Goodbye, Ohio

Story by Milli Thornton. Photos Copyright © Milli Thornton & Brian Williams.

Feature photo: Sunset, Berlin Lake, Ohio

This time tomorrow the Penske truck will be sitting in our driveway while the movers load our goods and chattel. By afternoon we’ll be heading off for New Mexico by road, driving the van ourselves. This post is a round-up in photos of my four years and five months living in Youngstown, Ohio.

For starters, I wanted to bring you a typical Ohio country image. The scene I most coveted was a handsome old red barn about 20 minutes out of town with a vintage ad for Mail Pouch Tobacco on the side and surrounded by cornfields. Alas, the road was too narrow and there was nowhere to pull off to get a photo. Instead we have this still-typical but slightly less colorful barn and field of corn somewhere east of Cleveland.

A typical country scene in Ohio

A typical country scene in Ohio

Ohio is not all cornfields, of course. Here’s one of the many beautiful state parks that grace this state.

Beaver Creek State Park

Beaver Creek State Park

Here’s another typical sight: the intense green of the suburbs. Since we’re headed for a mountain desert region in Northern New Mexico, it’s a good thing I drank my fill of this through my office window the past four years.

The intense green of our backyard in Youngstown, Ohio

The intense green of our backyard in Youngstown, Ohio


Fall harvest is a a great time to live in a farming state. Just down the road in Canfield, Ohio, Youngstown locals can take advantage of the bounty for sale at White House Fruit Farm. They have way more than just fruit and the produce colors are vibrant.

Fall Harvest Festival at White House Fruit Farm, Canfield, Ohio

Fall Harvest Festival at White House Fruit Farm, Canfield, Ohio

Youngstown has an average of 63 sunny days and 97 partly-sunny days per annum. The gloomy skies here are not something I’ll miss. I used to find the sunshine in New Mexico almost excessive—on average, there are 283 sunny days per year in Taos—but you can bet I’ll appreciate it more now.

Temps in the winter will be a lot colder in Costilla County (up to 20 below) than they are here in Mahoning County. Generally, we’ve been lucky with snowfall here, avoiding most of the “Lake Effect” snow that dumps further north. Here’s one time we got it (22 inches!).

Snow on the bird feeder

The snow dump we got here in Youngstown during Snowmaggedon
a few years ago, as illustrated by our bird feeder. We got 22 inches.

The Village Pantry in nearby Poland, Ohio is a great place to watch the seasons unfold. Store owner Joanne has a gift for seasonal decor and it’s cozy and inviting both inside and out all year round. Here are a couple of charming examples.

The Village Pantry, Poland, Ohio

The Village Pantry, Poland, Ohio

Adirondacks at The Village Pantry, Poland, Ohio

Summertime in downtown Poland Village

The owners of The Village Pantry enjoying their Adirondacks and the colors of autumn in Poland, Ohio

The owners of The Village Pantry enjoying their Adirondacks and the colors
of autumn in Poland, Ohio | Photo Courtesy Nicole Reto


No resident of Youngstown could do a goodbye story without featuring Mill Creek Park, second largest metro park in the United States (4,400 acres of diverse lands). This walking path was only a block from our house.

Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio

My turnaround point during walks in Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio

Lanterman's Mill at Christmas time

Lanterman’s Mill at Christmas time, Mill Creek Park

A section of Mill Creek downstream from Lanterman's Mill, Youngstown, Ohio

A section of Mill Creek downstream from Lanterman’s Mill

The boardwalk in Mill Creek Park

The boardwalk in Mill Creek Park


Recent favorites: The Upstairs Restaurant here in Youngstown where I enjoyed a stunning rack of New Zealand lamb over creamy risotto for my birthday last month.

And for a farewell dinner with friends last weekend, the old bank vault at Selah restaurant in nearby Struthers. (For more photos of the bank vault where we ate, see Related Topics at the end of this post.)

Selah Restaurant bank vault door in the kitchen

Selah Restaurant bank vault door in the kitchen


It wasn’t easy getting the right camera angle on Poland Library to do justice to this glorious building. This photo is dedicated to my friend Julia Munroe Martin (aka blogger wordsxo) of Maine. Julia fondly remembers spending her childhood summers at her grandmother’s house just across Yellow Creek from the the current library. She remembers visiting the original (much smaller!) library and she even had her own library card. (See link to full story in Related Topics below.)

Beautiful Poland Library on Yellow Creek.

