Square One Living combines artistry with social change

2015 0928 a perspectiveBy Alicia Wellinghoff
HEY! Hamilton! Exclusive

With headquarters in a store front at the corner of Edgewood and Millville avenues, Sarah Capehart and her husband Jason have founded Square One Living, a non-profit organization designed around the idea of empowering and strengthening people through simple and sustainable solutions.

StoreFront1The shop has only been up and thriving for about three months, but the Capeharts have been developing the vision for the past year. It continues to evolve every day, but many people are still unaware of the ideas for profound social change gaining momentum within those wooden walls, inspired by a quote from the Dalai Lama:  “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

That is, life would be much different if everyone began collaborating instead of competing with one another.

chalkboard tableAs the organization continues to grow, SOL will eventually carry only locally crafted and upcycled goods, hand-made collections, raw and unprocessed resources as well as ethically-sourced products.  Most importantly, SOL will provide monthly community projects to encourage people from all cultures to interact with one another, regardless of socioeconomic status,  or skin color. Cultural competency and passion for compassion are at the heart of this organization.

BID wallThe first community project will be an art installation called “Before I Die,” an interactive, international project started by New Orleans artist Candy Chang that allows visitors and passers-by the opportunity to express their dreams and ambitions on a large blackboard wall. The concept has been replicated in over 70 countries.

Having been granted permission from the artist and with the help of community volunteers, Sarah has now brought a piece of this global art to Hamilton, dedicating an exterior wall of their building to invite visitors to reflect on their own life and how they want to live it.  An official wall opening event on October 10 will feature live outside the shop and a raffle for a beautiful piece of upcycled furniture.

sarah_2015Almost all of the upcycled and refinished pieces of furniture at SOL are done by Sarah herself.  For the past five years Sarah has been repurposing furniture that others have thrown out simply for cosmetic wear and tear.  Sarah enjoys sharing her craft with others, but her main motivation is being able to offer alternative lifestyle possibilities to the community that focuses on adding value to one’s life.  She believes that despite anyone’s economic situation, everyone still has the ability to live a rich and meaningful life through alternative solutions.

Sarah explained that the current national consignment fee is 33 percent, a number she found to be impractical to everyday local artisans.  So SOL charges a 10 percent consignment fee,  just one of the many other ways the organization hopes to give back to the community.

“I have extreme faith that by supporting our community, the community will support us,” Sarah said. “Unlike other very large non-profit organizations that receive their funding through the store, like Goodwill, when you donate to SOL you can actually see the money going directly back into the community through our community projects, the first one being the ‘Before I Die’ wall.”

You can also stay up to date on what is going on through SOL’s Facebook page, which Sarah manages daily.

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Photos by Terrance Huff

Colligan History Project Partners with Mad Anthony Theatre Company

The Michael J. Colligan History Project will be partnering with the Mad Anthony Theatre Company at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts to sponsor a series of three plays, each touching on different aspects of American history. In advance of these performances, the Colligan series Staging the Past comprises three original public events exploring the historical context for each play.

  • Oct. 7, Everybody Wants to Be Sondheim, 7:30 p.m. Praised by the New York Daily News as “one of the most ingenious practitioners in his profession,” since 1979 Middletown native Larry Moore has worked in New York on musical theatre restoration, editing, orchestration, choral arranging and recording. The presentation considers Stephen Sondheim’s role in Larry Moore’s life, and reviews 40 years of American musical theatre. It will be presented ahead of Sondheim on Sondheim, “a funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theater’s greatest living composer and lyricist in his own words and music,” to be staged at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts October 15-18.
  • Feb. 9, Henry Ford: Fit to a “T”, 7:30 p.m. In 1932, union vs. management confrontations are on the rise, unemployment rampant, and communism and fascism appear viable. Henry Ford, who put the world on wheels, thinks he has a solution. During this interactive play Ford will talk to car dealers about his past, about the new Ford V-8, and about the future of soybeans. This dramatic presentation will be performed by Hank Fincken, A National Theatre Company of One, Indianapolis, Indiana. It occurs ahead of Camping with Henry and Tom, a “witty, elegant, and enormously entertaining” exploration of the friendship, politics and leadership of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Warren G. Harding, to be staged at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts February 18-21, 2016.
  • May 5, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, & the Lost (?) Generation, 7:30 p.m. Donald A. Daiker, Miami University Professor Emeritus of English, will examine Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s love-hate relationship that began the moment they met in 1925 at the Dingo Bar in Paris. Fitzgerald proved to be the more generous friend but Hemingway the more successful writer, in part thanks to Fitzgerald’s help. Both rejected the lost generation tag, but both helped to create, perpetuate, glamorize, and even live it. This presentation precedesScott and Hem, a drama about the cost of love, friendship and the price of being a writer, a rambling 1937 conversation between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in Hollywood, to be staged at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts May 12-15, 2016.
  • The Michael J. Colligan History Project is a partnership of the Colligan Fund Committee of the Hamilton Community Foundation and Miami University Hamilton. Its goals are bringing the past to life, creating historical thinking, and building community identity. For more information call (513) 785-3277 or visit www.colliganproject.org.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S Monument Ave in Hamilton. Colligan Project programs are free and open to the public. The Fitton Center Box Office can be reached at (513) 863-8873.


