Category Archives: Beagles

Spring 2015

(originally posted by Charissa Durst on March 13, 2015)

2015 is a special year for Hardlines Design Company. Twenty-five years ago, Charissa Durst and Don Durst founded our company, never imagining the places it would take them and the people they would form relationships with. Throughout the year, our blog will highlight some of the special projects we’ve completed over the last 25 years. Read on for a sample!

The Ohio History Connection Commissions HDC with a Historic Structure Report

The Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society) awarded HDC a contract to prepare a Historic Structure Report (HSR) of the Locktender’s House at the Lockington Locks Historic Site in Lockington, Shelby County, Ohio. The HSR will support the client’s efforts to obtain funding to complete the restoration and stabilization of a bypass spillway that lies between Lock 1 and the house, and to restore the house to its 19th century appearance. This site is the highest point of the Miami and Erie Canal. Construction on the canal started in 1831, and the canal was in active operation between 1845 and 1877. The village of Lockington (originally Lockport) was specifically founded in 1837 as construction on the Miami and Erie Canal moved north from Piqua. The Locktender’s House was the residence of the lock master during the period of operation for the canal. The lock master was in charge of overseeing the locks, including operation and maintenance.

The project is particularly challenging since very little documentation exists for the property. HDC staff field measured the building in order to produce CAD plans and elevations, and constructed a history of alterations through physical inspection and interviews with long-time nearby residents. This project is of special interest to company president Charissa Durst, who, as a graduate student, completed a design studio project at the site and inventoried several buildings in nearby Piqua for an architectural history class.

25 Years of Hardlines: A Look Back at HDC’s Work at Hill Air Force Base 

In the spring of 1993, the National Park Service in Denver issued a request for proposals to prepare a Cultural Resources Management Plan (CRMP) for Hill Air Force Base in Utah. HDC had recently completed a similar project at the Naval Submarine Base in San Diego, and decided to submit a proposal. We were in the process of wrapping up the fieldwork for the documentation of the River Street Historic District in San Jose, California, which is why President Charissa Durst ended up writing and submitting the proposal from her aunt’s house in Lafayette, California, and made the discovery that back then, Federal Express offices in the Pacific Time Zone close way earlier than those in Eastern Time Zone!

The Hill AFB project involved inventorying all buildings/structures on the base that were 50 years of age or older. In the end, we completed 396 State of Utah inventory forms. The base originally consisted of two installations that later merged: Hill Field and the Ogden Arsenal. The buildings on the Hill Field side were fairly typical Army Air Corps facilities associated with World War II. The Arsenal buildings, however, were very interesting. They dated back to the 1920s and were designed to store explosive ordnance. The buildings included underground igloos, above-ground munitions magazines, and a railroad complex to move the ordnance around the base. We also encountered two civilian buildings associated with the Uintah Pipeline Company and the Wasatch Gas Company built in the 1930s.

In addition to the inventory forms, HDC was also tasked with preparing National Register of Historic Places district nominations for two potential Historic Districts: Hill Field and Ogden Arsenal. After completion of the base scope, the National Park Service commissioned HDC to prepare Level I HAER drawings of the more significant buildings. HDC ended up documenting three buildings associated with Hill Field and seven associated with the Ogden Arsenal.

HAER drawing of the various ordnance igloos on the base and cover of popular history.

After completion of the HAER documentation, the Air Force commissioned HDC to prepare a popular history titled From Arms to Aircraft. The historical text was prepared by a local university, which HDC incorporated into the book along with the HAER drawings and photographs. The book proved to be very successful and for many years was given to employees when they retired from the base.

Donut’s Christmas Sweater

Back when Bagle the Beagle and Sadie the Beagle roamed the office, they would each receive a Christmas goodie bag of rawhide treats. Although rawhide is reputed to cause dogs to become aggressive, we never had a problem with Bagle or Sadie. Donut, however, definitely became aggressive over rawhide treats, proving that it isn’t just an urban myth. As a puppy, she really liked rope toys (Bagle refused to touch them) and toys where she had to unscrew parts in order to get to the treat, which she figured out in 5 minutes. These days, we just get her clothing, such as bandanas, sweaters, and coats. Bagle refused to wear even a bandana, but Donut seems to prance around to show them off. We figure it’s because she has long legs for a beagle so the bandana doesn’t trip her. This holiday season, Donut received a bright green “Snoopy” sweater, just in time for the sub-zero temperatures in January!


