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Signs from early Ohio Breweries

Breweriana—Preserving the History of the American Brewing Industry will premiere at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum on June 24th and run through September 24th. The exhibit portrays America’s brewing past through industry packaging and advertising over the past 130 years. The term “Breweriana” refers to any article containing a brewery name or brand name, particularly collectibles. Hundreds of breweries will be represented by a wide array of objects from tin signs and trays to cans, bottles, coasters and taps. Most of the breweries are long gone, but visitors will recognize the names of the cities and small towns where they once thrived. The diversity of items will quench your thirst for beauty, history, wit and comedy.

Were beer advertisements in 1916 any different than today’s? Yes and no. Beautiful people and sexy women were common. Humor was also used, often by showing serious people doing silly things. But there were eye-catching differences, too. When breweries wanted to show how productive they were, they showed their plants spewing out smoke from their stacks and sometimes exaggerated the size of their brewery. Another popular motif was to link the beer to Germany or England. Illustrations abound of people dressed in European clothing while drinking beer in their drawing rooms, at the local pub or while taking a break from a fox hunt. Of course any time we look back a hundred years we are surprised by the stereotypes that were acceptable in that age. The brewing industry was no different than its times.

Today regional and microbreweries are popping up all over. One might call it a revival of 19th century American production styles, similar to Europe’s ongoing approach. Imagine a time when many towns (and all cities) had their own brewery and you’ll have an idea of the diversity of places and brands represented in the show. Typically, breweries were located near rivers and canals to allow transportation of both raw materials and finished beer. Take a look at just one river in Ohio, the Tuscarawas, which begins in southern Summit County and continues through Stark, Tuscarawas and Coshocton Counties, eventually adding to the Mississippi. While only 130 miles in length, 27 breweries used it or its adjacent canal for transportation. You’ll see on display photos, signs, and trays from many of these breweries, such as Giessen & Bakers Brewery (Canton), The Massillon Brewing Co., Dover Brewery, and The Tuscarawas Valley Brewing Company (Niles).

Coshocton County is eminently suited to host such an extensive and unique display of brewing advertising. The specialty advertising industry was launched in Coshocton in 1884. It began when newspaper man Jasper Meek made use of his steam printing press to lithograph a shoe store ad onto a burlap school bag. Only a few years later (1890), Henry Beach, Meek’s competitor, developed a process to lithograph on metal signs using a steam press, a first worldwide. As a result Coshocton became the center of advertising art in America and perhaps, for a time, in the world. By the turn of the 20th century, there were more artists living in Coshocton than in any other American city, barring New York. They were creating images for signs and trays, most of which advertised breweries or beer from all over the United States and even Europe. After prohibition was enacted in 1920, a number of companies went out of business; others survived by switching to advertising soda or making calendars. The Meek Company, renamed American Art Works, became known for its Coca Cola trays.

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum’s Breweriana exhibit is one of the largest displays dedicated to the history of beer in America. Unlike Germany and other European nations, the US has no federal museum dedicated to beer. (A few private museums have been started in the past ten years.) Consequently, the exhibit is a must-see, not only for its historical value but for its wonderful graphic art. Exhibit sponsors are the Beach Company, Joshen Paper and Packaging, and Novelty Advertising. The Ohio Arts Council also helped fund this event with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum also has four permanent galleries: The American Indian Gallery displays prehistoric tools and points and 19th c. basketry and beadwork. The Historic Ohio Gallery includes local history, a hands-on area for children, an impressive firearms display, and an advertising art display (including the printing press Jasper Meek used for the first articles of advertising art). In the Asian Gallery, Chinese and Japanese sculpture, decorative arts and weaponry are displayed. The Golden Gallery features a WWI display, a Victorian nook, and the Newark Holy Stones.

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 300 N. Whitewoman Street, in Historic Roscoe Village, Coshocton, Ohio. A restored canal-era town located along the former Ohio & Erie Canal, Roscoe Village offers many attractions. Costumed interpreters lead tours through the restored buildings, and numerous shops are situated within the Village. For more information contact the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum at 740-622-8710 or visit its website: [email protected] Admission is $4 adults; $3 children.

