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Roadside Relics: West

Roadside Relics: West

Jack McLaughlin

17. Shortest Street in America

300-304 McKinley St., Bellefontaine

Photo courtesy of Brian Jones & Jones Media

Some say 15 feet, others say 20, but either way, this much is true: Bellafontaine’s McKinley Street is short. It claims to be the shortest street in America. Named for former U.S. President William McKinley, the street was once thought to be the shortest in the world, before a less than seven foot street popped up in Scotland.

Jack McLaughlin

18. Yawning Hippo Statue

630 Dayton Rd., Springfield

Photo by Jordy Middlebrooks

Hippos are in fact not native to Springfield, Ohio, so it’s not likely you’d mistake this for a real animal. Its unusual, all-red eyes will probably make sure that doesn’t happen, as well.

Poised at the entrance of a Springfield, Ohio dump, not much is known about where this statue came from, or why, but we love a good mystery on the open road.

Jack McLaughlin

19. Hartman Rock Garden

1905 Russel Ave., Springfield

Photo courtesy of Hartman Rock Garden

A nationally recognized artistic oasis in Springfield, the Hartman Rock Garden features the creations of “visionary” folk artist Ben Hartman, who crafted each piece between 1932 and 1944. Hartman used a collage of materials, from stones to pieces of glass and more.

Hartman passed in 1944, and his wife, Maggie continued to tend to the garden until she died in 1997. After this, the garden fell into disrepair, but a Wisconsin arts non-profit helped restore the site before transferring ownership to Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden, who maintain it today.

The Garden is free to visit, and donations can be made here.

Jack McLaughlin

20. Massive Adirondack Chair

6945 Hwy 73 W., Wilmington

Photo by Jordy Middlebrooks

While this massive–and bright-yellow–Adirondack chair is a site to see, it won’t be around for long, so if you want to see it, you’ll need to head to Wilmington soon. The chair is located in front of The Wooden Branch, a furniture store in Chilton County, and was created by an Amish furniture producer that supplies the store, according to a store employee.

As the owners of the Wooden Branch are retiring soon and the business is closing, the chair will either be sold alongside the rest of the merchandise, or razed with the property.

21. Field of Corn

4995 Rings Rd., Dublin

You might be inclined to search for “Shoeless” Joe Jackson here. But trust us; this is no field of dreams. Surprisingly, the “Field of Corn” in Dublin really was the site of a cornfield – owned by Sam Frantz, who worked with Ohio State University to develop several hybrid corns here. When the property was no longer suitable for planting, Frantz donated it to the City of Dublin.

The Dublin Arts Council eventually brought in Ohio artist Malcolm Cochran to create the 109 human-sized ears – all standing upright against a backdrop of Osage orange trees. Depending on your perspective, the installation can refer to either Dublin’s rich, agricultural past or the death of agriculture in the presence of suburban sprawl. “Field of Corn” wasn’t exactly well-received at first, but has since come to be promoted as one of Ohio’s top public artworks. John M. Clark

22. Sword in the Stone

4589 Kenny Rd., Columbus

Photo by Bjorn Anderson

Forged in dragon fire and thrust in stone; only the next, true King of England can free it. Could that be you?

Well, it won’t cost you anything to try. And you don’t even have to cross the Atlantic.
Columbus’ very own Sword in the Stone is located on the front lawn of a family dental practice just west of 315. Dr. Robert Garrison (who will pulleth thy tooth for a nominal sum) told a local newspaper in 1993 that the sword and stone had been placed by a previous landowner, and that he had no intention of moving either.

23. Beer Keg Burglar

4223 Roberts Rd., Columbus

Photo by Jordy Middlebrooks

Likely the most realistic roadside attractions on our list, this convoking sculpture appears to be hauling a keg from a second-story window on the city’s west side. The building reportedly was home a bar past, but other than that, not much is known is about this fun, and quietly weird, Columbus attraction. Jack McLaughlin

24. Giant Trap Sculpture

6106 Bausch Rd, Galloway

Photo by Leonardo Carrizo

Not many know about the Trap History Museum in nearby Galloway. Operated by Tom Parr, the unique space is home to more than 4,000 different animal traps, from a variety of time periods, and intended for a number of different purposes.

The largest at the museum, and maybe the world’s largest trap (although Parr hasn’t confirmed this with the Guinness Book of World Records, and doesn’t have pressing plants to) is the 32 foot-long trap sculpture, which weighs in at a staggering 4,000 pounds.

In the words of Admiral Akbar: “It’s a trap!” Jack McLaughlin


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