Saturday, October 17, 2015

Malabar Farm State Park (10/17/2015)

Saturday, October 17, 2015
This morning we had a stinky surprise on the front walkway.
Dead skunk
We had to call an exterminator to remove the dead skunk.
It was expected to rain in the Cleveland area today, but not so farther south. We drove about 1.5 hours, down I-271 to I-71 to Lucas, OH. Arrived at the Malabar Farm State Park about 12:30 and obtained tickets for the 14:00 tour of the "Big House."
At the Visitors Center we perused the small museum about farming and conservation, then drove over to Pugh Cabin for a hike on Butternut Trail.
Pugh Cabin (1938 with later additions) was built with
decommissioned pine electric poles
(Jim Pugh worked for the Ohio Public Service, later Ohio Edison)
Peeking inside the cabin, it was set up for a wedding. The cabin was used during the filming of the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, as the site where Andy Dufresne's wife and her lover were murdered.
Originally a picnic shelter built against a sandstone boulder,
it was later closed in and housed Pugh's collection
of steam locomotive paraphernalia (KSS)
Sugar Shack, used during the annual Maple Syrup Festival in March.
where maple sap is boiled down into maple syrup
Tamiko with a large boulder, probably Canadian! (KSS)
Butternut Cave (KSS)
You could walk through Butternut Cave, more of a natural tunnel.
Upper end of Butternut Cave (KSS)
We went in search of Ferguson Falls, but our trail map was not detailed enough. We passed the same group of horseback riders twice!
Returned in time for the Big House Tour.
Big House (KSS)
Ganesh over the doorway (KSS)
We learned about Louis Bromfield, an author and Hollywood screen writer, as well as farmer and conservationist. In 1935 he traveled to India and ended up staying three months. The farm is named after the Malabar Coast in southwest India, thus Ganesh, known for his role as the gatekeeper, sits over the front door.
Bromfield brought his family from living in France, back to the United states in 1939 and purchased three farms, including a 12-room house. Working with architect Louis Lameroux, some rooms are demolished, and many added, resulting in a 32-room house by 1941.
Bromfield was a smoker and owned many Boxer dogs, who were allowed full reign of the house.
One significant event that took place here, the wedding of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in 1945.
Stone terraces (KSS)
Big House Pond, a water source in case of fire (KSS)
Big House weathervane and farm silo
Greenhouse and main barn
Chicken house
Chicken house wall
Border Leicester Sheep
A miniature horse with Misty, the black Shetland pony,
and a Nubian goat in the trough
Main barn
Celia Rose House, where a mentally challenged woman
killed her parents and brother in 1896;
Louis Bromfield wrote about the event in his first book
Glacial cliffs
Fall colors
At the far end of the property, we drove up Mount Jeez for a panoramic view.
Malabar Farm to the southwest
Working farm to the left, and the Big House and main barn to the right
Pleasant Hill Lake to the southeast
Time to head home.

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