Erie J. Sauder, born August 6, 1904 here in Archbold, Ohio, was an American inventor and furniture-maker. Archbold was another of those towns formed around a railroad stop.
In 1934, Erie Sauder began his woodworking business out of the barn at his home. He invented the ready-to-assemble table in 1951 that could be assembled by the average person with minimal skills. This turned into a multi-million dollar industry. More than likely you have one of his Sauder products in your home, a bookcase or desk.
We toured Sauder Village where his original workshop was located, and a local artisan was there explaining the process Sauder used with tools he made himself.
We also saw the first RV. Actually, it is a Hungarian migrant worker’s wagon, built in 1923, it was used by sugar beat workers, and their families, as a shelter while they harvested the beats.
Corduroy roads were the solution to crossing the miles of swampy land encountered by the first settlers in Northwest Ohio. These roads were constructed by laying logs side-by-side across the swampy ground in a pattern that reminded people of the corduroy fabric.
It was Hortensia Hayes, daughter of one of the town’s first businessmen, that suggested the name of Wauseon, Chief of the Ottowas, as the name of the town to the early town leaders in 1854, when the town was established. He was the Chief that was forced to convey all their lands in the Northwest territory to the United States government 16 years earlier in 1838. The only reason this town is here is because the railroad needed a place for water and fuel. There ain’t much here now.
Geneva, Ohio to Wauseon Ohio: 202.7 miles
3 hours 52 minutes
Spent the day looking for covered bridges. Ashtabula County, Ohio, is reported to have seventeen covered bridges within the county limits, including both the longest and the shortest covered bridges in the United States.
Now, we have traveled in the past throughout New England seeking covered bridges. It was our understanding that the longest wooden covered bridge in the US was the one connecting Vermont to New Hampshire, which we visited on that trip. The Cornish–Windsor Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the Connecticut River between Cornish, New Hampshire and Windsor, Vermont. It was the longest covered bridge still standing in the United States until the Smolen–Gulf Bridge opened in Ohio in 2008. The Cornish–Windsor Bridge is still the longest wooden covered bridge and has the longest single covered span to carry automobile traffic. The Smolen-Gulf Bridge, we saw today, had a concert floor, covered by a wooded structure. The cover is obviously not needed today.
Covered bridges were built 150 to 200 years ago to protect the wooden floor of the bridge from the elements. The roads leading up to those bridges, which usually crossed water, were dirt roads.
There was a smaller, pedestrian only bridge below the Smolen-Golf Bridge, recently built.
When we approached the Root Road Bridge, it appeared the width was only 8’2″. The width of my truck is 8’3″. The bridge looked wider, so we attempted to drive the truck through.
We went back and actually measured the bridge (yes, I carry a 25′ tape measure with me). The bridge was in fact 11’8″wide.
After viewing 9 of the 17 bridges in the County, we realized they were all build within the last 25 years, and was a tourist come-on.
We did see one original bridge, the Graham Road Bridge, built sometime in the 1800, it was washed away in a 1913 storm. The remnants were rebuilt here, where it is on display where it use to cross the west branch of the Ashtabula River.
After searching for wooden covered bridges all day, where else to eat but the Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor.
This bridge was built in 1862. In 1972, Ashtabula County decided to replace the bridge and sold it for $5.00. The new owners took down the bridge, piece by piece, and re-assembled it here for their pizza parlor.
WATCH OUT FOR THAT ROAD KILL!
Geneva is a city in Ashtabula County, Ohio. This area, located on Lake Erie, in the Northeast corner of the State, was originally settled in 1805. The city wasn’t incorporated until 1958. Eventually, the people here had no imagination, as they named the city after the city of the same name in New York.
Niagara Falls, NY to Geneva, OH 175.6 miles
3 hours 45 minutes
Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on . . . . . . I am not going to tell you, or tell you about Milan, Ohio, with a fascinating history, because my sister says I blog too much history.
However, I will leave you with the following to figure out:
Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie has been in continuous operation since 1822.
This lens reflected the light across Lake Erie for years:
But it is not there now:
It has been replaced with this (that black round thing):
That is an LED light which can shine 11 nautical miles.
Visited the home, library and museum of President Rutherford B. Hayes in Fremont, Ohio.
Barbara gave a presidential talk to the media:
I took time out to catch up on some correspondence.
The desk I am sitting is the Resolute Desk given to President Hayes by Queen Victoria, November, 1880. You might remember this desk from the Nicholas Cage movie, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, in which he sought information he believed hidden in the desk’s secret compartments.
My friend John also used this desk for a few years.
Afterwards, we attended a concert and ice cream social on the Veranda of President Hayes’ house.
Took a ferry ride from Sandusky, Ohio to Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie:
It is from here during the War of 1812 that Commodore Oliver Perry dispatched his fleet to engage the British in the Battle of Lake Erie, September 10, 1813. After his victory, he sent a dispatch saying “We have met the enemy, and they are ours”.
I told Barbara not to jay walk, or she would be Put-in-Jail:
Fortunately she knows a good lawyer (retired).
We have been walking so much, I think we are loosing weight:
Sandusky, Ohio, started out as a trading post between the British and Indians.
Prior to the abolition of slavery in the United States, Sandusky was a major stop on the Underground Railroad. As depicted in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, many slaves seeking to reach freedom in Canada made their way to Sandusky, where they boarded boats crossing Lake Erie to the port of Amherstburg in Ontario.
One of the city’s attractions is the Museum of Merry Go Rounds
Harmony, PA. to Sandusky, OH 175.3 miles
3 hours 21 minutes