Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for February, 2016

Parthenon Full-Scale Replica in Nashville, TN


The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee attracts visitors from all over the world.

The Parthenon doesn’t seem to belong in Nashville, Tennessee, yet this full-scale replica was the centerpiece for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. For this special occasion, Nashville wanted to promote themselves as a cultural and educational “Athens of the South”. They were successful, as today there are twenty-one universities located there.

After the Centennial celebration, which nearly two million people attended, all the buildings were torn down except for the Parthenon. even though it was made of temporary materials. After the turn of the century, Centennial Park was created by the city of Nashville. By 1920, it was decided to make the Parthenon a permanent structure of aggregate concrete.

Parthenon Front

No straight lines exist in the original Parthenon or this full-scale replica.

Powerful and perfect describe it well. Built as the world’s only full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece, they were careful to use no straight lines in its construction – just like the original. Even the steps are curved.

When you step inside the Parthenon, the first floor is being used as was intended. An art gallery features many local and national artists.The collection of James Cowan is permanently housed here along with special, changing  exhibits.

Parthenon Athena

The appearance of Athena on the second floor is striking.

But be prepared to be stunned on the second floor. Here stands a dramatic figure of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, Prudent War, and Useful Arts.

The addition of the statue of Athena Parthenos is rather recent. In 1990 it was decided to commission the figure while remodeling the building. The artist had everything he needed to commence work except the long pole to be part of her spear. While sitting at McDonald’s over a cup of coffee one day, he looked out the window and noticed their flagpole. It looked like it would be perfect. When he contacted McDonald’s, they agreed to provide one of their flagpoles, which is today her spear…covered in gold.

Parthenon Shield

Athena’s shield has figures of Amazon women surrounding the head of Medusa.

This Goddess of Righteousness measures 42′ tall and is covered in gold…eight and a half pounds of gold leaf. She is protecting the snake, representing the people of Athens, with her shield, which has Amazon women on the outside of it and the head of Medusa at the center. At the time of the original statue, Athena was at peace as the shield is down, the flaps on her helmet are up, and the spear rests on her shoulder.

Parthenon Nike

Athena holds Nike. Note that her wrists have bracelets of snakes.

In her right hand, she holds the 6’4″ figure of Nike, Goddess of Victory. Nike’s wing shape is today used for the symbol of speed and flight for Nike shoes.

Parthenon Base Statue

Adena’s pedestal is rimmed with historic figures.

Along the bottom of the statue is a golden wall of drawings depicting life in those times. The artist included faces of several family members in the drawing: his father, mother, wife, best friend, and himself.

Parthenon Gryphon

These 4′ tall Gryphons guard the gold statue.

On each side of the statue stand Gryphons for protection. With the head and wings of an eagle and the body and tail of a lion, these strange creatures were called the hounds of Zeus. They can also be found at the four corners of the Parthenon’s roof.

Parthenon Doors

Each solid bronze door weighs 15,000 pounds – that’s 7.5 tons!

At each end of the upper chamber, bronze doors cover the opening to outside. While the original doors in the Athens Parthenon are believed to have been wooden, decorated in bronze, these solid bronze doors each weight 7.5 tons, measure 6.5 feet wide and 24 feet high, and are twelve inches in thickness. Yet even a child can open or shut them on their intricately designed ball-bearing collars.

Parthenon Pediment 2

Each piece has notation, in English and Braille, of where it appears on the pediment.

In the outer chamber of the temple, plaster replicas have been made from direct casts of the original sculptures adorning the pediments of the Athens’ Parthenon.The originals can be found today in the British Museum in London.  Of course, all the figures were not available, so knowledge of Greek sculpture helped create the missing pieces.

The advanced scientific knowledge of 500 BC surprisingly had great understanding of astronomy. The opening to the temple was built facing east. At that time there was a reflecting pool in front of the statue. When the sun came in that east door, it hit the reflecting pool to light up the golden statue of Athena. No modern day lighting system could compare.

The beauty of the past lives on in Centennial Park today.

Centennial Park is located in Nashville, TN just west of I-40 at 2500 West End Ave. Admission to the Parthenon is very reasonable.



Life Lessons Learned at an Amish School

Coming together is a beginning…

Keeping together is progress…

Working together is Success!

Amish 9

Glen Rock Amish School was filled with peacefulness.

The above words caught my eye upon entering the Glen Rock Amish School near Adamsville.  The peacefulness filling the classroom was very noticeable and unusual for a school setting. Students and teachers talked in very soft voices to promote the calm atmosphere.

Being respectful of their beliefs, no pictures were taken of the students or teachers. A gas well on the property supplied fuel to heat the classroom. The solar panel on the school roof generated enough power to light the room well, and perfectly clean outdoor restroom facilities were located behind the school.

Amish 7

Student transportation to school waited just outside the door.

Students arrived in the morning by horse drawn cart or buggy. Older brothers and sisters were responsible for bringing young ones to school. They brought along their lunch buckets, which often contain a sandwich, cookie and fruit. An oven is available in the classroom if part of their lunch needs to be heated.

