So today was Day 4 of our adventurous road trip where we turned a simple 1400 mile drive from NC to TX into a 12 day 3404 mile sightseeing tour! On this fourth day we finished traveling through Ohio and into Indiana, continuing to pick up new geocaching counties and finding more remnants of the old National Road. So come ride along with us as I share our geocaching adventures with you.
Waking up in Columbus, Ohio this morning, our first stop was for some Starbucks coffee. Well, Candy got a Starbucks coffee. I got the geocache in the parking lot (GC25QYX). Then we drove a few blocks away to a Dunkin Donuts where I then got a coffee and donuts for myself as well as a muffin for Candy.
Continuing our westbound roadtrip and following the Historic National Road (now US-40), we pulled into the Sunset Cemetery in Franklin County for several geocaches hidden here (GC77D86, GC4QFG8, GC54E7E, GC4ER7X). All three geocaches had a lot of favorite points awarded to them so we just had to stop by and find them. A nice Veterans Memorial was on display. But Jack's Cache was by far the favorite and even posted both a photo and video of it below. Be sure to have your sound turned up when playing the video!
(Turn Sound ON With Video!)
One of the advantages of driving the backroads on a roadtrip are the unexpected gems that get to be discovered along the way! Passing through the small Village of Lafayette in Madison County, Ohio, what first got me to stop was spotting this tour of Jeep history somebody had displayed on this fence. It was a perfect photo opp for the Geo Jeep Travel Bug!
Then taking a closer look at the old buildings along this stretch of the historical highway. This first one here I can't find much information on it. The plaque above the front entrance says "Deer Creek Tp, Sub-Dist No 1, 1906." I'm thinking it was an early school that has long been closed. One of the rear buildings has B. S. A. on it and can only assume that at some time in its historical past that the Boy Scouts of America had rented the building. If any of you can provide further details, please use the comment box below. It would be greatly appreciated.
This other building across the street is on the National Register of Historical Places. From the historical marker: "The Red Brick Tavern is a classic roadside inn and tavern from the heyday of the National Road. Constructed between 1836 and 1837, it was in operation when the road was completed past its front door. Over the years, the Red Brick Tavern was a popular place for travelers along the Historic National Road in Ohio. The Tavern hosted six presidents of the United States; John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachery Taylor, and Warren G. Harding."
Running north and south along the west side of Lafayette is Deer Creek. To claim a geocache in Madison County we went to the Deer Creek Cemetery (GC1ZDYX) which is next to the creek. While some of my favorite geocaches are cemetery caches, I was more interested in the geocache next to the cemetery.
Crossing the creek about a 1000 feet south of the current alignment of the National Road / US-40, spans the remnants of an early railroad bridge This Interurban bridge was part of the railway that was part of the Springfield London Columbus route. This railway was run by the Columbus London & Springfield Railway from 1902-1939. The Interurbans provided a quick and cheap alternative to regular railroad for transporting people. As for the geocache, well I couldn't find it. Along with many others. It has since been archived.
The next county over is Clark County. It's also where my next two geocaches are located (GCZEFX, GCRDQC). In 1841, Ezra Baker gave the township land to the northeast edge of Enon for a cemetery. Land was added to the Enon Cemetery in 1884, in 1906, and again in 1978. There are earlier burials than 1841, but these were moved from family plots. Three Revolutionary soldiers, two War of 1812 soldiers, many from the Civil War, plus soldiers of more recent wars, are buried in the cemetery. There is a Soldier’s Monument, bearing the names of 31 local men who died during the Civil War, but not necessarily brought home for burial.
Continuing westbound a few miles and dropping down into Greene County, we make a stop for a quick geocache in the corner of a parking lot to claim the county (GC104NY).
After Greene was Montgomery County and the next three geocaches. The first one was located at the Polk Grove Cemetery (GC3W2YG). The cemetery is located next to the Polk Grove United Church of Christ. Since I didn't have time to look around the cemetery, I'll just leave you with this little tidbit. What's the difference between a cemetery and a graveyard? A graveyard is what they used to call a cemetery located on church grounds.
