Westerville/Civil War-Era Music Forever Linked

As soon as the trick-or-treaters go home on October 31st (and maybe Home of Bishop William Hanby, Abolitionist, Underground Railroad "Conductor" and his son, Benjamin Hanby, who wrote the Christmas favorite, "Up On The Housetip."even before), you’ll begin to hear Christmas songs on the radio and in the malls. Each song as its own unique story. If you’ve been to Westerville and especially if you live here, you most likely know who wrote the song “Up On the Housetop.” His name was Benjamin Hanby. But did you know that Ben penned more than just this Christmas favorite?

Here’s an excerpt from www.hanbyhouse.org:
Bishop and Ann’s oldest child, Benjamin Russel Hanby, was in the second graduating class of Otterbein University in 1858. He was a United Brethren preacher, a teacher, an abolitionist and a composer. During his short life, he composed over 80 songs including Darling Nelly Gray, Up on the Housetop, and Who is He in Yonder Stall? The latter is included in the current United Methodist Hymnal.

You may not be familiar with Ben’s catalog, but people of his day would have certainly recognized many of his melodies.

On Saturday, October 22nd, you can enjoy an afternoon full of Civil War music to benefit Ben’s Westerville residence, The Hanby House Historic Site. The songs, written about or by women during the Civil War period, will be presented by Columbus musicians Steve and Lisa Ball. Not only will the lyrics and the harmonies take you back 150 years, the guitar Steve plays is a Civil-War era Martin!

All proceeds from this concert will help support the programming and educational efforts of Hanby House. For more information about Hanby House and how to order advance tickets for the concert, visit the Hanby House website.

Welcome Otterbein Students!

This time every year, Westerville gets an influx of new residents equipped with laundry baskets, comforters, futons and posters. Otterbein University’s 2016-2017 school year begins Monday, August 22 and students will spend the end of this week moving toin their residence halls and rental houses. To those students and their parents: Welcome to Westerville!

In addition to learning where their classes are located and which building houses their advisor’s office, Otterbein freshmen will quickly learn which of the many Uptown Westerville shops are their favorites, which restaurants have their favorite burger and, of course, which doughnut will be their late night go-to snack at Schneiders.

Once they spend a little time in Westerville, they’ll also learn about why we were once known as “Dry Capital of the World,” what happened during the Whiskey Wars and the Underground Railroad history present here.

We hope our community has an impact on each student who calls Westerville home for the next few years. We are also looking forward to the impact these students will have on Westerville: as interns and employees, as musicians, performers and artists and as community servants and volunteers.

The Cardinals have come to roost! Have a great year!

See What We’ve Been Missing!

It is said a person doesn’t miss something until it’s gone. The WVCB staff knows this all too well, since we haven’t been in our Uptown office for nearly a month. We are hard at work at our temporary office location, which couldn’t be nicer, but we are missing one thing: Visitors!

We know we are off the beaten path and not set up for company, but we sure miss the daily interaction with residents, visitors and our fellow Uptown folks. We miss chatting with our neighbors in the parking lot and getting pop-in visitors the likes of Bill Morgan with Morgan’s Treasure Fine Jewelry, artist David Myers from across the street, Debbie Bennati from A Gal Named Cinda Lou and many friends from City Hall. We even miss the fire truck sirens as they scream up West Main. We miss being steps from two great coffee shops. We miss the proximity to a variety of restaurants and a pharmacy. We miss the quick walk to the bank to make a deposit and all the smiling faces we encounter on a daily basis.

The point of sharing with you what we miss about Uptown, is to let you know what Uptown is and how it feels to be there. We know that, once repairs to our office building are finished, we will be back to enjoy Uptown once again, but what about you? Have you been Uptown lately? Have you had dinner in one of our great eateries or bought a gift for a friend in one of Uptown’s unique shops? Our candy, cookie, popcorn, ice cream and frozen custard parlors make a great outing for you and the kids. Buckeye BrewCraft and the Governor’s Smoke Shop will keep the guys busy while the ladies enjoy Deja Vu and My Cousin’s Closet. The possibilities are endless. Go ahead. Visit Uptown Westerville today and see what WE’VE been missing!

Breathe Deep…It’s Memorial Day Weekend!

Sure. You are probably busy this weekend. Traveling, cookouts, sports events and other outdoor fun might distract you from the “Memorial” in Memorial Day. Many people take the opportunity to stop at a cemetery and put flowers on a loved-ones grave. Some attend parades and other events to honor our servicemen and servicewomen who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. In Westerville, the Sunrise Rotary Club and its many volunteers spend the weekend (and many weeks of planning leading up to it) to bring the Field of Heroes to life.

There really are no words to describe it. Breath-taking is the only one that comes close. If you visit during the day, you may find some words to describe the perfect rows of billowing flags and who and what they stand for. If you visit after dark,  any words you might think to utter are swallowed by the solemn stillness surrounding you.

To many who walk among the Old Glories, that stillness represents the voices silenced in defense of our great nation. As you enjoy this long weekend, breathe deep and reflect for just a moment on, not only those members of the armed forces who made American what it is, but also on those who have gone before that made your life what it is: the immigrant great-grandparents, the first college graduate in your family, the mother who put herself last to make life better for her children or the teacher that went above and beyond for a student who needed it. They are heroes too!