What’s Happening in Harlem Township
ROUND-ABOUT IS FINISHED
The Round-about at the Harlem and Smothers Road intersection was finished about September 20, just a little behind schedule. There have already been complaints of "near misses" in the revamped intersection because entering traffic is not yielding to those already in the round-about. There have also been complaints that the dirt mounded in the center of the round-about makes it difficult to see cars on the other side. As with all traffic pattern changes, use caution as everyone becomes adjusted to the change.
THANK YOU WBC
If you happened to be driving on Route 605 on Sunday afternoon, November 10, you may have seen ten people out in neon vests picking up trash alongside the roadway (or seen the filled orange trash bags left for ODOT pickup). Westerville Bicycle Club (WBC) for several years has maintained the section of Route 605 from Gorsuch Road north to Woodtown Road by picking up trash several times each year on this busy section of highway, and their efforts show. The section of roadway they picked up Sunday was relatively clean but just north of Woodtown Road, the drainage ditch was clogged with discarded wine bottles, beer cans, fast food containers, and other miscellaneous trash. Route 605 is too busy a roadway for any portion of it to be assigned to youth organizations for clean-up during the annual township clean-up day each spring. Consequently, Harlem Township greatly appreciates the help and interest the Westerville Bicycle Club takes in our township by performing trash pick-up several times a year on about half of our major township roadway.
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS TREE
Over 25 years ago, the Harlem Township Garden Club tried to establish the tradition of a community Christmas tree in Center Village, even having Santa Claus at the fire station one year. The project died out after several years when the permanent tree the club planted in the park didn’t make it through the summer. Harlem Township Heritage is going to try this idea again. A local nursery company has graciously donated a 12-15’ tall Norway Spruce which will be planted in the Community Park. Members of Harlem Township Heritage will decorate the tree on Saturday, November 30, beginning at 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to come help decorate the tree and share in the re-beginning of a township tradition. Harlem Township Heritage will provide ornaments and lights for the tree, but if you have a large, shatterproof ornament you’d like to become part of the tree decorations, you’re welcome to bring it.
Congratulations to our newly elected township trustee, Carl Richison. And many thanks to outgoing township trustee, Bob Singer, who has given many hours of his time and shared his expertise for the benefit of this township. Thank you, Bob!
Also, as you may know, both the electric and gas aggregation issues passed. This means the township trustees will now be in the position of selecting electric and gas suppliers, who they feel can and will offer a service contract which will be of benefit to township residents served by AEP and Columbia Gas. The aggregation will have no effect on township residents served by the electric cooperatives.
TOWNSHIP FACEBOOK PAGE
Be sure to check out the Harlem-Township Facebook page for additional, timely information about what’s going on in Harlem Township. The Facebook page is updated whenever there’s new news; this webpage is updated monthly.
FIRESTORM AGAINST THE MUFFINS
Pictures from the memorable vintage baseball game between the Harlem Township Firestorm and the Ohio Village Muffins have been posted on Flicker - http://www.flickr.com
The Harlem Township Garden Club is taking orders for their annual holiday greens fundraiser (their only yearly fundraiser). Handmade swags and grave blankets made from a variety of greenery and with attached ribbons will be available by the end of November for those pre-ordering them by November 19.
To order items, contact Diane at 965-5008 or Eloise at 965-1003. Swags are $12.00 and Grave Blankets are $20.00.
HTH ANNUAL HISTORICAL MEETING
It was a full room at the firehouse on November 14, when Rick Helwig of the Center for Ghost Town Research in Ohio (and also of Sunbury) presented information on Ghost Towns in Ohio and ghost towns of eastern Delaware County. He began his presentation by asking whether anyone in the audience lived in Buddtown, Gorsuch, or Green, recognized ghost towns in Harlem Township. Helwig talked about the reasons for ghost towns (crossroad communities of the past that had sported a blacksmith shop and store, towns built up at river crossings, or along the railroads) and that the towns declined because of changes in transportation where little towns two miles apart weren’t needed anymore.
More information about ghost towns in Ohio can be found on the internet at forgottenoh.com/ghosttowns. And in case you’re wondering, Harlem Township does have several ghost towns: Center Village was originally named Centreville, Harlem was originally Buddtown, Snipetown is totally gone (it was at the intersection of Fancher and Green-Cook Roads), Green never really had much of an existence (a post office at the intersection of Green-Cook Road and Route 37), Ralph is a question. Helwig identified Ralph as the same as Snipetown, but that’s the first time we’ve heard mention of that. He also identified Harlem as having been named Gorsuch for a while; also a first time reference. There are two other ghosts towns in the post office list for Delaware County that might have been in Harlem Township, Centre PO (seems logical for Centreville/Center Village) and Buell’s PO (the Buell name is an old one in the township).
PRE-HOLIDAY CARRIAGE RIDES AND BAZAAR
Harlem Township’s Holiday in Harlem weekend will start off on Friday evening, December 13, with a free, open to the public, movie in the Community Room of the firehouse. The movie, A Christmas Story (1983), will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end a little after 9 p.m. Refreshment plans aren’t definite, but popcorn and cookies may be available (if you’re interested in donating cookies for the movie or Saturday events, please contact Vicki Tieche – 965-4535.)
Saturday, December 14, members of Harlem Township Heritage will be decorating the shelter house in the park and putting luminaries around the walking track beginning at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come and help out. At 1 p.m. a holiday craft sale and bazaar will open in the Community Room of the firehouse and be open until 5 p.m. Carriage rides around the luminary lighted track will begin at 4pm and continue until 7pm. There will be carolers in the park at some point during the carriage rides. Admission to the carriage rides is a monetary or non-perishable item donation which will be given to Harlem Township Helping Hands. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available during the carriage rides and there will be a bonfire to help keep everyone warm.
If you are interested in helping with any of these activities or having a vendor booth at the bazaar, please contact Vicki Tieche or any member of Harlem Township Heritage. All proceeds raised by this pre-holiday event are given to Harlem Township Helping Hands (a part of the Harlem Township Civic Association) to help those less fortunate in our community.
DEDICATION OF HISTORIC COOK MARKER
It was a very sunny day on September 14 when descendants of Benajah and Cassandra Cook and Mike and Diane Kabler of Harlem Township Heritage, Inc. unveiled the State of Ohio historic marker honoring Harlem Township’s first settlers. The marker, located on Gorsuch Road just west of the bridge over Duncan Run, is near the site of the water powered sawmill built and operated by Benajah Cook in the early 1800’s. Mike Kabler presided over the ceremony as MC; Roger Neibarger, chairman of Harlem Township Heritage, Inc. offered the invocation; Vicki Tieche told the story of the Cook family and the other settlers who were in the township by 1810; Tom Paul dressed as General William Starke Rosecrans offered remarks as did Harlem Township trustee, Jerry Paul. The Paul brothers are descendants of Benajah and Cassandra Cook. After the unveiling of the marker, refreshments were served in the Cook barn across the road from the marker. The barn was built in 1839, the same year Benajah Cook died. The Kablers also graciously offered tours of the first floor of the John Cook home, built by Benajah’s son and which is on the Historic Register as part of the afternoon activities. All in all – a very historic day for Harlem Township.
To see pictures from this event, visit the Harlem Township Facebook page.
ON THE CALENDAR:
December 2 – Zoning Commission 7:30 p.m.
January 6 – Zoning Commission 7:30 p.m.
February 3 – Zoning Commission 7:30 p.m.