The 2020-21 Guide to Yellow Springs: downtown, then and now
- Published: November 9, 2020
In 1983 the Yellow Springs News published its first “Guide to Yellow Springs,” an annual listing of community organizations. It was written, in 1983 verbiage, “for newcomers, visitors and lifelong residents of the most interesting community in the Miami Valley.” Since then, the Guide has been an annual snapshot of our evolving village.
The Guide changed over the years from a simple, 12-page supplement to an in-depth, 72-page tabloid featuring stories on themes ranging from music to activism. Now we are launching a new, more portable format with this 96-page magazine.
Our theme this year is downtown Yellow Springs. Because the downtown experience has been different for villagers and visitors during this pandemic year, we thought it was a good time to reflect on downtown’s past and to consider its future. What do we love about our downtown, and what do we want to preserve?
Downtown, after all, is at the heart of village life. It’s where we meet friends, march for change and buy groceries. It’s where local artists and entrepreneurs hang out a shingle and live their dream. For visitors, downtown’s charming shops and historic facades, easy access to hike and bike trails and fine dining and handmade arts and crafts are a perennial draw.
Downtown Yellow Springs reflects our counterculture values: it’s authentic, offbeat, casual and creative. It’s been invested in — for generations — by those who value the small and locally owned over big corporate chains, those who favor local food and fair trade and those who support artists, musicians, craftspeople and community builders. It’s got real characters and fosters meaningful connections. It’s Yellow Springs, exemplified.
News columnist Louise Betcher also addressed the village’s unique character in the 1983 Guide’s lead article, “Musings on the mystique of an eccentric hometown.”
“It’s more than our rustic appearance which makes us unique,” she wrote. “It’s our laid-back, take-it-or-leave-it, like-it-or-lump-it, don’t-give-a-damn mystique. Subtract that and we’re just another tourist town.”
—Megan Bachman, editor
Pick up the print edition of the Guide to Yellow Springs in and around town, for free, or view the online version below (if you can’t see it, give it a moment to load).