Sunrise 83: Ault Park (Troy, Ohio Historic Teaser, Foggy Summer Sunrise)
After taking yesterday off (all these Sunday bike trips are wearing me out!), I was up and ready to go for the sunrise this morning. If you notice, today is “Sunrise 83”, and the previous post is “Sunrise 81”. What happened to “Sunrise 82”? I actually did the 82nd sunrise Sunday morning with my friend and my dad up in Troy, OH. I alluded to the possibility of a “Troy Sunrise” on Saturday’s post but I wasn’t sure if all of the pieces would fall into place. We did end up going around my hometown of Troy, Ohio and exploring the old Hobart steel houses and remnants of the old Miami-Erie canal. We ended the trip by heading down the Great Miami Bike Path, which is part of the rails to trails program, where we checked out the ruins of an old lock, built sometime in the early mid 1800s. I haven’t finished the write-up from sunrise 82, so I’ve decided to include three of my favorite pictures from that set. If you want to check out the preview of the steel homes, warehouse ruins, and canal lock ruins, click through to the end of the article 🙂
I can’t believe how late these sunrises are getting. I left the house by 6:35am and still had about 10 minutes of pre-sunrise dawn by the time I got up to the overlook. The sky was crystal clear with some whispy clouds above the horizon and thick patches of fog down in the valley. I even saw three people at the overlook this morning – a woman and her cute little puppy, an ault park morning “regular” – Don, a meditating cyclist – and one of the park service guys. I’m honestly surprised it’s taken me this long to meet someone like Don at these sunrises. Don says that he used to do Thai-Chi sunrise meditations with a group of friends. We also talked about cycling and watching the sunrise is one of the best ways to start the day. Don also shared his satisfaction with watching the sunrise from Lunken Airfield. It seems I’ve met another sunrise cowboy 😉 Maybe I’ll see you around, Don!
The valley down below had a substantial amount of fog. I wanted to drop down and bike through the wet clouds of moisture, but with these late sunrise times I realized that I probably didn’t have enough time. More reason to get up at 6am instead of 6:30am!
If you’re on the front page, click to continue. About 28 pictures total, including the last 3 pictures that serve as a teaser for “Sunrise 82”: 1920s Hobart Brothers Steel House, Mid 1800s canal warehouse, and ruins of a Miami-Erie Canal Lock.
A sad sight. Someone vandalized and broke the third bench at Heekin Overlook :(. A sad sight indeed. I spoke with a guy with the park service and he pointed out that the far left bench had also been broken earlier this year. This leaves only one bench at Heekin overlook. He said they would be repairing both of them in the next few months.
As promised, here are a few “teaser” pictures from Sunrise 82 in my hometown of Troy, OH. In this first picture we see one of the Hobart Steel Houses. These houses were designed in at least two “models” with varying floorplans. There were at least two styles – one single story like this one, and a two story version. All in all there were about half a dozen or so left in the cul-de-sac. These homes were built after World War I and are made entirely out of steel and concrete. You can attach a magnet to any of the interior walls because they’re all metal! The homes were put together in a factory and shipped out by truck to the site. These homes put Hobart Bros (and Troy, OH) on the map! By the time World War II came around, the steel was needed for other purposes. You can find these homes scattered all around Troy, but you’ve gotta look for them. This specific cul-de-sac sits just a block from the Hobart Bros corporate headquarters, and I’m sure that this was, at one time, used as a “model street” for showcasing their flagship homes. Now-a-days there are only a couple left in their original state. Most of them have been sided, such as the home in this picture. It is a sad thing to see them sided, but I also understand that it must be incredibly difficult to keep the rust off of a steel home, especially if the previous owner didn’t take the care necessary to upkeep such a beautiful piece of history.
We explored Canal Street in the Historic District. I heard a rumor from my Dad that Canal Street used to actually be where the Miami-Erie canal ran through the heart of Troy. We explored the street and tried to find “ruins” of old industrial buildings that would have been built to take advantage of the proximity to the canal. We found this old warehouse that has now been mostly converted to office buildings. I don’t have a date on it, but it isn’t hard to imagine that it dates back to the days of the canal. The Miami-Erie canal was built sometime in the mid 1800s. The canal was probably finished in 1845, although I’m not specifically sure when the connector into “Troy” would have been completed. I’m sure I can scare up some historic references. Interestingly enough, this building has these “stars” located on the front of it, likely aligning with the support beams. My friend, Argha, said that the buildings by the port in Brooklyn all have these stars also. There is some kind of historic significance associated with the stars and being close to water. I find that fascinating.
Now that I think about it, the canal ran straight down to Cincinnati, through what is now Central Parkway. The canal is still under Central to this day because when the canal was drained, Cincinnati used the tunnel as a key piece of the “Cincinnati Subway“, which was never completed. I wonder what other buildings in downtown Cincinnati have this same style and are from the same era. And if there are any remaining, will they have the same “metal stars” along the side?
About 5 miles away from downtown, we hopped on the Great Miami bike path. There is an old lock from the Miami-Erie canal that still stands proudly in the middle of the forest. These locks were used to transfer boats between the different water levels that varied with the elevation. I think that the concept of maintaining these historic ruins that are only accessible by bike path is such a neat idea. Along the bike path there are also tote paths across the canal and you can still see the original wood beans down in the “creek” that were used to support it.