Friday, September 19, 2008

A couple of weeks ago several of us took a ride to Akron to visit Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. That post has been delayed due to the climactic end with two riders going down after one of them struck a deer.

The riders are recovering from the injuries (Donna spent over a week in the hospital!) and time has permitted me the opportunity to share some pictures.

The ride to Akron followed rural highways nearly entire way. We took US 62 to Martinsburg dodging road apples let by the area's Amish horse power and then traveled SR 541 to Shreve. In Shreve we turned onto SR 226 and rode to Wooster.

When we reached Wooster it was about 11:00am and more than a few stomachs were growling as if we hadn't eaten for a day. So when we passed the Wayne County Fair Grounds during the county fair, it took the determination of Captain Ahab for many of us to continue onward.

Out of Wooster we traveled SR 585 nearly all the way to our destination. Where we found this:

The house was built by F.A. Seiberling, founder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Research and design started in 1912 and construction was completed in 1915.

The house sat on an estate of about 1000 acres at the time, and was so far away from civilization that a railroad spur was built to bring in all of the building materials and workers. The property now consists of about 70 acres.

And of course the required group photo before we entered the house/museum.

No photos are permitted inside the house so all I can tell you is that there are 65+ rooms, over 20 fire places, an indoor pool, and steam heat throughout.

The house was wired for electricity, of course, and there were multiple telephones scattered here and there, but the telephones were always in closets because the Seiberlings didn't want the new technology to spoil the "authentic tudor decor".

The back of the house has a nice garden and water feature and is rented out for weddings.

And a Japanese style garden on the edge of the woods.

A sun dial caught my eye outside. The 2 faces are for AM and PM time. The sun dial mottoes are in Latin and translates roughly to Rising in the East and So Passes the Hour (I think).

The children of the senior Seiberlings donated the house and all the remaining property to a foundation created to maintain everything as a museum in the 1950s. I guess most all of the old money was gone and none of the kids could afford the upkeep. There loss is our gain.

As we were leaving, I noticed one architechural feature on the horse barn, er sorry, the Carriage House, that had escaped my eye earlier. The slate shingle on the roof get smaller as they approach the peak. The shingles at the edge are about 20 inches wide and the ones near the top are about 6 inches wide.

I don't know if this technique is an engineering design or just for visual effect, but the symetry was pleasing.

We retraced our path toward home until we reached a delightful eatery near Smithville called The Barn with a buffet of plain jane, home cooked food that was not home cooked but still delicious.

While we waited for our table number to be called I took the time to photograph some of the bikes.

Here's Lady with her side walls less than white.

Our leader person, Dave's Electro-Glide next to Diane's Shadow.

Milo's Honda with his straight pipes. [Note to self: Don't follow Milo anymore without ear protection!]

And Donna's Suzuki Bergman 400 that does not look like this since she hit the deer.

Aside from Donna crashing into the deer and Ron crashing to avoid Donna the trip was great. I know. It almost sounds like "the operations was a success, but the patient died" but in reality, it was a great ride.

The roads were smooth, the weather was dry and the company was enjoyable. Just a couple of words of caution: Avoid the road apples. Watch out for Amish carriages. Be watchful for deer.

Ride safe.


Lance said...

Thanks for taking us on your ride! Great pictures, and excellent advice at the end.

Doug C said...

Hit one road apple and you'll be smelling all day long!