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Fort built to protect the Symmes Purchase

Jim Blount History Resources

On November 18, 1788, 26 brave persons stepped off flatboats on the Ohio River and established the first settlement in Southwestern Ohio to inhabit Columbia, a community about a mile west of where the Little Miami River empties into the Ohio River.

The site today is in Cincinnati’s southeast corner, between Lunken Airport and Alms Park.

About a month earlier — October 15, 1788 — Congress had approved the sale of one million acres in the Northwest Territory to John Cleves Symmes of New Jersey.

Symmes is a familiar label on the area’s landscape, and most of the names are a tribute to the region’s first land owner and real estate agent.

John Cleves Symmes was born July 21, 1742, at Southold, Long Island, N. Y., and was residing in Sussex County, N. J., in 1770, before the start of the American Revolution.

During the war, he was a colonel in charge of New Jersey troops. He was on the committee that drafted a new state constitution in 1776, and was an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1777 through 1783.

He was a New Jersey representative in the Continental Congress from 1785 through 1787 while that body searched for a way to sell land and control settlement in the Ohio valley.

Congress, which was then the only branch of government in the new United States, adopted ordinances in 1785 and 1787 which opened the way for migration into the region that would become the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In New York City, Congress adopted the Northwest Ordinance July 13, 1787, while in Philadelphia the Constitutional Convention worked until September on a new plan of government.

August 29, 1787 — less than seven weeks after enactment of the Northwest Ordinance — the 45-year-old Symmes asked his colleagues to permit him to buy one million acres in the wilderness.

Joining the often-controversial Symmes in the venture were Elias Boudinot and Jonathan Dayton, past and present members of Congress from New Jersey. Dayton also was then a member of the Constitutional Convention.

In the spring and summer of 1787, Symmes had traveled down the Ohio River to inspect potential locations.

His choice, because it was north of the Ohio River between the Little Miami River and the Great Miami River, was known as the Miami Purchase. It included a portion of what is now Butler County.

It wasn’t until October 15, 1788, that Congress approved the sale to Symmes. By then, Symmes had been appointed to one of five administrative positions in the territory. February 18, 1788, Congress named him one of three territorial judges.

He planned to buy a million acres and profit by reselling smaller parcels to others. First, he priced his land at 66 and two-thirds cents an acre. Later, the standard price was $1.

John Reily’s First Stop in Ohio

Symmes quickly sold several thousand acres to Benjamin Stites, who a few weeks later guided the pioneers on the two-day trip from Limestone (now Maysville, Ky. ) to Columbia.

Stites had been with Symmes and others in September 1788 during their inspection of the land north of the Ohio River between the Little Miami and Great Miami rivers.

The first, task for Stites and others who arrived at Columbia in November 1788 was to build a small fort for protection from possible Indian raids. Of course, log cabins also had to be constructed before the onset of winter.

But food was more of a problem than shelter that first winter. The settlers soon consumed the food they brought with them. Then they had to rely on wild game — which was plentiful — and what they could extract from the ground.

According to one account, Columbia women and children had “to scratch up the bulbous roots of the bear grass, which when mashed, boiled and dried, were pounded into a kind of flour which served as a tolerable substitute for wheat and corn flour.”

