Tree Respect

Walnut Street, north side of Xenia Avenue. Photo courtesy of Antiochiana

Walnut Street, north side of Xenia Avenue. Photo courtesy of Antiochiana

At this time of year in Yellow Springs “golden arches” bring to mind more the graceful branches of maple and gingko than fast food franchise. Trees (especially Glen Helen) are the fabric against which the history of Yellow Springs has developed, celebrated in street names (Walnut, Elm, and at one time, Locust) and passionately defended.

Over the decades certain species of trees have been wiped out, or nearly so, by either disease or insect infestatiion. There are no longer avenues lined with stately elms in many an American town, and ash trees are currently falling prey.

Although relatively recent in Yellow Springs history, the Yellow Springs Tree Committee contributes to that history by arranging for memorial trees and guiding selection so that public tree planting will be protected from wholesale disaster by species variety. Thanks to the Tree Committee members for their part in preserving and protecting this fragile part of Yellow Springs history.

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Carr Nursery Catalog — Miscellaneous Shrubs and Vines

(Previous entries in the series — (2345678910 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

There are but a few of the plants described on this page (transcript follows image as before) that are no longer readily available, and many can be seen in yards around town.

One curious fact-or-fiction note about ivy in Yellow Springs: there has been some suggestion that the ivy which covered Antioch College’s Main Building walls (and also possibly the exterior of the current Winds Café) was not the regular ivy as listed on this catalog page, but grown from clippings brought from Horace Walpole’s residence ‘Strawberry Hill’ in England by Horace and Mary Mann.

Carr Nurseries 1898 Catalog page 16SANSEVERIA ZEALANICA

Sanseveria illustratonA new decorative plant of great beauty and value

A beautiful plant, splendidly adapted for the decoration of sitting rooms, halls, etc., as it stand dust and neglect of watering with impunity. The leaves, as shown in the cut, grow to a length of two or three feet, and are beautifully striped cross-wise, with broad, white variegations on a dark green ground. It is a rare and beautiful plant which should be abundantly grown for positions out of the reach of sunlight, where other plants will not thrive. When you consider that it can be placed in any position in any room, and do well, its great usefulness is at once apparent. It has a singular beauty for decorative purposes which other plants do not possess, and is useful both Winter and Summer. The beautiful leaves and the handsome spike of flowers it produces make it one of the most desirable plants known. Price, nice plants, 10 cents each; large, strong plants, 20 cents each.

Hardy Shrubs and Vines


English Ivy.—A truly magnificent and wonderful dark-leaved variety. Can be trained so as to produce the most beautiful effects. There is no more desirable climbing plant for the house than this beautiful English Ivy. It produces a graceful effect in the bay window, can be trained on a trellis, trained over pictures, or grown on the mantel out of direct sunlight. The glossy-green leaves are in lavish profusion, and the plant itself such a wonderful climber, one can readily see that it makes a handsome background. Price, only 10 cents each.

German Ivy.—Possesses all the good qualities of the English Ivy, and is even a more vigorous and rapid grower. The leaves are a beautiful, waxy, light green, of perfect form. A grand variety for hanging baskets or vases. Price, 6 cents each. The two ivies for 15 cents.


These are beautiful shrubs of easy culture. Very desirable for shrubberies of the flower garden. Price, 10 cents each; large plants 35 cents each.

Ballardii.—Flowers in spikes of pink or rose color.

Prunifolia.—Flowers like double small white Daisies, known as Bridal Wreath.

Van Houtte.—A strong grower, flowers a pure white, in clusters. Fine. The Best.


A beautiful, distinct and large shrub. Much admired for its long, feathery flower stalks, which give the tree the appearance of being covered with a cloud of smoke. Price, 25 cents each.


Sometimes called “Boston Ivy” and “Japan Ivy.”

No picture can convey the beauty of this grand climbing plant. As an important aid to architectural beauty it is rapidly attaining prominence, being now a feature of the finest houses—notably the palatial resident corner of Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue, New York City. Another fine example of it is seen on Grace Church, New York, while on Commonwealth avenue, and throughout the fashionable “Back Bay” district in Boston, there are hundreds of the finest houses covered with it from foundation to roof. It is adapted to all situations, and transforms the humblest cottage. It is entirely hardy in the most exposed places, attaining a height of twenty to thirty feet in two or three years, clinging to stones, brick or wood-work with the greatest tenacity. It is a great protection to houses, as the leaves lapping over each other like slates on a roof effectually preventing rain from penetrating the walls. For covering dead trees, gate posts, boundary walls, verandas, etc., it has no equal, while its rapid growth and tenacious clinging qualities make it a most desirable plant for staying up terraces. In the Summer the foliage is a rich shade of green, but in the Fall it assumes the most gorgeous tints of scarlet, crimson and orange, so dazzling as to be seen at a great distance. Price, 15 cents each; two for 25 cents.

