Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Weddings’

Springtime Walk at Secrest Arboretum

Enjoy floral paths with paved walkways throughout the arboretum.

Springtime! Nature awakens from her winter nap to display lovely shades of green, blossoming trees, and springtime flowers. It’s the perfect time for a walk outside to soak up the sun while enjoying the Spring Show.

Edmund Secrest founded the arboretum in 1908.

One place perfect for this adventure is Secrest Arboretum located on the campus of Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. The arboretum was established in 1909 by Edmund Secrest, the first state forester in Ohio and director of the Experiment Station from 1938-1948. Although it is a research arboretum over 10,000 people visit in annually.

Kids enjoy climbing in this natural play area.

This arboretum was designed with adults and children in mind. While adults will enjoy the trees and plants, children have been given play areas in the midst of the natural world.

This slide is a big attraction for kids of all ages and extra slippery on a burlap sack!

Fortress at the Hogs-back is a place for kids of all ages. Kids enjoy climbing over the rocks, walking through cement storm drain pipes, and best of all, going down the huge slide in the side of a hill. That slide is even big enough for adults to enjoy!

Blossoming crabapple, redbud, and cherry trees highlight the grounds in springtime.

Training programs and evaluation of new plants are provided to Ohio Nursery, landscaping organizations, and Master Gardeners. But the grounds are a beautiful and peaceful place for a walk any season of the year.

Attractive metal artwork appears outside the Visitors’ Center.

Stop at the Orientation Center where outside there’s a map of the grounds showing the different trails to take and information about the arboretum. This 110 acre facility is a living laboratory for research, teaching and learning. There are over 2,500 varieties, species, and cultivars of plants to learn about.

A special research project involves finding the best coneflowers for our area.

Visit their new research project, a Coneflower (Echinacea) Garden with over 100 varieties of coneflowers. There are colors from white and pink to red and yellow. Here they are determining the best coneflowers to grow in our area.

Flowers appear everywhere. There are 15 different theme gardens so you will be sure to find something you enjoy. There’s Gayle’s Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, Ohio’s Native Garden, and Million Flower Pathway to give you an idea of what is available. The Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance might become a favorite.

The main reason the Native Garden is so important is that it provides food for our native butterflies, birds, bees, and all wildlife. They have done an outstanding job of labeling the plants and trees so you can have information for perhaps a new plant for your garden.

A hillside amphitheater is a great place for weddings and concerts.

John Streeter Garden Amphitheater is a great place for weddings, concerts, and theater productions. The sandstone steps make a perfect entrance for the bride while guests can sit on the sandstone seats. Several musical events have been scheduled for this summer. Check their website at for more information.

Frequent benches provide a place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Along the way you will find giant frogs, tortoises, and pieces of metal artwork in the form of butterflies, birds, and flowers. There’s also a pavilion for picnics, and benches throughout for visitors to rest or just enjoy the scenery and the scent of the flowers.

Springtime blossoms added beauty throughout the arboretum.

Friends of the Secrest Arboretum are responsible for funding, volunteering, keeping the grounds looking wonderful, and scheduling educational and musical events. They have played an important role in developing Secrest into a national and international treasure.

Beauty awaits around every corner.

The arboretum is open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Easiest access is to place 2122 Williams Road, Wooster in your GPS, then follow the signs that lead to the arboretum.

Stroll their paved walks through forests and meadows to discover what plants would be best for your home. It’ s a great place for a family outing any season of the year!

The Little White Chapel on the Hill

Royer Chapel with Memorial Wall

Royer Chapel with Memorial Wall

Pleasant surprises often appear when least expected. Such was the case with little Royer Chapel, which sets back off winding Route 83 on Franklin Township Road 280, very near Wills Creek Dam in Coshocton County. Many claim that Royer Chapel is the smallest chapel in Ohio.

Originally built in 1897 through the efforts of Anne Royer, the chapel served as a memorial to her husband, Martin. Wood from an abandoned St. Nicholas Church and a stained glass window from old St. George Church were used in the construction.

Cross of Burned Timbers at the altar of Royer Chapel

Cross of Burnt Timbers above the altar of tiny Royer Chapel

When arriving at the chapel, a cross made of burnt wood stands out behind the Memorial Wall. Later information discloses that the original church was destroyed by arson on December 8, 2002 and rebuilt by men of the community a few years later. Two crosses were made from the burnt wood – one outside and another inside above the altar. Funds for constructing the new chapel were raised in part from memorial bricks engraved with the names of loved ones or contributors. The Memorial Wall standing out front was built with these same bricks.

Martin's marker and Clara's memorial, a likeness of her imported from France

Martin’s marker and Clara’s memorial, a likeness of her imported from France

Tiny Royer Family Chapel measures about ten feet wide by eighteen feet long, and is located near a cemetery where Martin and his daughter, Clara, were buried in 1888 and 1896 respectively. Clara’s monument, which was imported from France, displays a statue in her actual likeness. The chapel and cemetery were located across the road from the old family farm to accommodate Anne’s frequent visits.

Don and Esther Royer initiated the reconstruction process to keep alive family tradition started by Don’s great-great-aunt Anne. In ten days, four hundred friends and neighbors signed their petition for assistance, so they knew the community supported their plans to rebuild the chapel “just like it used to be”. Since Don and Esther’s wedding had taken place there years before, they had pictures showing exactly what it looked like inside. Those pictures made it easier for Don, in his own shop,  to build new pews and windows to closely match the originals.The reconstructed chapel was built on a new foundation but maintained its original size.

In a recent phone conversation, Anne recalled her wedding day. The seven pews of Royer Chapel were crowded with twenty-one family members. When they turned to walk down the aisle, through the door she could see the yard outside the building filled with her fellow workers from the Coshocton Tribune.

Prayer Box

Prayer Box

Inside, a peaceful chapel scene appears when you gently open the door, which is never locked. At the front of the chapel, a table contains a prayer box surrounded by a wreath of flowers. The inscription on the side of the box reads: Where dreams come true. Inside the box are numerous requests written on slips of paper available on the table.

Here’s a great place to sit down and enjoy the silence of peace while reflecting on life and its many twists and turns – rather like the road leading to the chapel.

Wills Creek Dam

Wills Creek Dam

While electricity, water, and heat do not exist at Royer Chapel, services were held every Sunday until recently when they were changed to approximately once a year. Maybe you will want to take a half hour leisurely drive northwest of Cambridge and explore a hidden treasure nearby. You might even want to take a short drive to Wills Creek Dam. Waters flow north on Wills Creek from its beginning near Pleasant City to where it flows into the Muskingum River near Coshocton.

This little chapel on the hill serves as a reminder to be thankful for the small things in life – a smile, a card or email, the joy of each new day.

Royer Chapel can be reached traveling State Route 83.  If traveling north from New Concord, Ohio you will pass through Bloomfield and head down the hill toward Wills Creek Dam. It is approximately 15 miles from New Concord to the dam. The church is difficult to spot unless you are watching. It sets on the east side of the road and can be clearly seen as soon as you turn onto Franklin Township Road 280, while Wills Creek Dam is on the west side about a mile down the road. Approaching from Coshocton on 83, directions are reversed.

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