What’s Happening in Harlem Township
DELAWARE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INFORMATION ABOUT EBOLA
There has not been a confirmed case of Ebola in Ohio, but the Delaware General Health District is making plans to be prepared by working closely with local emergency response partners should the situation change. Travelers returning from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal, Liberia, or Nigeria in the past month may have been exposed to Ebola. The Health District is asking anyone who has traveled, is getting ready to travel, or any organizations or churches that may be sending volunteers, missionaries or other personnel to West Africa to please call the Health District at 740-368-1700. Ebola is the cause of a viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the Ebola virus, although 8 to 10 days is most common. You can only get Ebola from touching bodily fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, or from exposure to contaminated objects, such as needles. Ebola is not spread through air, water, or food.
Residents with specific questions regarding Ebola are asked to call the Health District and request to speak to a member of the communicable disease team.
CHICKEN NOODLE DINNERS
October 24th will be the last chicken noodle dinner for 2014. Harlem Township Heritage, the group putting on these dinners for the community, has decided that unless there is a tremendous increase in number of helpers for these dinners, we will have to cut down to one Spring and one Fall dinner in 2015. Helpers are especially needed to do the meat preparation, make the noodles, make the salads, and cook the dinner on dinner days. Putting on one dinner takes over 200 hours of volunteer effort. All proceeds from the dinners are re-invested in activities for our Harlem Township community.
PARK ELECTRICITY ON HOLD FOR ANOTHER YEAR
After the success of getting water lines installed in the Community Park, our township representative for these projects, Tom Nied’s plan was to apply for grant money to improve the electric situation with new installations in 2015. That unfortunately is not going to happen for at least another year because the due date for grant money proposals was substantially earlier than it was last year and was not announced.
OUR BIG TREE IS COMING TO ITS END
It was inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any easier. As many of you already know, our Mailman Oak on Fancher Road, Ohio’s 6th largest White Oak tree, was badly damaged during a storm in June. The county wanted to take down the tree at that time but was held off by requests for assessment of the tree’s condition.
An assessment has been done; the tree is in reasonable to good health, but, because of the very badly asymmetrical growth pattern of the tree (made even worse by the storm damage)which puts the bulk of the tree and its weight over Fancher Road, the tree is classified as a very high risk tree for safety of those traveling on the road under it. An additional evaluation was made to determine whether the tree could be saved by removing limbs to balance out the weight but so many limbs would need to be removed that the tree would not have sufficient foliage to survive. So, the tree will come down, sometime soon.
If possible, a "cookie" slab across the tree (later with a timeline on it to show the age of the tree), will be saved to put in the community park. There are also hopes to save a portion of the trunk for use as a bench in the park. Both of these items will be dependent on cost and local groups raising the needed money to create these historic memories.
HTH HISTORIC MEETING
At the Harlem Township Heritage annual historical meeting on Thursday, November 13, local resident and expert, Phyllis Davidson, will talk about the old schools in Harlem Township including her specialty the one room schools.
The first school in Harlem Township, a hewn log structure, was built north of Harlem village by the early settlers during the War of 1812. By 1849 there were nine one-room schools, mostly made from locally made brick scattered around the township. By 1917 all the one-room schools were closed and there was one central township school in Center Village. In 1922 Harlem Township built a four-room high school and the predecessor four-room school became the elementary school. For 30 years, Harlem High School was a continual county contender for academic and sports crowns and the high school building was a gathering spot for community events. The last class graduated from Harlem Township High School in 1952 and Harlem Township became a part of the Big Walnut School District. Now, 60 years later, there is almost no evidence that schools were ever a part of our township history.
Phyllis Davidson’s talk in November will bring back the memory of our township schools and the important role they played in our community. The presentation will be held in the Community Room of the firehouse, 3883 S. St. Rt. 605, at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public.
BOY SCOUT PROJECTS
You may have noticed some increased activity in some of our township cemeteries recently. Two Boy Scouts from Troop 669 in Westerville are completing their Eagle Scout projects by helping Harlem Township with some needed work. The first project has been to try to find one missing War of 1812 burial in Fancher Cemetery and missing Civil War burials in Fancher, Maple Grove, and Harlem Cemeteries--all of which were on the WPA records from 1935. Both graves in Fancher have been located but the stones are so badly deteriorated they are mostly unreadable. Small supplemental stones will be bought by Harlem Township Heritage to mark these two graves and the unfound burials in Maple Grove and Harlem cemeteries.
The second project will be to restore two rows of graves in Hanover-Snipetown Cemetery that have fallen down, are broken, or leaning badly. Several stones in the two rows have disappeared since the cemetery was read in 1947 and an attempt will be made to locate those stones and re-erect them. Both of these projects have been approved by the Harlem Township Trustees and are being undertaken under the close supervision of unofficial township historian, Vicki Tieche.
HARLEM TOWNSHIP TREE REPORT
At the trustee meeting on October 15, township tree commissioner, Mike Kabler, announced that four additional commemorative trees have been planted in the community park and there are still six spots open for trees. Mike also said there is a new threat to our hardwood trees that has been found in Ohio, the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. Information about this new invader can be found on the following link to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. This newcomer is a worse threat than the Emerald Ash Borer and we can see how much damage the ash borer has done to Harlem Township so we need to be on the lookout for this new invader and eradicate it if found.
Mike also reported that the Bradford Pear, a sterile graft onto a Calley pear which was so popular with city landscapers in the past (including Westerville) has now become an invasive pest. The pears have come up from below the grafts and are now spreading into the countryside. They are somewhat distinctive, and noticeable in the spring by their white flowers and should be removed if found. However, care needs to be taken that the white blooming tree is not an American plum, one of our native Spring bloomers we should try to save.
MEMORIAL TO THE HARLEM TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS
The Harlem High School Alumni Association and Harlem Township Heritage are raising funds to create a memorial to the Harlem Township schools in the community park. Funds will be raised by selling engraved bricks and pavers to/for anyone interested in helping preserve this part of our township’s heritage.
For more information about this memorial and brick purchase can be found by visiting the Harlem Township Heritage page under the Community tab above.
ON THE CALENDAR:
December 1 – Zoning Commission 7:30 p.m.