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Hills and Dales / The Call of the Country-side

Hills and Dales

This property is for the use of N.C.R. employes and the public.

                Hills and Dales lies directly south of the city of Dayton, Ohio. The bird’s-eye view in the center of this book and the map in the back show the exact location and how it may be reached.

                It contains automobile roads and bridle paths. A good place to walk. It may be reached by taking Oakwood car to the loop, then walking straight out Oakwood Ave., or by taking South Main St. car to Carrmonte, then walking southeast on the East Drive.

                Go slow – look out for horses, automobiles and passing places.

                Automobiles not permitted on bridle paths.

                A reasonable reward will be paid for information leading to the detection of persons using Hills and Dales, the Sugar Camp or Far Hills for immoral purposes.

                No hunting allowed – Squirrel Houses are placed in trees to protect the squirrels.

                Save the birds, they save the trees.

                The preservation of birds and squirrels is in charge of the public, mounted police and deputy sheriffs.

                The object of this camp is to give health and enjoyment to the people. It is in the care of the people and mounted police.

                Its guests are ladies and gentlemen. It can be used if no previous engagements have been made for it.

                Engagements can be made through the caretaker at the Officers’ Club, one-half mile southwest of here.

                The caretaker has the keys of the lockers, which contain inexpensive dishes and cooking utensils.

                Don’t waste kindlingwood, water, etc. Distilled water is in the bottles in lockers. The water in the barrel is used for washing dishes.

                After finishing, please clean up the camp and put the names of the party using it in the Guest Book, which you will find in one of the closets.

                Please see how attractive you can leave the camp and its surroundings.

                Before going home, separate the wood in the fire and pour some water on it to avoid sparks flying into the camp; thus you will oblige owners, the public and the next guests.

                The Adirondack Camp and the Round Camp are in charge of the caretaker, the mounted police and the public for the benefit of the members of the N.C.R. Club.

                Complaints and suggestions will be thankfully received. Send them to Mr. J. C. Hale, Welfare Department, The N.C.R. Co.

The Call of the Country-side

By Arthur Dilks

The City

                As I set by my window and gaze across the busy city, a confused vista of roofs and tall chimneys, dimly visible through a canopy of thick smoke, I contrast modern artificial town life with the life of man in his natural primeval state. I am inclined to ask if all this striving and struggling is worth while; whether we gain any lasting happiness by our feverish efforts; and so I open up a vast field for thought and conjecture, but with no prospect of reaching a satisfactory solution of any of my problems; for whatever the answer may be, I know that the struggle for fortune and fame and the realization of ambitions must go on, the city must grow, and the tendency of the flow of population citywards must continue.

The Country

                Turning my gaze to the window on the other side of my room, I find much satisfaction in a view of rising ground and foliage, a countryside dotted thickly with homes, each claiming a portion of garden and air space far in excess of that enjoyed by the home in the city. And here I recognize that while the tendency of the stream of population is citywards, those in the city have a constant yearning to get away to the highlands and the country. With the development of car service I see this tendency growing, and I foresee a time when a man compelled to work in the town will see to it that his boys and girls shall have the advantage of pure air and the privilege of helping increase the family prosperity by doing their share in cultivating the half-acre, which should be the minimum home land for the family.

The Call

                But most of you must continue to live in the city for a time, and it is to you I want to make an appeal. Come out and see the countryside; not once and again, but frequently. You reply that you have no automobile. All the better; come out without it. Take the electric car until you reach the outermost fringe of houses, and then take to your feet and stretch your legs. But the road is dusty! So it is; leave it to the automobiles, and take to the by-ways and the lanes and the fields and the woods. Get on the high ground and look around you; it is worth while. You will begin to find how you have neglected one great branch of education, that which comes from nature study. There is no need to be a botanist in order to enjoy flowers and trees. Birds and squirrels in the open will afford you pleasure and amusement, although you may be very ignorant in regard to natural selection and the latest guesses of science.

Physical Tone

                Perhaps the chief advantage to be gained from the systematic walking exercise to which I invite you, is the physical tone which it will provide for the whole body. The muscles of the chest, abdomen, and limbs will acquire a vigor which will please and surprise you. When walking, cultivate deep breathing; get huge quantities of oxygen into your lungs. You will be delighted to find that Frank Crane is right when he says there is a variety of tastes in the air, and you will be able to detect the varying flavors, “taste of the morning air, of the evening air, the taste of the air of the uplands, the taste of the charged and fearful air preceding a storm, and the taste of the high, cool air after it.”

                We all recognize the liberality of the sun in supplying us with light and heat, and we are scarcely aware that he is equally lavish with another quality of wave energy, for which indeed we have no simple name, the Sun’s actinic rays. The light rays and the heat rays we can make use of by reflection; we can only get good value from the actinic rays by bathing in them, and it must be in an atmosphere free from dust and smoke.

The Solitary Walk

                Should you walk by yourself, or with a single companion, or in a company? Do all three. Occasionally one wants to be by oneself; there is a problem to think out, some question of duty, some great decision, perhaps a puzzling thought suggested by a sermon. Then get away by yourself to the hillside or the wood, and seek inspiration and help from nature. Go out in the evening and study the heavens; try to grasp the immensity of God’s creation, realize that each one of the tiny stars is a great sun with full equipment of planets and moons; and then bring your mind back to Earth, our own Earth, which looms so big in our imagination, and consider how small an object it is amidst the great creation of the heavens; and then consider yourself, and your troubles, and learn how insignificant both are. When you have occupied your mind with big thoughts, there will still be room for the little ones; but the small things of life will assume their just proportions; you will have gained perspective.

The Social Ramble

                The solitary walk must not be indulged in more than once in a while; regard it as medicinal and corrective, and don’t let it become a habit. There is more health and happiness in the social ramble. Find a companion, one of your own sex for preference. There are golfers who make it a rule to play only with those who are better exponents of the game than themselves. They know that in this way there are more likely to become better players. So imitate the golfer and improve your game. Our best friends, those who remain friends through life are those with whom we have had the close personal relations which are best cultivated by such companionships as is afforded by the long country walk; heart is opened to heart and there is a mutual exchange of the treasures of knowledge.

The Man and the Maid

                There comes a time when you will select your companion from amongst those of the opposite sex. You are looking perhaps for a companion who will share with you not only your country rambles, but your walk through life; your poverty and wealth, your sorrows and your joys. For you the countryside and the uninterrupted chat are to be highly commended, although that mighty question of the chaperone crops up unpleasantly. The acquaintanceship of the ball room and the tea table, of the parlor and the promenade is superficial and misleading. The leafy lane and the breezy hillside lend themselves better to the revelation of character and the interchange of thought.

The Picnic

These, however, are special cases that we have discussed. The happiest, healthiest and most invigorating plan is to make a party. Get together a group of congenial souls, and insist on thick boots and clothes which will accommodate themselves to stains and rents and rainshowers without regrets. If you have half a day or more at your disposal, distribute parcels of food and trust to finding a friendly kettle in some convenient spot. When you have shaken off from your feet the dust of the city, rid yourselves also of city conventions. Be yourselves, and let the best of yourselves have free scope. Your little group will soon become a society for mutual education in nature studies, if some one or two will show the way; and the weekly ramble will be anticipated with keen enjoyment.

Where to Go

Comparatively few people are acquainted with the by-ways and lanes which open up the many charming bits of hill and dale which are to be found in the immediate vicinity of our city. The knowledge of the countryside is confined to a limited number of nature lovers. Who then, will lead the way? How is the information to be disseminated? My answer is to beg Mr. Editor to devote a corner from amongst his columns to this all-important subject, and to encourage those who know the country to make suggestions for rambles, and those who take the rambles to report from time to time, with a view to encouraging those who do not know the joys of the open, to get on to the highlands and expand their lungs.

Wanted, An Object

                To some the very happiness of being out in the open with congenial companions will be sufficient incentive to adopt the ramble habit; others will require a more definite object to draw them from the streets to the country lanes. For these latter we must find hobbies.

Ice and Water

                The formation of the ground in the neighborhood of Dayton is full of interest. Great forces of the past have moulded the surface. Water and ice have been the main factors in marking out the configuration of meadow-land and hill. The big boulders which abound on the countryside have a tale to tell, a tale of glaciers and the gradual change of seasons. Those to whom the subject appeals would do well to read a popular article on the subject, and then go out and look for illustrations.

The Mound Builders

                Prehistoric man, too, has left his mark on the hills. The mound builders were busy in Ohio long before the era of the Indian tribes which the European invaders displaced. We have about us ancient earthworks of rare interest. There are beacons and fortifications clearly defined on the hills around Dayton. These fortifications have been built by people possessed of real military skill, and army officers who have examined them declare they would do credit to a modern engineer. When you have made a study of some of these ancient remains you will find that you have enjoyed some of the most beautiful views in the neighborhood.

Flower Hunting

                The botanist goes naturally to the fields and hedges; he can’t help himself. Follow him and learn a few facts; maybe you will go further and purchase an elementary text book and learn classifications. The writer, with very little knowledge of the science of flowers, has spent many a day on the countryside hunting for different varieties of flowers, just one of each kind. It is a fascinating sport and incidentally one gets much healthy exercise and a fine appetite in the pursuit.