Zanesfield

It sounded to me like a town where a famous novel was based…Zanesfield, Ohio?….so I pulled off the highway and a mile down the road into the town.

Alas, no famous novel written here – but yes, the highest point in the state (1,548 feet or so)…

And a perfect little park with a poetic name at the corner of Bristle Ridge and Sandusky for my lunch.

As I wander the two block town I get more and more intrigued. There is a story here. Here in the “middle of nowhere” is everything. I have to learn more.

I follow a woman up into the library and find out what an amazing place I’ve come to.

This beautiful library built by the town millionaire who made his fortune with advertising on his tinctures (mostly whisky).

Alas, Sloan didn’t like being “pressured” into building the library by the townfolk so while he gave 2000 books he didn’t give any money to heat the building. Fortunately for current library users, his wife changed that in 1946 after Dr. Sloan died!

I stayed on and on listening to Polly’s stories by someone who has taken the time to listen to townspeople like Donna and set down the memories.

Donna on the left who I followed into the library and Polly the librarian on the right who wrote the Walking Tour of Historic Zanesfield. Stop in the library and pick up a copy!

Zanefield has it all – ghost stories…French and Indian War stories….safe houses on the underground railroad….on and on….and yes, the local highway which is the opiod supply route to Chicago…and a local historian who has taken the time to listen to, learn and share the stories.

Indeed it wasn’t some 19th century novel that I came to learn about – but in fact Polly’s book, the Walking Guide to Historic Zanesfield.

I tell Polly I know I’ll be back. I don’t know when or how but there is more to discover here and miles to wonder about all I’ve discovered here in this extraordinary place off the side of the road.

Polly tells me many people don’t get the joke!

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