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The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from Paris Twp.: History on red brick road



  • Baywood Street SE is one of the longest stretches of brick road remaining from the original Lincoln Highway — the longest in Ohio.

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  • Just southeast of Robertsville in Paris Township, motorists can travel a couple of miles back into history.
    Baywood Street SE is one of the longest stretches of brick road remaining from the original Lincoln Highway — the longest in Ohio.
    “There is one that’s longer in Nebraska,” said Jim Cassler, owner of Klingstedt Bros. printing company and the chairman for this year’s Lincoln Highway Association annual conference, which will be in Canton from June 18-20. “It’s probably more than 10 miles.”
    Baywood, which runs south of current U.S. Route 30 from Robertsville to Paris Avenue SE, also has some of the original post and cable guardrail, Cassler noted.
    The brick road totals about 2.5 miles and it’s one of only four locations in Ohio where the bricks of sections of the old Lincoln are exposed. One section of less than 200 feet is east of Wooster in Wayne County; another section of about 260 feet is east of Upper Sandusky in Wyandot County.
    Interestingly, the fourth Ohio vestige of the brick Lincoln Highway is only a few miles from Baywood — a half-mile section of Cindell Street SE in Osnaburg Township.
    In the winter 2007-2008 edition of “The Lincoln Highway Forum,” an article by Michael Buettner, then president of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League, worried over “The Imperiled Cindell Street.” Both that short segment and the longer Baywood section long have been looked at by those wishing to pave them.
    An article by Cassler in the fall 2008 edition of The Lincoln Highway Forum, however, reported that an informational meeting caused trustees in both Paris and Osnaburg townships to see the historical nature of the roads in their jurisdiction. Efforts are under way, Cassler said, to try to preserve them.
    But small sections of Baywood already were paved or patched with asphalt. The seasons have worn away that paving, leaving potholes that are essentially brick at their bottoms. It’s not an easy ride.
    “I wish they’d take the asphalt off and just leave the brick,” said Antoinette Forester, a longtime resident of the road marked by “Historic Byway” signs. “I’ve lived here since I was 25, which would be about 60 years.”
    Bricks on Baywood are spaced greater distances apart than motorists might expect of a paved surface. This narrow brick road once was narrower still, it seems.
    “It has been widened by taking the bricks up, spacing them farther apart and relaying them,” explained Cassler. “Then they filled in between them.”
    That modification occurred decades ago, he said.
    Currently, the Baywood spur of old Lincoln Highway branching off current Route 30 winds through hills in mostly rural countryside. Bricks are uneven in some spots, but most difficult to travel only where paving has been applied.
    Page 2 of 2 - The road can only be seen by those who live on it or visit a residence there. Still, many in the area know exactly where the brick road is located.
    “People ask me where I live and I say Baywood,” explains Forester. “They ask, ‘Where’s that?’ I tell them it’s the red brick road — not the yellow brick road — and they say, ‘Oh, yeah.’ They know exactly where the brick road is.”