Tracking the Trains in Worthington

By Nicholas Dekker

Does anyone ever outgrow their love of trains? Who doesn’t get excited at the sight of big locomotives barreling down the track, or the low rumble of the train as it passes through?

Worthington has a long history of trains, as freight and passengers have traveled through the area for decades. The Worthington station used to sit on Proprietors Road, not far from the replica depot building that houses the Ohio Railway Museum. (Fun fact: did you know the center row of trees in Wilson Hill Park were planted along the interurban line that used to run through to High Street?)

But trains aren’t relegated to history! You can enjoy them in full-sized and small-scale forms right here in the city.


Ohio Railway Museum
990 Proprietors Road

On Sunday afternoons between noon and 4 p.m., the Ohio Railway Museum comes alive with activity. Open from May through December, the museum houses a collection of locomotives, streetcars, interurban cars, and other artifacts. The volunteer-run organization was founded in 1948, and is situated on land that was originally part of the Columbus, Delaware, & Marion Electric Company property. Directly to the east are active freight lines, so while you enjoy a bit of living history, you’ll see modern day rail at work, too!

Guests can stroll along the train tracks and visit the various cars and engines in different states of restoration. Some are available for walk-through tours, others you can explore from the outside. The dedicated volunteers will tell you the full history of the equipment and the role it played in local, regional, and national rail history. The staff at the Ohio Railway Museum are actively restoring equipment, too; they’re current raising funds to restore the #703 streetcar, one of the last of its type that served Columbus.

And every visit should include a ride on the train! The museum alternates between featuring their #64 interurban car and their #5060 passenger coach, pulled by their #7178 engine, named Roger. Narrated by one of the volunteers, the ride takes you down the rails on the overpass above Route 161 and back again.

Admission to the Ohio Railway Museum is $9 for adults, $7 for children 4-12 years old, $8 for seniors/military, and free for children three and under. Ticket prices include the train rides.


Central Ohio Model Railroad Club
6471 Proprietors Road

Located just north up Proprietors Road from the Railway Museum, the Central Ohio Railroad Club draws model railroad enthusiasts of all ages. They’re often out in the community with their displays; you can see them regularly at the Ohio State Fair. But their facility in Worthington serves as a home base. The building is home to layouts in HO, O, N, and Z scales. The club is also restoring a custom-made S scale circus layout, built over 35 years by Bernard J. Fleck of Tiffin, Ohio.

Regular guests are encouraged to become members, but Tuesdays and Thursdays the club is open to the public. Tuesday nights are the standard member nights, but the public is welcome from 7-10 p.m. Thursday evenings are open to youth and families from 6:30-9 p.m. The club even offers workshops and clinics on repairing trains, building and decorating structures, and more topics.


McCord Park Caboose
333 E. Wilson Bridge Road

Anyone who’s spent time at McCord Park – maybe for a baseball game, helping at the community gardens, or visiting the Community Center – has heard the trains crossing at Wilson Bridge Road. Well, city officials have embraced the trains’ presence next to the park and are building an observation platform for kids of all ages to watch the trains.

To supplement this, the Harper family, part of the extended family behind Rutherford-Corbin Funeral Home in Worthington, donated a wooden 1922 caboose from the their Upper Arlington backyard. The deep red caboose will be a centerpiece in the new observatory when McCord Park is upgraded in the coming years. The city is collaborating with the Worthington AM Rotary Club and the Central Ohio Model Railroad Club on the project.

Nicholas Dekker
Tour Old Worthington with Columbus Food Adventures

There are few things lovelier than spending a day in Worthington, but it is made even better when you are with a knowledgeable tour guide, learning about the sights, sounds, and tastes that make Worthington wonderful. The Saturday Old Worthington Food Tour run by Columbus Food Adventures is a perfect way to learn about our city and why it is a delicious place to be.

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The food tour starts where any good tour would - at the award-winning Worthington Farmers Market! You will get to meet with several makers and farmers and taste their wares, from Honeyrun Farm to The Crazy Cucumber to Blue Jacket Cheese, Kokoborrego Cheese Company and Get Elevated. Afterwards, you will head into House Wine to continue sampling while you grab a glass of refreshing vino and learn more about why it is a must-stop for wine in the neighborhood. You’ll try goodies from Weed Knob Acres, Hummavore, North Country Charcuterie, and Blue Jacket Cheese.

