Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for May, 2018

Spring Has Sprung at The Dawes Arboretum

Dawes Entrance

This sign greets you at the entrance. You have arrived!

Sunshine beckons nature enthusiasts to venture outside for fresh air, a walk or a drive. The Dawes Arboretum near Newark provides the perfect escape. Here you can walk the paths or slowly drive through their four mile auto trail without hurrying as speed limit is 15 mph.

Dawes Daffodil setting

Expect to find flowers, like daffodils in the spring, in their All Seasons Garden.

     Azaleas and magnolias bloomed around every bend, it seemed, on a recent spring trip there. Daffodils flourished in their gardens and banks were covered in a blanket of violets.

     The Dawes Arboretum began through the efforts of Beman and Bertie Dawes back in 1929. Due to their love of trees and shrubs, they wanted to create a place where a large variety of trees would have a home. This nature haven is dedicated to increasing the knowledge of trees, history and the natural world.

Dawes Visitors Center

Begin your visit at the Visitors Center under a century old beech tree. Here you will find  a Discovery Center and Bird Watching Garden.

     Their Visitors Center is a great place to start your visit and pick up a map to guide you through the 1800 acres. It includes a nice Discovery Center to learn more about the plants and animals in this part of Ohio. A viewing window overlooks the Certified Wildlife Habitat outside so you can watch birds and small animals as they live in their natural world.

Dawes Azaleas

Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Azalea Glen.

     All-Seasons Garden right behind the Visitors Center features seasonal flowers throughout the year from daffodils to mums. Name plates are found near the flowers and trees for easy identification. There are many places to sit, relax and enjoy the peacefulness as you take time to smell the roses.

Dawes Summer Home

Daweswood House Museum gives a glimpse of life in the summertime with the original Dawes family.

     Their summer home, Daweswood House, can still be toured on weekends. The garden at the home maintains the flowers that Bertie planted long ago. They’re accurate as Bertie kept a journal describing what she was planting.

Dawes Education Center

The newest addition is the Zand Education Center for special horticultural programs.

     A new addition near the home expands their educational ability. The Zand Center provides a learning garden to hold classes for students mainly, but can also be used for adults. Many field trips stop here to learn about the bonsai trees or give children an opportunity to create their own planter.

Dawes Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden creates a peaceful scene with its rocks, pond and flowering trees.

     One of my favorite places to wander here is the Japanese Garden. The peacefulness surrounds you as you walk around the lake with blossoming trees and stone paths.

Dawes Hedge

The trail passes the six foot high hedge spelling DAWES ARBORETUM.

Dawes Tower

The Observation Tower gives a great view of the grounds and the hedge lettering.

     A highlight of the arboretum is their 2,040 foot long, six foot high hedge forming the letters DAWES ARBORETUM. Beman had this designed for the enjoyment of planes flying into the Columbus Airport. An observation tower close by gives a great view of the hedge letters.

Dawes Cypress Swamp

Bald Cypress Swamp is the northernmost cypress swamp in North America.

     A surprise waits in the form of Bald Cypress Swamp, not something you would expect to find in Ohio. This is thought to be the most northern cypress swamp in North America. The bumps you see coming out of the water have given these trees a special nickname – Trees with Knees. A boardwalk gives guests a chance to get an up close look at the bald cypress trees as well as the creatures in the water.

Dawes Picnic

A picnic under the blossoming cherry trees makes for a perfect family outing.

     Families were enjoying the day as children played on the banks. Picnics were popular. The most popular activity here is walking, with over twelve miles of hiking trails. People were walking their dogs, pushing their little ones in strollers, or listening to their headsets while they did some power walking. The paths are easy with most being paved.

Dawes Magnolia Drive

Magnolia blossoms presented a pleasant surprise around one bend in the Auto Trail.

     Meander through the grounds any time of the year surrounded by the beauties of nature at Dawes Arboretum with over 16,000 living plants. It’s open 362 days a year and admission is free. You’ll want to come back each season!

Dawes Arboretum is located off I-70 at exit 132, OH-13 North. After about five miles north, the arboretum can be found on the left side of the road at 7770 Jacksontown Road. If you enjoy nature, you are certain to enjoy a visit here.

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Make Your Memory a Tradition at Pearl Valley Cheese

PV storefront

Pearl Valley Cheese is today nestled in the valley along State Route 93 between Fresno and Baltic.

This has been a great year for us!  We won the 2017 Ohio Grand Champion Swiss Cheesemaker at the Ohio Swiss Festival.  What a testimony to our amazing farmers, employees and especially all our customers who continually support us year after year.”                              ~Pearl Valley Cheese

PV Original Factory

Their original business sat in the parking lot of today’s Pearl Valley Cheese.