Hardy Shrubs and Vines


Flowers double and white. A grand hardy shrub. Price, 10 cents each.


This is the old-time favorite of everybody’s garden. Price, 25 cents each; large plants, 50 cents each.


A most desirable shrub. Beautiful and fragrant. Grows to a height of eight to ten feet. We have both the double and single flowered. Price, 15 cents each; large plants, 35 cents each.


One of the most beautiful hardy flowering shrubs. A splendid lawn plant. The bright scarlet flower produced before the foliage makes a gorgeous display. Price, 25 cents each.


These are the most beautiful shrubs we have in our collection. The flowers are of large size, very double and full, of various brilliant and striking colors. They bloom freely during August and September, when scarcely any other shrub is in bloom. Price, two kinds, Double White and Rose, 15 cents each; large plants, 50 cents each.


A new variety of Snowball from Japan, and one of the grandest shrubs in existence. Growth upright and compact. Foliage olive-green through the Summer, but toward all it turns much darker and remains on the plants for some time after the first frosts. Flowers four to six inches across. Price, 25 cents each; three for 60 cents.


Rosea.—A most charming shrub. It cannot be too highly recommended. Flowers large and rose-colored, borne in such a profusion that the whole plant appears a mass of lovely blooms. Price, 10 cents each.

Variegated-leaved.—Deep green leaves, broadly margined yellowish-white. Very striking and pretty. Flowers same as above, but of smaller growth. Price, 15 cents each.

Candida.—This is the very best of all the white-flowered Weigelias. A strong upright, erect grower; flowers pure white and produced in great profusion in June, and continues to bloom through the entire Summer. Price, 15 cents each.


Honeysuckle illlustrationAurea Reticulata.—(Golden-leaved.) A variety with beautiful variegated foliage, of yellow-white pink. Price, 10 cts. Each.

Chinese Evergreen.—Blooms nearly all the season, deliciously fragrant, flowers buff, yellow and white. Price, 10 cts. Each.

Hall’s Japan.—This is the most constant bloomer of the class, being literally covered all Summer with beautiful yellow and white flowers. Price, 10 cents each.

Belgian, or European Sweet-scented.—Sometimes called Monthly Fragrant or Dutch Honeysuckle, a fine hardy grower, flowers large and exceedingly sweet, color buff, yellow and red, a constant bloomer. The finest Honeysuckle, suitable for trellis or pillar. Price, 20 cents each.

Scarlet Trumpet, or Red Coral.—A rapid grower, bright red, with trumpet-shaped flowers. This is the old well-known variety. Price, 20 cents each.

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The Birch Watch

One of the items in the holdings of the Yellow Springs Historical Society on display at our recent “Show and Tell” program was the beautiflly detailed pocket watch and chain which once belonged to Hugh Taylor Birch, and which was shared with the Historical Society by the Birch family.

Close-up of pocket watchWe thank all of the participants who brought their own items and stories to “show and tell”.

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Ye Olde Trail Tavern Recognized

Dayton Business Journal recognizes the Tavern as the oldest in the state:

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — More “Trees”

Art Young‘s unusual bookplate series (part of which was shown in this earlier post) seem particularly appropriate to feature with Halloween coming.


Antioch bookplate design "Against the Moon"

“Against the Moon”

Antioch bookplate design "Cathedral" (F-723)

“Cathedral” (later F-723)

Antioch bookplate design "Goodbye Summer"

“Goodbye Summer”

Antioch bookplate design "The Horseman"

“The Horseman”

Antioch bookplate design "Miss Hawthorne Entertains"

“Miss Hawthorne Entertains’

Antioch Bookplate design "Penalty of Prominence"

“Penalty of Prominence”

Antioch bookplate design "Pyramids"


Antioch bookplate "Stubborn Cypress"

“Stubborn Cypress”

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Happy Anniversary Little Art!

Congratulations to the Little Art Theatre for one year in its new configuration.

Little Art in the early 1960s with hand-drawn posters. Photograph courtesy of Antiochiana.

Little Art in the early 1960s with hand-drawn posters. Photograph courtesy of Antiochiana.

