Over the Garden Fence: A local monument gets spruced up

·2 min read
At the John Andrew Hopley monument on golf course property on the Lincoln Highway, junior gardeners from Peas in a Pod and Nuts about Nature were supported by parents and friends as they managed plantings.
At the John Andrew Hopley monument on golf course property on the Lincoln Highway, junior gardeners from Peas in a Pod and Nuts about Nature were supported by parents and friends as they managed plantings.

For many years a stone monument standing on the front of the golf course property close to Ohio 330 on the Lincoln Highway has been somewhat overlooked. For me it seemed small. It was the six towering evergreen trees that might have contributed to that notion.

This monument was assembled to honor John Andrew Hopley. The stones used to construct the special marker came from many sources. It was erected and dedicated in August 1929.

Months ago Elaine Gebhardt Naples contacted me. A vision was borne. We talked with Mike Hocker of Galion who shares a passion for anything related to the Lincoln Memorial Highway. That was true of Hopley also.

Enthusiastically I drafted a grant proposal seeking some funding to begin a focus on this one-of-a-kind monument. The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Foundation was positive about flowers, shrubs, soil and mulch. The intention was to use junior gardeners sponsored by the Earth, Wind and Flowers Garden Club to launch an effort to have people notice the monument.

On July 1, a mixed group of members of Peas in a Pod and Nuts About Nature, some parents and two friends joined forces. In two hours a curved trench was dug despite persistent roots. Twelve bags of soil additives were combined and blended. We had water with a weak fertilizer solution prepared.

Plants included four boxwood shrubs, two clumps of Karl Foerster grasses, two huge pots of geraniums, a flat of red and white petunias and two flats of white lobelia.

There were many cones from the evergreens flanking the monument that were raked up and disposed of nearby. Let me share that the old evergreens were pruned by Oberlanders a few weeks earlier. It made a big difference in bringing visibility to this tribute to Hopley. We mulched the area. Six other members who were on vacation will finish this task.

Making this step forward along with me were Janet Nance, Carissa and Abi Chester, Jessa Coons and sons Eli and Nehemiah, Becky and Mike Prenger and sons Owen and Weston, Kyle Smith and his mother, Amy and Logan Laipply and his mother, Emily.

There will be more renovation coming. For now the effort is underway to bring recognition to a man who managed The Bucyrus Evening Telegraph in the 1880s and was the first consul  for Ohio's portion of the Lincoln Highway. William McKinley appointed him as consul to Southhampton, England. Not long after Teddy Roosevelt sent him to Montvideo, Uruguay, in that same capacity.

A vision has been launched. Watch for more to come.

Mary Lee Minor is a member of the Earth, Wind and Flowers Garden Club, an accredited master gardener, a flower show judge for the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs and a former sixth grade teacher.

This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Over the Garden Fence: New landscaping for a Lincoln Highway monument