Spring 2014

(originally posted by Andy Sewell on April 15, 2014)

Welcome to Hardlines Design Company’s Spring 2014 update! As I write this, it sure doesn’t seem like spring, with snow on the ground and 30-degree temperatures, but that just exemplifies how the weather was a big factor in our projects during the last quarter, with numerous weather-related schedule modifications. Despite the weather, HDC archaeologists managed to complete two field projects; more on those in another post. Other updates of note include the following:

HDC Completes Work on Mulzer Mill Plaques for Highbanks Metro Park in Delaware, Ohio

HDC recently completed the design of two interpretive signs for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Office of Environmental Services (ODOT-OES). The signs were created to commemorate the site of the former Mulzer Mills and an associated house located near the intersection of State Route 315 (SR 315) and West Powell Road, at the northwest corner of Highbanks Metro Park in Delaware County. As part of a mitigation effort for the construction and alterations on this intersection, ODOT-OES agreed to install interpretative signs to commemorate the former mill complex, whose foundation ruins were sited within the construction zone. These signs will be erected along the walking path along the Olentangy River in Highbanks Metro Park.

HDC used historic and modern photographs and brief descriptions in the design of the signs to allow for the best possible user experience. Potential sign designs were reviewed and improved over a series of meetings with the public until the text, photographs, and overall design of the signs were approved. High-pressure laminate signs were chosen over the traditional bronze plaque, as they allowed for images and more detailed written descriptions of the site. After the design phase was completed, HDC was able to work with Fossil Industries, a high pressure laminate sign company operating in Deer Park, New York, to have the signs manufactured. Because of the low cost offered by the high pressure laminate versus bronze, an extra sign panel for each sign was delivered to Highbanks Metro Park to provide a spare in case a sign is vandalized or destroyed by an act of nature. The weather this winter has delayed the final installation of the signs, but Highbanks Metro Park will have the signs installed later this spring.

HDC CRM staff attend GAPP conference

HDC was well represented at the Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP) Conference, held in the ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A historian and archeologist from HDC attended the conference, which is aimed at formulating a working partnership between historic preservation professionals and the oil and gas production industry. The boom in natural gas production in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania has resulted in a substantial increase in hydraulic fracturing. or “fracking’” projects. Because these projects are currently exempted from federal environmental permitting, fracking projects are not legally required take into account any impact to cultural resources. To address the concern of preservationists about the impact of fracking on cultural resources, GAPP hopes to create a voluntary “best practices” approach for the fracking industry to follow regarding the treatment of cultural resources without requiring additional government regulations. HDC will continue to stay appraised of this developing partnership, and will continue to work to preserve and document cultural resources, hopefully with the help and support of the oil and gas industry.

HDC’S Camp Perry Project Nears Completion

Construction on HDC’s project at four barracks buildings and the historic chapel at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, is now nearing completion after a slowdown due to excessive cold. The project involved replacement of the asphalt shingle roof with metal, new metal soffit, fascia, gutters, and downspouts at two barracks; and replacement of existing siding, door, and windows at the other two barracks. Exterior work for the historic chapel consisted of washing, tuckpointing, and resealing the brick masonry, along with repair/replacement of fascia, soffits, steeple vents, exterior doors, and entry steps. Interior work included painting the chapel space as well as replacing the aisle carpet and refinishing the woodwork. HDC was also commissioned to prepared construction documents for a new HVAC system at two of the barracks, which would be bid at a later date when funding became available. Construction started in August of 2013 with construction completion in mid-April 2014.

Hard to Believe, but Donut the Beagle turned 10 Years Old on March 25!

