Archive for the ‘Facts And History’ Category

Newark, Ohio Downtown Project

There’s a new $4,000,000 project in the works for Downtown Newark, Ohio. The plan is for a farmer’s market, public restrooms, and a park-like area. This plan rendering was passed out by Wachtel & McAnally

Newark, Ohio future farmer's market plans.

Plan rendering for downtown Newark, Ohio farmer’s market and park.

I went and listened to the speech where the speakers thoroughly discussed the history of canal street and explained that they wanted to bring the area back to it’s place of prominence. They feel that these plans for a farmer’s market and “green space” will do the trick. The new Canal District Market plan was shrouded in secrecy(with numerous leaks of course) and it was announced that it would be a public/private agreement with the TJ Evans Foundation. It’s easy to get lost in the details from that point, at least it was for me. 

I’d like to say this will be nice. It probably will be. The problem is that much of it makes no sense. There has been a constant complaint about parking in downtown Newark, Ohio. Many like myself just don’t get it. There is plenty of parking right where this project is going to take place. That does not stop The Downtown Newark Association, every new round of politicians, and government employees from constantly spending money on studies to show that Newark needs grants and other forms of tax dollars to improve the parking. Along comes this project that detracts from the amount of parking and I see these groups applauding the effort. It makes the claim of lack of parking as the primary reason for the decline of Newark’s downtown seem like even more of a fallacy. 

It will be interesting to see the project happen regardless of the confusion and questionable spending surrounding it. I also await the outcome of what the effect of a project like this really does for the area. 


Frogs On The Jail

Many of the buildings in Newark’s downtown have some odd decorative features, the troll on the corner of South Park and South 3rd street being the most popular. They leave you to wonder if they are were strictly for enjoyment or if there is some meaning behind them. From what I’ve been told by historians and architects, they were done strictly for the art and entertainment value of them. 

One does have to wonder what a happy frog is doing on such a foreboding building as the old Licking County Jail. It’s an odd site that goes unnoticed to many. I never noticed until after I took this picture. 

If anyone has any information about the frog, feel free to leave a comment.

Frog on the old Licking County Jail in Newark, Ohio.

The frog is in the upper left of this photo of the side entrance of the old Licking County jail.

Open Burning in Newark And Licking County, Ohio.

With Licking County recovering from serious storms, it’s important to note some of the open burning laws. The easiest method to destroy unwanted tree debris, damaged roofing, and other trash is to just burn it. Before you do, consider the law, the penalties for open burning, the health problems that it may cause your neighbors, and possible damage that you could be responsible for.

An open burn fire that is not in Licking County, Ohio code.

A pile of tree debris with diesel poured on it in the North Vernon Road neighborhoods in Licking County, Ohio.

Here is a general guideline issued by the Ohio EPA for open burning in Ohio. Some may find this to restrictive and consider burning just a process in the natural order of things. I understand, but I also understand that we’re living closer together, even in rural areas, and there are people with allergies, asmtha, and other health issues who are very sensitive to the smoke. I don’t mean it just irritates them a little, I mean that some may be hospitalized after exposure to smoke.

The specific rules for burning vary depending on the township or city limits that you’re in. As a general rule, anything larger than a cooking fire using anything other than firewood or charcoal is a violation. Here are some laws that I’ve found covering fires and open burning in Newark, Ohio and the surrounding Licking County area. Do a search inside of these documents for “open burn” to find the laws.

  • Newark, Ohio Zoning Rules – Any activity involving the use of flammable or explosive materials shall require
    adequate fire-fighting and fire-suppression equipment and safety devices normally used
    in the handling of any such material. Rules and regulations for handling and storing of
    flammable or explosive materials, promulgated and enforced by Federal, State or City
    Ordinances shall be followed. The Newark City Fire Department shall regulate the
    burning of waste materials in an open fire.
  • The Licking County Solid Waste Regulations – d) Open burning without prior approval from the Fire Department and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, or unauthorized disposal of hazardous waste, solid waste, infectious waste, or
    construction and demolition waste within Licking County General Health District is prohibited. (C) The opening dumping, open burning, unauthorized disposal, or creation of a nuisance by
    the accumulation of hazardous waste, solid waste, infectious waste, and construction and
    demolition waste is prohibited.

    2.16: “Open Burning” means the burning of solid waste in an open area or burning of solid
    wastes in a type of chamber or vessel that is not approved in rules adopted by the Director of the
    Ohio Environmental Protection Agency under Section 3734.02 of the Revised Code.

  •  Recommendations From The Newark Fire Department For Open Burning –Cookouts for food consumption and recreational fires should be no
    larger than 3-ft. wide by 2-ft. high. Larger fires such as bonfires are
    allowed with special permission. Contact the fire prevention bureau for
    additional information.

Open burning violation in Licking County, Ohio.

Tree crews burn in the open with diesel and tree debris without any fear of penalty or care for the neighboring homes.

For those thinking, “My neighbor does it and nothing happens to him, I’m not worried about it.”. Well, you’re right. Many do it and I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for it. I’ve seen businesses like the one in these photos doing it consistently without any fear of enforcement. If a fire is reported, you’re going to get a full on wasted fire department run for something that is no more than a code violation. Chances are the fire department is going to just move on to more important matters. According to the code’s I’ve read, it’s their job to enforce the code and that job is always trumped by emergencies it seems. Townships with volunteer departments are going to be even more lax in the enforcement.

Crew ignoring open burn laws in Licking County, Ohio.

This crew doesn’t care about open burn laws in Licking County.