Amish 10

Lunch boxes and coats were just inside the front door.

School days last from 8-3, beginning in September through part of May.  One classroom holds 31 students from first to eighth grade, the last grade Amish children are required to attend. Three young teachers oversee their work.

Amish 1

Their classroom was extremely neat when they went to recess.

Another sign on the wall showed their deep base in religion as learning Bible verses is part of their curriculum.

Bible memories are ‘ beary’ good.

On the wall beside this saying, cards for each student indicated how many Bible verses they had learned.  German spelling papers hung on the walls as well, since they learn to write English and German, which is used in prayer and church services.

Amish 3

One student’s books included Math, Spelling and German.

With a few soft words from the teacher, students moved smoothly to one side of the room and shared the old traditional school desks with inkwell hole and pencil holder at the top, and fold down seat. Song books were passed down the rows and students joined in singing two songs of religious nature, one of them being ‘Mansion Over the Hilltop’.

Amiah 9

Their playground gave good opportunity to run off extra energy at recess time.

All of the students appeared to be in great physical condition.  The obesity problem noticed throughout the United States was not evident in this Amish school setting.  They did have a basic playground of merry-go-round, slide and swings, and the children eagerly ran outside to play.

Recess gave children a chance to play their favorite games. Older students played volleyball while the younger ones engaged in a game called “Rabbit”, similar to dodge ball, but with a very soft ball.

A hand pump supplied water for students and the classroom. They were eager to help others fill their personal cup with water using this hand pump. Behaviors, such as splashing or unkind words, did not exist on their playground.


Bible questions on the board were part of the daily lesson.

When asked what they liked best about school, several said spelling and learning their Bible verses. The Golden Rule posted in the classroom provides their guide for daily life.

In the evening students look forward to going home to tend their animals. You could see the pride and excitement on their faces as they talked about their rabbits, goats, horses, and chickens.

Amish 2

The children said they had fun making this tractor out of pop cans.

This feeling of freedom in a peaceful manner brings thoughts of a simpler life long ago. In this Amish school setting, their basic education system provides not only the three Rs, but also life lessons for being harmonious, caring individuals as they learn to live by the Golden Rule.

As one teacher expressed, “We are thankful we have our own schools.” Some day these students will realize what a blessing their education has provided.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all would attempt to live by the Golden Rule?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Ohio Beginnings with Rufus Putnam

Putnam Museum Front

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta contains interesting early Ohio history.

How is The Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, Massachusetts connected to Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio?

After the Revolutionary War, in March, 1786, a group of men met at The Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston to purchase land in the Northwest Territory.  Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, Samuel Parsons, and Rev. Manasseh Cutler formed the Ohio Company of Associates, also known as The Ohio Company, and purchased what was to become about one-fifth of the state of Ohio.

Putnam Land Office

The Ohio Company Land Office, where Rufus Putnam and his partners worked, is the oldest known building in Ohio. Built in 1788, many hopeful land owners walked the path to its door.

These Revolutionary war soldiers were given land grants in lieu of payment for services rendered during the war. They purchased approximately 1,500,000 acres at roughly eight and a half cents per acre along the Ohio River in southeastern Ohio.

Provisions in this land grant were made for two sections in the center to be set aside for an educational institution. The first land grant college was to be called American Western University, but before opening changed its name to Ohio University.

Putnam Portrait

Rufus Putnam served as a member of the Ohio Company, which laid out the plans for Marietta.

Even though Rufus Putnam. the leader of the Ohio Company, was a self-educated man and did not have any formal schooling after the age of nine, he promoted higher education by serving as a trustee at Ohio University. He also claims a connection to West Point. where he built a fort during the Revolutionary War. Fort Putnam is today being preserved and operated by the United States Army Garrison, West Point.

In his memoirs, which are today at Marietta College, he shared his wish for a better education. One line said, “hence neglecting Spelling and gramer when young I have suffered much through life on that account.” But that didn’t keep him from recording records of all his correspondence, while he also kept a daily journal.

Putnam Sugar

An interesting item on the kitchen table was a cone of sugar wrapped in blue paper from the West Indies, with sugar nippers close by to get the perfect amount of sugar for a cup of coffee or tea. The blue paper had a second use as Persis could use it to dye her spun thread.

Rufus Putnam established the first Ohio Company settlement on the banks of the Ohio River in 1788. This became the first settlement in the Northwest Territory. Adelphia, meaning brotherhood, became its first name, but that was soon changed to Marietta in honor of Queen Marie Antoinette of France.

There the Ohio Company built a fortification to protect themselves from the Indians. They called their stockade, Campus Martius. Rufus Putman’s home was one of a row of plank houses inside this stockade.

A few years later, fortification was no longer needed, so the stockade was disassembled. However, the Putnam house remained at the original site, but with added rooms. He purchased the corner blockhouse for $70 and used its lumber for his house addition.

Putnam Kitchen

This is the original kitchen where the Putnam family prepared and ate their meals.

His wife, Persis and eight children, joined him in Ohio at their new home on the bluff of the Muskingum River. Their home here contained a kitchen, sewing/sitting room and two bedrooms upstairs. Now you can see the need for an addition.