Pearl Valley Cheese has been a family owned business since 1928. No wonder they have excelled at making the best cheese around. They credit their success with farmers bringing them high quality milk, employees who all seem like family, and wonderful customers from all over the area. It’s not surprising they have won many state, national and international awards.

PV Founders

Swiss immigrants, Ernest and Gertrude Stalder, started Pearl Valley Cheese in 1928.

Founded by Swiss immigrants, Ernest and Gertrude Stalder, area farmers brought them their fresh milk in cans by horse and wagon. They purchased the building, which was on today’s property, for $700.

PV Original Copper Kettle

This was the original copper kettle used for making cheese until WWII.

Ernest thought it needed a little improvement so began hauling wheelbarrow loads of bricks from a nearby source until he was satisfied with its appearance. In those early days of 1928, cheese sold for eleven cents a pound.

PV Tanker

A stainless steel tanker is unloading a morning load of milk after it had been tested.

All the milk they use today is of top quality and as safe as they can possibly buy. The milk comes from about 50 area farmers and two milk marketing co-ops. Dairy producers are very important because high quality milk makes high quality cheese. Each load is tested for antibiotics, and the whole load would be disposed of if any were found. This rarely happens.

PV milk silos

These cold wall silos hold the milk until ready for pasteurization.

Once the milk is received, they store it in cold wall silos until time for it to be pasteurized to make sure bacteria counts are minimized. Then the milk is cooked in Double Os, which look like ‘large stainless steel crock pots’, holding 4000 gallons each, until the curds are formed. Around 30,000 gallons of milk are used at Pearl Valley Cheese each day, resulting in 25-30,000 pounds of cheese daily.

PV Double Os

Four Double Os, ‘large stainless steel crock pots’, cook the milk until curds are formed.

The separated cream is sold to a butter factory in Wisconsin. Pearl Valley buys back truckloads of butter monthly to sell in their store and to their wholesalers. A pound of that delicious fresh butter came home with this gypsy.

They process the whey and send it to other companies, who dry it and use some of it in nutritional whey protein drinks, animal feeds and other food products. Some of the excess whey is stored at Pearl Valley in a waste water treatment plant, where it is refined into methane gas, then used to create electricity for their business. Pearl Valley has gone green.

PV draining table

The curds and why are separated on this draining table by churning arms.

Through a window to the left of the cheese store, you can watch cheese being made most weekday mornings. See giant vats of milk being turned into curds on their draining tables, and then packed into cheese rolls or wedges.

PV Cheese Tubes

After the curds and whey are separated, the curds are pressed into tubes and wedges.

Only two major cheeses are made here: Swiss and Cheddar, and four different kinds of each. At the end of the day, everything is cleaned and sanitized to maintain their high standards.

PV Swiss

Large blocks of Swiss cheese float in the brine to add a touch of salt to their taste.

Swiss cheese is often more expensive because it takes more time to make. Once blocks of Swiss are formed, they are then soaked in a salt brine to absorb a small amount of salt.

PV Swiss Cheese Crates

Sally Ellie, my guide on this trip, explained the crates of Swiss cheese in the warming room where they wait for the bubbles to burst.

After this they are placed in a warming room at 76* where the cheese is placed in wooden crates where it “creates the holes”. Those round holes are caused by carbon dioxide bubbles in the cheese, and take weeks to appear.

Ohio is the largest producer of Swiss cheese in the nation. While several local places make Swiss Cheese, the Stalder family feels Pearl Valley makes it better than anyone else. Their Mild Swiss Cheese is an area favorite.

Grace and Sally

Grace Stalder and her daughter, Sally Ellis, display a large piece of Swiss cheese, a customer favorite.

Four generations of that Swiss family are still working there today headed up by John and Grace Stalder and their extended family. Grace shared her story of joining the Stalder family 60 years ago when she married John, the son of Ernest and Gertrude. The next morning Ernest was at their door telling Grace she needed to total lines of figures that very day. She’s been working there ever since.

PV 2017 Ohio State Fair

Their awards include 2017 Ohio State Fair Grand Champion.

They feel with all their experience, they know how to make cheese the very best way. Even though they have a retail store, they want your experience to be more than a buying adventure. They want to educate you on how the cheese is made from farm to table.

PV Playground

There’s even a close-by playground for children to enjoy.

Customers enjoy their friendly service with plenty of free cheese samples so you can always get a taste before buying. Prices are extremely reasonable so people come back again and again. Everyone has their favorites from Baby Swiss to Extra Sharp Cheddar. Visit soon and try to decide your favorite from so many choices.

Make your visit a special memory that starts a tradition of visiting Pearl Valley Cheese with your family.

Pearl Valley Cheese is located on Ohio State Route 93 between Fresno and Baltic.

Button Designs by Frieda Warther

frieda-and-her-buttons.jpg

Frieda surrounded herself with buttons and more buttons.

