With A “Grüß Gott” From Bishop Campbell And A Schultüte, First Graders At St. Mary School Are Off To A Great Start

First day of first grade, September 1975My first day of first grade in September 1975 was a special occasion, but it paled in comparison to what first graders at St. Mary School in German Village experienced on their first day of school.

Students, teachers, parents, school and parish staff, and guests gathered in the school’s gymnasium this afternoon for a traditional German first-day-of-school celebration known as Ein Schulungsfeier. During the celebration, first graders received Schultüte, large decorated paper cones filled with treats.

Fourth-grade teacher Linda Cotter brought the tradition to St. Mary School about 10 years ago. She was born in Germany, but left the country before she received her own Schultüte, so she wanted to share the tradition with everyone at the school. Every year, Mrs. Cotter orders the Schultüte from the Nestler company in Erfriederensdorf, Germany, the largest provider of traditional Schultüte in Germany. Karen Bouchard, the first grade’s teacher, joins Mrs. Cotter to shop for school supplies, treats and toys to fill the cones.

The Schultüte tradition goes back to the early 19th century, when parents living in the small German towns of Saxony and Thuringia like Dresden and Leipzig gave their first graders a sweet wrapped in paper to make them feel less nervous about starting school. Soon, the custom spread to larger German cities, and the “little package” grew to become a paper cone filled with toys, chocolate, candies, school supplies and other treats. In modern-day Germany, presenting the Schultüte is an important community event that begins and ends at home with a special breakfast and dinner with family and friends.

At this time of year, German store windows are filled with Schultüte displays, like this one we saw last year at the Ampelmann Shop in Berlin.

Schultute display, Ampelmann store, Berlin

We’ve even timed our visits to Germany so we could bring home our own Schultüte decorated with characters from Marcus Pfister’s book, Rainbow Fish, and a Käthe Wohlfahrt figurine of a little girl holding a Schultüte.

Schultute souvenirs

Some German parents take the cones to school and hang them on a “Schultüten-Baum” (school cone tree) for their children to pick. At St. Mary School, Kindergarteners hang little handmade Schultüte on a tree when they finish the school year and anticipate becoming first graders. Today, a small tree was placed by the school’s stage to recognize that tradition.

Dressed in their navy-and-gold uniforms, the first graders sat in the front row with their seventh-grade buddies as Mrs. Cotter welcomed them to the new school year.

“This is your day,” Mrs. Cotter told them. “This is a really important year, and we are all here to help you.”

Several special guests were on hand to celebrate with St. Mary’s first graders.

The Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, Bishop of Columbus, taught the children a greeting he learned during the eight years he spent studying in Munich. “‘Grüß Gott,’ or ‘May God greet you,’ is a marvelous greeting that recognizes the presence of God and his blessing,” he said.

Bishop Campbell also shared that when he started first grade, his teacher gave him a pencil, then had him start working on arithmetic. “This is a much happier way of starting school,” he observed.

Dr. Joseph Brettnacher, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, and David Walton, assistant chief of the Columbus Division of Fire, also talked to the children, recognizing the new friends, teachers and experiences ahead and encouraging them to do something unexpected for someone else throughout the school year.

The rest of the students sat in the bleachers and watched representatives of each class give a special gift to the first-grade class. Their gifts included pencils, “a nice talk,” singing favorite songs, sharing a special blessing, and promising to teach the first graders about German history and culture.

Then, Bishop Campbell presented each first grader with his or her own Schultüte.

Bishop Campbell presenting a Schultute

When Father Kevin Lutz became pastor of St. Mary Church two years ago, he received a Schultüte, now on display at the Jubilee Museum so that museumgoers can learn about the tradition. Father Lutz's SchultuteThis year, Father Lutz gave Bishop Campbell a Schultüte filled with incense to make sure he didn’t run out of it at St. Joseph Cathedral, the Bishop’s home church.

Schultütes also were given to Assistant Chief Walton; Father Nicholas Droll, the new associate pastor of St. Mary Church; and Kayla Walton, the new principal of St. Mary School.

Before an official picture was tDSCN9680aken of the class with their special guests, Father Droll gave the concluding blessing.  He asked for God’s help to come to know and love Our Lord Jesus Christ more every day and to love and serve each other. Both help to fulfill the purpose of Catholic education: to teach children about the love of God and fulfill their destiny to become saints.

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See Covered Bridges, Preserved Prairies and Pioneer Cemeteries Along The Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway in Union County

The best Sunday-afternoon drives with my grandparents involved going to see a “garage.”

Still from a home movie taken whle visiting Rock Mill Covered Bridge, Fairfield County, Ohio, Fall 1971

From a home movie my grandmother took when we visited Rock Mill Covered Bridge, Fairfield County, Ohio, Fall 1971

That was my name for the covered bridges that we explored throughout central Ohio. As we walked or drove across them, we’d study how they were built, listen to the sounds inside them, and Grandpa would pick me up for the best view of the scenery.

My grandparents were with me in spirit last Sunday afternoon when I took the Union County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s self-guided driving tour to see six “garages” along the Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway. The 27-mile main route follows Darby Creek through North Lewisburg, Milford Center, Unionville Center and Plain City, with two side loops that add 22 miles to the journey.

Covered bridges got their start in 14th-century Europe, when wooden bridges were built to carry horse-drawn vehicles over streams and valleys in Switzerland and Germany. The bridges were covered to protect from the elements the triangular, interlocking timber-framed beams and braces, or trusses, which support the weight of the bridge and loads traveling across it.

Ohio’s first covered bridges were on the privately owned turnpikes that charged travelers a fee for using them. Many covered bridges spanned canals and other waterways. Viewed from the side, they look like barns.

In their heyday, there were over 10,000 covered bridges in the United States. By 1880, fewer were built because the wood supply was starting to dwindle and steel became the bridge-building material of choice. Today, there are about 700 covered bridges in the nation.Partridge covered bridge truss, Union County

Union County has five historic covered bridges, all built in the late 1860s and 1870s by Reuben Partridge (1823-1900), a Marysville, Ohio wagonmaker and carpenter who built hundreds of covered bridges throughout Ohio. Four of Partridge’s bridges are still used as a part of the county highway system. The bridges are based on a “Partridge Block” truss design that he patented in 1872. After the advent of cars, “windows” were cut into the siding as a safety precaution to increase visibility; roofs or awnings over the windows provide protection from the elements.