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History Show and Tell Program October 5

At our programs frequently someone will mention an item they have in connection with the historical topic being discussed. Now we want to make sure these stories don’t get lost, so we are hosting a Yellow Springs History Show and Tell.

We will be sharing items from both the Historical Society’s holdings and personal collections. We encourage people to come and share their own connections to the history of the Yellow Springs area, We invite them to bring an object, an item of clothing, a photo, correspondence, or genealogical research, to name but a few possibilities.

We cannot do assessments of value. However it is possible those who share will find out a little more than was previously known, and will be adding a piece of story to the mosaic of Yellow Springs history.

The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.


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A View of Life in Yellow Springs — Mary Peabody Mann

The name “Mann” in Yellow Springs is certainly most closely associated with Horace, but his wife Mary Peabody Mann was impressive in her own right. One of a trio intellectually accomplished sisters (Megan Marshall’s book The Peabody Sisters is an excellent resource), Mary was an author in addition to guiding student life in the hurly-burly of the new Antioch College.

MaryMannThe Robert L. Straker Collection of Mann and Peabody letters in the Antiochiana archives is a wonderful source of glimpses of Mary’s life in Yellow Springs, as the following excerpts will show:

“Whooping cough is better with us. We have had the advantage of you in fine air & sunny weather, but young Horace’s eyes have not yet recovered from the gunpowder injury. I have been unusually occupied & have not had time for letter writing. My niece, Mrs. Blake, Rebecca & my nephew Calvin were all ill at once. Then Charlotte thought she would follow the fashion — & they all applied to me for advice. So I was quite busy administering small pills, large baths, & peculiar food to them all for several weeks. I was perfectly well thro’ the whole of it – indeed I believe my husband thinks I am something of a vampire, never so well pleased as when I have a victim or two laid upon their backs, on whom I can practice the healing art.”

“We had a soaking spring – weeks & weeks of almost unmitigated rain – tropical in its violence – with occasionally a bright, sunshiny day. The farmers were in despair – they could not get a chance to plant their corn. In Springfield, close by us, where it is low, the gardens were overflowed by the creeks, & horses & cows washed out of the barns. I have tried to think what occupied me so much then, and upon looking back in detail I believe a greater part of the time has been spent in drying and brushing the children’s socks, shoes & boots or washing and ironing the lower stories of my own dresses. The consequences of our rainy spring were disastrous to time as well as to garments.”

“The boys were wild with making maple sugar early in the spring – there is a fine camp directly below us. They pass much of every day in the ravine, where they bathe in the living water, & gather water cresses & cowslips from under the very springs as they gush from the rocks. These woods are more like the park of an English country seat than anything else I ever saw. There is something in the fresh society & country & these virgin woods that excites me greatly. We have such a wealth of wildflowers here, that garden flowers are almost a superfluity. We actually found trascadentias growing wild on the railroad bank today. Last year we found SIXTY VARIETIES of flowers in our ravine within half a mile of the college. Among these are many of our eastern garden flowers – phloxes of many & rich varieties, bee larkspurs, jonquils, lilies, snowdrops, blue & Yellow & white violets, blue & yellow-eyed grasses, laurustinus trees, white hawthorne now in splendid bloom, horse chestnuts (the buckeye of Ohio), sweet williams of various shades, and several flowering trees, both white and pink.”

“The house is a beautiful one – the most convenient house conceivable – we enjoy it unspeakably. The lower story is all carpeted with a green & white carpet, the figure a grapevine. The next story is carpeted with an autumnal brown, & the upper story for the boys has painted floors of a bird of paradise tint, highly varnished, & they think they are beautiful. For ventilation, warming & other conveniences, we think there is probably not so good a house this side of the Alleghenies. Thus far we have not had a blind nor a curtain, the blinds being in the painter’s hands, the curtain fixtures not arrived – neither have we fastenings on our front door or knobs on our drawers or closets till within a day or two – but then we live in Ohio, and begin to understand perfectly how Ohio people are so contented with unfinished houses. But the cistern and pump from the spring are both in operation now, and the cooking is clean – the cockroaches NOT cooked in the dried applesauce.”

“Before we moved Rosa had been looking like the concentration of 40 thunder clouds. She had been unwell, too, the fortnight before, & she always thought she was going to die, & kept in bed, & sometimes locked the door & would not open to me for a whole day at a time. I let her sulk till she was tired of it at last & then came out quite chipper & went to work again. I had learned not to care anything about her & to let her pout and have her own way. The balance of her time and services were worth her wages. But after our moving she became absolutely intolerable, so one morning when I was to have seven trustees to dinner, I borrowed a cook of a friend, and told her she might go. It was about six in the morning. At nine she was on her way to Boston.”

