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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 7:28 AM
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Celina, Ohio - Dec 6, 2006 - Just a little grit

Celina (population 10,303) is seat of Mercer County (population 41,075). The city was founded in 1834.

All photos (c) 2006 Robert E Pence

In 1986 the Celina Rotary Club donated the lighthouse that stands at the western end of Grand Lake St. Marys, along US 127 south of downtown.


Nine miles long and almost three miles wide, the 13,500 acre man-made lake was created to provide feedwater for the Miami-Erie Canal that connected Lake Erie with the Ohio River. Eight years of labor by 1,700 workers created the lake, and until the construction of Lake Meade and Hoover Dam in Nevada in the 1930s, it was the largest man-made lake in the world. During the 1890s oil boom, there were numerous oil derricks in the lake.






The coal-fired municipal power plant is being dismantled.


























Downtown has a nice set of 19th and early 20th century buildings.
































The 1923 Mercer County Courthouse was designed by Dutch-born and -trained Lima architect Peter M. Hulsken, who also designed Lima's Memorial Hall and Ohio Theathre and other buildings and Bellefontaine's Holland Theater. The imposing limestone building has an unexpectedly elaborate interior featuring abundant Vermont Marble in the rotunda walls, staircases, and even railings and balusters.








Catholic Churches seem to be the largest buildings in many towns in this part of Ohio. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church is part of the Cincinnati Archdiocese. The building was erected in 1903 and renovated in 2003.
















Mersman originated in Ottoville in 1876, moved to Celina in the early 1900s, and closed in the early 1990s. At one time the company claimed that it had produced one in every ten tables in use in American homes. I have a square Mersman 5-leg table that was in the farmhouse south of Bluffton when my family moved there in 1947.




















The loss of Mersman and more recently Huffy have hit working people hard in Celina.


Grain terminals and elevators are an essential component of midwestern towns.










A severed rail freight connection.


After exploring the side streets, one last pass through downtown on the way back to my car:
























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Last edited by Robert Pence; Dec 8, 2006 at 7:43 AM.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 7:53 AM
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B&W grit: Awesome.

Abandoned factory: Double awesome.

Another Ohio county courthouse to gawk at: Triple awesome.

Seriously, Ohio has some of the best county courthouses in the country.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 8:14 AM
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A gritty little town I must say.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 2:43 PM
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Amazing courthouse. I cant stop staring at the thing.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 3:26 PM
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Great thread! I just drove through Celina a few months ago. The lake is definitely a big asset for the community. As for the courthouse, it's okay looking from the outside, but impressive from the inside. (I think my home county, Williams, has one of the best looking courthouses from the outside in Ohio )

Thanks for posting this thread!
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 4:54 PM
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Sad to admit I hadn't heard of this town. Too bad the economy is hurting, but that can be said for many towns this size through-out the northern tier of the country. Some very nice older buildings though. Beside the Bair drug store, I kinda liked these too:



Thanks Rob.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 7:19 PM
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Very nice downtown.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 8:02 PM
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Northwest Ohio!
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 11:53 PM
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^ You don't have to lie. We all know that is your favorite part of the state.
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 3:50 AM
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Great photos!
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 6:20 PM
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Ford, Pontiac, GM... no foreign though!

I have to admit one thing I always notice when viewing streetscapes from the midwest--there are no foreign cars. Why I always seem to notice that, I don't know.
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_arko View Post
I have to admit one thing I always notice when viewing streetscapes from the midwest--there are no foreign cars. Why I always seem to notice that, I don't know.
Hmmm. Never thought about that. I see quite a few Hondas and Toyotas around, but in the small towns and rural areas, pickup trucks seem to dominate along with bigger, heavier cars. Part of the desire for big, heavy cars is habit, and part of it is probably because of the need to navigate sometimes-poorly-plowed local roads in winter. Maybe there are fewer imports because the bigger, heavier ones among the imports are premium models like Toyota Avalon.

In the cities, where drifted rural roads aren't a problem, smaller imports are quite common. In my Fort Wayne neighborhood they're a pretty large percentage of what's parked on the streets.

I did notice one Saturday morning when taking photos in Berne, Indiana that by actual count, more than two out of every three cars I saw were Buicks. I think that's largely due to a well-liked dealer in nearby Bluffton who gives good deals and takes good care of his customers.

Another factor may be that the import dealers are mostly concentrated in the larger cities and focused on high-volume sales via aggressive, impersonal promotion. Small-town people and farmers are put off by that and often a little intimidated by the cities. They like dealing with folks they know, and being able to get service close to home.
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 10:12 PM
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some beauties hanging out there.
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Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 10:17 PM
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looks like a pleasant god-fearing hamlet
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