At 64 feet long, the Spain Creek Covered Bridge is the smallest covered bridge in Union County. Dating from the 1870s, it crosses the spring-fed Spain Creek, which converges with the Big Darby Creek nearby. The windows and awnings were added before the 1930s. In 1988, the bridge was rehabilitated by constructing a bridge inside the covered bridge.Spain Creek Covered Bridge

The Pottersburg Covered Bridge was built on North Lewisburg Road in 1868 to cross a creek, but in 2006, it was moved a mile away to sit on a multipurpose trail that is a converted abandoned railroad bed. The canopy was added in 1937.Pottersburg Covered Bridge

When it was built in 1872, the Culbertson Covered Bridge spanned Treacle’s Creek on U.S. Route 36/State Route 4, two miles from Milford Center. In 1921, the bridge was moved to Winget Road, a dead-end road off the main road for the former village of Homer, which was known for manufacturing buggies. The bridge has a small runaround, or pull-off area, for farm equipment or vehicles too tall or wide for the bridge. In flooding, it can be six to ten feet under water.Culbertson Covered Bridge

The Bigelow Covered Bridge, also known as the Axe Handle Bridge, was built in 1873 over Little Darby Creek and was named in honor of Eliphas Bigelow, an early resident of Union County who built the nearby Bigelow House on the south side of State Route 161 in 1846. Renovated in 1990, the bridge features a bridge inside a bridge.

Bigelow Covered Bridge

The North Lewisburg Road Covered Bridge spans Big Darby Creek, which was named after Darby, a Wyandot Indian chief. It was built in 2006.

North Lewisburg Road Covered Bridge

The Buck Run Road Covered Bridge was also built in 2006 to replaces a steel bridge that was constructed in 1914. It is currently the longest single-span wooden bridge in Ohio and provides picturesque views of the Big Darby Creek.Buck Run Road Covered Bridge

Before it was settled in the early 1800s, the western part of Ohio contained about a thousand square miles of prairies. One of the largest prairies was the Darby Plains. This was some of the last land to be settled in Ohio, considered worthless because it was covered with water several months a year and then was subject to prairie fires when the soil dried up. Eventually, ditching, tiling and draining converted the wet prairie of the Darby Plains into some of the most valuable agricultural land in Ohio, with a level surface and rich soil that is excellent for growing corn and other grains.

What farmers didn’t plow, they used to pasture their livestock, and much of the expansive prairie soon disappeared. Today, remnants of the prairie are small, but you can see excellent examples of what the prairie would have looked like along the route as it passes century farms, historic homes and cemeteries.

Before the site became a powerline right-of-way for the Dayton Power and Light Company, the Milford Center Prairie State Nature Preserve was a significant prairie of the Darby Plain. Today, the preserve is home to over 50 different species of prairie plants, including big bluestem, royal catchfly, prairie dock, stiff goldenrod and gray-headed coneflower.Milford Center Prairie State Nature Preserve

The Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery and Nature Preserve is located eight miles west of Plain City off State Route 161. The fields in this cemetery that was active between 1814 and 1892 have never been plowed or grazed. Original tombstones still sit among waist-high prairie grasses and prairie wildflowers like royal catchfly, purple coneflower and rough-leaved goldenrod that were once abundant on the Darby Plains, but today are considered rare, threatened or endangered in Ohio.

Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery and Nature Preserve

The Smith Cemetery and Nature Preserve, two miles west of Plain City off State Route 161, is still home to a dense, waist-high patch of original prairie grasses often growing as much as eight feet tall. Wildflowers like big bluestem, little bluestem, purple coneflower, whorled rosinweed, wild petunia, stiff goldenrod, smooth aster and prairie false indigo continue to flourish in this protected area.

Smith Cemetery and Nature Preserve

Guided tours of Union County’s covered bridges will be offered during the Union County Covered Bridge Festival, which will take place September 18-20.  If you’d prefer taking a self-guided tour, download and print a map of the bridge locations and information about each of the bridges on this page of the festival website.

For more on covered bridges, read Covered Bridges: Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, by Miriam F. Wood and David A. Simmons; Ride Guide: Covered Bridges of Ohio, by Kurt Leib and Steve Butterman; The Covered Bridges of Ohio: An Atlas and History, by Miriam Wood; and Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway Including Union County’s Covered Bridges, a 2008 compact disc audio driving tour offered by the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Posted in Architecture, History, Nature/Outdoors, Ohio | Leave a comment

At The Jubilee Museum, A Cat’s Namesake Holds A Fish In A Miraculous Way

I saw six old friends during the St. Mary sesquicentennial celebration last week, and I’m ashamed to admit I had forgotten all about them. Every Sunday morning, I looked at them, thought how beautiful and reverent they were, and was fascinated by what they held in their hands.

The frescoed angels flankiSt. Mary Churchng the reredos behind St. Mary’s altar fostered my appreciation for the beauty of sacred art and the symbolic meanings that it conveys. Other magnificent works I’ve beheld during my travels, like Angelic Salutation, Veit Stoss’s giant limewood sculpture of the Annunciation that hangs in the Church of St. Lorenz in Nuremberg, Germany, have raised my awareness of the importance of preserving and restoring these sacred artifacts.

Seeing Father Kevin Lutz standing before my six angelic friends prompted me to accomplish something I’ve been meaning to do for years. I made a long-overdue pilgrimage to the Jubilee Museum.

Father Lutz founded this very special place in 1998, when Bishop James Griffin encouraged parish pastors in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus to commemorate the Jubilee Year of 2000 in some way. Lutz, then the pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, chose to display some items illustrating Diocesan history in the upstairs rooms of the nearby building that housed Holy Family Soup Kitchen, previously the home of Holy Family High School.

