Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ohio Research Trip October 2011, Part 3

This research trip was different than many of the others I've taken. I think it was more about me, and not so much about those that came before me.

As I mentioned in the part 1 and part 2 posts about my trip to Ohio in October, I did not do a lot of real research. I spent a good portion of the week between the two seminars I attended just reminiscing about my life when I lived in Columbus.

One day I just drove around Columbus looking at the changes to the places that were very familiar to me as a child and adult. I checked out the new park that was created at the former site of a major downtown shopping mall, City Center. I even got lost in the downtown area that is referred to as the "arena district". This was all new to me as it was not created until after I moved from Columbus 13 years ago. I finally did see a sign for a familiar street which eventually took me up through the Ohio State University area. Having grown up in this area I was assaulted with so many changes that at times I felt like I was in a foreign land. As I headed north I decided to drive past one of the elementary schools I attended. The Holy Name building still sits across the street from Holy Name Church on East Patterson Avenue, but it is no longer "Holy Name". It now houses Centro Parroquial Santa Cruz, which appears to be a Latino Catholic Center. There's a sign in front that also states it's the location for the Santa Cruz Church. I do not know when it closed it's doors as Holy Name Elementary. I then drove past one of the homes we lived in when I attended Holy Name. On the Franklin County Auditor's website the picture of this house does it justice. In reality it really looked run down. Of course this area is pretty much Ohio State housing so it was no surprise to see a couple young men throwing a Frisbee out front. Again traveling further North I drove by the home I owned before I moved to New York. It still looked good, but the  homes on the short street on which I lived have started to look somewhat rundown. A short drive from this home was where another major shopping mall, Northland Mall, used to reside. It's good to see that the Northland Community has not taken the loss of this Mall sitting down, and have done a good job of reusing the land, and have even brought new development into the area.

An area not familiar to me is Camp Chase, which was a military staging, training, and prison camp in the Civil War. What remains now is the cemetery which contains 2260 graves of Confederate soldiers. I wanted to visit this site, which even after living in Columbus for 49 years I had never visited. I knew it was on Sullivant Avenue in Columbus' Hilltop neighborhood. I should have done my homework before taking on this adventure, because I never did make it there. I thought I knew about where it was located and determined that somehow I was just missing it. It turns out I just hadn't went out Sullivant Avenue far enough. Next visit!

I did manage to visit the Ohio Historical Society's Archives/Library for one morning. I found one obituary for which I was looking, but came away without finding the newspaper edition that contains the advertisement in which I am featured as a cute 2 1/2 year old. It was an ad for a shoe store. I needed special shoes until I was five years old, and this store was the place which sold such shoes. I guess they thought I was a good "model" as my Mom was asked for her permission to have me featured in the ad. I also browsed through various Columbus city directories, finally determining our moves as a family in the 1950s-1960s. I was also hoping to determine by entries in these directories just when my Grandma Rose and her second husband married. Still working on that as the marriage record was another one of the things I did not find in the microfilm for Franklin County marriages.

I also stopped one afternoon at the Mount Vernon Public Library, where I obtained 15-20 obituaries.

I did not obtain a lot of physical material on this research trip, but the emotional journey was so rewarding!