A New Look At The Bridges Of Ashtabula County

Covered Bridge Country..the DVD
Covered Bridge Country..the DVD
State Road Bridge, Ashtabula County, Photo by Neil Zurcher
State Road Bridge, Ashtabula County, Photo by Neil Zurcher

I mentioned my good friend, Carl Feather of the Ashtabula Star Beacon last week.  He is also the talent behind a newly-released DVD, “Covered Bridge Country”, that tells the stories of all the covered bridges in Ashtabula County. 


Carl uses the technique first popularized by Ken Burns on PBS with his series on the Civil War.  Using both vintage photos as well as many of his own, Feather electronically brings the still pictures to life.  While I have long been a fan of Feather’s writing talents he is equally skilled when it comes to photography.  His pictures of the various bridges in all seasons of the year look like they belong in the National Geographic Magazine.


Carl also does his own narration, giving not only the history of the various bridges, but also statistics and the stories behind how the bridges were saved.  He dedicates the video to John Smolen the former county engineer who saw the possiblilities and the value of not only saving existing wooden bridges, but also building modern versions that are big enough to carry trucks and buses.


Right now you can get the DVD  from Feather’s production company, Feather Multimedia,  6087 Mill St., Kingsville, Ohio 44048 or visit him at www.feathermultimedia.com


You can also obtain Covered Bridge Country at the Blue Goose Gift Shop on Bridge Street in Ashtabula, The gift shop at the lodge at the Geneva-on-the-Lake State Park and at the Covered Bridge Pizza in North Kingsville.


If you like covered bridges or know someone who does, this would make a great gift.

Honest Abe The Car Salesman



I was in Ashtabula on a One Tank Trip this past week and traveling on U. S. Route 20 when I suddenly saw Abe Lincoln!  Actually it was a six foot tall bust of our Civil War President and it was chained to a pole in front of a used car lot.


I slammed on my brakes and did a “U” turn and went back to investigate. 


I met Dale Day, the owner and sculptor who told me that quite a few travelers stop by every week to ask questions and take pictures of his sculpture.


The Lincoln bust, copied from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C., was part of a snow sculpture he had done several years ago, duplicating the famous statue in Washington.  While most of the body of Lincoln, and his chair had been modeled out of tons of snow, he needed a more permanent media for the head, since it would melt too fast otherwise.  He chose a huge block of Styrofoam and had to create his own hot wire tool to use to cut the spongey foam.  When he was done the Lincoln bust was about six feet tall.


Dale says this is not the first snow art he had done.  One cold winter he created the sinking Titanic.  It was so giagantic that it drew the attention of the Cable News Network.  Among his other creations have been snow versions of the Grinch, the Indian’s mascot, Chief Wahoo and a dinosauer.


But the Lincoln bust seems to be his favorite.  He brings it out each day and chains it to a pole in front of his auto sales business on Route 20.  “I have to chain it down”, Dale said, “Otherwise it might blow away.”  He says it has become his business mascot.


If you would like to see the Lincoln bust it is at Ridgeway Auto Repair and Sales, 1911 West Prospect (US Route 20), Ashtabula.


If you would like to read more about Dale Day, my talented colleague and friend, Carl Feather of the Ashtabula Star Beacon has done a story about Day and his many snow sculptures.  You can see it at http://www.starbeacon.com/local/local_story_042191537.html