As word spread about the exhibit, people like my cousin, Monsignor Lawrence Corcoran, began contributing more items. Before long, it became a museum on a mission to preserve sacred art, restore liturgical items to sacred use, and share the Catholic heritage through those items. Today, the Jubilee Museum holds the largest collection of Catholic artwork in the United States.Jubilee Museum

Former classrooms and assembly rooms comprise the galleries displaying an incredible array of altars, statues, paintings, crucifixes, stained glass windows, Eucharistic vessels, relics of the Saints, reliquaries, manuscripts, organs, school uniforms, ancient artifacts from the Holy Land, the libraries of deceased bishops and priests, and more. One room dedicated to the Semitic roots of Catholic worship displays items important to the Jewish faith, like an Ark and a Torah. Another showcases the history and legacy of the traditional Latin Mass.

The museum’s collecJubilee Museumtion contains 300 altar missals spanning a 400-year period, including those used for the Latin Mass, at funerals, for various events like the dedication of a church, and for exclusive use by religious orders. Bibles in over a dozen languages, including Braille, are represented, with the oldest English-language Bible being a first-edition Rheims New Testament from 1582.

A “Military Mass Kit” and a field organ originally painted Army green that Father Lutz played when he was 10 years old convey the role faith has played on the battlefield. In this room, you’ll also discover the story of how prayer led a local man who shot a Columbus police officer in 1979 to receive forgiveness at his First Communion, which he received from Father Lutz. (For more, see this article from the July 21, 2012 issue of The Columbus Dispatch.)

Beautiful examples of needlework adorn dozens of liturgical vestments. Some 18th-century examples were made in the homes of Spanish nobility; others hail from Germany.   This detail of one vestment reminded me of “Strawberry Thief,” my favorite William Morris textile design.Jubilee Museum

Papal artifacts include the snuff box of Pius IX, the fascia (sash) of Pius XII, and a zucchetto (white skullcap) that St. John Paul II donated in support of Father Lutz’s cause. A 19th-century chalice bears a hefty heart-shaped amethyst once owned by Mary, Queen of Scots.Jubilee Museum

Droves of nun dolls keep order in one room celebrating Catholic education,

Jubilee Museum

where I tested my knowledge of Catholic vocabulary words with a nifty set of rubber stamps.Jubilee Museum

In another room honoring the teaching orders of nuns, I discovered how hosts used to be made.Jubilee Museum

Other rooms celebrate the local legacies of St. Joseph Academy and Aquinas High School, both long closed but not forgotten by their graduates.

Jubilee Museum

Tour the museum however you like, but save the St. Peter Room for last.

This room is dedicated to St. Peter’s Church, which was built in 1928 on New York Avenue in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood of Columbus. The interior of the church was designed by Rambusch Studios of New York, which also designed many elaborate movie palaces of the day, while the A. J. Musselman Co. installed the church’s striking ceiling and interior plasterwork at about the same time it was putting in the ceiling at the Ohio Theatre. The church was demolished in 1970 to make way for Interstate 71; a Wendy’s restaurant and parking lot now stand on the site.Jubilee Museum

When he was a teenager, Father Lutz played the organ for Sunday and weekday Masses at St. Peter’s from 1965 until the church was closed. Recovering artifacts from St. Peter’s is one of his special causes.

Father Lutz has reunited several of the church’s stained-glass windows, portions of the altar, pews, pulpit, baptismal font, sanctuary lamp, benches, statues and Stations of the Cross. Many personal items belonging to Monsignor Anthony Schlernitzauer, the priest who served the St. Peter’s congregation from 1925 until the church’s closing, are on display, including a copy of The Joy of Cooking, his traditional gift to newlyweds. Two of the bronze bells that rang from the church tower were donated by the new St. Peter’s Church on Smoky Row Road. The third and smallest bell was stolen just before the church’s demolition was completed, and is still missing. Father Lutz is offering a $3,000 reward for it.

A cross built from pieces of the crane that was used to tear down St. Peter’s is now the symbol of the museum.Jubilee Museum

The museum also promotes the faith through rotating art exhibits and providing liturgical items like altars and statues for priests and parishes to use. It also supplied props for “I Am Wrath,” the movie that John Travolta filmed in Columbus earlierJubilee Museum this year.

Although it’s as unassuming as its location, the museum has attracted international attention. Most notably, Father Lutz’s work earned him the honor of being the first American appointed as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Catholic Church.

With a museum like this to his credit, Father Lutz is understandably obsessed with bringing faith-filled artifacts into his flock. If you come across something interesting at a garage sale or antique sale, or see anything that looks like it ever belonged to a Catholic church, please rescue it and let Father Lutz and the Jubilee Museum staff know.

To learn more about the Jubilee Museum, tune in to its videos on its YouTube channel, watch Father Lutz’s January 26, 2011 appearance on the EWTN Global Catholic Television Network and make a donation to tour the museum.  Follow the museum’s Facebook page to learn abJubilee Museumout special events and fundraisers.  I attended its “Treasures New & Old” banquet on the recommendation of Father Lutz’s cat, Raphael, a published author who gives away Kit-Kat bars as prizes in poetry contests and writes a weekly column in the St. Mary bulletin.

Raphael’s namesake is the subject of a window at the museum. Study this detail and let me know (1) why the archangel and saint is holding a fish and (2) what’s miraculous about this particular depiction of him doing so. That’s the value of religious art…and the Jubilee Museum.

Posted in Art, Churches, Columbus, History, Museums | 2 Comments

St. Mary’s Traffic-Stopping Sesquicentennial Procession Brought Us Home to German Village

Last Friday, a Bavarian bricklayer named Johann Ranft treated my mother and me to one of the most memorable experiences of our lives.DSCN9463

Ranft (1821-1880) was a founding member of St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village, the chairman of the committee to build its first church, and the bricklayer who constructed it. He was also my great-great-great grandfather. As Ranft’s descendants, my mother and I received an invitation to participate in the St. Mary Sesquicentennial Homecoming Parade and Procession, a motorcade that made its way through the streets of downtown Columbus and German Village to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the church.

Specht Center, St. Mary ChurchBy the 1860s, Columbus’s population was one-third German. Most of the city’s German Catholics attended Holy Cross Church, the first Catholic church in Columbus that was founded in 1837. In 1863, Ranft and other Holy Cross parishioners who lived on the South Side of Columbus began working on establishing a Catholic church in their own neighborhood. They accomplished their goal in 1865, creating a combination of a church in one room, an elementary school in another room, and a rectory in the building’s two upstairs rooms. Rev. Francis X. Specht, an assistant priest at Holy Cross who was ordained in 1864, was named as the first pastor of the church officially known as St. Mary, Mother of God. Today, the original four-room building still stands on the parish grounds and is known as the Specht Center.