Hike the Dikes at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

OAK HARBOR, OH – Walkers, birders, and wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in the Hike the Dikes program at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Hikes take place the second Saturday of each month June through September according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The Hike the Dikes program is free and open to all ages and interest levels, and provides opportunities to explore the natural wonders of Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. All walks are led by a trained and knowledgeable guide. Participants will learn about local wildlife such as birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and marsh mammals, as well as, wetland plants and more.

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Hike the Dikes is a partnership program between ODNR Division of Wildlife – Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and Black Swamp Bird Observatory. Each walk is hosted by one of the partner agencies. Hike dates for 2017 include June 10, July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9.

Hikes begin at 9 a.m. and usually last one to two hours, depending on the weather. Starting locations are dependent on the hosting agency. Hikes in June, and July will meet at the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, located at 13229 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor 43449. Hikes in August, and September will meet at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center, located at 14000 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor 43449.

Anyone who attends three or more Hike the Dike walks in 2017 will receive a free hiking stick. For more information call Magee Marsh Wildlife Area at 419-898-0960 ext. 21 or Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge at 419-898-0014. To learn about other available programs, visit wildohio.gov.

The mission of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory is to inspire the appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research, education and outreach.

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Farmers’ Market at Franklin Park Conservatory Begins June 7

Columbus – A colorful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and other produce from local farmers will be available for purchase at the Conservatory’s Farmers’ Market. The market will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday from June 7 to September 6, 2017.

In addition to plants and produce, the market features baked goods, honey, oils and vinegars, eggs, cheeses, mushrooms, salsas, syrups, pies, body care products, homemade accessories and other local goods. Shoppers can also enjoy free cooking and wellness demonstrations, live music, access to food trucks and kid-friendly crafts.

“The Farmers’ Market showcases a lesser known aspect of the Conservatory: the edible gardens,” said Jenny Pope, Director of Community Outreach and Education. “The market is exciting for us because they give us a chance to promote economic development of local farmers while providing access to fresh produce, both of which support the Conservatory’s mission.”

The Conservatory’s produce is harvested from a garden maintained by Teen Corps, a summer program designed to teach life and work skills to low-income teens through hands-on experiences in urban farming.

The Conservatory’s booth is joined by dozens of other local vendors, including farms, bakeries and craft artisans. The vendors and their produce change throughout the season, so every Farmers’ Market is a new experience. For a complete list of vendors, click here.

Vendors accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) dollars with the Ohio Direction Card, and offer Veggie SNAPS (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), an incentive program that matches dollar for dollar (up to $10) for fresh produce.

The Farmers’ Market is open to the public and free to attend.

More information is available on the Conservatory’s website and the Facebook event page, as well as Instagram and Twitter.


Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s 14th annual tastings fundraising event, Bash at the Barn, brought together community leaders and emerging professionals for a rustic-meets-refined evening at The Wells Barn.

Bash at the Barn, formerly Tastings on the Terrace, found a new home with the completion of The Wells Barn in 2015. Its new location allows guests to stroll among native, seasonal plantings, all while enjoying food and drinks from local vendors.

Over 500 guests mingled on The Wells Barn Celebration Lawn and the ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Campus, enjoying music from the Rice Bros, delicious food from top Columbus restaurants, and signature cocktails, wines, and craft beers, all from local purveyors.

This year’s Bash at the Barn raised over $80,000 to support the Conservatory’s adult learning initiatives, including therapeutic horticulture programs and the job training program Green Corps. Green Corp participants work side-by-side with employees at the Conservatory learning skills in horticulture, landscape and garden maintenance and green practices.

Miles-McClellan Construction served as the presenting sponsor for the evening, with media support from Dispatch Media Group. Major support was provided by Cardinal Health, Davis Foundation, Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.

For more information about Conservatory fundraising initiatives, visit fpconservatory.org.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers botanical collections, art and nature-based exhibitions, plant shows, and educational programs for all ages. Situated in an 88-acre urban park, the Conservatory features the historic 1895 Palm House and 83,000 square feet of glasshouses, classrooms, and meeting and event spaces. The Conservatory owns a signature collection of glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. Light Raiment II, a permanent installation by internationally recognized light artist James Turrell, illuminates the Palm House every evening from dusk until dawn.

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