Almost everyone keeps a container of buttons someplace in their home. At one time, many cut off the buttons on old clothes and kept them in a jar or can. You never knew when you might need an extra button.

Frieda Warther did much the same thing.

Frieda Button Strings

Buttons hung on strings around the walls of their dining room so she could reach them easily.

Living in Switzerland until the age of four, the family then came to the United States and settled in Dover, Ohio. Frieda was the oldest of thirteen children. It was a Swiss tradition that the oldest child would receive their mother’s box of buttons and sewing tools. Thus began Frieda’s love of buttons.

Frieda Button House

This Button House originally housed the Warther Museum to display Mooney’s trains.

Today those buttons have been used in some of the designs at the Warther Button House, which is just outside Warther’s Museum in Dover.

When Frieda first met Earnest Warther, called Mooney by his friends, their first date consisted of a field trip to hunt arrowheads. After marrying Mooney, Frieda became a wonderful mother to their five children and Mooney’s main support as he developed into a master woodcarver.

Her main relaxation came from tending the gardens outside their home and Mooney’s workshop. She designed them to remind her of her back yard in Switzerland. When the children were young, these gardens contained many vegetables as well. Today, those flower gardens provide a peaceful place to relax with many benches available.

Frieda Bank

During the depression, Mooney hid his money under the coal in this train. But Frieda knew!

Mooney frequently ‘borrowed’ items from his wife to use in his carving creations. When he needed a belt to run one of his model trains, he would borrow it from her sewing machine and replace it when he found one in his journeys. He often liked to use red and green sparkling gems on his trains as well. These he borrowed from Frieda’s brooches.

When visitors came to see all of Mooney’s carvings in those early days, they often spent the afternoon viewing trains brought from storage in the various rooms of their house and even the attic. Frieda decided in 1936, it was time for a museum, so they built the small museum, which is today her Button House.

Frieda House

Kristen, great-granddaughter of  Mooney and Frieda, stands on the porch of the Warther’s’ home.

The porch of the Warther Home gave Mooney and Frieda the perfect place to watch trains go by on tracks just across the street. From here they could also watch their children playing in a large playground Mooney had created for them. It’s no surprise that there is a red caboose there also, since Mooney carved so many trains during his lifetime.

Inside the Warther Home, you’ll learn more about Frieda and the family. They lived in their original residence for sixty-three years.

Frieda Table 2

This table served as Frieda’s workplace for most of her button creations.

Life was busy for young Frieda, so it wasn’t until she turned sixty that she began working on her button designs at their dining room table. She began experimenting with various combinations and then attached them to a board with either wire or dental floss to make beautiful hanging designs.

Frieda Button Wall Favorite

Beautiful button designs fill the walls and ceiling of the Button House.

Mooney enjoyed her artistic endeavors by saying, “Sometimes while Frieda was working, she would drill too deep and hit our table. One look at her breathtaking designs and you will realize it was well worth all the holes.” Those holes can still easily be seen.

She also used buttons to make jewelry, a button tree, chess sets and many games. Strings of buttons hung in her kitchen just waiting to be used.

frieda-warther

This picture postcard show Frieda in her Button House.

Today many of those creations containing 73,000 buttons can be found on the walls and ceiling of the Button House. Here you will find buttons of many kinds of materials: hand-painted ceramic, pearl, metal and wooden. Amazing as it may sound, there are no duplicates in the displays.

Frieda Lincoln Button

This button design features a button in the center from Mrs. Lincoln’s inaugural dress.

One of her favorite designs has, as its centerpiece, a button from the Inaugural Dress of Abraham Lincoln’s wife. Lincoln was a favorite of the Warthers, and Mooney followed Lincoln’s philosophy of life.

Because the family loved children, Frieda made one design especially for them. It consists of Cracker Jack prizes, novelties, and what she called Goofy Buttons.

Frieda Arrowheads

Arrowhead displays by Frieda also hung in Mooney’s workshop.

If you look carefully, you can also spot her button designs in another spot – the ladies’ restroom inside the Warther Museum. Had to inquire from a gentleman visitor regarding what was on the wall in the men’s restroom. Here Frieda made a creative display of Mooney’s arrowheads he found on his trips to the country with their family. You never know where creative objects might be found.

Frieda back

The back of a button display was shown by Sheila, our guide and daughter of Mooney’s barber.

There are still unfinished patterns that Frieda had planned. Even when she was in her final days at the age of 98, she was still asking people for one of their buttons if she saw an unusual one.

Soon thousands of springtime tulips will be blooming in Frieda’s Swiss Flower Garden. Many of the spring flowers were originally planted by Freida. Stop by and relax on a bench and imagine what it would have been like to live at “Dumb Street” along the Calico Ditch.

Warthers Museum can be found easily off I-77 in Dover, Ohio. Take Exit 83 to the east and follow the well placed signs to Warthers.

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