St. Mary ChurchIn 1866, the St. Mary congregation had grown so much that construction began on a larger church. When Bishop Sylvester Rosecrans dedicated the new Gothic Revival church on November 29, 1868, St. Mary parishioners planned a grand-scale event. They began with a service at Holy Cross Church. Then, they processed from Holy Cross on Fifth Street to Town Street; west on Town Street to High Street; south on High Street to South Fulton Street; east on Fulton Street to Third Street; and south on Third Street to the new church. St. Mary parishioners were joined by Columbus policemen and representatives of benevolent societies carrying banners and flags. Bands from Columbus, Dayton, Newark and Zanesville played at intervals along the route. The new church was so crowded that hundreds stood outside to participate in the service of thanksgiving for its completion.

Last Friday’s procession was a modern-day re-enactment of that historic event. After months of planning by a team of dedicated St. Mary volunteers, this terrific feat fell beautifully into place.

We joined descendants of other founding families — all with good German surnames like Dorn, Eckstein, Eisel, Kaiser, Noltemeyer, Rueckel, Schaefer, Schneider, Seipel, Specht, Thurn, Trott and Zang — and boarded a motorcoach to make our way to Holy Cross for a service of thanksgiving. Reverend Roger Minner, St. Mary’s current deacon and our motorcade marshal, gave us commemorative badges with the St. Mary Sesquicentennial logo to wear. Some descendants of founding families also wore sashes printed with the both the name of the founding family they were representing and a map of Germany decorated with regional flags.

Father Kevin Lutz, Holy Cross ChurchReverend Father Kevin Lutz, St. Mary’s current pastor and the 10th pastor in the church’s history, presided at the service of thanksgiving at Holy Cross. We sang “Hail, Holy Queen” and “Immaculate Mary,” both Catholic hymns that would have been familiar to our ancestors. Then, Father Lutz began our recitation of the Rosary. Five parishioners and descendants of founding families announced each of the five Sorrowful Mysteries, read text about the experiences of German immigrants in Columbus that was especially written for the occasion, and led us through the prayers that make up the Rosary.

Then the motorcade got under way.

Mounted policemen led the motorcade of antique automobiles, trolleSt. Mary Sesquicentennial processionys, bicycles and motorcoaches carrying the descendants of founding families, the honor guards of service societies, members of German singing societies, St. Mary parishioners, and Father Nicholas Droll, our former parochial vicar at St. Andrew who recently became St. Mary’s associate pastor. The motorcade’s grand marshal was Charles Rodenfels, a St. Mary parishioner who is from the same family as George Joseph Rodenfels, who marshaled the 1868 procession.

The motorcade route was as close to the original route as possible. It began at Fifth and Rich Streets, continued west on Rich Street past the Columbus Food Truck Festival in Columbus Commons, turned south on High Street to travel east on Whittier Street, and finally headed north on South Third Street to the church. As the traffic-stopping procession made its way, onlookers took photos, smiled, waved and cheered.

DSCN9432The main attraction of the motorcade was the Mobile Millennium, a 26,000-pound, 48-bell carillon hauled on a tractor-trailer. Father Lutz hiked up his cassock, climbed aboard the tractor-trailer and played hymns, patriotic songs and the signature “The Bells of St. Mary’s” on the carillon — without using any sheet music.

Most carillons are in church towers or bell towers on university campuses, not at street level, so it was thrilling to see Father Lutz, a veteran organist, play a carillon for the first time. To see and hear Father Lutz play the Mobile Millennium, watch the video that accompanies Onlookers attracted by 48-bell carillon and St. Mary parade to German Village,” from the August 15, 2015 issue of The Columbus Dispatch.

When the motorcade reached St. Mary’s, we were greeted with a fanfare performed by an ensemble of local alphorn players.

Alphorn players, St Mary Sesquicentennial Procession

We disembarked and made our way inside the church, where founding family descendants posed for pictures which will be posted on the parish website and used in Sesquicentennial souvenir publications.St. Mary Sesquicentennial Procession

As we caught up with many old friends, we admired the beautiful features of our former parish church, like the carved walnut reredos behind the main altar, its 13 stained-glass windows, and original painted murals, frescoes and ceiling panels depicting German symbols and invocations to Mary.St. Mary Sesquicentennial Procession Mass

Then, The Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, Bishop of Columbus, arrived to preside over the Vigil Mass for the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Bishop greeted us in German and relished the opportunity to include more German phrases in his homily and in his Eucharistic prayers. Bill Antoniak, St. Mary’s music director and organist, played Choral for Luzern during the prelude to the Mass and “Ich bete an die Macht der Liebe” (“I Pray to the Power of Love”). Members of local German singing societies sang various parts of the Mass in German. We sang “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” and “Now Thank We All Our God,” Catholic hymns familiar to our ancestors. In keeping with the current St. Mary practice, we prayed at the end of the recessional hymn for the protection of the church and for priestly vocations, especially for the priest who will give each of us the Last Rites when our time comes.

Bishop Campbell after the St. Mary Sesquicentennial Procession MassBishop Campbell greeted each person after Mass. We talked to him about our shared affinity for German, as well as The Bavarian Army, 1870-1918: The Constitutional and Structural Relations with the Prussian Military Establishment, the dissertation he wrote to earn his doctorate in history from The Ohio State University in 1972. 

The conclusion of this extremely well-orchestrated event marked the opening of the 90th St. Mary Homecoming Festival. This annual two-day event attracts droves of current and former parishioners, veteran festivalgoers and alumni of St. Mary High School, which provided its students with a fine Catholic education from 1914 to 1968.

It was also a homecoming for us. My parents were married at St. Mary’s on May 30, 1968.

Wedding, St. Mary Church, 5/30/1968

I was baptized there on October 26, 1969, at the baptismal font that has been in continuous use since 1868. (Fifty-four members of the Bauman family — another St. Mary founding family that Ranft’s youngest daughter, Cornelia, joined when she married Louis Bauman in 1887— have been baptized at St. Mary’s, so we actually are descendants of two founding families.)Baptism, 10/26/1969

And I made my First Holy Communion at St. Mary’s on April 10, 1977.