“I have been occupied this past week in putting fruits of various kinds into bottles for winter use – peaches, pears & grapes. The Ohio people put up fruits in this way a great deal – cut them up & boil them & put them into the bottle & seal them up while steaming, which renders them airtight. Some people put in no sugar at all, but some put in a little, & I put in a quarter of a pound to a pound of fruit. I have put up two bushes of peaches & two of grapes. It is difficult to get potatoes & almost impossible to get any other description of vegetables, but we occasionally get a few squashes of superior quality. We have much better meats here than ever in West Newton. It is generally beef, but always good, and we have at last got hold of a Quaker butter woman. We kept house a month or more without butter. What butter we could get was always rancid because people here are in such a hurry they don’t press out all the buttermilk. The buckeyes like it just as well if it’s rancid. Chickens are delivered here at nine shillings a dozen, and occasionally we have a taste of them. But the eggs which we expected to find growing on trees prove to be very scarce. I have not seen one in Yellow Springs except in a pudding and that not often.”

“The day after we moved, Mr. Knapp with wife, housekeeper, four children & two students arrived & breakfasted with us, & then proceeded to the rooms we had just vacated, which were not even yet swept. Their goods, which they expected to find here, did not arrive till today, so that they have slept upon the floor, sat upon the floor, & even written upon the floor. You will not be surprised to hear that Ohio seems to them outside the pale of civilization, especially for one feature of its life – the pigs roam like gentlemen and walk through the commons Hall when they please. It is pleasant to think what healthful pork the citizens of the West eat, for no deer lead a freer life than the live pork. I am always reminded of the first year we were here, when water stood so deep between the main college building and the dining hall that boards floated on it. One day a professor (a lady) was arrested, on her entrance to the hall, by a hog of unusual dimensions, which had made his watery bed where a doorstop should have been. She looked at it in dismay a moment, and then, being light of foot, tripped over it as if it had been a bridge.

“These Ohio people take things mighty easily. They do not exactly live out of doors as people in Cuba do, but is next to that. I do not think you ever imagined the profundity of their ignorance. One old gentleman, who was an itinerant preacher, brought two of his daughters to him, saying they were afraid to be left at home alone since the death of their mother. He said, ‘the college was as cheap a place as any other, and girls were not of much account anyway.’ The girls were as uncultured as one might expect from such a view of the subject. They conversed in the precise phraseology of Aunt Dinah in UNCLE TOM’S CABIN, which Mr. Mann know till then to be the vernacular of the West as well as of the South.”

“The boys’ amusements are going to the neighboring limekiln, climbing about these new buildings, plunging into the ravine & making rafts there, & such boyish sports. Young Horace had the remarkable facility yesterday of slight shock to me and to his father from an electrical machine he built himself. You would have smiled to see his eyes shine when he made me jump, thought it was a shock that would not have much wounded the feelings of a very small mouse. Benjie is at present bent upon fishing, for which sport I make him bags, which he suspends at the end of a stick, and with a wire hoop string hopes to catch some stray victims. I thought that a pleasanter mode for the fish than angling, taking in all chances of escape. George is absorbed today in making me a machine for winding thread and silk. He is entirely in favor of saving labor. He has described his contrivance to me several times, to ascertain if I thought a certain crank would make a certain thing turn, but as I cannot follow his plan, I cannot judge and have been obliged to let him try his experiment.”

“We hope to induce Mr. Craig to come here and settle over this village parish. It is the custom here if a minister passes through town at any time in the week to ring some church bell & have a meeting – catch him when you can is the idea. It is not the fashion here to make parties. It is not convenient in log cabins, & when people move from them into houses, they keep open doors, but rarely have reunions. It is a favorite mode of mine of doing up the business all at once & make a pleasant occasion of it, and my parties always give great satisfaction, for I do not make them formal, or give people too much to eat, so that they forget to be agreeable. There is a nice baker in town who makes very good cake, and I hope other people will follow my example & be a little bit more social. “

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Carr Nursery Catalog — Abutilons, Clematis, Ferns

(Previous entries in the series — (2345678910 11, 12, 13, 14)

Although only a few of the abutilons mentioned in this 1898 catalog are currently available, the modern gardener should have no trouble finding the Clematis and Fern varieties. (Transcript of page below image)

1898 Carr Nursery Catalog pg15ABUTILONS — CHINESE BELLFLOWER

The Abutilon, or Flowering Maple, is a plant of easy culture. It is beautiful, both in leaf and flower, and is very profuse in its bloom. The rich, pure, bright reds and yellow that have been added to the varieties of late years have placed it high among decorative plants, besides being especially valuable for its graceful pendant blooms when used for floral pieces or for the corsage.