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Then it’s on to momos at Everest Cuisine and a walk down to the historic Old Rectory, with stops along the way to learn the long history of the Worthington Inn and Snow House.

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After a look at and some background on the beautiful Mason Building on High street, you stop by La Chatelaine for a spread of their freshly made salads and pastries, and a little (more) dessert at Sassafras Bakery.

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On to a warm welcome at Igloo Letterpress, a retail and print shop that uses 100-year old printing presses. You will even get to try your hand at printing your very own coaster on a 1890’s pilot press! You will then head over to the Village Green to learn about the founding of Worthington in 1803 (and the sheep that used to graze on this very lawn!).

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The last stop is a delicious small plate at The Whitney House, a custard-like french toast with local bacon to end the tour on a sweet and savory note.

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To register for a spot on the tour, head to Columbus Food Adventures’ website. We’re looking forward to welcoming you soon!

Beth Dekker
Get Ready to Picnic with the Partnership!
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Summer is the time for picnics, block parties, and gathering with friends and neighbors. What better way to do this in Worthington, than to close down High Street and throw a party?

Picnic with the Partnership is set to return for a fourth year on Saturday, June 22 from 6:30-10 p.m. We’ll close down High Street in the heart of Old Worthington, line up tables, set the stage for music, play some games, order up local food and drink, and have a party!

To participate, guests just have to buy a ticket for a seat at one of the tables. They’re $15 if you snag them before June 14, and $20 after. And tickets are limited – they will sell out! 

The evening of the party, you’re welcome to pack a picnic from home or pre-order a dinner from The Whitney House, La Chatelaine, The Half Pint, or Everest Cuisine.


Beer, wine, and cocktails will be sold during the picnic (sorry, you can’t bring your drinks from home!). The DORA will be in effect that night, so you can snag a drink from any of the neighborhood restaurants, bars, and wine shops to enjoy with your dinner, then walk around and visit local merchants. Craft beer fans are in luck: Rhinegeist Brewery’s truck will park at the party to serve their favorite brews.

And the party doesn’t end with dinner! Local favorites Matt Steidle and That’s The Breaks will be playing on the stage, followed by the headliners, The Moonbats. There’s a cake walk, and games for the kids. Old Worthington merchants will be open, so you can stroll the neighborhood, drinks in hand, and experience the best our city has to offer.

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Most important of all: the event is in support of a good cause. Proceeds from the picnic go to the Old Worthington Partnership and its efforts to promote the district.

Did we mention you should get your tickets soon?

Picnic with the Partnership
Saturday, June 22, 6:30-10 p.m.
Buy tickets here

Nicholas Dekker
Celebrate Art in Worthington

The arts are everywhere in Worthington! You can celebrate it this month with studio visits, festivals, and all sorts of artistic activities around the city.


An Art-Centric Worthington First Wednesdays (June 5)

The theme for June’s Worthington First Wednesdays is “Celebrate Art.” The evening’s activities will have you celebrating local artists, engaging in fun arts activities, and gearing up for the Worthington Arts Festival the following week. Visit the district from 5-8 p.m. on June 5 for a load of fun activities, like live music from Mark Rhodes in the Dewey’s plaza, plus kid’s arts and crafts. You can also get to know eight plein air artists from High Road Gallery, watch a ceramic artist at work, see illustrator and Worthington resident Rafael Rosado, and encounter the team from Worthington Community Theatre.


New Sculpture at the Old Worthington Library

You may have noticed the new installations along the High Street-facing side of the Old Worthington Library. The lawn has been transformed into a small plaza with natural pathways, native Ohio plants, and benches. Now you can rest in the shade with a good book. While you’re there, snap a selfie with Ricky the raccoon, Winston the owl and Asparagus the fox, the subjects of Reading With Friends, a bronze sculpture created by artist Mike Tizzano. He was inspired by characters from the library’s summer reading programs, and created it on-site over several months in the library’s lobby!