First Communion, 4/10/1977

For 35 years, we lived three houses from St. Mary’s. I learned how to ride a bicycle and roller-skate under the protective shadow of its spire, and how to tell time by looking at the large clock face on the bell tower and listening for the ringing of its bells. The church’s neighboring convent was frequently in the backgrounds of photos taken as I traipsed the brick sidewalks of Sycamore Street, like this one taken during the Blizzard of 1978.

East Sycamore Street, German Village, February 1978

Before we left German Village last Friday, we stopped at the brick home at 71 East Livingston Avenue that Johann Ranft built in 1848 and lived in with his wife, another German immigrant named Elisabetha Paulus, whom he married on May 31, 1849 at Holy Cross, and their nine children.

At Johann Ranft's home, 71 East Livingston Avenue, Columbus, Ohio

More special events are being held this year to celebrate the St. Mary Sesquicentennial, including a pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Florence and Venice, Italy with Father Lutz from October 9-20.  A Sesquicentennial celebration souvenir book and a comprehensive parish history book will be available in the coming months.

Although the Mobile Millennium has returned to its home in Lancaster, the Millennium Carillon system in the St. Mary bell tower plays sacred hymns on weekends during the school year, seven days a week during the summer, and other selections on special occasions or religious holidays. The carillon usually plays 15 minutes of sacred hymns Monday through Friday at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Posted in Churches, Columbus, Family, History | 2 Comments

“Would I Were In Grantchester” and the Lambeth Palace Library

My “Destinations To Visit” folder has two new entries: London’s Lambeth Palace and Grantchester in Cambridgeshire, England.

It all started last winter, when I watched “Grantchester,” a six-episode PBS MASTERPIECE Mystery! series.  

Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of SinsThe programs are based on the Grantchester Mysteries, a series of cozy murder mysteries by James Runcie in which a young vicar named Sidney Chambers becomes an amateur sleuth in solving murders that take place in the English country village of Grantchester, a couple of miles from Cambridge. Six books are planned and a new volume comes out every May, until 2017. Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death was published in 2012; Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night followed in 2013; Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil was released in 2014; and Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins is this year’s installment. The books begin in 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, and are planned to continue through the mid-1970s. A second Grantchester television series is planned.

Runcie modeled Sidney after his late father, Lord Robert Runcie, who was the 102nd Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980 to 1991. Like Sidney, Lord Runcie fought in World War II before he was ordained as a minister in 1950.

Lord Runcie may have been the first Archbishop of Canterbury to host a visiting Pope and to lead the Anglican church through controversial issues such as the ordination of women to the priesthood, but all loyal Lady Diana Spencer fans remember him as officiating at her July 29, 1981 marriage to Prince Charles. That’s what caught my attention and prompted me to learn more about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official residence in London, Lambeth Palace, and the special collections in its library. My mother knew this was a special place when she snapped this photo of it on a 1963 visit to London.Lambeth Palace

Lambeth Palace was acquired around 1200 and was rebuilt in 1663. The Lambeth Palace Library, the official library of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was established in 1610 and is one of England’s earliest public libraries. It began when Archbishop Richard Bancroft bequeathed his collection of books to the Archbishops of Canterbury successively forever, on the condition that if establishing the library did not have the support of his successor and of the King, the collection would pass to Chelsea College or Cambridge University Library. In 1646, Cambridge University petitioned the House of Lords to transfer 9,000 Lambeth Palace Library books to its library; when the monarchy was restored in 1664, the books were returned to Lambeth.

Bancroft’s collection included over 5,600 volumes, such as Bibles, Protestant and Catholic theology, sermons, dictionaries, and works on law, the humanities and history. Later, the collection included books once owned by monastic libraries, scholars, and noblemen, including Henry VIII, who owned a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle, a treatise on indulgences commissioned by Katherine of Aragon, a Venetian atlas, and a Latin grammar book. Other Lambeth Palace Library treasures include the MacDurnan Gospels, a pocket-size Gospel book produced in Ireland during the early Middle Ages; a circa-1465 blockbook; the 15th-century Chronicles of England, a manuscript of British history; the circa-1420 Hours of Richard III; the copy of the warrant for the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; the diaries that British Prime Minister William Gladstone kept from 1825-1896; and records of the Queen’s Council about the physical and mental incapacity of King George III from 1811 to 1820.

Lambeth Palace Library is also the main special library for the history and affairs of the Church of England, with responsibility for maintaining a record repository and research center. This part of the collection contains monthly accounts for the rebuilding of the west end of St. Paul’s Cathedral, signed by Inigo Jones between October 1639 and September 1640. The Registers of the Archbishops of Canterbury is series of bound parchment volumes recording the administrative activities of each Archbishop from circa 1279 to 1928. The library also holds archival material for all coronations since the 17th century.

Grantchester also has literary connections worth exploring. In 1851, the owner of the Old Vicarage at Grantchester created a garden, built a romantic castle ruin, a Gothic-style “folly” where he set up a printing press, a summer house, and a Swiss cottage. In 1868, apple and cherry trees were planted at The Orchard, the house next to the vicarage. The next year, a group of Cambridge students asked if they could take tea beneath the blossoming trees, rather than by the house, and it became a popular tradition with Cambridge University students that continues today.

When he was an undergraduate at King’s College, Cambridge, English poet Rupert Brooke rented rooms in The Orchard during the summer of 1911. A year later, when he was in Berlin and was feeling homesick, Brooke wrote the nostalgic poem, “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester,” which contains the line, “Would I were in Grantchester, in Grantchester!”

The novelist Jeffrey Archer and his wife, Dame Mary Archer, moved to the Old Vicarage at Grantchester in the late 1970s. Dame Mary included the home’s history in her book, The Story of The Old Vicarage Grantchester.

For more on Lambeth Palace’s library, see Lambeth Palace Library: Treasures from the Collection of the Archbishops of Canterbury, edited by Richard Palmer and Michelle P. Brown. Learn more about Grantchester in The English Vicarage Garden, by Piers Dudgeon, and “Rupert Brooke at Grantchester,” a chapter in The Writer’s Garden: How Gardens Inspired Our Best-Loved Authors, by Jackie Bennett, with photography by Richard Hanson.

