Friday, June 30, 2017

Old Buildings in Wapakoneta

Old Buildings in Wapakoneta
St Marys, Ohio             High 82 Low 67

It rained hard almost all night but we woke up to sunny skies this morning.  More thunder showers are forecast for this evening and tonight. Does any of this sound familiar?

We got some pictures of the old buildings in Wapakoneta yesterday. The oldest I saw was dated 1881. The buildings are all in the downtown business area.

The county court house is an impressive building that is on the National Historic Register.
The current courthouse was constructed from 1893 to 1894 by the architectural firm Kremer & Hart. The building is built with local stone and has a rusticated base with smooth stone from the second floor up. The first floor has square windows in groups of three and blends into the second floor.
The second floor is the main floor and is illuminated by large rectangular windows. The entrance is a projection on the eastern facade and is reached by a flight of stairs, three large arches support a balcony above. The balcony contains four Corinthian columns supporting the gabled roof above. The other entrances are also reached by a flight of stairs to a covered porch with supportive Corinthian columns and a balcony with a balustrade. A frieze separates the second floor from the third. Large arched windows light the third floor with a decorative frieze beneath the roof.
The roof rises at various points to support a square drum with a central octagonal tower with a balustrade surrounding the base. Large arched windows are surrounded by Corinthian pilasters that support a decorative frieze and a four-face clock facing the cardinal points. The tower is capped by a dome with a central spire.

The tower was once graced with a statue of Justice overlooking the main entrance to the east. The community of St. Marys found this offensive, as they had the back of Justice to them and raised money to have her turned to the north. The statue was slowly deteriorating to a point where it had to be removed due to safety reasons. The only parts salvaged from the original Justice were the head, right hand, and sword.

In 1994, in time for the centennial of the courthouse, the Auglaize County Historical Society raised money to restore the statue through a project called "Copper Pennies for a Copper Lady" which raised over $25,000. The statue now stands in the Great Hall facing north, holding a sword in her right hand and the balances of justice in her left. The base of the pedestal contains a time capsule to be opened in 2094, one item being the names of the donors for the restoration of the statue.

We moved about 10 miles: from Arrowhead Lake to EZ Campground and Diner near St Marys. This Campground doesn’t have much in the way of amenities but we will only be here tonight then we go to near Circleville, Ohio which is near Columbus.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Armstrong Air and Space Museum

Armstrong Air and Space Museum
Wapakoneta, Ohio          High 86 Low 71

It was warmer today with thundershowers forecast for this evening. It was windy all day.

We went to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. We are only a mile from it.

The Museum is named after Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to set foot on the moon. He was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio August 5, 1930. The Museum tells about his early life but also give a history of the early space race between Russia and the United States in the late 1950s and 1960s.

The museum shares the story of Neil Armstrong, all Ohioans who have attempted to defy gravity, the Space Race, and current space exploration.  The museum itself is designed to resemble a futuristic moon base. It is most beautiful when viewed at dusk.

The museum features many one-of-a-kind artifacts including the Gemini VIII spacecraft, Neil Armstrong’s Gemini and Apollo spacesuits, and an Apollo 11 moon rock. The museum is also home to two full-size aircraft, both of which were flown by Mr. Armstrong. A 15-year-old Armstrong learned to fly at Port Koneta, a long-gone Wapakoneta airfield. He flew a yellow Aeronca Champion now on exhibit at the museum.

This is no static museum; it is filled with motion and sound. There are seven interactive exhibits, ten audio/visual elements, and three simulators. Visitors can practice landing the lunar module and space shuttle, or docking the Gemini capsule, as Neil Armstrong did in 1966. Adults will find the simulators just as challenging and entertaining as the kids do. The 56-foot dome in the center of the museum houses the Astro Theater, a unique venue that allows guests to enjoy the night sky or watch the 25-minute documentary about Apollo 11’s lunar landing. There is no additional charge for the simulators or the film.

Neil Armstrong was a fighter pilot who later joined the race to set foot on the moon. One display shows the requirements to be an astronaut which were later change to not over 6 feet tall and not over 35 years old.
We got to see one of the moon rocks that were collected on the first lunar landing and a piece of the meteor that carved out meteor crater in Arizona.

There is a replica of Sputnik, the first Russian artificial satellite.

We got to watch a movie about Apollo 11, and the first steps on the moon. When the lunar lander, Eagle, landed it had less than 30 seconds of fuel remaining.  

 Interestingly, dehydrated and freeze dried food was developed first for the space program.

 Coke and Pepsi developed ways to drink their beverages in a zero gravity environment.

It was an interesting Museum to see.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Temple of Tolerance

Wapakometa, Ohio        High 79 Low 65

The weather here has been nice but more rain is forecast.

Yesterday we went to The Temple of Tolerance which we found on Roadside America.

The Temple of Tolerance looks like it should be in an artist-hippie enclave like Sonora, Arizona, or Taos, New Mexico -- not in the back yard of a suburban home in Wapakoneta, Ohio, birthplace of Neil Armstrong.
The yard belongs to Jim Bowsher, self-described "master" of the Temple. He took 18 years to build it. The Temple and its satellite shrines occupy all of the space behind Jim's home -- and that's a lot of space, because Jim owns the entire center of the block, roughly equal to about two dozen Wapakoneta back yards. It's unexpected and well-hidden; people driving past Jim's front door on Wood Street probably don't even know it's back there.

Roadside America said to walk down his driveway into the backyard which we did. At first we were kind of leery about continuing but as we got further and further into the maze-like back yard it finally open up to where the Temple is located. I think Linda and Cindy were expecting Norman Bates to jump out and get us. We also found a driveway with a gate that my Mother-in-law could get into see all the shrines.

Too narrow for the scooter.

We thought it was kind of different and were about to leave when Jim Browsher showed up. He then proceeded to tell us about his latest shrine, a tribute to all the fallen veterans from Ohio since it became a state.

Jim told us that the plastic cylinder was made for him at a loss to the manufacturer.

He shook hands with each of us.

This gives you lots of somber things to think about.
The tall clear cylinder contains exactly 71,388 shell casings, which Jim told us is the number of fallen from Ohio. He told us he even got the numbers from the CIA and all the wars we have fought in since the war of 1812. He told us that he had gone to Dunkirk with his metal detector and to various Civil War locations to get the shell casings. He said that the sign for the monument was being made and would be installed soon. He said he spent two and a half years picking up shell casings to make the monument.

He told us a little more about what we were looking at and it made the displays much more interesting. 

This stone was carried to Ohio by glaciers from the ice age and then carved by water.

Old mill stones at the entrance to the temple.

Here we are at the top.

Every rock and gate have some meaning for Jim. He was interesting to talk to.
Cindy took this picture of me taking a picture of Linda.

Cindy and Linda at the top.

Another glacier rock.

Viet Nam Memorial.

No idea.
The monument is only about 2 miles from the RV Park and the no cost price is right. If you would like to learn more look on Roadside America. It really made it more interesting to have Jim tell us about what we were looking at and if you go I suggest you call him and make an appointment. His phone number is on Roadside America.

Thanks for visiting.