Monday, September 26, 2011

A tisket, a tasket...

Carl and I were at a visitors center of the Newark Earthworks (more on that in a bit) when I saw a brochure for the Longaberger building.  I asked Carl how close we were. “Close enough to go see it,” was the answer.  So Carl indulged me and Jim took Cooper for a walk during a visit to the Newark, Ohio headquarters of Longaberger, a company that manufactures hand-made baskets sold via Tupperware-type home parties.
Anyone who knows me realizes I’m too cheap to buy a six inch by three inch basket for $39 -- especially when that’s probably the sale price.  But seeing the Longaberger building is a “largest ball of twine” experience -- and we’re on the look out for those.   Photo below.  Enough said.
This is the Longaberger corporate headquarters.  Jim said he wanted to ask someone inside  if they knew where they were going and what they were in.
Carl also took us to ball-of-twine moment at the Dawes Arboretum in Newark:  "One of the world’s LARGEST HEDGE LETTERINGS" (that’s how the sign explaining it was lettered anyway). Berman Dawes, who owned the land and with his wife Bertie helped create the arboretum,  noticed planes flying over Port Columbus Airport and thought it would make a good landmark for aviators.  So in the 1930s Dawes planted a 2,040 foot long hedge spelling the words “Dawes Arboretum.”  
This photo of the Dawes Arboretum hedge was taken from a nearby observation tower.  It was created out of a shrub called “Woodward American Arborvitae.
Dawes Arboretum also has1,800 acres of trees plus eight miles of hiking trails, plus a four-mile auto tour so you can see plant collections and gardens the easy way (we chose the easy way).  One especially interesting collection was the bald cypress trees.  The trees have what look like knees (called pneumataphores) that poke out of the ground. 

Bald cypress "knees" or pneumataphores. To me they looked like miniature people.
We also visited the Newark Earthworks, which would be the largest set of geometric earthen enclosures in the world, had not some of it been destroyed.  It originally covered four square miles, and contained two huge circles, a square, an ellipse and an octagon connected by banked roadways.  It was built by the Hopewell Indians between 100 and BC and 400 AD and was thought to have been a spiritual center.  Centuries later, only part of it remains, including the Great Circle, which we visited. Before it was set aside as a monument, the Great Circle was used as a union training camp during the Civil War, for horse races, and even for fairs, including the Ohio State Fair. 
I can't do justice to the Newark Earthworks in a photo; it's just too huge.  This picture was taken from the center of the Great Circle, which has a diameter of 1200 feet -- four football fields could fit inside end to end.  It’s a huge, earthen, perfectly symmetrical circle with an opening on one end.  

1 comment:

  1. Honestly Bev, Ohio is the home of at least a dozen of Frank Lloyd Wright structures, the Cleveland Terminal Tower, Severance Hall, the Cincinnati Rail Terminal (now a museum), Dayton Public Library Building and of course Ohio State's Horseshoe. All significant architectural statements. And yet, the only building you show in your blog is the "Longaberger Basket". I cannot imagine what your readers will think of Ohio, Oh! what is to become of us?!