Visiting the Ohio State House: Which room am I?
1. I’m where Abe Lincoln lay in state. My floor is made of almost 5000 pieces of marble. Which room am I?
2. I have 99 desks for lawmakers. My gallery looks down on them. Which room am I?
3. My floor shows all the counties in Ohio. Start a guided tour in my room. Which room am I?
4. I have 33 desks for lawmakers. My gallery is behind some blue couches. Which room am I?
5. I used to be outdoor space, but now I’m an inside room. Abe Lincoln once spoke on my steps. Which room am I?
6. Which room or exhibit was your favorite. Give proof for your answer.
Answers are at the end of this post.
This is the Ohio Statehouse. I’ve visited it every August since I started taking exchange students there. They're from Wapak’s Sister City: Lengerich, Germany. Every year I learn something new. For instance, the statehouse is at 1 Capital Square in downtown Columbus. The square is made by 4 connecting streets: High, Broad, Third, and State.
Whenever you go on a tour of the statehouse, you meet in the Map Room. I love how it gives you a picture of the state of Ohio. Did you notice the eastern/western borders are nice and straight, while the northern/southern borders aren’t? Our guide explained crooked borders are natural ones. They follow water. In the north, that’s Lake Erie. In the south, the Ohio River. East/west borders are political ones so they’re usually straight lines.
From the Map Room we went to the Rotunda. It’s beautiful from floor to ceiling. Our guide is standing in the center of 13 stones. They represent the 13 original colonies. The 3 bands wrapped around them represent the 3 major growth phases in the US, at least in 1858. The floor is made of almost 5000 pieces of hand-cut marble from all over the world. Can you imagine cutting all of that stone, or counting it? I’m glad they didn’t lose their marble!
On top of the Rotunda is a cupola, like in Washington D.C. It’s gorgeous! The skylight is 29 feet across (length of a classroom). In the center blue ring, there’s a hand-painted replica of the Great Seal of Ohio. Our seal today has mountains, a sheaf of wheat, and a bundle of arrows. The canals are missing because people don’t travel that way anymore. Kids across Ohio, with the help of Bob Evans Restaurants, did a penny-drive to restore the skylight. I think they did a great job!
Did you see a statue in the Rotunda behind our guide? It’s called Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Monument. It was done by Thomas D. Jones of Cincinnati to celebrate the Union victory at Vicksburg. Would you believe Lincoln sat for 5 statues, and this is one of them? When finished, Thomas asked what he thought. Lincoln answered, “I think it looks very much like the critter.” Typical Lincoln! He loved to laugh at himself.
The painting beside Lincoln’s statue, was done by another Cincinnatian, William Powell. It shows the Battle of Lake Erie. During the War of 1812 Commodore Oliver Perry fought and won control of the lake from the British. It allowed the US to expand westward. Perry’s most famous line from this battle was, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”
This painting hangs about the east stairs. The Signing of the Treaty of Greenville was done by Howard Chandler Christy from Morgan County, Ohio. The Treaty was signed in 1795 by General Anthony Wayne and the tribal chiefs from Northwest Ohio. It led to US control of the Northwest Territories, now Ohio, Indian, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and northeastern Minnesota. It was a good deal for pioneers, not so much for Native Americans.
This is the Ohio Senate. It was restored from 1990-1996, and now it looks like it did in1861. The blue couches are original, just reupholstered. I think they’re reserved for guests who have business before the Senate. Behind them is gallery seating for the public. The German students and I tested them out while we listened to our guide.
This is where the senators sit. There are 33 desks, designed to look like the originals. Except, they’re wired for microphones, telephones, and computers. The woodwork is gorgeous! It’s mostly pine and poplar, but designed to look like oak. It makes me wonder what's so special about oak.
This is the Ohio House of Representatives. The first picture is from one of the three visitors’ galleries. They’re held up by brackets, not columns. Would you believe the original designer hung 4,000 pounds of pig iron to prove brackets would work. They did, and still do!
The chamber holds 99 desks for the 99 representatives. Their desks are just like the Senate, designed to look like the originals, with a few modern conveniences. The woodwork is the same, pine and poplar made to resemble oak. They used the original 25 colors from the 1860’s to paint both the House and Senate. Did you notice a lot of pink? It was a masculine color back in the day. Go figure!
This is the Atrium. It connects the Statehouse and the Senate, but only at the roofline. Otherwise the exterior, now the interior, didn't change. Before 1993, people had to run through rain and snow to get from one building to another. This is so much nicer! It’s also a great place for special events, like weddings.
