Ohio Travel briefs – Artifact collection exhibit opens April 1

Staff Reports

The Edward and Lula Richard Native American Artifact Collection

Ernest “Mooney” Warther has been inspiring people from around the world with his carvings since the early 1900’s. His wife Frieda led a life which inspired the women of the area with her artistic ability and gardening know-how. Mooney and Frieda each had their hobbies, but the couple also had one they shared. That hobby was walking through the valley every Sunday looking for Native American artifacts—arrowheads, points, and small tools, found mostly in the freshly plowed fields of local farmers. This simple hobby would greatly impact the life of Frieda’s youngest sibling, Edward Richard, who tagged along on most of the walks alongside the Warther children. It was those walks that made an impression on Edward, ultimately beginning his collection and his desire to discover these little glimpses into another time and culture. Eddie continued his interest and passion for artifacts and preservation throughout his entire life, and it has culminated in this esteemed collection, noted as one of the largest private collections today. After marrying his wife Lula, the Richards would spend a great deal of time traveling throughout North America, excavating as they went. They focused most of their time in Mexico, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, and Nova Scotia, but they would excavate in several other places as well. The amount of history the Richards collected is impressive for a private collection, and upon the passing of the husband and wife, the collection was entrusted to the Warther Museum for educational and preservation purposes. This April will be the second time in history that the collection will be open to the public. From April 1st to May 1st the Edward and Lula Richard Collection will be displayed at the Warther Museum in Dover, Ohio. The collection will be available for viewing during regular museum hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m , seven days a week. For more information, please view the Warther Museum website at thewarthermuseum.com or call at 330-343-7513.

The Warther Museum Invites You…

To stop in and tour the museum, view the exhibit, and take photos:

You can come any time during the special exhibit which runs April 1st through May 1st.

New Ohio Experiences Provide Excitement, Wonder and Relaxation in 2017

COLUMBUS – From the wonder of nature and blood-pumping excitement of thrill rides to the anticipation of new craft brews and joy of 50-year-old music and memories, there is no better place than Ohio to connect with the people who mean the most to you in 2017.

For more travel ideas and inspiration, visit Ohio.org. Download the free “Official Ohio Travel Guide by TourismOhio” app for easy access to everything you need to explore Ohio.

Legends of our Galaxy and Beyond!

Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at the Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati (May 25-Oct. 1, 2017)

Let your imagination run wild, and embrace your inner Jedi at the Smithsonian Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume exhibit. Check out more than 60 costumes worn by your favorite characters including the menacing black mask of Darth Vader, the gilded suit of C-3PO, the yak and mohair costume of Chewbacca, lavish royal gowns of Queen Amidala and more. Immerse yourself in George Lucas’s fantastical world and get to know the designers who brought the Star Wars characters to life.

John Glenn Astronomy Park, Hocking Hills State Park (Opening Late 2017)

Follow in the footsteps of an American hero who touched the stars at the John Glenn Astronomy Park. The park will feature awe-inspiring views of the night sky in a natural setting far from city lights. Just north in New Concord, visitors can stop at the John & Annie Glenn Museum to tour Glenn’s boyhood home during this year’s 55th anniversary of his mission as the first American to orbit the Earth.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame “50 Years After the Summer of Love,” Cleveland (Opening May 31, 2017)

Relive the memories of 1967 with “50 Years After the Summer of Love” at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Discover how artists like Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience emerged during this time and continue to influence music today.

Thrill Seekers Paradise

Mystic Timbers at Kings Island, Mason (Spring 2017)

The anticipation will build as you make your way to Kings Island where a new roller coaster, Mystic Timbers is lurking in the woods! Reaching a height of 109 feet, the wooden coaster has 3,265 feet of track that will take riders spiraling through the forest, plunging down ravines and rocketing over water at speeds up to 53 mph.

Cedar Point Shores, Sandusky (Spring 2017)

Thrill seekers will enjoy an exhilarating day at the all-new Cedar Point Shores waterpark. The 18-acre park features your favorite water slides and pools from the past as well as four brand new attractions, including Point Plummet, a six-story, near-vertical aqua-drop body slide. Prepare to plummet when the floor drops out from beneath you!

Akron Zoo Curious Creatures Exhibit, Akron (Opening June 2017)

Embrace the bizarre and celebrate the strange at the Akron Zoo’s new Curious Creatures exhibit. Here you can meet weird and unusual species like naked mole rats, red-eye tree frogs, walking batfish, flashlight fish and Venus flytraps. Twenty exhibits will plunge visitors into the realm of biodiversity and animal adaptation.

