Morgan Twp. Driving Tour (Shandon)

I've posted three times already on this blog about last Friday's date night with the lovely Robin, in which we took a self-guided driving tour of historic Morgan Township. In this final post I will write about our final stops on the tour, in historic Shandon, Ohio.

Arriving in Shandon on Cincinnati-Brookville Road (Rt. 126), we stopped first at the stately Congregational Church, which dates to 1854. Soon after construction began, however, the steeple collapsed, fatally injuring six men and delaying the completion of the church. The new sanctuary was finally dedicated on November 2, 1855. Additions to the structure were made in 1915 and 1988.

Next, we found the Old Welsh Meeting House. Construction on this building began in 1823 as a house of worship "complete with a Welsh door leading to the cemetery" (according to the driving tour booklet). Services were conducted in both Welsh and English for many years. Today it is the community house for the village.

Next door to the Old Welsh Meeting House is Paddy's Run Graveyard, which was in use from 1821 to nearly the end of the nineteenth century (actually, the residents of the cemetery still use it daily). Veterans from the Napoleonic, Mexican, and Civil Wars are buried here. Most surnames in the cemetery are Welsh, with the rest of French, English, and German origin.

On the main street through Shandon are numerous historic and admirable buildings, like the general store, above. I'm not sure this is the same as the A. R. Robinson General Store described in the driving tour booklet, but if it is it dates to 1905.

Nearby is the Pl√Ęs Cadnant Bed and Breakfast in the former John Lloyd Evans Home and Store. The booklet describes it as "the former home, post office, grocery and dry goods store of John Lloyd Evans. He purchased the property from Hugh Williams on February 20, 1862. In 1892 the home and store was sold to Jacob Schradin, Jr. The building served as a school annex for many years with home economics, industrial arts, business and science classes housed here. Other uses included library, restaurant, post office (Shandon), multi-family home and antique shop.

My favorite location in the village is above, "Books in Shandon." It's a wonderland of ten rooms of books: upstairs, downstairs, in the kitchen, in the garage and in the little house next door. I don't just want their books. I want to own this store, but the owners, Jim and Carol Wilson say they won't sell. I've even offered to work for them, dirt cheap. They just look at me as if they're about to call 911.

Our final stop in the village was at the Old St. Aloysius Cathollic Church, on land purchased by Archbishop John B. Purcell in 1868. The structure dates to 1900. The congregation moved out, however, in 1985, when a large modern church was built on Cincinnati-Brookville Road west of the village.

On our way home from Shandon (which, by the way, hosts lovely events every year like Christmas in the County, an annual Welsh Christmas celebration, and the annual Strawberry Festival in June), we drove past the John Evans Spring, still marked by a large stone monument bearing the inscription "And now abideth Faith, Hope and Charity, these three, but the creates of these is Charity." Built in 1877, the spring was a welcome watering spot for travelers and farmers who drove their livestock to the Cincinnati markets.

Many thanks to the Morgan Township Historical Society for the booklet that took us on the tour. We didn't stop at every spot the booklet features, but enjoyed what we did.

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