This event almost slipped HDC’s collective mind if it wasn’t for an email from her vet reminding us of her birthday and upcoming vaccinations.  The year 2004 went by very slowly with her weekly training classes and daily homework assignments, but once she stopped deliberately biting people, time seem to just speed by!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see in her 2004 photograph, Donut was like a cartoon of a “cute puppy.” This image was once posted on the Daily Puppy website and one of the comments received was “with that face she could get away with murder!” Well, she did get away with biting everyone who touched her but luckily we were able to get her to stop after she was 7 months old. In her early photographs, many people also commented on the “wild animal” look in her eyes.

Like Bagle her predecessor, Donut started going gray at the age of 5 in 2009. However, Sadie the Beagle didn’t go gray until she was 10. Our theory is that beagles (dogs) who are smart and worry a lot go gray by age 5, and those that don’t think about things too much, like Sadie, keep their color until sheer age catches up with them. Donut definitely calmed down by the time she turned one, which led one engineer to comment that she was like a totally new dog. In this Christmas photograph, Donut definitely looks calm!

In 2013 Donut was taken to one of the Columbus Metroparks on nice weekend days. After the recent polar vortex winter, Donut started going to a park whenever the weather was sunny and over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ve learned that it takes a couple of miles to take the edge off her and get her to stop pulling at the leash, and after 5 to 7 miles she’s happily tired and ready for a nap. In this photograph, Donut also needed a long bath to wash the melting snow/mud off her!


Fall 2013

(originally posted by Andy Sewell on November 6, 2013)

Our quarterly update for Fall 2013 focuses on recent work we have done with historic buildings and historic districts. And of course, there’s a beagle update at the bottom!

HDC assesses the Canal Fulton Public Library’s moisture issues

HDC completed a moisture penetration assessment of the historic Canal Fulton Public Library, which received a grant from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. The original building was constructed in 1879 as a residence known as the Sullivan-Held House. The library moved into the house in 1949 and built an addition in 1958. The library is a contributing element of the Canal Fulton Historic District, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 1982. In 1992, the library constructed a second addition, and in 2003 underwent a complete renovation, along with the erection of a third addition. The Library commissioned HDC earlier this year to identify sources of ongoing moisture penetration and to provide recommendations and cost estimates to remediate the problems.

Canal Fulton Public Library, ca. 1882

HDC identified two active areas of active moisture penetration caused by improper installation of roofing materials in the previous renovations. In one area of the EPDM roof, improper slope caused water to pond, aggravated by improper roof drain locations and flashing details. In another area, EPDM roofing improperly overlapped an existing asphalt shingle roof, causing water to get under the shingles. Both of these problems could be easily remedied without adversely impacting the building’s historic features.

HDC also identified areas of excessive moisture content in the wooden siding, caused by too many coats of paint, as well as excessive humidity in the basement caused by an open crawl space. HDC also provided work recommendations and cost estimates for these items that followed the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

National Register Nominations in Middletown, Ohio

For the past several months, HDC has been working with Downtown Middletown, Inc., to list a former railroad depot and two historic districts in the city of Middletown, Ohio, in the National Register of Historic Places. The former Big Four Depot National Register nomination was approved by the Ohio Historic Preservation Advisory Board (OSHPAB) at the end of September and was sent to the National Park Service for final approval. The Main Street Commercial Historic District nomination will create a new historic district in Middletown to encompass several historic buildings along Main Street including its intersection with Central Avenue. A revised draft of the nomination will be reviewed by the OSHPAB during their December meeting. The Central Avenue Historic District will create a new historic district comprised of more than 40 of Middletown’s historic commercial buildings. This nomination has been submitted to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) for their comments. After the OHPO’s comments are received and addressed, the Central Avenue Historic District nomination will be sent onto the OSHPAB for their approval as well. By listing these historically significant buildings and districts on the National Register, they will be granted some protections from federally funded and/or permitted projects, and the property owners can qualify for historic preservation tax credits. In addition, listing on the National Register assists downtown revitalization efforts by adding a sense of significance to the historic downtown, and can be a source of pride for the local community.

Donut L-O-V-E-S her Backyard!