Beautiful Poland Library on Yellow Creek

A unique event in Poland (one suburb over from our house) is Yellow Creek Theatre aka Movies Under the Bridge. The setting is so natural you can even watch the creek running between the projectionist’s stand and the classic movie being beamed onto the wall of the bridge on Rte 224. (See link to full story in Related Topics below.)

Yellow Creek Theatre aka Movies Under the Bridge

Just before the movie starts at Yellow Creek Theatre
(aka Movies Under the Bridge), Poland, Ohio

I’m not a rib person myself, but in 2011 the Cleveland Rib Fest magnetized me there by featuring Collective Soul in concert on the river. If you’re a Collective Soul fan be sure to check out my story, which includes cool night-time scenes of the Cleveland skyline, boats passing on the river behind the back-up band, Collective Soul’s light show, and a very good video by Brian of the band performing their classic, “December.” (See Related Topics below for link.)

Rib Fest, Cleveland, Ohio

Rib Fest, Cleveland, Ohio

Several charity poker events are also held in Ohio. Brian attended one a few months ago organized by a friend and I was glad to hear that the money raised all went to help kids with disabilities. He said his friend (who has a big heart) enjoyed organizing the event.


A couple summers ago we took off for Mansfield, Ohio, which is pretty much in the center of the state. We needed a central meeting place to visit with my brother Ed, who was visiting cousins on the far side of Ohio from his home in Moline, IL. We landed in Mansfield on a Sunday and found Sleepytown, USA with nearly everything but the chains closed for business. But not the Mansfield Memorial Museum. This place was so stuffed to the gills with fascinating memorabilia, when I went to find these photos I realized I need to someday do a separate post about this place.

Mansfield Memorial Museum, sign at the entrance

Mansfield Memorial Museum (Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building)

Elektro Man, Mansfield Memorial Museum

Elektro Man with me and my brother Ed at the Mansfield Memorial Museum


With a lush backyard and being so close to the park, we had no shortage of local critters to entertain us. Here’s a small selection.

Critters in our backyard

Critters we’ve seen or touched in our back yard here in Youngstown (clockwise from top left): One of the bunnies born in our yard in May 2012; the chipmunk who sits on the top step of our porch telling us off; a hawk that hunts in our neighborhood; woodpecker in the tree outside my office window

Here’s an osprey nest on a power pole in Berlin Lake. After doing some research, we guessed that the local ranger probably put this up. Power poles with platforms for nests are a common way to encourage osprey to breed. As the sun went down, we watched as the osprey popped its head out of the nest occasionally.

Osprey nest on a power pole in Berlin Lake, Ohio

Osprey nest on a power pole in Berlin Lake, Ohio

What more can be said that the pictures didn’t convey? Goodbye, Ohio. . . .


Sunset at Berlin Lake

Beaver Creek State Park, Ohio – Spring 2012


Collective Soul at the Cleveland Rib Fest

Movies Under the Bridge, Poland, Ohio

Summer Vacations at My Grandma’s House, Poland, Ohio

Olde Fashioned Christmas at the Mill, Youngstown, Ohio

Dining in a Bank Vault: Selah Restaurant, Struthers, Ohio

Milli at Devi, Montreal

Milli at Devi, Montreal


Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse.

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  1. Wow, I love all these pictures! You conveyed Ohio’s charm so well with them and the lovely explanatory paragraphs.
    Now I’m looking forward to new travel articles of New Mexico 🙂

    • Millivers Travels says:

      So pleased you enjoyed it, Estrella; it was a labor of love. 🙂

      And, me too! Looking forward to posting NM stories.


  2. This made me so nostalgic — for the Youngstown area, for my grandmother, and for our work together Milli! I can’t imagine how excited you must be, though, for the big move!! I can’t wait to see stories about NM! I’ve only been there once, a long time ago, so it will be nice to visit through your eyes, posts, and photos!

  3. So, I don’t recall releasing the rights to use my mug in your blog. Now I’ll have to fend off all the old ladies chasing me around ;-). Otherwise it is a great testiment to your time in Ohio.
    Actually I was glad you included photo so I could snag it for my files. Look for it on my Facebook.

  4. When I left the Midwest I definitely missed autumn but never the cold and snow. On the other hand, gray skies are a nice thing in sunny California! Good luck on your move! Jeannine

  5. You be safe on the road, Milli and many, many thanks for a delicious taste of Ohio! I look forward to your New Mexico posts….


  6. Really great pictures and post, Milli! I never realized Mill Creek Park was so close to where you lived 🙂

    I’m truly excited for both you and Brian as you return to New Mexico and all the wonderful stories and photos to look forward to as you continue to chronicle more of your adventures :)))

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