Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lebanon, Ohio

This past Monday we moved our home from Southern Illinois to Ohio.  It was hard to part from our grandson Nathan, who is now 4 months old, but we had to move on as there are more places to see and people to visit.  We made the trip to Ohio in one day, a distance of about 400 miles.  We rarely travel that distance in one day, and it was made even longer by the fact that we are now on eastern standard time.  One would think that after five years of traveling across the states we would be more cognizant of time changes!   We are now parked north of Cincinnati.  Tuesday we did not feel up to touring that town so we opt instead to check out the town of Lebanon, which is about ten miles from where we are parked.  It is a town of many historic buildings and structures.  Pictured below is the intersection of Broadway and Main, the four corners of which once comprised the town square.  The tall building off in the distance is the city hall, built in the Colonial Revival style, it is the site of the first county courthouse constructed in 1805
Broadway and Main were named in a city map of 1802.  Broadway was one and a half times wider so stagecoaches could turn around.  Speaking of stagecoaches, in 1803 Jonas Seaman saw an opportunity to operate "a house for public entertainment" near the above intersection.  His log tavern, named the Golden Lamb, became a stop for stagecoaches going to Cincinnati.  In 1815 a brick hotel was built to replace the tavern.  Over the years many dignitaries, including twelve presidents, have stayed and dined at "Ohio's oldest inn".  We met John's cousin Paul and wife Lily there for supper and had delicious meals.
We spent our afternoon in Lebanon wandering its' streets and looking at other historic structures.
Pictured above is the building of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, built in 1884 by the Methodist Protestant Church.  The High Victorian Gothic building had another story constructed and tower added in 1887,  it is the tallest building in Lebanon.  In case you are wondering, I.O.O.F. is a charity organization dedicated to "purposes of benevolence and charity". 
It was a very warm muggy afternoon and we did not last long walking the historic district of Lebanon.  We stopped in the cool comfort of the Warren County Museum to learn more about the town's history,  there will be more on that museum in my next posting.  While at the museum we learned a lot about one of the town's more famous statesman, a man by the name of Thomas Corwin (1794-1865).  He was Governor of Ohio in 1840, served 6 terms in Congress and one in the Senate.  He also served as Secretary of the Treasury in the Fillmore administration, and as President Lincoln's minister to Mexico.  Corwin's home, pictured above, is currently occupied by the Warren County Engineers Office.  An employee working in the office was so kind as to let us into the building and we toured the first floor.

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