Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Real Winesburg, Ohio

Immediately upon opening the book, readers of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio  are greeted by a hand-drawn map of the fictional town that is the novel’s setting:

Turns out Winesburg was a thinly veiled representation of Anderson’s own hometown of Clyde, Ohio which, like its fictional counterpart, has a Main Street that crosses Buckeye Street and some railroad tracks a little further north. If you’ve read this post or this post, you know where I’m going with this. Here is what Clyde, OH looks like today:

The distances in the map of Winesburg are deceptively short (a half dozen structures fill the stretch between Buckeye and the Train tracks, a span that reaches a 1000 feet in the real world) and there’s not much in terms of landmarks that would jump out and link the two maps. Not even the train station or fairgrounds remain. But you can zoom all the way in and use Google’s Street View to at least stroll along Main and see some of the older buildings that might  have stood in Anderson’s time (Not likely, since he lived there from 1884-1896, but still worth a glance.)

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