Sunday, July 9th
Kind of unusual for us to do anything ‘touristy’ on a weekend but it turned out to be a nice, quiet day with hardly anyone else out on the roads or visiting the sights we went too.
Today’s first stop was the Paul Laurence Dunbar House. Paul was a great poet of his time, publishing his first book, ‘Oak and Ivy’ at just 20 years of age.
Both of his parents grew up as slaves and wanting more for her son, his mother, Mathilda, pushed him to excel. In high school he was the only African-American but he was well liked and was a member of the debate team, the president of the literary club and editor of the school newspaper. Orville Wright was his classmate and friend.
Though he wrote in conventional English his works written in a Negro dialect were more popular. He was one of the first African-Americans to gain international recognition. Sadly he contracted tuberculosis and died at age 33.
The house we visited was the home he bought for his mother and when his health started declining he moved in with is mother for his remaining years.
The house had many of the latest and greatest things for a home in the early 1900s. We were very impressed at how well-preserved it was and how much of Paul’s personal items still remain.
Many of his books are still housed in shelves, his typewriter and bedroom set are still in his room. The parlor still holds his mothers furniture. The dining room still has the original table and chairs and beautiful china hutch that houses a pull out bed in the back.
We were the only people at the house so we got a really nice tour led by a very friendly ranger.
Next we drove south to Miamisburg where we visited the Miamisburg Mound. A mound believed to have been built by the Adena people roughly 2000 years ago.
Little is known about the mound other than at least one person was buried deep inside (in a sitting position, facing east) and that there were also lots of ashes found inside the mound, as well. Whether the ashes were from cremations or some type of ceremonial rite, nobody knows.
It is also thought that the 65 foot tall mound may have been a ‘look out’ as it was built on a 100 foot ridge above the Miami River.
Years ago, 116 steps were built into the side of the mound making it easier to reach the top. A wrought-iron fence was also placed at the top.
We scaled the steps (with several stops along the way) and enjoyed the view from above. It was fun to imagine what the area looked like so many years ago when the mound was first built.
By the time we made it back down to the bottom of the mound and to the truck we were ready for a late lunch. We’d promised our friend, Donna, that we’d try one her favorite pizza places, LaRosa’s so we found the nearest location and away we went.
We ordered an order of ‘Rondos’ and really enjoyed them. Just pizza dough that has been rolled into a rosette and is filled with cheese and either pepperoni or spinach…we went with pepperoni. They’re served with some pizza sauce for dipping. Really, really good.
Then we ordered a medium pizza with beef, pepperoni, green pepper, red onion, pineapple. I also got black olives on half. Somehow the waitress got banana peppers out of pineapple so we ended up getting one of our toppings credited.
The pizza was good…I’m not sure about the pizza sauce though. The medium was a nice size for just the 2 of us. We’d got to LaRosa’s again…but it would be the Rondo’s that would really draw me in!
It was a beautiful day…not as hot as it’s been so when we got home we relaxed outside for a while just enjoying the day.