Explore the Outdoors

Lake Erie Canopy Tours at Geneva State Park, Geneva-on-the-Lake Lodge (Summer 2017)

Get your heart racing as you soar through the treetops at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake’s Lake Erie Canopy Tours. This zip line and aerial bridge adventure will provide unique views of nature and Lake Erie from the treetops of Geneva State Park. Take a guided zipline canopy tour or the self-guided challenge course, and there is even a challenge course of kids.

BLINK Cincinnati, Cincinnati (Oct. 12-15, 2017)

Take in awe-inspiring displays at the inaugural BLINK art and light festival. Bring the whole family to experience this large-scale light festival featuring light displays, sculptures, interactive exhibits and murals spanning 20 city blocks.

Bicentennial of Historic Zoar Village, Zoar (2017)

Delve into the culture, art and architecture of the Zoarites as Zoar Village celebrates its bicentennial and recent designation as a National Historic Landmark. Experience village life as it was lived by 200 German Separatists who left their homeland in 1817 to create one of America’s most successful communal settlements. Today, about 75 families live in the village that comes to life through living history demonstrations, beautiful gardens, 19th-century buildings and traditional crafts to try for yourself. Special events will be held throughout the year to celebrate the Village’s 200th anniversary.

Beer and Spirits

Brewery Openings and Expansions, Statewide (2017)

Ohio continues to add to its more than 190 craft breweries across the state, and currently ranks No. 4 among states in craft beer production with many more breweries scheduled to open in 2017. HiHo Brewery Co. in Cuyahoga Falls, and Masthead Brewing Co., in Cleveland, are just two of Ohio’s newest breweries.

Distilleries Expand with New Restaurants and Production, Columbus (2017)

Looking for dinner with your cocktail? A revision to Ohio law allows distilleries to serve food and drinks so you can now sample your favorites at Middle West Spirits on-site or pair a tasty dish with a beverage at Watershed Distillery following their respective expansions.

Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail, Cincinnati and Summit Brew Path, Akron (Throughout 2017)

Cincinnati will showcase its storied history of brewing with the Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail. Take a tour through the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood to visit the area’s iconic breweries from today and years past. The Summit Brew Path in Akron leads visitors on a journey of the area’s current and soon-to-be open breweries, highlighting the growing Northeast Ohio craft beer scene.

About TourismOhio

TourismOhio, operating within the state of Ohio’s Development Services Agency, works to ensure Ohio is positioned as a destination of choice, enriching lives through authentic travel experiences. The branding Ohio. Find It Here. supports Ohio’s $42 billion tourism industry. For more, visit Ohio.org.

Margaret Atwood; other acclaimed writers lead island writer retreats

Pelee Island Book House Retreats offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for writers

PELEE ISLAND, Ontario – The just-opened Pelee Island Book House announced today that it is offering writers an unparalleled opportunity to hone their craft under the tutelage of internationally celebrated authors. Margaret Atwood, Alissa York, Wayne Grady and others will lead the six writers’ retreats in spring and fall, 2017. The retreats offer both accomplished and aspiring writers the opportunity to focus on their work free of distraction. Book House is situated in the beautiful, unspoiled natural setting of Pelee Island, which is located in the middle of Lake Erie, midway between Leamington, Ontario and Sandusky, Ohio.

The Book House also offers lower cost six-night, self-directed residencies June 5-10 and Oct. 5-15. Designed for writers seeking a peaceful setting within a community of other writers in which to work on their manuscripts, residencies are $400 for shared bedroom accommodations or $500 for private accommodations and include three family-style meals each day.

During retreats, writers will enjoy plenty of peaceful time and space in which to work on their manuscript, with the addition of invaluable hands-on workshop sessions led by renowned writers who bring expertise in a variety of genres. Group discussion, literary critique, master classes and inclusion in a holistic creative community add to the richness of the experience.

“The extraordinary authors joining us for our inaugural season will ensure that attendees gain invaluable insight and guidance as they work to hone their craft,” said Pelee Island Book House Director Dawn Kresan. “The author-led master classes are sure to be a highlight of each retreat.”

Kresan added that the relaxed pace and incredible natural backdrop of Pelee Island, along with Book House’s restful sandy beachfront setting, provide the ideal environment for productive creative thinking.

“Pelee Island has long provided an effective muse for poets, novelist and writers of all styles,” Kresan said.

Retreats last five or seven days and feature limited single and multiple-occupancy accommodations. They range in cost from $600-$1200 depending on length and room choice. Each includes three buffet-style meals a day, accommodations and ferry transportation to and from the island. The number of workshops and master classes vary by session.

Spring 2017 retreat dates include:

*SESSION 1, Fiction Writing: “True Lies” — Monday, May 8 through Sunday, May 14

Session 1 is led by Alissa York, internationally acclaimed novelist and author of the short fiction collection, “Any Given Power,” which won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award.

