John Byron Kuhner, a Latinist who published a delightful paean to Central Park in the June/July 2023 edition of First Things, has moved to Steubenville, Ohio.
I've been to Steubenville once. It was ten years ago. I was stunned by the desolation. It was a "ghost ghetto": the last stage of urban deterioration before nature reclaims it and packs of wild dogs govern.
But it looks like the Catholics are reclaiming it first. A new bookstore on 4th Street (the heart of the Desolation of Smaug, without the precious metals) has galvanized interest in reviving downtown. Matt Fradd's Pints with Aquinas offices are downtown. There's a new cigar store, Chesterton & Co Cigar Company
And Kuhner is moving his bookstore there:
On a personal note, I have gotten a new home as well, moving from New York’s Hudson Valley to Steubenville, Ohio, an interesting but undoubtedly faded rustbelt town. Steubenville’s population (18,000) is less than half what it was in 1940 (37,000); it is poor (median per capita income $24,000); it has lost most of its steel mills and been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. But there is also opportunity here, a sense that the bottom has been hit and the movement upward has begun. New businesses are opening downtown. We’ve moved our own Redux Books here. And there is some interest in Latin here. There is a weekly Catholic Mass in Latin. Thanks to the efforts of the Classics Department at Franciscan University, it looks like we will be able to start a Teaching Literacy Through Latin (Aequora) site here. I already have a little weekly Latin reading group. We’re taking the first steps to build a community of people who can enjoy Latin together.