Features

Miles Gallery

Where the child things are

What are some lovable wild things, a colorful and very hungry caterpillar, and a big red dog — along with 16,000 of their friends — all doing in Findlay, Ohio? 

There, Dan Chudzinski meticulously cares for thousands of works of original art from much-loved books like Where the Wild Things Are; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Clifford the Big Red Dog series; The Cat in the Hat; Arthur the Aardvark; and many, many more.
 
“By day, I’m the curator here,” says Chudzinski, who also works as a professional artist. “I look after this amazing collection of children’s-book art and give people a reason to care about the art and experience it firsthand.” 

Randy and Koral Clum

A different kind of farm

In Buckeye State forestry circles, having your woodlands named Ohio Tree Farm of the Year is a big deal. To have your woods named National Tree Farm of the Year is a really big deal. To garner both those titles in back-to-back years is simply off the charts.

The Clums are members of the Ohio Tree Farm Program — first organized in 1946 — a part of the American Tree Farm System. The goal of both the national and state programs is to assist private landowners with better managing their woodlands for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation.

Frosty the Snowman

Need a little Christmas?

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems as if everyone could use some holiday cheer, and Castle Noel in Medina is just the place for a healthy dose of everything merry and bright.

Yes, Klaus is his actual last name, and with his white beard and lifelong love of Christmas, he not only looks like Kris Kringle but also possesses a kind of Clark Griswold-like zeal that one would expect of someone who has amassed the world’s largest collection of holiday movie costumes, props, and memorabilia. 

Kelleys Island students

Winter's tale

Kelleys Island is both the largest American island on Lake Erie and also the town that covers the island’s entire 4.4 square miles of land. During summer, it’s one of Ohio’s most popular travel destinations, drawing upward of 250,000 visitors during the tourist season.

There is no bridge to Kelleys Island from the mainland, 5 miles away. Air service is available year-round — but only weather permitting. Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line schedules service into late fall and resumes service in the spring, but some years, the lake ice can linger, and spring fog can cause flights and ferries to be canceled. It’s never a sure bet whether you can get on or off the island in a pinch. 

In the early 1900s, it was common for more than 1,000 residents to brave the conditions and stay the winter, but today that number is more like 100 to 150.

Kane Lewis and Rachel Jarman

Staying in the game

Nineteen-year-old Kane Lewis’ life changed instantly on Nov. 16, 2019. While he was on a hunting trip, he had a seizure that caused him to fall from his tree stand — breaking his back and leaving him paralyzed. 

Working with state agencies, AgrAbility helped Lewis get a lift to put him on farm machinery, an Action Trackchair that will go over any terrain, and an automatic barn door opener. 

“AgrAbility has given me so much more freedom than I could have expected,” Lewis says. “I didn’t [have to] slow down.”

Just a month and a week after his accident, Lewis was back in college, where his classmates raised $13,000 to buy him an electric wheelchair to get around campus easily. By spring, he was back planting corn and soybeans.

Jared Shank

Treasure hunt

We all know that Ohio is full of treasures. From Cincinnati chili to Cedar Point to the hollows of Hocking Hills, the gems gleam. Legends abound, however, of treasure in the more traditional sense — buried or stashed around the Ohio countryside. 

Stark treasure

It was 1755, and the French had been trying desperately to repel attacks by the British on Fort Duquesne, France’s outpost in Pittsburgh. Fearing the fort’s imminent fall (it actually held out until 1758), some French soldiers started to evacuate valuables from Fort Duquesne — including a hoard of gold and silver used for military payroll.

Limestone obelisk marking Harrison’s tomb.

Eminent eight

Why is Ohio called the “Mother of Presidents”? Consider this: Since 1776, there have been upward of 500 million Americans; some 12,000 served in Congress, but only 44 have been sworn in as President of the United States.

Since 2020 is a presidential election year and the 100th anniversary of the last time an Ohioan — Warren G. Harding in 1920 — won the White House, it’s an especially good time to take stock of the state’s eminent eight. We hereby present a compendium of Ohio presidents that includes destinations where you can learn more about their rare and remarkable lives.

William Henry Harrison
9th President (1841) 

Born: 1773, Virginia 

Dogman of Defiance

Cryptid Ohio

CRYPTIDS [crip – tidz]: Animals or other creatures whose existence is only assumed or believed in based upon anecdotal or other non-compelling evidence.

Since President Rutherford B. Hayes owned a Lake Erie island where his family vacationed, he quite possibly heard tales about South Bass Bessie. Maybe he even saw the creature (though he never reported it if he did). The Ohio native and his wife, Lucy, left the White House in 1881 and retired to a country estate that is now the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums in Fremont.

Raymond Buckland

Cauldron of culture

Witchcraft imagery has long been a part of popular culture — cackling hags in black hats riding broomsticks are everywhere this time of year. 

The museum opened on West 14th Street in Cleveland’s Tremont district in 2017 and relocated to the current location in 2019. The 1,800-square-foot facility is jam-packed with artifacts from floor to ceiling with some 300 pieces on display at any given time. Every inch of wall space is covered, and the museum draws tourists from around the state and across the country.