Author Archives: Betsy

The Wallpapers In Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Dayton Home Are As Lovely As His Books

Margaret Armstrong’s decorative bookbindings are beautiful representations of this talented book designer’s interest in botany, the distinctive lettering that she developed, and the rich colors that she used in her work. The designs she created for When Malindy Sings, Li’l … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Dayton, History, Museums, Ohio | Leave a comment

You Won’t Be At Wit’s End Finding Erma Bombeck’s 15-Ton Rock At Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery

In this modest Ranch-style house in Centerville, Ohio, Erma Bombeck sat at a makeshift desk fashioned from a wooden plank and cinder blocks and used an IBM Selectric to type the “At Wit’s End” columns that launched her career. Erma, … Continue reading

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Ride Roller Coasters In Sandusky? No, Thank You, I’d Rather See The Dorns’ 1950s Home And The Hotel Breakers

Most people travel to Sandusky, Ohio to experience daring drops, corkscrew turns and spinning swings from hundreds of feet above the ground, but I prefer the thrill of going there to see a porch with a rubber ceiling and walls, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Libraries, Museums, Ohio, Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society) | Leave a comment

Start Feeding Your Lawn at O.M. Scott’s Original Marysville Hardware Store

White Linen and Lalique de Lalique are lovely fragrances, but to me, the headiest scent of all is the one that permeated my dad’s hardware store: Scotts lawn fertilizer. I contentedly took a big sniff of it recently, when I … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nature/Outdoors, Ohio | 1 Comment

Would You Shake A Cook’s Flour-Covered Hand?

With her rolled-up calico sleeves and ruddy cheeks, this merry-looking cook personifies friendliness, but would you shake her flour-covered hand? That’s the question Lilly Martin Spencer poses in Shake Hands?, an 1854 painting that has become one of this artist’s … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society) | 1 Comment

Adelaide’s House Is Fit For A Queen

The Downtown worker taking a break on the Milo’s Capitol Café patio watched me scour the northeast corner of the Ohio Statehouse grounds for Adelaide’s house.   I looked everywhere — by the patio, toward the Ohio Senate’s home in the … Continue reading

Posted in Columbus, Nature/Outdoors | 1 Comment

No Wonder Birds Flock to Gene Stratton-Porter’s Limberlost Cabin

The songs of Petey the canary must have been the perfect background music for Mrs. Warren G. Harding as she read The Harvester and Her Father’s Daughter. The former First Lady owned both of these books by Gene-Stratton Porter, the self-taught … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Birds, Books, Indiana, Nature/Outdoors | Leave a comment