I found myself in Columbus Ohio while visiting my daughter, Christy, and her family.  I thought it was a good time to learn something about this fair city.

Did you know that Columbus, named for Christopher Columbus, is the 14th largest city in the US (I didn’t know that!) with a population of about 860,000.  It was first settled in 1797 and became the capital in 1816, in order for the capital to be more centrally located (it was then in Chilicothe). During the Civil War, Columbus housed a prison for Confederate soldiers at Fort Chase. At first the situation was quite relaxed and the prisoners were allowed to wander throughout the town. Later things changed for the worst.  At the time of surrender, about 10,000 men were confined at Fort Chase; about 2000 died while there.

Did you know Ohio is called “The Mother of Presidents” because eight US presidents were born there: Warren G. Harding; William H. Harrison; Benjamin Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant; Rutherford B. Hayes; James A. Garfield;  William McKinley; and William H. Taft.

A is for astronauts:  23 astronauts (more than any other state) came from Ohio, including John Glenn.

B is for Buckeye: Buckeye trees grow abundantly here. The “Famous 17” refers to Buckeye trees planted in the shape of  “17” to represent Ohio as the 17th state of the Union.

G is for Glacier: Millions of years ago, the Wisconsin Glacier moved across what was to become Ohio and created gorges, ravines, rock bridges, cliffs, waterfalls and recessed caves. The finest glacial carvings in America are located in Kelleys Island State Park.

I is for Inventors: Ohio is the home of many inventors! Wilbur and Orville Wright invented an airplane that could fly. W.F. Semple invented chewing gum; Charles Kettering invented the electric starter (used in automobiles); Granville Woods patented the automatic railroad brake; Garrett Morgan invented the first traffic light; Charles Bush created the first electric arc light; Thomas Edison made an even better electric light; and Arthur Compton invented the skinny florescent light tubes we use in schools and homes.

I is also for Industry:  Some of the 103 companies  you may have heard of are based in Ohio: Abercrombe and Fitch; Bath and Body Works; Bob Evans; Borden; Compuserve; Drug Emporium; DSW (OK Christy we have to go shoe shopping!); Elmer’s Products; Lane Bryant; The Limited; Nationwide Insurance; Red Roof Inn; Safe Auto Insurance; Value City; Victoria’s Secret; Wendy’s; and White Castle.

O is for Ohio State University

Z is for zoo. Say HI to Jack Hanna as you meander through the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium!

OK enough history.  What is there to do?   Take a tour of Ohio State University’s campus! (My son-in-law is professor of engineering there. Don’t ask to talk to him.  You won’t understand a thing he says). Spend a day at COSI, the #1 science museum in the US with over 300 interactive exhibits that focus on every topic from outer space to the deep ocean and everything in between. Head to South Fourth Street  or Gay Street for a conglomeration of entertaining bar and restaurant businesses. Wander through the 16 regional metro parks or any of the 200 city/suburb parks to find recreation centers, sports facilities, bike trails, indoor and outdoor pools, and wildlife preserves. Visit the Franklin Park Conservatory. Make a day of traveling to ice cream stands!  Stroll the Scioto Mile along the riverfront along with joggers, bikers, stroller-pushers and dog walkers.  Shop at Easton Town Center with 1.6 million square feet of retail space! Dine your way through the German Village.Visit the topiary park.

Columbus has so much to offer couples, individuals and families.  Try it some time.


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