Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Olmsted Falls Revisited (3/21/2017)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
As "we" are retired now, we took advantage of having the time to drive to Olmsted Falls for lunch, at the Donauschwaben German-American Cultural Center.  We had never made it to a fish fry here, because it meant having to sit in rush hour traffic. Now we could have a leisurely Donauschwaben lunch.
Donauschwaben German-American Cultural Center
(1986 with additions in 1996) (KSS)
This is not just any German-American association, but a Donauschwaben German-American association.  The Donauschwaben, or Danube Swabians, were mostly descended from a German population that were encouraged to settle in the area along the Danube River in Hungary beginning in the 12th century.  After the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire in 1683, more Germanic peoples came to settle to make the lands more agriculturally productive. Resettlement continued until formation of the Austria-Hungary Empire in 1867, when it was required that all minorities had to adopt the Hungarian/Magyar language and culture. Many of the Danube Swabians then moved to the Banat region of Bulgaria. With the treaties of World War I, the Banat lands were divided between Romania, Serbia/Yugoslavia, and Hungary.
In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Yugoslavia, and gave the Banat Donauschwaben superior status over the Slavic majority. They Danube Swabian men were forced to join the German or Axis military, and many families were repatriated to Germany. After World War II, Yugoslav Communists, in retribution, massacred or exterminated ethnic Germans (several hundred thousand men, women, and children) through starvation and forced slave labor in concentration campsin Yugoslavia and the USSR. They were also expelled from Hungary. Several hundred thousand Danube Swabians came to America to settle in pockets already established by immigrants arriving as early as the 1920s. They continue to keep their traditions and language alive with cultural centers, societies, and the national organization, Danube Swabian Society.
Memorial to loved ones here and abroad (KSS)
Memorial (1997): The German Language School thanks
Mrs Karoline Lindenmaler for the 37 years of untiring creativity (KSS)
In memory of the Cleveland Donauschwaben Youth
whose untimely deaths are deeply mourned
Memorial to the Donauschwaben incarcerated in
concentration camps, and murdered and dumped in
mass graves throughout Communist Yugoslavia;
only God knows their final resting place
A mural of the Great Swabian Migration,
probably by Hubert Sirotzki (KSS)
We have been to Olmsted Falls before, and realized that the waterfalls we found were on Plum Creek, a tributary of the Rocky River. We set out to find the real Olmsted Falls...
Olmsted Falls Village Green, established c. 1856
for the residents to graze their livestock
The Village Green was also site of the Union Schoolhouse,
used from 1873-1914; now the Schoolhouse Picnic Pavilion (2015)
represents the architecture of the original school (KSS)
We returned to the park with the covered bridge, the David Fortier River Park.
Charles A Harding Memorial Covered Bridge (1998)
built by Amish craftsmen (KSS)
This information sign notes the old rail stickng up from quarry spoils,
as seen in the photo above the sign, a remnant of a railroad siding
that serviced the quarry that was located here
Olmsted Falls had two quarries that operated for a short period, between 1870 and 1876.
A sign of Spring: Helleborus sp./Hellebore (KSS)
This time instead of hiking west along Plum Creek to see waterfalls, we went east.
Sandstone ledges above Plum Creek (KSS)
An isolated "ledge" (KSS)
We found where Plum Creek entered the Rocky River, and headed upriver to look for waterfalls. We had to walk out on a railroad bridge to see the waterfalls clearly.
Waterfalls on Rocky River in Olmsted Falls
Speaking of clearly, it is still not clear which falls, if any, are THE Olmsted Falls. Perhaps the village was named for the numerous small waterfalls in the area.
Rapids downriver from the railroad bridge,
showing the carved sanstone banks
Still frozen "waterfalls" in the east bank of the Rocky River (KSS)
Fragmented sandstone cliff at Plum Creek (KSS)
Tamiko with Plum Creek in front and Rocky River behind her (KSS)
Tamiko's view of the Plum Creek falls
Tamiko's view of a "water slide" in Rocky River
A millstone
Plum Creek looking upstream towards
the covered bridge (KSS) 
The quarry remains at the Plum Creek confluence
If we did not find the real Olmsted Falls, at least we are satisfied we have seen all the Olmsted Falls!

No comments: