More Springfield, Ohio History Sliders

A couple of weeks ago I shared some jQuery sliders I made to compare past and present photographs of various locations in Springfield. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about them and I’ve been asked almost daily when I plan to make more. Luckily for those who have been waiting with bated breath for the next batch, my son went on a camping trip this weekend which meant I got a break from the incessant mischief and could dedicate some time on these.

The Crowell-Collier Building

The Lagonda Clubhouse Building

Francis Bookwalter Residence (on Fountain Ave.)

The Clark County Courthouse

Parade on High Street

South Limestone Street after the Blizzard (1950)

The Bushnell Building


Springfield, Ohio History Sliders

I found a really cool method for comparing past and present photographs. Here are a few pictures I’ve been experimenting this method with (more to come soon! Update: And by soon, I mean right now! Be sure to check the new sliders out when you’re done):

Main Street

Snyder Park Rest House

Littleton & Son Funeral Parlor

Warder Residence / Jones Kennedy Zechman Funeral Home

King Building Fire (1956)


Meet our new dog (name pending)!

The Mertens' New Dog

We finally did it. We’ve been talking about doing it for a long time and we finally made a decision on it. We found the beautiful Husky / Akita mix at Petsmart while the Humane Society was there with their dogs for adoption. She gets along great with the kids and she listens very well.

I grew up with dogs in the house but I haven’t had one in several years. I liked not having the responsibility and worry that comes along with owning a pet. My son has been begging for a dog for several months and we have the perfect sized years for one. We saw her online Friday night and picked her up Saturday morning. She’s been awesome so far, I’m really happy with our decision. I completely forgot how much fun having a dog is.

At the present time she’s being called Fiona. I’m trying to talk my wife into Tesla…wish me luck.


Past and Present: The Montgomery County Courthouse

Within the last couple of months, I started working for a new company located in downtown Dayton, Ohio. One of the great things about this new job aside from the awesome work I’m doing is that the location of my office is near several historic buildings.  I’ve spent a lot of time exploring and learning about my hometown of Springfield and it’s been a lot of fun exploring and learning about the rich history of Dayton. 

About 3 blocks from my office is a beautiful Greek Revival building that used to serve as the Montgomery  County Courthouse. It’s located in a wonderful area near a fountain and square where I sometimes go to eat my lunch. In learning about this building, I came across some old photographs that I used to expand my Past and Present collection to now include Dayton.

Montgomery County Courthouse Dayton Ohio

I found some amazing photographs of downtown Dayton during the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 that I’ll be getting current shots of soon, so stay tuned!


Ice Skating at Snyder Park Circa 1958

I’ve heard many of stories about Snyder Park from several decades ago and one of the things that’s always interested me the most is the ice skating. Unfortunately no one skates there anymore during the winter and I’m not sure if it’s because ice skating is  forbidden no or if it’s because of the poor water quality due to the preponderance of waterfowl (it’s pretty bad…). I’ve always wondered what it was like to see people skating on the frozen lake. The International Hort Club Facebook fan page posted this video yesterday. It was so cool to see that and I’m glad there was someone who thought to bring a camera to the park to capture that. I think it’s important for people to see this so that we as a community can be inspired to turn Snyder Park into this type of place again.

Be sure to Like The International Hort Club on Facebook to see great posts on local history (a huge thanks to them for sharing this video). Have any stories from the historic Snyder Park? Please feel free to share by commenting below.


The 2014 Polar Bear Plunge

I can’t believe it’s been a year since my post on the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge. As always, we had a great time this year. Unfortunately, we were short two people; my brother who has a newborn and my cousin who got sick the night before we were scheduled to leave. The trip wasn’t the same without them but we had a great time.

Before hitting the highway to Geneva (about a 3.5 hour drive from Springfield), I made everyone wait in the parking lot of a Shell station while I figured out a way to mount my camera to my cousin’s dash for the time lapse of the trip up. About 7 minutes later we were on our way and at some point I accidentally stopped the intervalmeter  and missed a good part of the drive which worked out because no one would want to watch a 12 minute time lapse of highway driving. The plunge was shot with a couple of GoPro Hero’s (special thanks to GATV Springfield5 for letting me use the cameras).

Every year we experience some pretty memorable moments. Even with two less people this year we still had our fair share of these: We helped a couple free their car that was stuck in a thick mixture snow, water and ice, meeting some great people in the process. My inebriated cousin (we call him Brian Down Jr. when he’s been drinking), looking for a way to quickly dry his wet shoes put them in the microwave for 3 minutes, which surprisingly dried them without causing a fire. I confessed my strange addiction to watching ear wax extraction videos…

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me and who supported this and other Polar Bear Plunges throughout Ohio. The Special Olympics touches the lives of so many people and I’m honored to have the opportunity to help raise money so that they can continue their mission. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, visit