Sunday, March 30, 2014

Garrettsville, Ohio--Downtown Fire

Mains Street, Garrettsville

Garrettsville--Main Street

The Village Bookstore, across the street from the fire
There was a terrible fire in Garrettsville, Ohio 8 days ago, burning down an entire block of old buildings. News sources said 13 businesses were destroyed and the fire was fought by some 35 fire departments. I was in nearby Hiram today for an Irish music session (organized by Hiram music professor Tina Dreisbach). One person who often plays at the session is harpist Ellen Eckhouse, who owns The Village Bookstore in Garrettsville. After the session I drove into Garrettsville to take a look. Ellen's store seemed untouched by the fire, but across Main Street everything was destroyed.

Garrettsville is a place important to me. James A. Garfield was around this town because of his studies and teaching at Hiram College. And Garrettsville is the birthplace of an influential American poet, Hart Crane. Hart Crane's father, Clarence Crane, had a huge maple syrup operation in town, said to be the largest in the world, and was the inventor of Life Savers candy.

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