*This session also includes the option to attend Springsong reading, Saturday May 13 with Michael Crummey and Margaret Atwood. Springsong is a celebration of Pelee Island’s renowned birds and birding experience. The event began as a fundraiser for The Pelee Island Heritage Centre with the help of the Pelee Island Bird Observatory (PIBO) and Margaret Atwood and today benefits PIBO.

SESSION 2, Writing Nature — Tuesday, May 16 through Saturday, May 20

This session features Wayne Grady, translator, editor and author of more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books, with most focusing on nature and the environment. Attendees of Session 2 also have the option to deepen their experience by attending a nature reserve tour and helping with bird banding.

**SESSION 3 Fiction Writing: The First Five — Tuesday, May 23 through Monday, May 29


Session 3 is led by renowned writer and environmentalist Margaret Atwood who has authored more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. A new series starring Elizabeth Moss based on her acclaimed novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” is about to be released on Hulu.

Fall 2017 retreat dates include:

Session 1, Memoir Writing: Writing Your Life: Monday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 17

The first fall session is led by Paul Vasey, author of 15 novels, short fiction and non-fiction books, including “The River: A Memoir of Life in the Border Cities.”

Session 2, Poetry: Crafting Lyric Poetry — Tuesday, Sept. 19 to Saturday, Sept. 23

Instructor Cassidy McFadzean will direct the poetry session. An award-winning poet whose work has been published in magazines in Canada and the US, McFadzean’s book, “Hacker Packer” was recognized with two Saskatchewan Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.

Session 3, Genre Writing: How Story Transcends Genre — Monday, Oct. 2 to Sunday, Oct. 8

Best known for his popular blog Terribleminds.com and his novel “Aftermath,” which debuted at No. 4 on The New York Times best seller list, American novelist, comic book writer, screenwriter and blogger Chuck Wendig will lead the Genre session.

About Pelee Island Book House:

Pelee Island Book House is located on the eastern shore of Pelee Island, Canada’s southernmost destination, which is situated at the Canada/USA boundary between Sandusky, Ohio and Essex County, Ontario in Lake Erie. Renowned for its birding and monarch migrations, sandy beaches, gentle lake breezes and serene beauty, Pelee Island feels a world away. When not reading, studying or writing, Book House guests can enjoy a bike tour of the island; hikes to the historic Pelee Island lighthouse; unusual stone alvar, marsh and Fish Point habitats; walks on the beach; collecting beach glass, shells and rocks; birdwatching or kayaking. When not in use for writer retreats, Pelee Island Book House is available as a vacation, event or reunion rental for families and groups. Complete information on writers’ retreats, residency programs and rentals is available at PeleeIslandWriting.com.

Shawshank Trail adds new stop in U.S. Virgin Islands

Mansfield, OH – In an effort to celebrate The Shawshank Redemption’s widespread reach, Destination Mansfield has added a new stop to the wildly popular Shawshank Trail – this time far outside the borders of Ohio. Destination Mansfield today announced that a Shawshank Movie Site sign was erected on the beaches of Sandy Point, St. Croix. The sign marks the 15th stop on the Shawshank Trail, which includes 14 other sites in Mansfield, Ashland and Upper Sandusky, Ohio where the most popular movie of all time was filmed. Although the majority of Shawshank’s scenes were shot in and around Mansfield, the movie’s final scene, portrayed as Zihuantanejo, Mexico, was actually filmed in St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Destination Mansfield’s partner, the Shawshank Woodshop, contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ranger Michael Evans in St. Croix, who was thrilled with the idea of continuing the Shawshank Trail in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The Shawshank Redemption film shoot was incredibly important to Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge for many reasons,” said Evans. “Most important was the economic impact the film production brought – in both spending and salaries – to St. Croix.”

Evans went on to say that the mission of the refuge perfectly aligned with the needs of Shawshank’s production crew.

“We have always tried to communicate the value of preserving critical wildlife habitat,” Evans said. “Sandy Point NWR’s unspoiled setting was a good fit for the needs of the film project and brought economic benefit to the island economy.”

Citing the film’s incredible popularity, Destination Mansfield created The Shawshank Trail in 2008 to highlight the region’s 14 filming sites. Partnering with Ranger Evans allowed Destination Mansfield to further extend the film’s reach.

“Destination Mansfield wanted to extend the movie’s legacy and impact beyond our borders for our visitors,” said Destination Mansfield Media Director Jodie Snavely. “The Shawshank Redemption has such a devoted following; we are excited to help travelers experience yet another stop on the Shawshank Trail.”

