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Our trip to Groton, Massachusetts

Day 7

Youngstown, OH to Portage, IN

We are near the end of our trip but there were still many miles between home and us. Today we had a 6-hour drive and we started fairly early to leave us time to visit Sandyís grandnephew in Norwalk, OH. After a short visit we continued on and stopped in Milan, OH, which we found out was the birthplace of Thomas A. Edison. Sandy had found this on the map and since we have visited the Edisonís summer home in Florida thought we should visit his birthplace since it was on our route home. Edisonís father, a shingle maker that moved to Milan for work, built this small brick home in about 1841. Milan was becoming a bustling seaport connected via the Milan Canal to Lake Michigan and eventually to the Erie Canal to New York and the world.

Thomas Edison's birthplace Milan, OH

Carbonized bamboo filament lampt

The tour was conducted by one of Edisonís Great-Great-Great-Grandnieces and provided us with a look at life in the middle 1800ís. The house was originally lit with candles and oil lamps but was later electrified. The picture above shows one of Edisonís early lampís with a carbonized bamboo filament. The picture below shows a portrait that hangs in the sitting room, one of four rooms on the first floor. The second floor had two bedrooms and the basement level was for the kitchen.

Inside the Edison home

Restored homes near Edison birthplace

Many of the homes on the opposite side of the street have been restored for use as part of the Milan Historical Museum complex. The homes are part of a separate tour, which we did not take the time for as most of our drive was still ahead of us. We did walk the rear yard area of these homes and found restored or perhaps reproduction business places that were also part of the historical tour. There was a general store and blacksmith shop and a few others that we could not identify without taking the tour.

Business places behind restored homes

Indiana Sand Dunes near Lake Michigan

Our drive continued until we reached Portage, IN, which is located near Gary, Indiana. We took a drive down to Lake Michigan and spent some time at the Indiana Dunes National Beach. The picture above does not give a perspective on the size of these dunes, but this one is about 30 to 40 feet high. The signs informed us that these are formed by the wind that carries the sand aloft and drops them into ridges that are later covered with plant life that keeps them from being further eroded. The picture below was taken looking towards Chicago, which you can see near the center at the horizon.

Lake Michigan with Chicago on the horizon

US Steel on Lake Michigan near Portage, IN

We tried walking on the beach but the sand was so deep and soft that it was impossible to walk without filling our shoes with sand so we decided to pass on trying to get around. The large manufacturing plant in the background of the picture above is US Steel. We will be traveling from Portage, IN to Red Wing, MN tomorrow with our stay planned for a historic hotel.