If you look at the east side of the Atrium, you’ll find this plaque. It marks where Abe Lincoln stood in September of 1859. About 50 people listened to him speak about slavery. Not many, but Abe wasn’t a famous president yet. It was the first time Abe visited the Ohio Statehouse.
Lincoln stopped again on February 13, 1861. He was on his way to Washington DC to become president. He spoke in the House Chamber to a joint session of the House and Senate. The gallery was so full that women were allowed to stand on the House floor, for the first time.
His last visit was the saddest. On April 19, 1865 Lincoln’s funeral train stopped in Columbus. His body lay in state on the Rotunda from 9:30AM till 4PM. Over 50,000 people stood silently in line to pay their respects to the man who held our country together.
When the German kids visit the Statehouse, this is their favorite room. It once belonged to the Supreme Court of Ohio. They moved to another building, so now it’s used for public hearings.
Every year I see the same thing. The guide talks about the room and invites the kids to take a seat. It usually takes a minute or two for someone to be brave, but quickly the others follow. I think it makes a great photo op!
I don’t remember this exhibit. I can’t believe it! The Ladies Gallery was dedicated in 2008, and it's next-door to the Atrium. It honors the first six women who served in the Ohio legislature. They paved the way for every congresswomen since, including Jo Ann Davidson. Jo served in the house for over 20 years. She was assistant minority whip and minority whip. She was the first and only woman to be elected Speaker of the Ohio House. She was Speaker from 1995-2000. I think the First Six would be proud of her!
These ladies are the First Six.
Top Row (left to right)
Nettie Mackenzie Clapp- House Republican 1922-1930
Lulu Thomas Gleason- House Republican 1922-1924
Nettie Bromley Loughhead- Senate Republican 1922-1928
Bottom Row (left to right)
Adelaide Sterling Ott- House Republican 1922-1928
May Martin Van Wye- House Republican 1922-1928
Maude Comstock Waitt- Senate Republican 1922-1930
Remember the Great Seal in the Rotunda ceiling? This one is much easier to see. It’s our modern seal. Sorry, no canals, but it has the mountains, bundle of arrows and sheaf of wheat. It’s so big I couldn’t get a good picture. When I was close, I couldn’t get the whole seal. When I backed up, a table blocked my shot. BTW, the table is a huge copy of the Ohio Constitution.
If you want to visit the seal, go to the ground floor. Walk down the hallway from the Map Room, and the seal will welcome you to the Museum Education Center. Museum exhibits can teach you about state government and give you an opportunity to practice citizenship skills. If you visit, don’t forget to vote on the daily question! Your guide will give you a voting chip to use in the model voting machine. One chip per voter, just like in real elections.
If you ever find yoursef in Columbus, please visit the Statehouse. It’s free! AND a great way to learn about Ohio, the heart of it all!
Sources: Our Statehouse docent
Visiting the Ohio State House: Which room am I?
1. I’m where Abe Lincoln lay in state. My floor is made of almost 5000 pieces of marble. Which room am I? Rotunda
2. I have 99 desks for lawmakers. My gallery looks down on them. Which room am I? House of Representatives
3. My floor shows all the counties in Ohio. Start a guided tour in my room. Which room am I? Map Room
4. I have 33 desks for lawmakers. My gallery is behind some blue couches. Which room am I? Senate
5. I used to be outdoor space, but now I’m an inside room. Abe Lincoln once spoke on my steps. Which room am I? Atrium
6. Which room or exhibit was your favorite. Give proof for your answer.
Example: Good answer: The Ladies’ Gallery is my favorite because I love seeing girl power.
Great Answer: The Ladies’ Gallery is my favorite because I love seeing girl power. I am fascinated with those 6 ladies who were able to take a seat in government and make a difference.
These pictures are especially important to me. Some were taken by family in Texas facing Harvey . Some were taken by family after Irma hit the US Virgin Islands. I got permission before putting them on here.
Facing Down a Hurricane Questions. Answers either Harvey or Irma.
1. I was the first hurricane time-wise, and alphabetically.
2. I was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Caribbean.
3. I hung around raining for days.
4. Flooding was my worst effect.
5. I did so much damage that for the first time in 300 years, no one can live where I went over.
6. My damage is causing problems because another hurricane is coming.
See bottom for correct answers.
On Friday the 25th Hurricane Harvey made land in Corpus Christi, Texas. On Saturday he should have disappeared, but not Harvey. He was a record-setting hurricane.
