I accepted Dick Termeer’s offer to
give me a walking tour of today’s Dublin.
Now, after 11 weeks of work at Dublin
and a walking tour…I am an expert in all things Dublin. And, here is my conclusion; there
are really two Dublin’s.
That’s no surprise to most of you. Nor is that bad. It just is.
I saw some of the old, old pictures of Dublin, from the turn of the 19th
century. Have you seen that picture taken at the corner of present day West Bridge
and High Streets? It shows a town pump…right there in the middle of the
street…probably a few feet from present day Donatos. I seem to recall a
man and child standing next to that water pump. Can you imagine such a scene
today? I’ve been down High
Street to the Karrer barn: thanks to Karl Karrer who gave me a tour of the
old barn and property. I saw a photo of the old farm down there. Hard to
realize that it is now a huge subdivision of beautiful homes.
My Dublin experience over
the past 20 years has consisted of driving on 270 on the west side and
catching 33 to Lima
or just going to Muirfield for the Memorial. As nice as all that is, it does
not come close to giving one even a partial picture of this city. Dick
Termeer showed me quite a bit more.
I try to imagine the very first white settlers coming on
the Ohio River and up the Scioto to found
this town. The quiet confines of Riverview
Street certainly hold the promise of the beauty
by the river that those early pioneers saw. Granted, there a few more houses
there than in the early 1800’s but according to Dick the biggest draw
about this side of the river was the fresh spring water by the riverbank. You
can still see that spring down under the bridge, though it does claim that it
is no longer fit for drinking.
the old houses along High Street have plaques that attest to their historical
significance. Have you looked at the bricks that were made nearby and at the
stone that was quarried at the end of Riverview? As for me, I was trying to see where I
could launch my kayak. I had been to a DCC member’s home down around
Hayden Run and made a mental note that I could easily go from 161 to Hayden
Run on the river. (All I had to do was
get my kayak from storage in Michigan 9-hours North, rent a pick up to bring
it south to Dublin, have someone help me carry it to the foot of the 161
bridge and then have them meet me at Hayden Run with the pick up and help me
carry it out. Alas, it seemed like a bit too much work for a 35- minute kayak
walked Riverview Street north
to the bridge at 161 and then took the stairs down to the river to the spring
and the Kiwanis park. It’s a great place, there is always something so
astounding when you are near a quiet river and yet just above is a very busy
overcrowded highway. You realize that very few of the drivers over your head
have the slightest idea that the park is just below their pavement; under the
bridge at the river’s edge.
I saw the site of the first Dublin Community
Church. I saw the site
of the second Dublin
Both are but a stone’s throw from our current location. I imagine the
only thing separating the old sites from the current site is a few thousand
cars per hour and a few hundred thousand dollars per acre.
Onward across High
Street north of 161 and through the library
parking lot (where I tried a few weeks
ago to get a library card…but couldn’t…when I
couldn’t produce any document with my current address in the Canal Winchester are, nor could I produce the phone number of
my office in Dublin.
The library folks were quite professional and nice, but they seemed a bit
baffled that I had no idea where I lived or worked. As of mid November, I
still have not memorized my office number.) We went to the gorge that is
called Indian Run Falls.
This place is a true gem.
Walk along the gorge. It is just behind Indian Run
Elementary and Sells
Middle School. Dick
said that there was a possibility some time ago that there would be some
condo development on the edge of the gorge. But that doesn’t seem to be
much of a threat these days. The trail along the gorge is marked through the
woods with several spots along the way for peering over the edge into the
gorge as the water runs east into the Scioto.
When the trees are full in the Summer and Fall it would be hard to imagine
that you are a few hundred yards from the traffic of 161.
We walked the trail and found many folks enjoying the
Fall leaves and the unseasonably warm weather. The waterfall itself was very pretty
but the water was not gushing. I made a mental note to walk over there after
a rain or especially in the winter when the water over the falls might
freeze. When you need to get back to church, just cut through the back of the
schools across the street…and you find yourself at Dublin Community
I like Dublin. I like the
beautiful new sections out around the golf courses and I have found a few
favorite eating places and coffee shops tucked in the newer stylish shopping
centers. I like old Dublin…it’s
still there. But there is one structure that is a blend of the old and the
the bridge just down the street from the church. Walk on down to the
water’s edge and look up at the bridge itself. Its graceful arches are
covered in beautiful stone work from the WPA projects of the 1930’s. It
is fine craftsmanship. But if you look closer, you will see that the highway
expansion that took the bridge from 2 lanes to 4 lanes was accomplished by
dropping that four-lane highway right on top of the two lanes and eliminating
the walkways and the stopping points along the bridge where pedestrians could
look over the river. If you go under the bridge, you will find some wonderful
old steps that go up…and…dead end under the 4-lane highway.
Efficient modern progress built on top of the craftsmanship of the old
bridge. That may best describe what Dublin
is all about…a blend of the old and new. It is good to be among both.
Rev. Robert Tussing