Due Diligence - Learn From Me - Ariel Foundation and Schnormeier Gardens

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Deleted member 20897

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This is not a major thing as nothing bad happened, but things "could" have gone quite bad.

Let me explain...

So the wife and I decide to take a little weekend trip. We drove northeast of Columbus to a town called Mt. Vernon. We got an Airbnb for the weekend. Whenever we go on these long weekends, we usually pull up TripAdvisor or Google Maps and just look for interesting places to visit. Some of my best VisualOhio stories were created this way.

Out of the top places from both travel sites were Ariel-Foundation Park and Schnormeier Gardens.

Usually, the m.o. is to find a place and then check out their websites and see if there is anything we were missing from our cursory web scans. This time, we didn't do that and went on without that. Mistake #1. ALWAYS VERIFY WITH THE ACTUAL WEBSITE or OFFICIAL INFORMATION.

So we go to Ariel-Foundation park first, which used to be an old PPG glass factory that the county reclaimed and made into a park. They did very well in documenting everything and had some very interesting sites. Check out the images below:
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Got some pretty decent pictures from this place.

I know, you are thinking...so what's the problem.

Schnormeier Gardens.

MISTAKE #2. If something doesn't feel quite right, listen to your gut.
Remember, nothing bad happens and this suspense I'm building is really unjustified...but I want to mess with you a little. :D

We travel to Schnormeier Gardens on a magical Ohio Sunday. There is very little humidity, the sun is out. Upon arriving, there are 2 entrances and both gates are open. I see one pickup truck that has a park logo on it. on the other side where gate 2 resides, we see a sign that shows parking with an arrow.

It's around 11am and we are the only car in the parking area. We think that is a little strange, but it could just be that everyone is still at church...

We start walking through the park and cover about half of it from what we can tell. Got these shots of the grounds. One beautiful area after another.

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We got to the main building area and I have to "see a man about a horse". I remember seeing facilities close to the parking lot, but decide that I will see if the building has a restroom I can use. I proceed to walk around the building 2 times to try and find out where to get in...but nothing sign on every staircase "no entry".

I decide to start walking now back to the parking area when I see my wife walking toward me very much in a rush and a serious look on her face.

I ask her what was wrong. She states, "I was looking for a maps of the grounds and looked on the website. It seems that the 'park' is only open to the public one weekend a year (June 7-10 this year) and the house is an actual residence, not a nature center!"

We did find out later that you can tour the grounds on different days if you call ahead and schedule an appointment.

So basically, without doing my due diligence, which I ALWAYS do...except for this one time and I'm basically trespassing on some millionaires estate.

They could have had guard dogs, the police could have been called....if they have surveillance cameras, I'm sure that my search for the potty looked like I was casing the place.


Luckily, this ended up as a non-issue. Man did I feel super stupid.
My wife and I discussed that we both thought something was off that we were the only people there. I'm sure this is not the first time this has happened there...but I still feel dumb. I have been debating over the last few days to call them up or not and explain.

They might get a chuckle out of it too!

Anyway, I hope if you've read this far that you got some enjoyment and education out of my slight misadventure. :D

gnarlydog australia

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Feb 23, 2015
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Damiano Visocnik
Act ignorant and ask for forgiveness instead of permission: much more freedom that way ;)
As mentioned above: you got much nicer images instead of having to deal with the "selfie crowds" if the place was actually open to the public

Alberta Dave

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Mar 3, 2014
Central Alberta, Canada
Real Name
I have just read this and had a good laugh over your predicament. This could have turned into a "trip down to the station to have tea and cookies with the constabulary and explain you actions" but thankfully it worked out good in the end. LOL
Very nice pictures from both locations.
In my previous life I used to deal with the Ariel Company (Gas Compressors) so as soon as you mentioned Ariel and Mount Vernon I clued in to where you were going.
Thanks for sharing and giving me a laugh.
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