Since the day she came home from the shelter at the age of 8 weeks, Donut has just been obsessed with the backyard. Where our previous beagle (Bagle) would head straight for her supper dish when she got home, Donut heads straight for the back door for a chance to run around in the yard. One side of the backyard is separated from a public walkway by only a chain link fence, so Donut can seen everyone (and every dog) who walks by and bark at them. We discovered long ago that Donut has a 30-foot turning radius (she fought every tie out length until she got 30 feet), and have avoided putting in raised garden beds that would interfere with her ability to get up to full speed.

Donut posing with sunflowers from [her] garden Donut posing with gardening tools
There are days when Donut will spend hours by herself outside, happily barking at passers-by and only coming in for a drink. Her favorite days are sunny cool days where she lays in the sun and soaks up the warm rays, but the ground is still cool enough to she won’t overheat. After an hour she flips over very slowly and does her other side.

 


Summer 2013

(by Andy Sewell, originally posted July 1, 2013)

Stewart Elementary School Enters Main Phase of Construction

Stewart Elementary School is the oldest school still in operation in the Columbus City School District. The original building was constructed in 1874. The main entry was on Stewart Avenue and the building contained four classrooms on each of the two main floors. In 1894, an addition was constructed to the west that contained two classrooms on each floor. In the mid 1920s, the front entry stair was removed and the space made into two small rooms on each floor. The entry was moved to City Park and a second stair constructed at the connector between the 1874 and 1894 wings. In the 1950s, two small basement rooms under the original front entry were combined to form a large multi-purpose room with a small stage. At this time, the front entry was moved back to Stewart Avenue at the 1920s connector location.

In the summer of 2010, a fire damaged the southwest corner of the 1874 wing. In spring 2011, Columbus City Schools commissioned Hardlines Design Company to design the renovation and addition to Stewart Elementary School. The project proved to be quite a challenge. The building lies within the German Village Historic District, which is the oldest and, some would argue, the strictest of the City’s commissions. In addition, the District purchased land across Pearl Street for playgrounds and playing fields, which lies within the Brewery District Historic District. This project therefore had to be reviewed by both commissions, and special meetings had to be set up so both sets of commissioners could comment at the same time.

Another challenge was the funding. Schools funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) are budgeted based on square footage, but without any concessions for building size; large schools are budgeted at the same per square foot cost as a smaller school. As a result, small schools are typically under budgeted, and Stewart Elementary School, at 350 students, is the smallest size school OSFC will consider funding. On top of all this, this project had the normal procedures of any urban school in the City of Columbus: zoning appeals, CC drawings reviews, and drawer E reviews for work in the right of way.

To maintain the construction schedule, HDC obtained approval from the German Village Commission to remove the connector between the 1874 and 1894 wings and issued an early demolition package, which was completed in spring 2013. HDC obtained certificates of appropriateness from both commissions along with all City review processes, and the main phase project is currently under construction with the goal of completion in time for the start of the 2014 school year.

Left: Stewart Elementary School before renovation. Right: Rendering of proposed addition

HDC Completes Zoar Historic Baseline Study for Corps of Engineers

The village of Zoar in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, holds a unique place in Ohio history. Founded in 1817 by a group of German Separatists fleeing religious persecution in Germany, Zoar is a well-preserved example of a nineteenth century communal society, with numerous surviving houses, buildings, and landscape features that illustrate the distinctive character of its inhabitants. The Society of Separatists of Zoar existed from 1817 to 1898, and was an agrarian communal society, with a small industrial component that produced raw material and finished products from natural resources and agricultural products. At their height in the mid-nineteenth century, the Separatists owned close to 12,000 acres and had over 300 members. They had two grist mills, a woolen factory, owned two iron furnaces, and operated sawmills. The Separatists played a role in the development of the Ohio & Erie Canal in the late 1820s, contracting to excavated 3 miles of the canal through their landholdings and building a lock and other components. Differing from other communal organizations like the Shakers, membership was largely limited to ethnic Germans, with very few non-Germans allowed to join the society. The Separatists were inward-looking, seeking to sustain their existing community rather than convert others to adopt their ways.

