In which our intrepid hero takes some time to soak in some Springfieldian sights…
On my way back home, I passed through Springfield, a town about 30 minutes west of Columbus. The light was already fading, but Springfield is such an interesting town that I decided to take at least a few pictures anyway, though I will certainly come back for a more extended sojourn (in better light). Of course, the same things that make Springfield interesting to me may seem undesirable for others.
[Note that you can click on every image below to see larger, better versions]
Springfield, like Troy, is a county seat, but Springfield is a large town, almost a city. Its population is 60,333 (salute!), down from a high of 82.723 in 1960. Thus it has lost 25% of its population in the past half-century, while Troy has grown. Troy also has a considerably higher per capita income than Springfield. It was a manufacturing town, though much of that manufacturing has gone away.
Unlike some towns, such as East Liverpool, Springfield’s downtown is not dead on weekends, so in some cases, taking pictures turned out to be difficult—there weren’t good places to stop. The below shot of a glorious old building complete with fire escape was one I had to shoot through the window, complete with out of focus bug splotch. I’ll come back and get better pictures.
This building had ornate window dressings, as in this example, hurriedly taken while stopped at a light. A van blocked the view of the rest.
As the light dimmed, I did come across a fascinating abandoned manufactory of some sort, crumbling into ruin. There was a ramp (below, on left) leading up to a loading dock that also allowed a view of more of the place.
Here’s a view from the ramp, looking down onto another section of the place.
The building at the top of the ramp is already beginning to crumble into ruin but it can’t be even 100 years old yet.
This mysterious white building, sans windows, is home to The Champion Company. I had no idea what The Champion Company was until I got home and looked it up. Now I know why it was not overfond of windows. The Champion Company, created in 1878, “is the trusted supply partner for embalming and funeral service providers that demand the very best.” It features products such as “Omega Decomp Factor” and “Xeros Edema Factor” and, of course, “Co-Injectant Beta Factor.” You can see their booth in October in Austin, Texas, at the annual trade show for the National Funeral Directors Association.
You can see an aerial view of the whole thing (my picture above is the lower left corner of the building below) in this Google Maps shot. All that dedicated to filling dead people full of juice.
This was an interesting dilapidated house. Somehow the tree seems to match the house.
This small house could actually be picturesque with some lawn care.
It took me forever to figure this mural out. The brown blobs under the rainbow looked like deformed bunnies with a big flower. Eventually it dawned on me that they are detached brown hands.
Note the rabbit hutch in the back of this house, possibly being raised for food.
One of countless dilapidated houses in Springfield, but fairly large.
McMansions are popping up to pollute the landscape even outside of Springfield—perhaps because they are close enough to Columbus to commute. For the non-regular reader of this blog, I will reiterate that I really don’t like rural McMansions, which I view as symbols of excess and conspicuous consumption and which tend to ruin the landscape.