The second geocache was another location along the historic National Road. Patty's Bridge (GC196PD), located in Englewood Metro Park, is named after the James Patty family who owned a 160-acre farm in Butler Township. The Patty's brick farmhouse, torn down in about 1975, was located on the high ground northeast of the bridge. The original stone abutments for the bridge are still in place and demonstrate the skill of the workman building the highway. The National Road was America's first interstate highway.
Thomas Jefferson was president when construction of the road began in 1807. It started in Cumberland, MD and reached this part of Ohio in about 1838. The original route of the National Road took it due west of Patty's Bridge and into Harrisburg (now Englewood) Ohio. After Englewood Dam was completed in 1922, the National Road (which later became U. S. Route 40) was rerouted to the south and over the dam. By 1840, the National Road was completed to Vandalia, IL and then later to St. Louis, MO. Today this road spans the entire United States from Cumberland, MD to San Francisco, CA.
We stopped for one more geocache in Montgomery County. It was for a tasty treat at the Esther Price Candies chocolate factory (GC44BKB). It was an expensive geocache. Yep, we bought about $60 worth of chocolates by the time we left!
Our final county geocache for Ohio was a quick roadside stop in Preble County (GC2PMGT).
Crossing over into Indiana, the first county is Wayne County. And for our next geocache we stopped at the Old National Road Welcome Center (GC1WJPK). The Indiana portion was built between 1829 and 1834, linking the eastern seashore with the western interior. The automobile revived The National Road in the 1920's. As cars and trucks took to the road, the federal government established a nationwide network of paved, all-weather highways.
The Old National Road was one of the first routes designated under the new federal highway numbering system in 1926, US Route 40, a transcontinental highway. Once again, the new road gave way to new opportunities. Like the blacksmith shops and taverns of the past, gas station, diners, and motels lead the way to a new era of prosperity. Until the 1970's, with the completion of Interstate 70, US-40 was one of the country's primary east-west routes.
Next door over in Henry County, my geocaching county stop was at the New Lisbon Cemetery (GC8RFP1). After finding the geocache, just a quick glance around and a photo before continuing down the road.
Wanting to make up time and get to Indianapolis before it gets too late, I hop onto Interstate 70. The next county is Hancock County. We stopped for a quick westbound rest area geocache (GCPTZV).
We finally pulled into Indianapolis and I head to the Indianapolis Speedway. But it was too late. The Speedway was closing. From there we drove to the south side of the city to the Holy Cross and St Joseph Cemetery. I was here once before way back in 2007. I was once an over-the-road truck driver. The trucking company I worked for had a terminal several blocks away. While I was there getting the truck serviced, I saw online that there were some famous interments in this cemetery and walked down to see them.
Now they have some much needed upgraded headstones to replace the neglected and broken previous headstones. And a new historical marker which reads: "There are few better known names in automotive circles world wide than Chevrolet. Millions drive the Internationally respected cars, but few know that the company and its revered name originated with three brothers, Louis, Gaston and Arthur Chevrolet. Of Swiss heritage, their story is one that reflects the very foundation of American society. Louis migrated to America at the turn of the 20th century, and after earning enough money, sent for his brothers.
"The brothers immersed themselves in automotive technology as designers, mechanics, and racing drivers. All three raced multiple times in the famed Indianapolis 500, with Gaston winning the 1920 classic. Capitalizing on their huge popularity, Louis founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911. And, despite leaving the firm in 1916, the automotive giant retains the name."
After Gaston won the 1920 Indianapolis 500, he died later that year in a racing accident. Louis died of a heart attack in 1941. Arthur retired in 1942 to Slidell, Louisiana where after suffering from depression, he committed suicide in 1946.
To get credit for Marion County, we went to Concordia Cemetery just a block away. There we found two geocaches to complete the spot on the map (GC2B3N9, GC2B45F).
That was it for Day #4. We drove up to Crawfordsville in Montgomery County. That's the next county we need and the next location of our geocaches. So we found a place to stay there for the night. Tomorrow we'll finish up Indiana and start into Illinois. I look forward to seeing you back again.
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