James Runcie has prepared a walking tour of Sidney’s world that you can follow if you visit Grantchester.  You can see the Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary, the church that was founded in 1352 and where Sidney is Vicar; the Vicarage; Grantchester Meadows; the Eagle Pub; and other places featured in the Grantchester Mystery books and the television series.

Click here for information on visiting Lambeth Palace , here for visiting the Lambeth Palace Library, and here for taking tea in the Orchard Tea Garden – all of which I hope to do on a future trip to England.

Have you been to Granchester or the Lambeth Palace Library?  If so, leave me a comment and tell me about your visit.

You’ll also find this post on Special Connections, the blog of the Ohio Library Council’s Subject and Special Collection Division.  

Posted in Books, England, Libraries | Leave a comment

Bring Wilbear Wright Home From The Birthplace of Aviation

Thirty minutes on the treadmill raced by as I listened to Pulitzer prize-winning author David McCullough talk to WOSU’s Ann Fisher about two intellectually curious brothers who loved to read, to learn and to keep to themselves. These determined models of integrity who invented powered, human-controlled flight are the subject of McCullough’s new book, The Wright Brothers.Wilbear Wright

McCullough’s interview prompted me to visit some of the historic Dayton, Ohio sites associated with the Wright brothers, but a dapper aviator teddy bear turned it into an exciting day of discovery. Join me in my quest to bring home Wilbear Wright!

The Race to Dayton’s Amazing Aviation Places is an initiative of Wright Dunbar, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Dayton neighborhood where the Wright brothers and their high school classmate, African-American author Paul Laurence Dunbar, lived.  To join the race, pick up a passport, tour the one required site — the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center — and a minimum of five of the remaining eight aviation sites in the Dayton area, receive a stamp at each of those sites, and turn in the passport to earn a free Wilbear Wright.

The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Aviation Trail Visitor Center are part of the National Park Service’s Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. A full-size replica model of the Wright brothers’ 1902 glider, which helped them discover balance and control, is on display here.Dayton Aviation Heritage

The center is filled with clever exhibits that tell stories of the brothers’ lives. For example, in 1878, their father, Milton Wright, brought home a toy “helicopter” for young Wilbur and Orville that was made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its rotor. The boys played with it until it broke, and then they built their own. Later, they said the toy sparked their interest in flying.

That ingenuity continued when 12-year-old Orville saw a series of woodcut illustrations in a magazine and decided to teach himself how to engrave, fashioning a carving tool from a pocket knife and carving wood blocks. When he was in high school, Orville began a small printing business with his friend, Ed Sines, and later, Wilbur. During their stint as job printers, the brothers printed letterheads, business cards, tickets, programs, church-related publications, and a small current events magazine called Snap-Shots. They also printed the Dayton Tattler, a newspaper Dunbar edited for Dayton’s black community.

FDayton Aviation Heritagerom 1890 through 1895, the Wrights operated a print shop on the second floor of the Hoover Block on the corner of Third and Williams Streets, the building where the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center is located. Exhibits recreate the composing room, where they set type by hand, and the job press room, where they printed small jobs. The rooms feature some of the original printing equipment once owned and used by the Wright brothers.

Here, you can also learn about the Pinnacles, a once-popular picnic area located south of Dayton, near Moraine. The Pinnacles featured unusual 40- to 80-feet-high geological rock formations, known as the Devil’s Backbone. From 1897 to 1899, the Wright brothers came here to observe turkey vultures soaring above the Pinnacles. While watching the birds twist the tips of their wings as they flew, the brothers developed their wing-warping theory. The Pinnacles was destroyed during road construction and is now an abandoned farm.The Pinnacles

The brothers put wing-warping into action with their remarkable hip cradle, which allowed the pilot to roll the plane left or right. As he flew from a lying-down position, he swung his hips in the direction he wanted to go. The hip cradle then activated the warping cables, twisting the wings and turning the plane. At the center, see how the hip cradle works by placing your hand in a model of the cradle, moving your hand to either side, and watching how the wings of the model move.

Dayton Aviation Heritage

The Wright brothers became interested in bicycles in 1892, when this new form of transportation became a national craze, and decided to venture into the bicycle business, which they continued until 1908. In fact, my great-grandfather, Louis Stein, was one of the Wright Cycle Company’s employees.

The Wrights’ fourth bicycle shop, located at 22 South Williams Street and adjacent to the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, is now the only remaining building that housed their bicycle business. While running their business here from 1895 to 1897, the Wrights began to design and build their own models of bicycles, the Van Cleve, named after Wright ancestors who were among the first to settle in Dayton and the St. Clair. This restored site is also where the brothers researched and developed their interest in flying.

Dayton Aviation Heritage

Walk one block to 7 Hawthorne Street, the site of the Wright family home from 1871 to 1878 and from 1885 to 1914. Orville was born in the house in 1871, the brothers lived there while they were developing their flying machine, and Wilbur died there in 1912. The actual house was moved to Greenfield Village in 1936, but the site is now a commemorative area. Part of the home’s front porch has been reconstructed, while lines of concrete blocks trace the placement of its first-floor rooms.

7 Hawthorne Street

Huffman Prairie Flying Field, now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is an 84-acre prairie pasture a few miles outside Dayton. Here, the Wright brothers continued the work they did at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in teaching themselves to fly. During 1904 and 1905, they took a 10-minute Interurban electric trolley ride from their Dayton home to the Simms Station stop almost every day. The platform is still standing.

Huffman Prairie

At Huffman Prairie, the brothers learned to control and maneuver their flying machine. You can see a replica of the hangar and catapult launching device that they used to perfect the world’s first practical airplane, the 1905 Wright Flyer III. From 1910 to 1915, the Wrights operated the Wright School of Aviation here, training many of the world’s first pilots.Huffman Prairie

The meadow is also an excellent place to take in plenty of birds, moths, butterflies and prairie plants. In fact, Orville was introduced to the area by his high school biology teacher, who led his students on field expeditions at Huffman Prairie. When Huffman Prairie was being restored in the 1990s, scientists working there discovered a new species of moth, Glyphidocera wrightorum, naming it in honor of the Wright brothers and the work they did there.

The Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center contains exhibits focusing on the Wright brothers’ work at Huffman Prairie. Take a ride in a 1911 Wright Model B flight simulator, using outboard sticks to move the plane up and down and the center stick to roll the plane left and right. “On Great White Wings,” a 30-minute film narrated by Martin Sheen, recreates the brothers’ achievements by flying a full-scale replica of the Wright Flyer III on site at Huffman Prairie. Steps away from the center is the Wright Memorial on Wright Brothers Hill, a 27-acre landscape featuring a 17-foot pink granite obelisk that was dedicated on August 19, 1940, Orville’s 69th birthday.

Wright Memorial

At the National Aviation Hall of Fame, located in the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, see a scale model of Orville and Wilbur preparing for their first powered flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903. The same materials found on the original aircraft were used, such as laminated spruce for the propeller, spruce and ash on the forward supports, and chain links punched from metal. The sculpted landscape it sits upon is covered with sand taken from the beaches of Kill Devil Hill at Kitty Hawk.National Aviation Hall of Fame

Wilbur and Orville purchased a 17-acre tract of land in the Dayton suburb of Oakwood in 1912 and began plans to build a home there. While Wilbur passed away before Hawthorn Hill was completed in 1914, Orville lived in the home for over 35 years.

Hawthorn Hill


In Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery, a blue flag with a white airplane flies over the Wright family plot, where Wilbur and Orville are buried. Following tradition, visitors to the gravesite place coins on the plain granite markers as a sign of respect.

Woodland Cemetery

The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park also includes the Wright Brothers Aviation Center in Carillon Historical Park. This site features the 1905 Wright Flyer III, which Orville helped restore, and the Van Cleve bicycles that the Wright brothers designed. In 1910, the Wright brothers opened the Wright Company Factory, the first factory in the United States designed especially for building airplanes. The factory is a new part of the park and is not open to the public yet.

Another Wright-related site in the area is the Wright State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives, home to one of the most complete collections of Wright material in the world. The collection includes the Wrights’ personal library; Wright family letters, diaries and financial records; and over 4,000 photographs documenting the invention of the airplane and the lives of the Wright family. The collection is open for public research, but making an appointment to do so is necessary.

Recently, the library partnered with the Dayton Metro Library to create an online archive of the most complete run of the Wright brothers’ newspapers available to date. Over 150 of the papers are now available to search and read online.

Finally, venture into eastern Indiana to Hagerstown, where you can tour the Wilbur Wright Birthplace. Wilbur was born in this small farmhouse on April 16, 1867.

Click here to listen to David McCullough’s interview about The Wright Brothers on the June 4 edition of All Sides With Ann Fisher. It begins at the 31:30 mark.

Posted in Dayton, History, Museums, Nature/Outdoors | 1 Comment

Start The Ball Rolling To Visit Minnetrista

When you see a Ball jar, you might think of luscious homemade jams, savory pickled cucumbers and ripe tomatoes, all preserved at the peak of their freshness so they can be enjoyed all year long.

Visit Minnetrista in Muncie, IndiMinnetristaana, and your image of Ball jars will conjure up thoughts of five lovely homes, beautiful gardens, an only child with a fascination for faeries who grew up to collect rare children’s books, and her art-loving cousin who transformed her family’s home into a cultural center for the Muncie community.

Minnetrista is a 40-acre complex that once belonged to the family behind Ball Brothers Glass Company, a well-known manufacturer of canning jars.

In 1880, Frank and Edmund Ball borrowed $200 from their uncle, moved to Buffalo, New York, and started manufacturing wood-jacketed tin cans for shipping oils and varnishes. The wood-jacketed cans gave way to tin-jacketed glass containers for kerosene. When John Mason’s patent on the screw top for glass jars used in food preservation expired in 1884, the Balls started producing glass jars for use in home canning. Frank and Edmund were joined in business by their three brothers — George, William and Lucius — and the Ball Brothers Glass Company was on its way.

When a fire destroyed their factory in 1886, the Ball brothers decided to move to the Midwest, where fuel to operate their glass furnaces was cheaper. Frank scouted out possible sites where natural gas was plentiful. Hungry for industry, officials in Muncie, Indiana offered the Ball brothers $7,500 to defray their moving expenses from Buffalo, seven acres of land on which to build, and free natural gas for five years. The Balls accepted and moved their business and their families to Muncie. Construction of the new factory began in 1887 and glass production started in 1888. Always on the lookout for ways to make better products, Ball developed an automatic glass-blowing machine that was revolutionary in how it increased the company’s productivity. By 1897, Ball had cornered the market. Its glass jars —adorned with “Ball” written in an artistic upward script with an underscore — were world-famous.

Colors of Ball jars ranged from aqua and amber to green and a smoky grey flint, but its most distinctive one was a rich blue, derived from the sand of Lake Michigan’s southeastern shore.

When it came to growing the business, the company was on the ball. It relied on a network of amateur forecasters who provided information about the weather and cDSCN9389rop conditions to estimate the number of jars to produce. It developed fruit jar “go-withs” to be used in canning, such as jar lifters, jar openers, pressure cookers, bubble freers, corn cutters and funnels. It created advertising literature, provided recipes for canning and sponsored canning contests.

In 1894, Ball began shipping its glass jars to grocers, developing an innovative practice of packing them a dozen at a time in wooden boxes and using strawboard dividing liners to prevent them from breaking. Later, Ball pioneered the use of corrugated paper shipping cartons for glass containers. Jars awaiting shipping were stored in Muncie fields, separated with straw. Flocks of migrating ducks landed in the shimmering fields, mistaking them for a lake.

That same year, the Ball brothers also decided to purchase a 40-acre tract of land on the north bank of the White River in Muncie. The view of White River looking toward downtown Muncie along Wheeling Avenue is one of the city’s most painted and photographed scenes.Minnetrista

Frank Ball and his wife, Elizabeth, built the first home there in 1894. They called it “Minnetrista,” a combination of the Sioux word “mna,”meaning “water,” and the English word “tryst,” creating “a gathering place by the water.” In 1902, the large frame house with porches and a gambrel roof was remodeled to reflect the Colonial Revival style that was so fashionable at the time. It was faced with Indiana limestone, and columns were added to the front portico. The home burned down in 1967, and the columns now mark the entrance to Minnetrista’s grounds.