Price, 10 cents each, except where noted.

abutilonsSouvenir de Bonne — New. One of the most valuable novelties of recent years, and totally distinct. It is a very strong grower, the leaves, a beautiful green, are regularly banded with gold, the flower stem is eight to nine inches long, the bloom is very large and bright orange-red in color. A beautiful decorative plant, being of fine tree shape. Price, 15 cents each.

Robert George.—A free and continuous bloomer. The flowers are broad, their large over-lapping petals incruved, color orange, veined with crimson.

Shower of Gold.—A beautiful, dwarf-growing variety, the whole plant being covered with a profusion of beautiful golden-yellow blossoms.

Thompsonii Plena.—New. Has perfectly double flowerse that resemble in form a double Hollyhock. Color a rich, deep orange, shded and streaked with crimson. The foliage is delightfully variegated.

Splendens.—A beautiful velvety crimson.

Scarlet Gem.—A rich, bright scarlet.

Madame Chobert.—Very dwarf grower, and the blooms literally cover the plant. Of a clear pink shade.

Snow Storm.—Pure white flowers, and bloom freely. Dwarf.

Eclipse.—This is an elegant foliage plant, and one of the prettiest we know. It is new, and the flowers, which are produced in profusion, set the plant off to good advantage.

Special Offer.—The nine new Abutilons for 75 cents.


clematisDuchess of Edinburg.—This is without doubt the best of the double whites. Very free flowering and very fragrant. Price, 75 cents each.

Jackmanii.—From four to six inches in diameter, intense violet-purple, with a rich, velvety appearance, and distinctly veined. The best. Price, 60 cents each.

Languinosa Candida.—Flowers are large (six to nine inches in diameter), almost pure white. One of the best. Pridce, 60 cents each.

Kermisenus Rubra.—A beautiful Clematis, is much sought after, but is very scarce. The color is a bright rosy-red, entirely distinct from any other sor. A persistent bloomer and strong grower, with large flowers. A grand variety. You should try it. Price, 75 cents each.

SPECIAL OFFER.—This set of four distinct large flowering Clematis for $2.50. This is a bargain, as the roots are large and strong. The best you have ever seen.


Price, 25 cents each, except where noted.

sword-fernNephrolepsis Exaltatum.—(Sword Fern.) A really graceful Fern, multiplying very fast in throwing out vines, on which grow separate plants again. Price, 15 cents each.

Pteris Termula, or Shaking Fern.—One of the finest Ferns for house decoration, growing very rapidly, and throwing up large, handsome fronds.

Pteris Argyrea.—(“Silver” Fern.) A very showy Fern, with variegated foilage, fronds large, light green, with a broad band of silver-white down the center of each. Very distinct.

Adiantum Formosum.—(Maiden’s Hair Fern.) Sprays of delicate green, borne on jet black stems. An elegant sort.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — Simplicity

Although the Antioch Bookplate Company certainly didn’t invent the concept of  bookplates, it did explore perhaps a wider variety of bookplate styles than any other company in history.

Antioch_36 Antioch_37

In an acquisition of antique books Dark Star Books recently found a couple of examples of Antioch College Library bookplates printed well before the founding the Antioch Bookplate Company (see above). Both are markedly simple in design, being comprised of text and a modest border.

The earliest bookplates manufactured by the Antioch Bookplate Company (see also this post) as conceived by company co-founder Walter Kahoe share this same simplicity, merely adding a printer’s ornament to the text-and-border concept.

Antioch Bookplate C-208 (early)

C-208 (early numbering)

Antioch Bookplate E-135/F-135


Antioch Bookplate E-220


Antioch Bookplate A-129


Antioch Bookplate A-107


Antioch Bookplate B-145/F-145


Antioch Bookplate B-408 (early)

B-408 (early numbering)

Antioch Bookplate B-240 (early)

B-240 (early numbering)

Antioch Bookplate A-225


Antoch Bookoplate E-105


Antioch Bookplate E-110


Antioch Bookplate E-140


The final bookplate was one of the same series, but shows a transition to more complex designs:

Antioch Bookplate B-246

B-245 (early numbering)

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