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Blocks in The Wild: Jackie O’s Taproom and Jackie O’s Farm

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While visiting Jackie O’s (Athens, Ohio) production brewery and tap room, I found these blocks in the entrance way and others nearby. If you are new to Athens you will find many of the nearby streets are still made of these blocks. Jackie O’s is a pretty amazing place. This site features a small taproom, an event space, a sour beer program and solar panels that supply over 60% of the energy needs of the site.

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Jackie O’s Brewpub (the original location) in uptown Athens also has a good supply of blocks in the back patio area. After visiting the taproom, I visited their farm to learn about growing hops and found the wonderful pizza over you see below. Craft Beer and craft blocks go great together. But a pizza oven (which is my goal) is even better.

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Block Pavers Still The Foundation for City Streets

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Many people do not know it but Columbus as one of the most progressive cities in the world for paving streets with block pavers. In the mid 1880’s the city had less than 8 miles of block paved roads. With the passage of a law that allowed bonds to be sold to raise money for paving the city quickly added another 80 miles of paved roads in a few years. Among the blocks being used were Hallwood pavers which was owned by local businessman John Hallwood.

Today we still see some side roads in the full block paver / brick glory in German Village, Italian Village, Victorian Village, Harrison West, Marion Village, and parts of Clintonville. The block pavers were laid as far south as Greenlawn Ave (and many streets south), as far east as Parsons Ave….and many streets east, as far north as Henderson Road and as far west as the Hilltop. While examples of these streets may be hard to see, very few people in Columbus fail to drive over them at least once per week, if not every day.

I found this example at the intersection of 4th St. and 9th Ave where construction is taking place. You can see that over 100 years later, the block pavers are still doing their job holding up the streets (I wonder how many times the blacktop has been redone here over the last 60 odd years.

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And not too far away on Victorian Village, I saw there pavers that were stacked up awaiting some work to be completed so they could be reset in the street they have called home since at least 1890. As tempting as it might be to pilfer from these piles when you see them, don’t even a century after the fact, this is still city property and if these brick / blocks disappear so does the historical legacy of the pavers connecting this street to its past.

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And finally, on my street in Clintonville, we have several driveway entrances that were not concreted or asphalted over and you can see the block pavers that were laid down on our street between 1920 and 1928.

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Blocks in the Wild: Phoenix Brewing, Mansfield

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The phenomenon of blocks and Ohio Breweries continues. This time, I discovered a great patio of block pavers at Phoenix Brewing Company on Mansfield, Ohio. Sighted at the patio were mostly Canton Metropolitan Blocks and a few Century Blocks (there may have been some other block styles as well, I was in a hurry for a meeting so I did not have time explore in-depth. The area surrounding the brewery had many blocks in the streets and elsewhere. By report, the owners of the brewery cleaned and processed each block by hand – those of you that have scraped asphalt, mortar, etc., know what a pain that is for one block let alone hundreds. The brewery was exceptional.

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If you know of any Ohio breweries that feature Ohio Blocks let me know. So far we know they can be found at Star Brewing, Seventh Son Brewing, Phoenix Brewing, Jackie O’s, Weasel Boy, and West End Cider House.

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Brick Kilns / Nelsonville Brick Park

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If you are heading to Nelsonville, Hocking Hills or Athens and you have some time to kill and a passion for brick making history, I’d suggest you block out some time to visit Nelsonville Brick Park. Located just west of downtown Nelsonville on SR 278 / Lake Hope Road, the old brick kilns on this park date back to 1880. The park was dedicated in 1980, in an effort to preserve these kilns from the era of “big bricks” in the region.

The area is paved with Nelsonville Block and Star Pavers. There are also piles of bricks – mostly Nelsonville and Hallwood Blocks strung along the borders of the park. The ground is paved with Nelsonville Block but much of it has been overgrown with grass during the last three decades. At least one of the kilns has collapsed but what is left give you a sense of the size and scope of brick making in the area. This was just one of over a dozen plants in the area.

I have linked some sites with additional information below.

onebrickshyinohio.blogspot.com/2009/04/nelsonvilles-brick-kiln-park.html

www.ohgen.net/ohathens/hocking_valley_brick_industry.htm

www.ohioexploration.com/nelsonvillebrick.htm

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Blocks in the Wild: West End Cider House

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Cider Front

The correlation between booze and block appreciation has been well established in this blog. The best example of this in the fine state of Ohio is the West End Cider House in Athens Ohio. This is cornucopia of of examples of commonly found block pavers and harder to find blocks showcased at this fine establishment. I’ll display many of the examples below.

Ashland

Bessemer

Brazil

Flint

Harris

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ironton

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Metro Canton

middleport

Minerva

Monroe

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OPA

Saginaw

scott gisler

speedway

Spilman

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star and flower

Star

Swirl

Toronto

Union Paver

usual suspects

Blocks in the Wild: Leaning Tower of Pizza, Mansfield, Ohio

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Sometimes worlds collide. Most of my life is focused on promoting, exploring and writing about the world of food and beer. And I occasionally indulge in bricks. But in this place I found a restaurant that is a treasure trove of classic Ohio blocks. If you are passing through Mansfield and love pizza and much as you love 100-year-old vitrified paving blocks, then you MUST go to the Leaning Tower of Pizza. The place has blocks galore and a lot of moxie.

Among the blocks I spied:

  • Metropolitan Block
  • Perkins Block
  • Hallwood Block
  • Wooster Paver
  • 1898 Medal
  • Bolen
  • Minerva Block
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    The entire floor of the inside part of the restaurant is paved with a mix of block pavers (just a few examples were shown above). On the outside, the steps leading down to the door are bordered by layers of Metropolitan Blocks. The place dates to the 1950’s but I’m unsure when the blocks made the way to the building.

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    You can find these blocks at:
    Leaning Tower of Pizza
    180 Lexington Ave, Mansfield, OH 44907
    (419) 525-3462

Convict Made

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As a brick hound you start to develop a radar for a good brick or block. Something about the coloring of this block made me look at it even though it was broken and in an area I’d never expect to see a proper block. Well this was a bonus.

The writing on this brick is:

Convict Made
1923
Ohio State
Brick Plant
You can learn more about where and when these bricks were made -> HERE.

I added a new category for this post, Catch and Release. This is for bricks or blocks I do not keep for my collection but return them back to where I found them (this will not happen often).

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