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Worthington Arts Festival (June 14-15)

Summer is festival season, and on June 14 and 15, the Worthington Arts Festival returns for the 27th year! Laid out on the McConnell Arts Center lawn, the 2019 festival has lined up more than 150 artists from across the country, all set to showcase paintings, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, glass, mixed media work, and so much more. The Festival is rounded out with a collection of local food trucks, plus activities for all ages. You can get a special preview of the artists’ work at the Opening Night Picnic on Friday, June 14. Get tickets to it here. Want to be a part of the art? Festivals like this rely on the help of volunteers; sign up to volunteer here!


High Road Gallery & Studios

High Road Gallery is a hidden in plain sight on High Street and East Stafford. Headquartered in the historic Buttles-Pinney-Brown House, a 200-year-old structure across from the Old Worthington Library, High Road provides studio and gallery space to local artists. At any given time, roughly a dozen artists work out of the studios, creating everything from sculpture to figurines to painting. You can see the stunning artwork and meet the skilled creators during regular gallery exhibitions throughout the year. The studios are open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and other hours by appointment. (Hint: they make a perfect stop after the Farmer’s Market!)

Meet the New Owners of Mrs. Goodman’s Baking Company

By Nicholas Dekker 

Earlier this month, Michele Tackett and her mother-in-law Sheri Tackett celebrated their one-year anniversary as the new owners of Mrs. Goodman’s Baking Company. While the bakery has been around for more than 30 years, owned first by the Goodman family and then by the Alderman family, the Tacketts purchased it while both looking to make a life change. We caught up with Michele to learn more about their first year owning the bakery and what’s new!


Nick: How did you come to own Mrs. Goodman’s?
It’s a family effort. I met my husband in Connecticut. He is from Dublin, and we started a family and relocated here two years ago. My mother-in-law is retired; she’s my business partner and mentor. We threw out a lot of ideas of things to do, then we got wind that Mrs. Goodman’s was for sale – it was the perfect opportunity for a business as a family.

Nick: How has your first year been at the helm?
It’s been a whirlwind. I don’t know if it’s been six weeks or six years!


Nick: What updates did you make to the storefront?
The brand is amazing, the product is amazing. Worthington loves Mrs. Goodman’s and their products, but it needed a facelift. When we came in, we wanted people to feel the way when they enjoy the cakes, like you’re walking into your grandma’s kitchen. The color scheme and environment is light, bright, happy, it should take you back. We replaced the floors, ceilings, lights. My father-in-law Floyd built the cabinets. We installed the barn door to the kitchen, and opened the doorway a little. We brought the displays out, but it still feels bigger than before. We were always doing a little dance behind the counter, having trays and cakes balancing. 

Nick: And how about the baked goods?
We knew people loved Mrs. Goodman’s and their products, so we haven’t changed the recipes, but made some quality improvements to the ingredients, and added some new products. We’ve used the weekends to try a Danish, try cinnamon rolls – the cinnamon rolls have become a staple in our case. We do plain, pecans, and buttercream – that’s our most popular addition. 

We still do made-from-scratch cookies – we offer over 12 varieties, plus a dozen options of scones. We did swap one cookie – the chocolate, white chocolate, pecan. We swapped it with peanut butter chip. The pies are popular at Thanksgiving – we offer them year-round. Our pie crusts are homemade. The previous owners had a cupcake display, too – we keep them stocked, and offer new varieties.

We like to experiment with things, too, like our cookies and cream cake. We did a week of candy cakes – Heath, Almond Joy – we couldn’t keep them in stock.

Nick: And the reception has been good, from customers and employees?
We were blessed that Worthington was so loyal to Mrs. Goodman’s. There was some concern when word got out that there were new owners, but we haven’t changed the recipes. And we wanted to create a good work environment for our employees – listen to them, do what is within our means to fix – make it a positive and happy environment.

Meet Michele, Sheri, and their whole team when you visit Mrs. Goodman’s Baking Company. And be sure to pick up a cookie or two… or a scone… or a cinnamon roll, or a cake while you’re there.

Mrs. Goodman’s Baking Company
901 High St.
Worthington, OH 43085

Nicholas Dekker