November 2020

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.

Antiquation, Medina

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

You’ve been earning and learning in your pajamas, so why not do your holiday shopping in them, too? Artisans, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs throughout Ohio produce a wide range of exceptional items that you can buy online or by telephone.

Antiquation, Medina

Designer Eric Schultz creates rustic and highly original home décor from reclaimed wood and metal. His Ohio-shaped cutouts cleverly showcase both materials and can be made to your specifications. If you like his style but don’t know what to choose, Antiquation offers gift cards that come in a string-drawn burlap sack.

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.

Credit: Getty Images

Gratitude is its own gift

This has been a year of unexpected changes, unwelcome developments, and unforeseen adaptations. Like the 10 months that preceded it, November will likely bring more surprises. Sometime this month, we will likely know the results of state and national elections.

Despite these trials and tribulations, we are surrounded by so much to be grateful for as we look ahead. Our democratic system is tried and true — representative democracy ultimately works. Hardship and challenge brought neighbors together nearly 90 years ago to form our electric cooperatives, bringing light and power to rural America during the depths of the Great Depression. The “can-do” attitude of people and small businesses in our communities are helping us find new and often better ways to overcome the challenges of the day.

Dawn and Carson Combs

Healthy innovation

At first glance, the interior of Soda Pharm looks like your typical coffeehouse: exposed brick wall, comfy chairs and couches that welcome lingering stays, and a variety of chalkboards displaying the seasonal menu and

Welcome to Soda Pharm, where the old-fashioned pharmacy soda fountain concept is reborn — this time with the modern twist of innovative self-care through functional food and natural medicinal herbs. 

Co-op annual meeting

In the know

For customers of an investor-owned utility like AEP or Dayton Power and Light, communication with their electric company probably extends no further than paying their bill or finding out how long an outage might last.

“Members who are engaged are the ones who will attend the annual meeting — for more than just the chance of getting a bill credit,” says Michael Wilson, director of communications at Logan County Electric Cooperative, based in Bellefontaine. “Without engaged and educated members, the cooperative business model could not exist.”

Bobcat in carrier

On the prowl

Bobcats were supposedly extirpated from Ohio by 1850, but that may not actually have been the case — especially in the extreme eastern part of the state, particularly Belmont County.

Bobcats were taken off the state-endangered list in 2014. At the time of delisting, the population in Ohio was about 1,000 individuals, and since that time, the bobcat population has continued to increase in both size and distribution. 

Apple products

Co-op Spotlight: Firelands Electric Cooperative

Firelands Electric Cooperative serves over 9,100 homes and businesses on more than 900 miles of power lines in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain, and Richland counties.

History behind the co-op name

In 1792, the Connecticut legislature set aside 500,000 acres in northern Ohio for Connecticut residents whose homes were burned by British forces during the Revolutionary War. Known as the Fire Lands, or Sufferers’ Lands, the tract was located at the western end of the Connecticut Western Reserve in what is now the state of Ohio. The land was intended as financial restitution for residents of the Connecticut towns of Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, and Ridgefield.