I’ve gone up and down Ohio Route 4 a few times, from Springfield to Sandusky up along Lake Erie. It’s a convenient route to take when visiting the lake area, plus I’ll take backroads or state routes any day over freeways, which I’ve never cared for. Along the way on OH-4 I’ve run into multiple places of interest for someone interested in Ohio tourism and history. In this post I’ll highlight the town of Bucyrus.
Bucyrus is a town of over 12,000 people in northern Ohio, west of Mansfield. It’s the county seat of Crawford County, named after Colonel William Crawford, who fought in the American Revolution and was killed by Native Americans in 1782 in an infamous frontier incident (see my post on the Colonel Crawford Memorial). The county is relatively small (area and population wise) and agricultural.
One of Bucyrus’s famous citizens was Harry L. Martin, who won the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima in WWII. A sign at the entrance of town along OH-4 proudly displays this fact.
As usual, I have an eye out for interesting older buildings.
The Lincoln Historic Byway crosses through Bucyrus on an east-west direction. The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental road going from the east coast to the west coast, and largely follows Ohio Route 30 (in Ohio) today. I’ll do a future post on this road one day!
The downtown area is revitalized, like many other towns in Ohio.
Oh, by the way, Bucyrus calls itself ‘the Bratwurst Capital of the World’ and has a yearly Bratwurst Festival in August.
The library is in the original building that philanthropist Andrew Carnegie built. He built over 2,500 libraries across America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Crawford County courthouse. Ohio’s county courthouses are often great architectural works full of history.
The Bucyrus Murals
Eric Grohe is a well-known muralist who paints large 3D scenes across America. He’s done several right here in Ohio. In Bucyrus he has 3 fascinating murals that are worth a visit if you’re an art fan.
The Great American Crossroads mural is located at Millennium Park. It was created in 1999.
The mural is lifelike. You can see historic scenes of Bucyrus’s main street through an arch.
There’s a handy sign explaining all of the details that were placed in the mural. Famous businesses and historical characters are highlighted. 130 local citizens posed as models for the painted figures in the mural.
The detail is quite amazing.
Here’s a nice detail of the lefthand side of the mural- a woman looks out of an open window. This is all painted upon a wall and looks pretty realistic!
Not far down the street is another Grohe mural, Liberty Remembers.
Painted on the pillars alongside the main image are 284 veterans of Crawford County from many of America’s wars. County residents gave photographs of soldiers in their families to Grohe to paint upon the mural.
Driving by, one would never notice the small horseshoe that represents Frank, a horse that fought alongside his soldier in the Revolutionary War. You may not see the dog, Nemo, peering out from behind a row of soldiers at the bottom of the mural. Nemo was a member of the canine corps during Vietnam. He was shot twice and lost an eye, proving that dog really is man’s best friend. His handler lives in the area and stated that Nemo had saved more lives than he did.
The blurry colorful spot on this photo taken next to the mural is a Red Admiral Butterfly on the main street of Bucyrus. I took this pictutre in June, it was nice to see nature here.
Here’s the 3rd Grohe mural at the Schines Art Park. When I approached it along the road, I thought it was an actual side of a building, but it is a painting! Grohe is quite an accomplished artist.
I’ve seen murals here and there in towns across Ohio- they’re getting more common. One day I hope to have enough images to do another post about them!