One Wednesday in Milan

Let me start of by saying, get out and vote. You don't have to wait until November; in fact I would prefer you didn't. See, we are t
Jason Werling
May 24, 2010


Let me start of by saying, get out and vote. You don't have to wait until November; in fact I would prefer you didn't. See, we are trying to decide where we are going for our sixth and final "One Wednesday" of the year, and the online voting will close on Sunday, Sept. 2 at midnight.

The choices are the communities of Collins, Green Springs, Flat Rock, Wakeman and Whites Landing. So far, Whites Landing is winning with a whopping eight votes. The link is...

or you can just go to and click on the "One Wednesday" link located under the News Index.

Alright, now that I have taken care of a little housekeeping, let me tell you where I went on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007.

I descended on the quaintest town square in our area, Milan. What a cool town full of history and national relevance. I don't know if you know your history or you may have put together that the local school’s mascot is the Edison Chargers, but Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb, was born in Milan. It turns out he was born on what is now Edison Drive. What a coincidence.

Speaking of streets, I was a little confused when I was driving around town when I saw the church on Church Street, but no bank on Bank Street. I was told by several locals, or Milanites as I like to call them, that the bank in Bank Street was not in reference to a place to keep money, but a place to keep water from flowing from a river.

My first stop as I rolled into Milan before 7 a.m. was the Invention Restaurant on the Square. Karen Walker was keeping the coffee hot for the morning regulars and getting ready for a Wednesday of breakfasts and lunches. Fred Linder and Bill LeVine, a Milan resident since 1933, were chatting as a portrait of Thomas Edison looked over them.

You would be surprised how many places you see Edison portraits — he's everywhere. So much that it reminds me of a trip to Hannibal, Mo., where everything from the grocery store to a sightseeing cave is named after Mark Twain.

Any questions about Thomas Edison, ask Larry Russell. He is in his 41st year as curator of Edison's Birthplace.

Apparently, Wednesday isn't the optimal day for a photographer to descend on to the town as several people told me throughout the day. "You should have been here yesterday," is what I heard as I wandered around town. Every Tuesday is a classic car cruise-in on the Square. If I could have picked another day other than Wednesday to do a "One Wednesday" I think it would have been one of the days of Labor Day weekend for the Melon Festival. On a side note, why can't Milan have muskmelon ice cream and watermelon sherbet year round?

Wednesday is also a pretty slow day for the Wonder Bar, arguably the most recognizable business in town. I had lunch there, which for me was a very large cheeseburger. It was good.

I'm not sure if you read my One Wednesday in Marblehead, but my quest was to find what was in the village of Marblehead and what was in Danbury Township. While in Milan, I came to find out that the the Milan Township Hall and the war memorial in the center of the square are actually township property within the village. That didn't keep me from taking a photo of township employee Jim Jesberger mowing the lawn as I was technically in the village.

One of the most active couples in Milan was hard at work just down Edison Drive from eachother. John Schenk worked to restore a porch at a home at 14 N. Edison Drive as his wife Cheryl Usher-Schenk painted a locomotive on Bruce Bowie's garage between  occasional rain showers.

As I wrapped up my One Wednesday in Milan, I stopped at the most happening place during a normal Wednesday evening. Cars filed in and out of the Village Drive-Thru as fast as kids with their families filed through the ice cream line inside. (Insert plug for year-round melon ice cream in Milan here)

I had a great time in Milan and I would encourage planning a trip there this weekend for the Melon Festival. Look for Melonman, get some ice cream and get there early so you can get a good place to park.

But before you go, log on to and vote for the sixth "One Wednesday." And check out our previous four installments of Vickery, Berlin Heights, Marblehead and Bay View while you are there.