Putnam Spinning Wheel

Mrs. Putnam used the spinning wheel frequently as her seamstress abilities were well known. When Rufus was on his trips for the country, she often had to earn money for essentials by sewing.

Putnam Museum

Treasures of early Ohio can be found inside this building in Marietta.

What’s behind all those windows at Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio today? Inside is the full size house of Rufus Putnam and it still stands where it was built back in 1788. The museum was built around the house in 1931 after the Daughters of American Revolution with assistance from the state of Ohio saved it from destruction.

Putnam 1931

The house is pictured as it was in 1931 before preservation began.

Rufus Putnam served his country faithfully and was respected by his superiors, especially by his favorite leader, George Washington.  It has been said that so long as the history of his country shall be written and read, the part Rufus Putnam played in that history will be found occupying one of its broadest and brightest pages.

Visit Campus Martius Museum to see where the Putnam family lived and learn more about their new life in Ohio. The museum overflows with Ohio history.

Campus Martius Museum is located at 601 Second Street, Marietta, Ohio, on Ohio State Route 7, and minutes from I-77. Plenty of free parking is available and cost of admission is very reasonable.

Humble Artist Captures Area Landscapes

Bob Jennings

Bob can often be found on the street corners painting one of his beautiful pictures. Here he captures the spirit of DIckens Victorian Village at their Welcome Center.

If you walk down the streets of Cambridge, Ohio on a warm day, you’re likely to see an artist standing on a corner painting precise pictures of area architecture. Bob Jennings enjoys capturing the landscapes, but even more he enjoys talking to the people, who stop to watch him move his brush to magically capture the buildings to perfection.

Inspiration for a new picture might happen at an unusual moment. Part of what he paints is what he really sees, and part is imagination.

Bob Painting 3

Most people from Cambridge will recognize this group of historic houses along Steubenville Avenue.

The world of art isn’t new to Bob, as he has been drawing pictures since childhood. He frequently entered the art contests in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Even as a fourth grader at Garfield School, he entertained others with his drawing. At that time the playground was gravel, so Bob took his shoe and drew a perfect outline of a horse to the astonishment of those watching.

Throughout life, Bob couldn’t resist drawing pictures, and took a few art classes now and then. When he was working at Champion, other employees remember his talent as he would draw pictures on his breaks. It seems that Bob’s flair for illustrating just couldn’t help but show itself wherever he happened to be.

Bob Painting 2

Here Bob captured the scene along W. 8th Street beside the courthouse. His architectural ability shines forth in his paintings.

Thomas Jefferson has always been his hero. Jefferson’s ability to create fine American architecture started that connection. But Bob also considered Jefferson to be very intelligent, as he had a wide variety of interests, and seemed to be able to do just about anything.

Architecture became a real passion for Bob and he began designing kitchens. This led to more extensive plans for beautiful homes, additions to homes, and even churches. His intense enthusiasm as a self-made architect led to his precision in drawing, as Bob had to have everything perfect – right down to a small fraction of an inch.

Bob's painting

This winter scene displays the many ways people enjoy Dickens Victorian Village as they come by bus or car, and often take a horse and carriage ride. 

After retirement, his real art work began. In his studio at home and on the streets of the town where he lives, Bob’s pictures look as real as a photograph. But they have that extra quality of giving the building a personality.

Bob at Art Guild

Bob is always ready to talk about his passion for painting at the Art Market.

Today, Bob can frequently be found at the Art Market in downtown Cambridge. You can see his love for people as everyone who enters the door receives a sincere greeting from Bob, and he falls into a natural conversation with them. He usually tells them, in his humble way, “I’m not the brightest star in the sky”, but when it comes to his art work, he shines more than he wishes to acknowledge.

Bob sign

This sign was painted by the artist years ago at the Guernsey County Fair.

After seeing all these beautiful paintings of buildings, it was surprising to learn that Bob’s favorite thing to draw is horses. Yes, horses! Years ago he painted a quarter horse on a sign in the 4-H barn at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds, and that painting can still be found there today. At his home, his wall is covered with a large painting of horses.

Bob 2

What does this painting mean to you?

When asked if there was something special he would enjoy doing, Bob answered that he would like to get away from the precise drawings and do more “loose” paintings. Portraits came to mind as he recently painted a portrait of a man sitting on his porch with the American flag draped over his leg. Many interpretations have been made regarding this painting.

Recently, Bob saw a little boy that inspired him. Artists seem to have that innate ability to recall in detail what they have seen. He remembers exactly what that little boy looked like and what he wore. Why, he can describe him down to the creases in his pants.

Bob Painting 4

Once in a while Bob heads out of state for some art time.

When asked what advice he would give a young person, who enjoys drawing, Bob was quick to answer. “Pursue it. Even though they might never be a great artist, they would still appreciate art.”

For Bob, he feels his painting ability to be a God-given gift. He believes, “We all have our talents. No one is greater than anyone else.”

It doesn’t seem likely that we have seen the last of this humble Bob Jennings’ creations.

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