Massive Development In The Area
I’ve passed the abandoned little farm complex many times since moving back to New Albany, Ohio from Palm Desert, California. The farm is on a two-lane road I sometimes take when going back-and-forth to or from Columbus. The first real sign of Columbus is the 270 outerbelt five miles west of New Albany. The city has been quickly growing out towards New Albany ever since I moved back here. It has only picked up the pace in the past few years with large, famous companies locating to New Albany.
The little farm has a long field on one side of it. There’s not much to it these days. A few falling-down buildings. A shed for animals and another shed for tools perhaps. A large old barn. Just a few hundred yards west of the farmhouse is the massive new Target store and next to that the huge new Hobby Lobby and a number of restaurants like City Barbeque going in. In the distance, a new large branch of the Wexner Medical Center is being built. It is the size of a small hospital. Across the road is a new Marriott Fairfield Inn. It’s neighbors with the new headquarters of the national retail chain Odd Lots. Next to Odd Lots is the the Nazarene College building and then the large rest home community, the emergency hospital and the big new mega church.
All of this was just a field when we moved back here five years ago.
So, the little farm a tenth-mile just a few football fields east of the Target store, seems special. Something that has not changed. The earth around it always thick with weeds and tough bushes and drooping old trees. Earth that has not been covered with asphalt or concrete. For years it was a farm out in the country with the downtown of the city of Columbus twenty miles away.
I always get just a short glance of the little farm as I pass it going or coming from Columbus. It is a enough time to take a quick snapshot of the place in my mind. I’ve taken this snapshot at all hours of the day and all seasons of the year. A snapshot of the place at all these different times over the years. I only see it for few seconds as I pass by the farm on the two-lane Dublin-Granville Road. It is only about a hundred yards of footage on the Dublin Granville Road and going back maybe a hundred yards to a narrow little woods and then the four lanes 161 going from Columbus east to Granville and Newark, Ohio.
The Animal Building
The images of the place mix in my mind. Maybe there is some archtypal image of this farm has stirred somewhere in my mind? I sometimes wonder who lived there? Most likely a family. What was their history? And how long did they live there? Why did they move? Were they bought out by the city? Do they still own this land? Maybe it is not a they but a he or a she or a them?
I heard that my town New Albany has bought the land just east of the old farm. It is going to keep the lands relatively undeveloped and create just a bike path and some other minor things on the land. This is good news to me.
Still, the continued exist of the little farm looks pretty doubtful. Things never look good for old properties and neighborhoods around massive new Target store and shopping centers. I’m sure the farm’s time is limited.
Today, it was one of the few sunny days we’ve had in Columbus in some time and I put my camera in the car and headed down Dublin Granville Road to the little abandoned farm. I pulled off on a gravel driveway and drove up the road and stopped in front of what looked like the tool shed for the farm. I got out of my Jeep and walked around looking for the best shots in the angle of the February sunlight. The red farmouse was off to my left and the big barn in the opposite direction on my right. And, in the middle the animal shed and another shed of sorts.
” … and another shed of sorts.”
I put my Lumix on my tripod and took a number of High Dynamic Range photos of the old buildings. The red farmhouse was boarded up. (Yet one snowy winter night I can swear I saw a light on in one of the upstairs rooms of the farmhouse.)
I posted the above blog to the local New Albany website run by the national company called NextDoor. I post a number of things to the site. It is somewhat like an IntraNet for New Albany. Not created locally but part of a big chain offering this local posting service. My first response to the article above is from a person in the NextDoor community . Thanks much for filling me in on so much of the above story I wrote back to her. She posted the below to me.
“The farm is Eleanor Taylor’s family home. She is in her 90s and lives in a little brick home off of HARLEM. She is a lovely lady with a wealth of history about NA. Her trust recently sold the land to NA. I hope the city puts the farm to good use. She loves nature and I hope they honor that as development proceeds to the west.”
John Fraim was born in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA and Loyola Law School in LA. He has been bouncing between Ohio and California his entire life. He is creator of the Midnight Oil Studios site. He has written a number of articles and photo essays for publications like the Sierra Club’s Desert Report and Palm Springs Life Magazine.