The maps above and below show how he did it. Harvey kept his backside spinning over water. It fed him and kept him alive.
But when his front side made land, he slowed down. Harvey circled Houston for 5 days before leaving town Wednesday, August 30th.
Can you imagine 5 straight days of rain? Houston wants to forget. Usually it rains 50 inches a year, but Harvey did it in just 5 days.
These are from my son and daughter-in-law’s house. They don’t live on a river. That’s their street. The rain tried to come in from Saturday night till Sunday morning.
The Texas Beaches stayed up all night watching it, just in case. They put down a tarp, sandbags, and a few rocks. They jammed towels between the two entry doors. It worked! The towels were soaked, but the water stayed outside.
The rain finally stopped on Tuesday and drained away. My Texans had 6 straight days of rain. I forgot that rain arrives before the hurricane. My kids were so lucky! Towels and tarps don’t work when your neighborhood gets hit with 50 inches.
The first picture is from Sept. 1st. That’s when our Texas cousins posted a picture of their parents’ house on gofundme.com. It was just 2 days after Harvey left Houston. This was all these grandparents could see of their home. Now they’re staying with family until repairs can be done. They can’t even get inside to see what survived. Can you imagine?
The 2nd picture is from Sept.9th when they finally go inside their home. But where there are hardships, there are also blessings. Friends, church friends, and family came in and worked. They wore boots, gloves, and masks. It was the only way to work safely. A neighbor saw them and brought in food. Sometimes the worst of times bring out the best in people.
These 2 pictures were taken on the 14th. A lot was done on the inside. It’s laying outside, ready to be pitched. It can’t be saved because of mold and muck. I can’t imagine how difficult this would be. A lifetime of things to say goodbye too. It’s heartbreaking.
Now, finally, it’s time to start again, to rebuild. Thanks to gofundme and 60 generous people, our cousin’s family raised 80% of their goal. 20% to go! If you’d like to help, message me. There are also so many other families in need, in Texas and now in Florida. Charities like The Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, or your local church will ensure your contributions go to the families who need it. It’s a good feeling to know that you helped someone
After Harvey, I didn’t want to see another hurricane, but Irma covered TV like she covered the Caribbean. Her Sept. 6th headline read, ‘the most powerful hurricane in recorded history smashes into tiny Caribbean islands.’ Compare the two maps, and you’ll see why. She hovered over every island east of Puerto Rico and smashed them to bits.
Irma was a Category 5 hurricane with winds of over 185. With wind and water, she was devastating. This headline says it all, ‘for the first time in 300 years, there is no one living on the island of Barbuda.’ Imagine, no one, not a soul living in your hometown. It’s a ghost town. The pictures below show you why. St. Thomas was hit later, but Barbuda took Irma’s 2nd hit. It hurts to imagine anything worse.
These are from my cousin’s daughter. She lives on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Usually it’s paradise, but not any more. In time it will be again.
Can you imagine the power you’d need to throw a boat or a car around? A Cat 5 hurricane does it with a few blasts of wind.
Her pictures are from September 8th, when I decided to write this post. They show a small part of St. Thomas’. The island’s hospital was destroyed, its airport looked like a war zone, 80% of the island was demolished, 40,000 people were homeless, and no power for 6 – 12 months. I can’t imagine. How awful for a place that was heaven, a mere month ago.
Since the 8th, Hurricane Jose, a Cat 4 storm, threatened the island. Large scale evacuation by ferry was impossible with storm debris and sea conditions. Private charter boats pitched in to take half the 4500 residents to safety.
Jose gave the islands a break and passed to the north, but now Maria’s threatening. On Wednesday the 20th, she’s supposed to hit as a Cat 3. My cousin just wrote, “Preparing to lose everything, for the 2nd time in 2 weeks.” I hope not. For her sake and for St. Thomas’, I pray that Maria will follow Jose’s path and head north, out to sea.
Destruction like this doesn’t disappear overnight. It takes time and money to rebuild. I hope this post will give you an opportunity to look around to see how you can help. Maybe it’s a donation. Maybe a prayer. Those who faced the hurricanes will be grateful for your help.
Harvey or Irma?
1. I was the first hurricane time-wise, and alphabetically. Harvey
2. I was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Caribbean. Irma
3. I hung around raining for days. Harvey
4. Flooding was my worst effect. Harvey
5. I did so much damage that for the first time in 300 years, no one can live where I went over. Irma
6. My damage is causing problems because another hurricane is coming. Irma
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!