Zoar Garden House and Greenhouse

The historic value of Zoar was recognized early in the twentieth century, as residents took steps to preserve important landmarks, beginning with restoring the ornamental public garden in 1930. The community was threatened with inundation from the construction of Dover Dam during the 1930s as part of a massive flood control program in the Muskingum River watershed. However,  the USACE was persuaded through public outpouring to protect Zoar with a massive earthen levee and an upstream diversion system, completed in 1938, rather than relocate the community as happened with other similar-sized villages in areas that would be in the new flood zone created by the dam. The village of Zoar may be the only such community protected because of its historical, rather than economical, significance. Portions of the village became a State Memorial in the 1940s, and the village was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Over the course of the last 75 years, the Zoar Levee and Diversion Dam has served its purpose well, protecting Zoar from periodic flooding episodes. However, recent events have revealed developing flaws in the levee system that must be addressed by the Huntington District of the Corps of Engineers. To find a long-term plan to reduce risk to Zoar, Huntington is currently preparing a Dam Safety Modification Report (DSMR) for the Zoar Levee and Diversion Dam in accordance Section 2033 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007, which among other things, requires Huntington  to adopt a risk analysis approach to project cost estimates for water resource projects and ensure that the benefits and costs associated with structural and nonstructural alternatives are evaluated in an equitable manner. A building block of the DSMR is producing baseline studies of existing conditions at Zoar, including studies of environmental, societal, and historical factors. Huntington contracted Tetra Tech, Inc, to produce a historical property baseline study and a community impacts baseline study for the DSMR.

As a subcontractor to Tetra Tech, Inc, HDC completed the historic property baseline study for the Zoar Levee and Diversion Dam. The baseline study included exhaustive archival research to create an in-depth history of Zoar Village and its founders, the Society of Separatists of Zoar. The baseline study also examined the history of Zoar Village during the twentieth century. A survey of all above-ground resources within the 708-acre study area centered on Zoar Village collected information on 348 buildings, structures, and landscape features, along with three buildings and structures outside the study area confirmed to have Separatist associations. In addition, pre-contact and historical archaeology probability models were developed for the entire study area to aid in assessing project alternatives developed by the USACE.

As part of the this project, HDC also assessed the previous National Register documentation for the Zoar Historic District. The National Register assessment resulted in recommendations for a revised list of contributing resources, an expanded period of significance, and an expansion of the district boundary, although actually preparing a National Register update was not in the scope of the project. Meetings with consulting parties, stakeholders, and residents of the village took place in March 2013, with  the baseline study documents completed at the end of June 2013.

More information on Zoar can be found at http://historiczoarvillage.com/, and an enlightening video about Zoar Village and the challenges it faces with the levee performance issues can be viewed at http://video.westernreservepublicmedia.org/video/2222472761/

HDC documents Columbus’ First Public Housing Project, Poindexter Village

Poindexter Village, located on Columbus’ near east side, is the city’s first public housing project. While not the first federally-funded public housing project in the nation (that honor goes to Techwood Homes in Atlanta), Poindexter Village is one of the earliest such projects built in Ohio. Construction of Poindexter Village began in 1939 at the site of “The Blackberry Patch,” a traditionally African American neighborhood near the Champion Avenue Public School and the Union Grove Baptist Church. The housing project was designed by the Columbus architectural firm of Richards, McCarty, and Bulford, and consists of 35 two-story buildings of multi-family housing, originally laid out in eleven blocks. The twelfth block (Block XII) was constructed in 1960 at the same time as Poindexter Tower.

Poindexter Village is considered to be historically significant for its association with the history and development of the Federal housing programs of the 1930s and 1940s. It is also associated with the early history and development of the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and its efforts to provide safe, sanitary, and decent housing for low-income city residents as a result of the Depression-era housing reforms. In addition, Poindexter Village is significant for its association with the African American history of the east side of Columbus.

Poindexter Village was a bustling residential complex for years, but as the decades passed, the buildings within Poindexter Village began to show their age. While efforts were made to continually modernize the units, the expense to maintain and renovate the buildings began to outpace the ability to fund those projects. The CHMA has vacated the buildings and demolition of many of the buildings in Poindexter Village is currently underway to allow for redevelopment of the land.

