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Remnants of the past

March 12, 2008 - Jim Bartholow
Ever notice the steps that go up Harmar Hill? You can see them when you go up Maple Street. They're all askew now, but at some point decades ago I'm sure they were busy. I can remember years ago Times Managing Editor Andy Elliott telling me the steps were used by school children on Harmar Hill who had to get to and from school back in the day. Remember back then what's now the middle school was Marietta High School. Just looking at those steps I can't imagine having to scale them every school day, but I'm sure that's what people had to do. It was before Fort Harmar Drive, which I think opened in its present form in the late 1940s to coincide with the opening of the four-lane to Belpre. Anyway, thinking about those steps gives new meaning to those stories we heard from our parents about walking to and from school in deep snow, uphill both ways ...

And those steps got me thinking about other remnants of days gone by in Marietta. The sets of steps on the hillside as you head out Greene Street just above Hart Street. There were homes attached to those steps, but after one particularly wet spring, apparently, the houses began slipping off the hillside. Eventually, they had to be abandoned. It must have been incredibly sad for the people who lived there, not to mention incredibly dangerous. Landslips are a way of life in the Mid-Ohio Valley given our rainy periods and the clay soil that's so common. You get enough rain and it soaks the ground and that clay soil literally slips off the rocks below, creating a landslip. Also, if you look real close you can see some steps at the end of Virginia Street by the railroad bridge. I'm told that part of town used to be a hotbed for nightlife with at least one bar that was popular years ago. It's hard to imagine such a place by looking at the landscape today. If anyone has any other remnants of the past let me know, please. I'll try to share them with other readers.

Snow stories

Leslie and I took a quick trip to Columbus Tuesday and everything you might have seen or heard about all that snow that fell over the weekend is true. Huge piles of snow everywhere. Pulling onto a main road from a side street is a challenge because of the piles of snow. Most roads were plowed, but the street where our son, Jamie, and his family live in Galloway was somehow skipped. What a mess! It was amazing to watch the snow accumulations grow as we traveled up I-77 to I-70 and west to Columbus. We really dodged a weather disaster in the Mid-Ohio Valley ... this time.


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