A destination unlike any other, Mansfield and Richland County, Ohio offers unusual travel adventures and experiences, such as spending the night in a haunted former state prison where Hollywood blockbuster movies are shot. World-class motorsports, skiing, hiking, biking, golf, and loads of other outdoor adventures attract families and visitors of all ages. Complete traveler information and a free visitors guide is available at DestinationMansfield.com or by calling 800-642-8282.

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls celebrates 30th anniversary with monthly “30” promotions

Logan, OH — The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, marking the occasion with a year-long celebration of discounts and promotions designed to thank the Inn’s loyal guests and the community for their overwhelming support over its 30 years in business. Beginning in February, the Inn will “roll back” rates on its original nine rooms to their 1987 price of just $75. All Inn rooms booked weeknights (excluding holidays) will be priced at $75. Every month, throughout 2017, the Inn will feature a different special “30” promotion, celebrating the Inn’s three decades in business, including:

March – Guests staying three nights receive 30% off of their lodging.

April – Visitors are encouraged to bring three friends and enjoy 30% off of their stay in Redbud or Hickory Hollow cabin, for the perfect girlfriends getaway

May – There’s no better Mother’s Day gift than a gift certificate to the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, thus every $100 gift card sold in May comes with a bonus $30 gift card.

June – Visitors staying any Wednesday in June enjoy $30 off of their lodging.

July – Travelers staying on any date with the number “3” in it receive 30% off their lodging.

August – The Inn is honoring repeat guests throughout August. Anyone who has stayed at the Inn before receives 30% off of a one-night stay, Sunday to Thursday.

September – Guests who purchase two hours of weekday spa services in September enjoy 30% off of their services.

October – Guests can add an extra 30-minute massage to any spa treatment for only $30.

November – During the month of November, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is offering 30% off of any Gathering Place rental fee.

December – To celebrate the season, every item in the Inn’s gift shop is 30% off

Sparked by the visionary ideas of Anne Castle, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls opened in 1987 with just nine rooms and simple dining only for Inn guests. It was the first lodging beyond a few rustic cabins to come to the Hocking Hills. Today, the Inn is renowned for its incredible food, spa, surroundings, special events and cooking classes. It has dramatically expanded, offering five spacious log cabins and a dozen charming cottages on 75 acres of beautifully landscaped countryside. The once small dining room is now Kindred Spirits, a sprawling, full-service, casual restaurant offering fine dining, a tavern and outdoor patio seating for up to 50 guests. The Inn also now serves change to diners beyond those staying overnight at the Inn. In 2006, the Spa at Cedar Falls was added, offering a full complement of therapeutic treatments to Inn guests and others staying elsewhere in the area visiting the area. The Gathering Place, a beautiful green-certified space designed to host meetings, weddings and events for up to 50 attendees, opened in 2010. It also features a lovely rooftop garden and a covered porch.

“We’re so excited to celebrate our 30th anniversary, which is a true milestone in the industry,” said Innkeeper Ellen Grinsfelder. “We hope to share our gratitude with our guests and the Hocking Hills community by offering special discounts all year long. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ for their patronage over these past three decades.”

Grinsfelder’s mother, Anne Castle, gave up a well-established corporate job to fulfill her dream of creating the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. Castle believed Ohio’s Hocking Hills region would offer the ideal retreat for city dwellers, saying its natural beauty rivaled any in the U.S. The Inn did not come without struggle, taking more than two years to complete. With strong support from friends and family, Castle managed to turn her dream into a reality. Local contractor Terry Lingo was hired to complete all the construction on the property. Castle’s daughter, Ellen Grinsfelder, moved to the area to help with the Inn; and ultimately Grinsfelder and Lingo were married. The mother-daughter duo ran the Inn together until 1991, when Castle passed away. Today, Grinsfelder continues as innkeeper, along with her husband, Terry Lingo. Their two children, Sarah and Benjamin have also worked at the Inn. Castle’s vision continues to be carried out and the Inn has become a place where guests can “come home.”

A Hocking Hills Tourism Association Certified Green destination, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is located ½ mile above Hocking Hills’ scenic Cedar Falls. The region offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, bird watching, kayaking and fishing, as well as exquisite photo opportunities. The Inn’s pampering spa offers a full complement of services, including couples massage, girlfriend getaways, bridal party and group events. Fine American cuisine is the specialty at the Inn’s dining room and meals are prepared with the finest organic herbs, produce and ingredients. The Gathering Place at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls caters to weddings, family reunions, business retreats and organizational brainstorming sessions of up to 50 guests. Reservations and complete information on the Inn, Kindred Spirits, the spa and The Gathering Place is available at innatcedarfalls.com or 800-653-2557 (800-65-FALLS). The Inn is a member of Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America.


Staff Reports