The food situation began to improve in the spring when crops could be planted. But not all of the settlement’s manpower could be devoted to farming. Half of the men worked in the fields while the other half stood guard against Indian attacks. The groups switched responsibilities during the day to break the monotony.

Columbia residents suffered another setback in November 1789 when the Ohio River flooded the community. Only one house escaped the water.

Columbia survived the hardships and prospered. It quickly became a trading center — thanks to an adjacent area known as Turkey Bottom, which produced high yields of corn each year.

At first, Columbia grew faster than nearby Cincinnati (to which it was annexed in 1873), and North Bend, a settlement started by John Cleves Symmes.

A missionary who visited the three river communities in 1792 said Columbia had 1,100 inhabitants while Cincinnati had about 900 and North Bend between 300 and 400 residents.

The first school in the Symmes Purchase was established at Columbia In June 1790 by 27-year-old John Reily, who was also an Indian fighter and soon became a leader not only in Columbia, but in the Northwest Territory.

Thirteen years later Reily — a native of Pennsylvania who spent his youth in Virginia before service in the revolutionary army — would move to Hamilton and continue to serve in various official capacities until a few years before his death June 7, 1850, at the age of 87.

A Campaign Against the Natives

Attempts to settle Ohio began in 1788, but migration across the Appalachians into the area was slowed by Indian resistance. Building log forts on the banks of the Ohio River at Marietta and Cincinnati had failed to intimidate the Native Americans, and in 1790 an ill-prepared military expedition ended in defeat.

In 1791, Congress — at the urging of President George Washington — authorized an increase in the army and the militia to challenge the Indians again.

At the same time, Arthur St. Clair — governor of the Northwest Territory since 1788 — was appointed major-general and commander of the U. S. Army. St. Clair, based in Cincinnati, hoped to gather 3,000 men for another campaign against the Native Americans residing later became western Ohio and eastern Indiana.

One of his objectives was to build a series of forts extending north from Fort Washington in Cincinnati. Execution of that strategy led to the building of Fort Hamilton.

The task was assigned to Lt. Col. William Darke, who also was responsible for cutting a road through the wilderness between Fort Washington and the first in a chain of “forts of deposit,” the 1790s military term describing supply posts.

In August, Darke ‘s advance unit established a camp at Ludlow Station, five miles north of Cincinnati on Mill Creek. On September 6, 1791, Darke’s soldiers started for their destination, about 25 miles north of Fort Washington. It took three days to chop through the thickly-wooded countryside.

Darke made camp near the present site of the Columbia Bridge in Hamilton and waited for orders. September 20, St. Clair ordered Darke to proceed to erect the fort on a site which had been selected during a previous scouting mission.

Built with 80 Axes and a Saw

The location on the east bank of the Great Miami River was chosen because the army planned to transport supplies from Cincinnati via the river. The site also was at a ford, a natural river crossing, which had been used by the Indians. It is believed to have been on an alignment with present Ross Avenue and Court Street. The fort’s gate was at this point, opening to the west.

About 100 men worked for two weeks to complete the fort, then about half the size of a modern football field.

From the surrounding woods, the men and their oxen combined to cut straight, 20-foot logs and drag them to a flat area beside the river. The timbers — from 9 to 12 inches in diameter — were placed upright in a three-foot trench around the perimeter.

Four blockhouses or platforms were built, three on the land side and one facing the river.

Inside the fort, soldiers built a barracks for about 100 men, a guard room, two storehouses and a magazine.

Darke’s contingent faced a familiar military problem — a shortage — according to the adjutant general of the army.

“The provisions of tools . . . was scanty in the extreme,” said Col. Winthrop Sargent in his diary of the campaign. “Eighty axes only were furnished by the quartermaster, and of these 13 were borrowed from the troops.” Sargent said the crew had “one saw and one frow” (a wedge-shaped cleaving tool).

September 30, 1791, is regarded as the completion date for the crude fort which was named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, then secretary of the treasury in President Washington’s cabinet.

The fort — which would be enlarged later — immediately became the temporary base for about 2,000 soldiers, considerably less than the 3,000 that St. Clair had anticipated. Oct. 4 — five days after completion of Fort Hamilton — Gen. St. Clair led his hastily-assembled army out of the frontier outpost toward a showdown with the Indians.

‘The Miami Slaughterhouse’

Unfortunately, many of John Cleves Symmes’ deals were faulty.

