4 beautiful places you absolutely MUST take visitors to Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hundreds of thousands of stones individually arranged over 12 years by one man to create Springfield??€™s historical Hartman Rock Garden, a folk art treasure.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

With summer just around the corner, people are already planning vacations to take them not just to far-away places, but the Springfield area itself.

That’s the focus of the state’s Ohio Tourism Day, which will be recognized today in Columbus. More than 80 vendors and representatives of tourism destinations will be on hand to show and tell everything about the exciting places there are to visit in the state.

» TRENDING: Lawmakers are still debating over the issue of payday lenders in Ohio

Here’s a quick guide to some local spots to re-discover if you’re looking for something to appreciate right in your own backyard.

George Rogers Clark Park

The George Rogers Clark Park has a unique history, set on the site where the Battle of Peckuwe was fought and won by Clark in 1780 near the end of the Revolutionary War.

Now the park plays host to a quiet atmosphere with many natural trails, scenic waterways and an open lake. The park is also the site of the Fair at New Boston every Labor Day weekend, which allows visitors to enjoy an 18th Century atmosphere and learn about the history of the time.

George Rogers Clark Park, Springfield (Courtesy of iWitness 7 Contributor Eric Wright)
George Rogers Clark Park, Springfield (Courtesy of iWitness 7 Contributor Eric Wright)

The Pennsylvania House

Originally constructed in 1839, the Pennsylvania House was a vital part of the National Road before trains became a major option for settling the western frontier. Travelers used the site to rest on their journeys, and the inn there is said to have housed famous historical figures such as Charles Dickens and James K. Polk.

It is now part of the National Historic Register and operates as a museum located at 1311 W. Main Street. It houses many artifacts of the past, from an extensive button collection to its own architecture. The museum is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from March through December and is closed on all major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for students.

» LOCAL FOCUS: How Enon-based Speedway is growing for the future

The Ohio National Road Association is placing signs along old U.S. 40 promoting the history behind the historic route. Local landmarks along the route include: the Buena Vista Tavern (top left), Bushnell Building, (top right), The "Madonna of the Trail" statue (bottom left) and the Pennsylvania House (bottom right). File photos
The Ohio National Road Association is placing signs along old U.S. 40 promoting the history behind the historic route. Local landmarks along the route include: the Buena Vista Tavern (top left), Bushnell Building, (top right), The "Madonna of the Trail" statue (bottom left) and the Pennsylvania House (bottom right). File photos

The Hartman Rock Garden

Started in 1932 by Harry George “Ben” Hartman, the Hartman Rock Garden started as a single stone pond. Hartman, who had been laid off from his job as a molder, soon began building other things from rocks, bits of metal, concrete and anything else he came across, creating a stunningly detailed garden world unique in its own right.

Now, after 85 years, the garden still welcomes tourists from all over the world to see the intricate creations inside what Hartman’s wife, Mary, called a “garden of love.”

The Hartman Rock Garden, a folk art treasure located in Springfield, was built by Harry George "Ben" Hartman between 1932 and 1944.   LISA POWELL / STAFF
The Hartman Rock Garden, a folk art treasure located in Springfield, was built by Harry George "Ben" Hartman between 1932 and 1944. LISA POWELL / STAFF

The Westcott House

Originally constructed in 1906, the Westcott House is one of only 11 designs developed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright that exist in Ohio and one of only 350 still left standing in the world. Several grants and donations from Westcott House Organization members have allowed the museum now dedicated to Wright to undergo renovations, restoring it to its former glory. The museum also hosts lectures and other social events for the community.

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, individual students and groups of eight or more, $4 for student groups and free for Westcott members.

» READ MORE: Here are 7 landmarks Springfielders miss the most

The Westcott House in Springfield has temporarily closed to tours to address “crucial preservation projects.” Bill Lackey/Staff
The Westcott House in Springfield has temporarily closed to tours to address “crucial preservation projects.” Bill Lackey/Staff