Prior to commencement of demolition, the CMHA, in consultation with the City of Columbus and the Ohio Historic Preservation Officer (OHPO), developed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to mitigate the adverse effect caused by the demolition. In February 2013, the CMHA hired Hardlines to complete Stipulation II outlined in the MOA signed between the City of Columbus, CMHA, and the OHPO. Stipulation II required the documentation of Poindexter Village, including a narrative report, current photographic documentation, historic photographs, copies of existing and historical drawings of the buildings, and paper copies of Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI) forms for each of the eight row house types in Poindexter Village. Work to meet the stipulation was completed in June 2013. The documentation will be maintained at the State Library of Ohio and will be accessible to future generations interested in learning about this part of our city’s history.

Poindexter Village

Donut Finds a New Playmate!

We’ve always known that Donut’s play instinct is way stronger than her prey instinct. When she was two months old, she saw her first rabbit on a walk (it was almost as big as she was back then), but instead of chasing it, she gave a play bow and wagged her tail! That’s when we knew Donut just wasn’t going to be a very good hunting dog, unlike her predecessor Bagle. Maybe the traits go together: Donut really likes to play, and Bagle, being much more serious minded, hardly ever played.

Donut’s early playmates lived in the neighborhood, as many of the neighbors adopted puppies around the same time and brought them to the same field to play. Her best friend was a German Shepherd named Journey, who was two weeks younger. As a result, they were about the same size for a month, before Journey grew to be almost three times heavier at 85 pounds. Then there was Zoe, a hound mix; Lizzy, a golden retriever; Buddy, a black lab; and Finn, a yellow lab. Donut also ran with the vizlas, as our neighborhood for some reason supported four of these not-so-common breeds.

In the office, Donut got to play with Karly, the beagle that belongs to historian Roy Hampton. When Roy retired, Karly stopped coming to the office. However, HDC’s new architect Brad Curtis has a family dog named Baxter, who visits the office every now and then. Brad keeps these visits few and far between, since when Donut and Baxter play, everyone stops working to watch their antics. Baxter is Donut’s opposite:  male, about a year old, and only 10 pounds in size. As a result, there is no competition and Baxter brings out Donut’s inner puppy (never lurking too far from the surface) as the two of them happily run around the office and wrestle. The staff looks forward to the days when Donut gets to play with Baxter, but we probably have to make sure no cats are visiting!

Donut and Baxter rest after wrestling all morning


Spring 2013

(by Andy Sewell, originally posted March 20, 2013)

HDC Continues to Work on the Woodward Opera House

The Woodward Opera House in Mount Vernon, Ohio, is the oldest authentic nineteenth century theatre in the United States; coincidentally, it is also the oldest active project at HDC. It was awarded to HDC in 2000, and company president Charissa Durst says, only partially in jest, that it was because they wanted someone young enough to live through the entire project without becoming senile.  In the past 13 years, HDC has renovated two of the first floor retail spaces, added ADA public restrooms, rehabilitated the exterior (masonry, windows, and gutters/downspouts), and rehabilitated the second floor offices. The HDC team is currently working on expanding the existing fire alarm system into the adjacent Cooper Building (aka the “Annex”) to support a local foods market in one of the first floor retail spaces.

From 2011-2012, HDC staff worked feverishly to assist the Woodward Development Corporation in completing a state historic tax credit application for submittal in March 2012. The work paid off and in June 2012 it was announced that the Woodward Opera House was one of 45 projects in Ohio awarded historic preservation tax credits that put empty buildings back into the economic cycle and create jobs through construction activities and reoccupation of the buildings. HDC is currently waiting for official notification of the award of New Market Tax Credits in May/June. The goal is to complete construction on the remaining phases of the project by 2015.