A good attitude to take would be that you actually care a little about those around you and that fires are best kept within regulations and codes. Keep within code and your burning activities will have minimal impact on your neighbors and there will be no chance of legal actions taken that could be very costly. Try some of the low cost alternatives –

  • Hauling trash and debris to a recycling business and pay the small fee to dump it there. 
  • Shred and use as compost and mulch.
  • Burn very small and legal fires to burn it one at a time. 
  • Split wood and let it age to use as firewood. 
  • Call firewood services or run ads to see if they want it for free. 









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The Newark, Ohio Telephone Building.

Here’s a photo of The Newark Telephone building in Newark, Ohio. It’s another example of art deco architecture that survives in Newark’s downtown area.

Art deco building in Newark, Ohio.

The Newark Telephone Building.

Related Links:

Newark, Ohio 2011 Lighting Of The Courthouse

November 25, 2011
6:00 pmto9:00 pm
Licking County Courthouse in Newark, Ohio With Christmas Lights

Every year Newark, Ohio welcomes the Christmas season with a lighting of the Licking County Courthouse. This year, Santa is scheduled to stop in and light the courthouse on November 25, 2011 at 6 PM.

The event is an exciting one and for some reason, there are always some glitches. It seems that the lights require so much power that it takes a huge amount of electricity from the excitement of the crowd to get it lit. The louder they cheer, the more lights that come on. It’s a great way to join with the community as they kick off the festivities for the rest of the Christmas season. Work is already being done to prepare for the lighting of the Newark, Ohio Courthouse.

Here is a video of a Licking County Courthouse lighting from 2006.


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1st Sign Of The Christmas Season In Newark, Ohio.

Every year Newark, Ohio lights the beautiful Licking County Courthouse for Christmas. The combination of the old downtown with the Midland Theater, the downtown shops and restaurants, and courthouse as the centerpiece all lit up, makes for a festive atmosphere for the Christmas season. Santa makes a stop at the courthouse to plugin in the gigantic power cord that lights the courthouse up to kick off the season. It’s a fun time for young and old.

It may be way to early for most of us to start preparing, but for the workers at the courthouse, it’s time to get started. I caught a few workers on the roof making the first preparations.


Roof of the Licking County Courthouse

Look close and you'll see a worker on the Licking County Courthouse Roof

Worker setting up Christmas Lights Of Licking County, Ohio Courthouse

Worker on Licking County Courthouse roof sets Up Christmas lights.

Worker walking on the roof of the Licking County, Ohio Courthouse

Worker exits small door and walks on the roof of the Licking County Courthouse.

The end result will look something like this –

Christmas Lights On The Licking County Courthouse in Ohio.

The Licking County Courthouse in Newark, Ohio Lit Up For Christmas.


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Ohio State University Professor, John Sinko, Research Astronaut Retrieval System

Newark, Ohio OSU Professor John Sinko Space Engineer

Image via Wikipedia

John Sinko, a professor at Ohio State University in Newark, Ohio, had an idea to use a laser guided system and thursters to guide astronauts back to safety. He’s join working with others and his idea may become reality. Here’s the link to the story

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New York Times Mention Of Newark, Ohio’s Johnny Clem

The New York times mentions Johnny Clem in a piece about the children that served during the Civil War. 

It’s common knowledge that he was from Newark, Ohio and enlisted at the young age of 9, but I didn’t know that he served the longest time in the Army of any Civil War Veteran. 

Weiant-Wherle House For Sale

So maybe the $15,000,000 asking price for the Longaberger Mansion is a little steep. There is another smaller mansion for sale at 444 Hudson Avenue, the Weiant-Wherle House, for $328,500. It’s a 4000 square foot 6 bedroom historic home with a  carriage house and gazebo. 

The listing is old and the house might be sold by now, but the description and photos were interesting. Weiant was the owner of the first telephone company in Newark and he owned a massive greenhouse complex east of Newark. Wherle owned the the Wherle Stove Company in Newark. 

This would seem like a good home to find get the entrepreneurial spirit. 

UPDATE – This house is no longer listed for sale when I last checked on December 18th, 2011. 

Newark, Ohio Founder John Sparks Grave At Hollar Cemetary

I didn’t realize until I wrote this headline why I thought John Sparks was the founder of Newark, Ohio. In fact, the claim is that he is one of the founders of Newark. Maybe, the other founders do not have a noted grave, therefore, they lack the credit that John Sparks has. I did find John Sparks grave and historical marker interesting.

The most notable thing that I found about John Sparks was that he made to 88 years old. In the 1800’s, that was far past the average life expectancy. According to the plaque, he was a 47 year old private in the Army. That just doesn’t sound right. He was also on explorations with Zebulon Pike, the famous explorer that Pikes Peak in Colorado is named after.




Ohio Historical Mark For John Sparks, A Newark, Ohio Founder

The Ohio Historical Marker Near John Sparks' Grave

The search in Google Books turns up quite a bit of information.



Grave information for Newark, Ohio Founder John Sparks

Grave information for Newark, Ohio Founder, John Sparks.

Also, this passage –



John Sparks Mention In The History Of Licking County

Mention Of John Sparks in "Centennial history of the city of Newark and Licking County, Ohio".

I find it humorous that the most famous of the early settlers in the county is characterized as a slothful vagabond in his later years, but that’s what the history books tell us. After a life of danger and hardships, fishing on the banks of the Licking River doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Considering his age at death, maybe there’s something to a haphazard, precarious, hard life?

Here are some photos from Hollar Cemetary so you’ll recognized it on the next time you pass it on State Route 13 on the far north side of town.



Grave Marker Of Newark, Ohio Founder, John Sparks

John Sparks Tombstone




Hollar Cemetary in Newark, Ohio

Tombstones At Hollar Cemetary In Newark, Ohio

Hollar Cemetary Entrance In Newark, Ohio

Hollar Cemetary Entrance


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