There was confusion between Symmes and the government over both the size and the boundaries of the Miami Purchase.

In some cases, Symmes sold land which he didn’t own. Some problems were attributed to Symmes’ tendency to neglect details, including selling tracts on credit and then failing to collect payment.

The labeling of his real estate as “the Miami Slaughterhouse” — because of deadly Indian raids on settlers — discouraged some prospects from buying Symmes’ land.

Added to all of their troubles were disputes between Symmes and some of his associates.

In March 1811, a mysterious fire destroyed Symmes’ residence. Eventually, his holdings were seized and sold to satisfy legal claims against him.

Symmes, then 72, died in poverty February. 26, 1814, in Cincinnati. He was buried with military honors in North Bend, an Ohio River community which he founded February 2, 1789.

Culled from the following columns at the Lane Libraries Jim Blount History Resources Archives:

Sept. 25, 1988 – Hamilton once army fort:

Nov. 13, 1988 – Early settlers busy beavers:

April 22, 1990 – First land owner died poor:

Current Column: Sugar first food rationed during World War II; Backyard Victory Gardens and Victory Flocks suggested to supplement local food supplies

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Hamilton’s Pregnancy Center organizes Walk~4~Life

From the Pathway To Hope Pregnancy Care Center:

On Saturday, October 3, Pathway to Hope Pregnancy Care Center will be coordinating our first Walk~4~Life.

The event will start with registration at 9:30am and the Walk will start at 10am. We will be walking from the RiversEdge Park and Amphitheatre in Hamilton along the Great Miami River to the dam and back.

A total of four miles will be walked to raise awareness for Pathway and to raise funds for Life.

The band ONE will be performing thru the morning in the Amphitheatre to add to the festivities.

There will be door prizes, games, face painting for the children and fun for all. Check our event out on Facebook.

Join us…we look forward to Walking 4 Life and meet the needs of our Community together.

Since 1997, a Pregnancy Center has been serving the greater Hamilton Area, providing care for pregnant Mothers, Fathers and their Families. Pathway to Hope is located at 415 Henry Street and can be reached at 513-895-BABY.

We are open Monday thru Thursday and our Options Line is always available at 1-800-712-HELP FREE.

The volunteers at Pathway are wonderful caregivers, often linking arms with the mother, father and families for weeks and months, providing support that is needed when an unplanned pregnancy is experienced.

By providing care, in a safe environment and establishing relationships that often last a lifetime, we make sure that women and men have the resources they need to be prepared for their role as parents and care givers.

Pathway provides free pregnancy tests, information and literature on pregnancy and prenatal development, life – affirming options and the risks of abortion, information on abstinence and sexually transmitted diseases, referrals for medical care, social services & adoption, clothing for children up to 4T and maternity wear, formula and supplies to care for baby.

We offer several award programs that provide opportunity for our Moms-to-be to earn brand new equipment that will help them care for their baby.

In addition to the award programs available, we have a clothes closet of gently used items that is passed along to help our Moms and Dads when they have a need.

Every 30 days our community of new Moms and Dads can visit us to receive resources and support.

Appointments are needed to receive supplies and Walk-ins are welcome for Emergencies. In addition we walk alongside our community who has chosen abortion in the past.

We offer post abortion care to help individuals work through the hurt that generally follows the choice of an abortion. One-on-one meetings with an advocate take place at Pathway to help with recovery.

More info: pathwaytohopepcc.org

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Audio Podcast and Slide Show with Joy Nix of Row Hamilton

Row America Hamilton, our local rowing team, will host a “learn to row” day this weekend, but HEY! Hamilton! correspondents Emily Simer Braun and Grace Sandlin got a jump on things and recently spent a day rolling on the river with Joy Nix and her rowers.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the photos Grace took that day:

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And here's Emily's photo of Grace at sunrise.
And here’s Emily’s photo of Grace at sunrise.






HEY! Hamilton! Shop

Video Podcast: Michael Shawn McCabe featured in ‘X on TV’

HEY! Hamilton! Exclusive

HEY! Hamilton! Correspondent Emily Simer Braun interviews Hamilton’s Michael Shawn McCabe, the Food Adventurer for the new show “X On TV,” airing late nights Fridays on STAR64.

2015 0917 mccabe inside
Click on the image to see past episodes of “X On TV” on the show’s YouTube channel.