See the project website for additional information: https://thewoodward.org/

The Woodward Opera House: Before the start of renovations and the building today

Hardlines Design Company Participates in Zoar Levee Public Meeting

Hardlines Design Company has been assisting the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on preparing a historic properties baseline study as part of the Dam Safety Modification Study (DSMS) for Zoar Levee & Diversion Dam, located in the village of Zoar, Tuscarawas County. The DSMS is required to address performance issues with the levee. HDC is subcontracted to Tetra Tech, Inc., on the project. HDC’s role in the project consists of preparing a detailed cultural history of the Zoar study area; conducting a survey of all above-ground resources in the study area (buildings, ruins, bridges, dams, etc) to assess their historical significance; and constructing archaeological probability models to identify landforms within the study area with potential to hold certain types of archaeological sites.

Zoar Village was founded in 1817 by a group of German Separatists who were seeking a place to freely practice their religion and work together to create a community. Although not initially part of the plan for the settlement, the Separatists voted to pool their interests in the face of harsh economic conditions and a challenging environment, and became a communal society. The village prospered for much of the 19th century, but pressures from both within and outside the community finally resulted in a vote to dissolve the communal system in 1898. Since then, Zoar Village has remained a small, rural community, retaining a surprisingly high degree of historical buildings in good condition, while also managing to keep out most modern development, helping to retain the historic character of the community. This lack of modern development is partially attributable to the construction of Zoar Levee & Diversion Dam in the late 1930s, protecting the village from flooding, with the side effect of also discouraging modern intrusions, due to how the levee is sited on the local topography.

Part of our work with Huntington District included participating in meetings with project stakeholders and the general public to provide an update on progress and solicit important information about the study area that may be known to local residents, but not recorded in any documents. A set of these meetings were held March 6–7, 2013, at New Philadelphia and Zoar. Overall, HDC’s efforts in preparing the historic property baseline study have been well-received. Jennifer Sandy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation called our report “fascinating reading”  and project manager Andy Sewell was interviewed at the public meeting for WKSU public radio. Zoar residents are keenly interested in the history of their community, and the historic properties baseline study should be a valuable resource to their research efforts, as well as serving Huntington District as an essential planning tool for addressing the future of Zoar Levee.

A typical streetscape in Zoar, Ohio

Donut the Beagle Is 9 Years Old on March 26!

It’s hard to believe, but the “Little Monster” is going to be 9 years old at the end of the month! Donut came to office on Friday, May 21, 2004, when she was 8 weeks old, which makes her birthday Friday, March 26, 2004. Recently, HDC staff came across a recruiting video for the USDA Beagle Brigade. The video is over 14 minutes long (the opening sequence is hilarious!) and includes tests to determine if your beagle is qualified to join the Brigade. Beagles have to be between the ages 1 and 3 and retire when they are 9 years old, so Donut is now officially a senior citizen. This, however, was not the first time HDC came across the USDA Beagle Brigade.

After Bagle the Beagle came to HDC in 1993, HDC started working with the National Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It turns out that the USDA has a division called the Beagle Brigade (founded in 1984) to inspect luggage at international airports for food products. HDC then picked up a children’s book called Jackpot of the Beagle Brigade, which was written in 1987. Since Bagle was very calm, balanced, and highly food motivated, HDC staff thought she would have made a good member of the Beagle Brigade. Bagle, however, did not like crowds and probably would not have passed that portion of the test.

Donut likely would never have made it past Test #1, which includes having a stranger pull her tail. One of Donut’s early trainers said that we could only “manage” her quirks, not cure them. Everyone at HDC knows that Donut is tense, nervous, and very sensitive, so we leave her alone when she’s eating, do not accidentally sneak up on her from behind, and definitely do not pull her tail. On the other hand, she can be very friendly, responds immediately to her name, and will obey commands to sit, stay, lay down, and, an office favorite, play dead upon hearing the word “Bang!”

BANG!


Why We Have Dogs at Hardlines Design Company

(by Anne Lee, originally posted on April 11, 2012)

A recent study on dogs in the workplace was published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management and subsequently reported on by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17561272), who noted that “…access to dogs boosted morale and reduced stress levels, whether people had access to their own pets or other people’s.” At Hardlines Design Company, this doesn’t come as news to us!