George Ball and his wife, Frances, built their home in 1895 amid an oak grove and called it “Oakhurst” to reflect its surroundings. Their only child, Elisabeth “Betty” Ball, was born at Oakhurst and lived there her entire life.


Frances and George developed the idea for publishing a detailed home canning guide in Oakhurst’s kitchen. Frances used and tested her own recipes for canning vegetables and fruit, while George wrote the directions. In 1909, The Correct Method for Preserving Fruit was published. Later editions were known as the Ball Blue Book.

MinnetristaWhen Betty was a little girl, she played in a “Doll House” that was built around 1905. The original was destroyed in a storm, but a reproduction stands on the same site today. Betty also liked dressing up in a faerie costume and inviting her friends to faerie parties. One of Betty’s guests was Emily Kimbrough, a Muncie girl who grew up to edit the Ladies’ Home Journal and write more than a dozen books, including the classic Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, an account she wrote with Cornelia Otis Skinner about their experiences traveling in England and France after leaving college in 1921. How Dear To My Heart tells of Kimbrough’s growing up with the Ball children. The faerie tradition at Minnetrista continues today with related programming, such as a family faerie house workshop (July 25), a spa for young faerie princesses (July 31) and a faerie tea party (August 1).

Later in life, Betty purchased a cabin in Brown County, Indiana and had it reconstructed near Oakhurst. This is a reproduction of the original cabin.Minnetrista

As an adult, Betty was best known for her extensive collection of rare children’s books, which her father began. She donated portions of her collection to her alma mater, Vassar College; Indiana University’s Lilly Library; the Philadelphia Free Library; the American Antiquarian Society; and the Pierpont Morgan Library. Her gifts were celebrated in a Morgan Library exhibition and catalogue titled Early Children’s Books and Their Illustration, as well as in an exhibition and catalogue at the Lilly Library titled For Your Amusement and Instruction: The Elisabeth Ball Collection of Historical Children’s Materials: An Exhibition.

Betty also collected Fabergé objects, paintings and fore-edge books, rare items with hand-painted scenes on the outer edges of the pages that are not visible when the books are closed, but appear when the book is bent slightly.

Oakhurst is surrounded by several peaceful gardens. A shaded courtyard garden surrounds Oakhurst’s back porch, where a water feature winds its way through ferns and native ephemerals like trilliums, mayapples, Virginia bluebells and celadine poppies. Further down the path, find a rock wall garden and a formal garden filled with colorful perennials and annuals.

Lucius Ball bought an existing farmhouse and turned it toward the river. Later, he made extensive additions to it and faced it in yellow brick. Today, the home houses Minnetrista’s offices. Its gardens feature one of Minnetrista’s three lily ponds, a horn bean hedgemaze, and a colonnade garden where wisteria-covered limestone columns stand among mosaics and perennial plantings.


William Ball and his wife, Emma, built Maplewood, a Georgian Revival home in 1898. Today, it is a guest house for Jarden Home Brands, the current maker of Ball home canning products.Minnetrista

Edward Ball and his wife, Bertha, built the last home in 1905 and called it “Nebosham,” a Delaware Indian word meaning “bend in the river.” It was patterned after an English Tudor manor house, with an Indiana limestone exterior and a Spanish tile roof. Inside, it features stained-glass windows and doors, wood paneling, wainscoting, parquet floors, patterned ceilings, art-glass light fixtures and fireplace tiles from Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati. Today, Nebosham is used by Ball State University as an art center and a continuing education facility.Minnetrista “Now seems like a good time to start the Ball rolling!,” Margaret Ball Petty, daughter of Frank and Elizabeth Ball, remarked in 1978, when she suggested that the Ball Brothers Foundation establish an art museum and cultural center on the site of her childhood home. Today, Minnetrista’s staff work hard to share the Balls’ legacy with the Muncie community. Blog posts, artifacts and archival material describe and document the history of the company and East Central Indiana. Explorer bags and adventure cards offer hands-on activities for all ages, from discovering Minnetrista’s wetlands to exploring bird habitats across the campus. Helpful resources for Ball jar and Blue Book collectors are available here.

Minnetrista offers frequent educational programs, including popular two-hour canning workshops, in this building. Upcoming programs include making green tomato salsa verde (July 21), chicken no-noodle soup (August 18), beef stew meat (September 15) and cranberry sauce (November 17). 


Minnetrista is also known for its extensive gardens featuring culinary herbs, plantings to attract butterflies and birds, gardens refreshed by captured stormwater, a rose garden, a four-seasons garden, and blue, white, yellow and silver-hued plants that are enhanced by moonlight. A nature area represents three Indiana native habitats: a tallgrass prairie; a pond; and a woodland area.  A wishing well that Frank Ball and his family purchased on a trip to Venice is the focal point of another garden.


Antique and modern apple orchards are next to the Orchard Shop, which hosts a monthly farmers market during the growing season.  The shop sells local art, food, handmade goods, and Ball jars and accessories year-round. 


The Ball family contributed their fortune to several philanthropic endeavors. They established Ball State University in Muncie, placing many items from their art collections on permanent loan in the Ball State Art Gallery. The Balls also purchased and presented the Indiana land on which the cabin where Abraham Lincoln lived as a boy (now the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial) http://www.nps.gov/libo and restored the Fredericksburg, Virginia home that George Washington bought for his mother in 1772.

Ball no longer manufactures glass canning jars, but it has expanded and grown into a worldwide metal packaging company based in Colorado that makes recyclable metal containers and is involved in the aerospace business. 

For more information on the Ball family, read Beneficience: Stories about the Ball Families of Muncie, by Earl L. Conn; The House and Its History, by Thomas A. Sargent, the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center and the Ball Corporation; and Stone on Stone, by Hope Barnes and Frances Petty Sargent. Ball Corporation: The First Century, by Frederick Birmingham, and A Collector’s Guide to Ball Jars, by William Brantley, are books about the Ball family’s company and the Ball jar. Discover home food preserving tips, an Introduction to Canning Guide and more here.

On July 22 at 6:30 p.m., the Westerville Public Library will host “Life Hacks: Canning & Preserving.” In this program, The Ohio State University Delaware County Extension will discuss how to properly can and preserve fruits and vegetables.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Books, Gardens, History, Indiana, Museums | Leave a comment