Many people are pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised when they show up at our office and are greeted by the rather loud barks of a beagle. And, too, sometimes people can hear the beagle in the background when they call the office. People typically have one of two reactions when they realize that we have dogs in our office: (1) “Wow, it is SO cool that you have dogs at work!” or (2) a grimace and the unspoken look signifying “That’s a little strange for a professional office.”

Hardlines Design Company’s solicitor greeting system

So, why do we have dogs at our office? Well, a long time ago, Charissa (the owner of HDC) told me that one of the reasons she started her own business was that she wanted to be able to take her dog to work. So Charissa started her own business and started bringing her dog to work. First there was Bagle, a very mellow beagle by the time I started at HDC in 2002. A few years later, Bagle passed away, and Donut came along. Donut, also a beagle, is the opposite of Bagle—Donut is energetic, needy, very vociferous, and just a little skittish. Oh, and I think she has multiple personality disorder, but we don’t need to share that with her.

Bagle the Beagle: Our first office dog.

Donut as a young pup.

You do have to forgive Donut her foibles; she was found abandoned when she was only four weeks old, and we believe that many of her protective, and somewhat nervous tendencies, are the result of her very early life. During her next four weeks in the shelter, Donut acquired the nickname “Little Monster” because of her tendency to nip! Diligent training by Charissa, however, has resulted in a much calmer Donut. Rest assured, she does not snap unless you attempt to stick your hand in her food bowl or pick her up when she is stressed out. A few years ago, our Senior Historian Roy Hampton added Karly to the mix, a very quiet 5-year-old beagle, also rescued from the dog shelter. Most people don’t even realize that Karly is here; she is that unobtrusive.

Karly, Donut’s polar opposite

To answer a subsidiary question I hear, yes, Donut’s barking can be distracting and a little shocking for those who are not prepared for it, but the counterbalance to that point is that the dogs add so much to the office environment. They are our mascots, our entertainment, our lunch companions, and our stress relievers. They greet us when we arrive, and they provide a warm and accepting presence when the day just isn’t going that well. Some say our office is “insane,” which may be true, but it is also humane, and that is, at least in part, a result of the great dogs who hang out with us all day.

happy dog makes for a happy office!


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! (or Not)

(by Charissa Durst, originally posted December 23, 2011)

A Counter Argument in Five Points,
or Why I Hate the Holiday Season
By Donut, one of the HDC beagles

Donut wearing bells and her “Merry Christmas or Whatever” expression.

I hate Christmas! I know, that’s a terrible thought since my Humans and most everyone else at HDC seem to really like it. This is my seventh Christmas, and each one is worse than the last. First of all, what’s with the costumes with bells? Especially the hats—I really hate hats! And then my Humans keep flashing lights at me and clicking at me with little metal boxes. Second, who keeps moving the furniture around? This year, my couch got moved to the other side of the room for a fake tree! Can you believe that?! I have to be ambidextrous to get on this thing now!

Third, what’s with all these deliveries! I’m barking myself hoarse keeping track of all the strange boxes that come through the door, and it happens at both my home and the office. And fourth, get this, they make me sit with some strange bearded guy in a red suit! I really don’t understand that.

He seems like a nice guy, but why does everyone want to sit on his lap?

Here I am with bells on!

And finally, do they really need to keep playing the same music over and over again? Okay, lots of humans have this issue, too, so I know I’m not alone. But there’s one song my Humans turn up really loud, and it seems to be on TV quite a bit, too. I’ve heard it so often I’ve put my own sentiments into it:

It’s the most miserable time of the year.
With the kids next door yelling,
and everyone telling you,
“Get out of here!”
It’s the most miserable time of the year!There’ll be couches for dragging,
and boxing and bagging,
Getting tossed in the snow!
There’ll be crates being loaded and
tales of being scolded from Christmases
long, long ago.It’s the most miserable time of the year.
I’ll be diving for cover
with trees tipping over
and so much to fear!
Oh, it’s the most miserable time of the year!

And in case you think I’m being a Grinch, it’s not just Christmas. I also can’t stand weekends or ball games or mobs of small children, but that’s another blog…