Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

~Audrey Hepburn

McDaniel's Soon

It’s time to pick up a beautiful hanging basket or some plants for your garden.

Springtime brings thoughts of gardens. Vegetable or flower, take your choice. Both are good for the soul.

     Some gardeners begin their plants from seed, but most prefer to stop by the local greenhouse and pick up plants that have had a loving tender start.

McDaniel's Annuals (2)

You’ll find great variety and quality at McDaniel’s Greenhouse.

     Quality plants can easily be found at McDaniel’s Greenhouse in Rix Mills just outside of New Concord. Their plants are reasonably priced and always have a healthy start. The greenhouse was started by Larry and Jeaneen McDaniel in 1973. Jeaneen was a teacher and when her family began, she wanted a way to stay home with them yet contribute to the family income. At that time she had one glass greenhouse called Posy Pot. It grew and grew!

McDaniels' Rachael and Bryce

Bryce and Rachael McDaniel work year around in the world of plants.

     Now their son Bryce and his wife, Rachael, have taken over the operation. It’s a real family affair with their sons also participating. They are always helpful in giving suggestions for plants that you might like and even help get them to your car if you have too many to carry!

McDaniel's Rachel and shopping cart

Rachael’s artistic background has her creating a shopping cart that is overflowing with succulents.

     Bryce grew up in the greenhouse so he learned from his parents how to care for the plants. Rachael said she was not a gardener until she met Bryce fifteen years ago. She was an art major and you can tell from arrangements at the greenhouse that she’s putting that talent to good use. She still keeps Jeaneen’s notes though to guide her through the season.

McDaniel's Succulent Area

This succulent area even has a play area.

     Some of their plants were started last fall from cuttings of healthy mother plants. These would include succulents, ornamental begonias, and coleus. The McDaniel family makes this look so easy with all their experience. They cut the branches from a mother plant, then simply stick them in good soil. When the moisture is properly maintained, soon small roots appear. It’s almost magical.

McDaniel's New Greenhouse

The newest greenhouse contains their collection of succulent plants.

     Succulents have become a favorite since Bryce took an interest in them about eight years ago. They’re not only colorful and some appear unusual, but they require very little care. Most succulents survive even when neglected.

McDaniels Jay and Misty Travis

Jay and Misty Travis place purchased plant plugs in trays.

     Some popular plants have patents so greenhouses can not grow new plants from cuttings. They have to purchase them as seeds or plugs from a supplier. They arrive as very small plants, but with some loving tender care will be ready to re-pot for hanging baskets, custom orders, or for sale as individual plants.

McDaniel's Hanging Baskets (2)

Soon the greenhouses will overflow with beautiful plants.

     One day recently, the McDaniel’s family planted over 300 Dahlias, and 1200 plant plugs were placed in trays. They walk miles every day as they work in the greenhouse. While hanging baskets are watered with a sprinkling system, the rest of the plants are hand-watered with hoses using cistern water to avoid chemicals. Watering takes six hours every day but it’s a great chance for them to keep a close eye on all the plants.

McDaniel's Early Hanging Baskets

In early March, plants were in their beginning stages.

     A few years ago they installed heated floors in a section of their greenhouse where they are doing the seedlings and cuttings. By using a wood burner, the floor temperature stays about 70 degrees, the perfect temperature for the young plants.

McDaniel's Fun Planters

Attractive settings appear throughout the greenhouses.

     Something new that has been added is a potting table where people can have some assistance in potting their own plants. Children, as well as adults, enjoy this activity.

McDaniels's Hanging Basket

Pick up a ready to hang basket or perhaps fill one of your own.

     McDaniel’s Greenhouse has many requests for custom orders so it’s vitally important that the plants peak at just the right time. That takes special timing! Customer containers are brought to be filled with instructions regarding plants and colors.

McDaniel's Fall Workshop (2)

Workshops have been added to their events during many seasons.

     Workshops began in 2019 and will be held throughout the year as soon as possible so check their Facebook page for some interesting events including Succulents, Christmas Pine, and Lavender. This fall they will be growing their own mums.

McDaniel's Entrance

A piece of spouting filled with attractive plants tops the doorway to this greenhouse.

     When asked what they do for relaxation, Rachael said they go to the boys’ soccer games, track meets, and basketball games, where Bryce helps coach. Once in a while, they get a chance to go camping and kayaking. You can tell family is of top importance.

McDaniels May flowers

Hardy flowers can be found at McDaniel’s that will last all summer long.

     Check out their website http://www.mcdanielsgreenhouse.com or their Facebook page for the latest updates. Call in your orders at 740-872-6143 or email them at mcdanielsgreenhouse@gmail.com. They will offer extended hours of 9 am – 5 pm for the season. Spring has not been canceled.

     Plan to stop by and pick up a special flower for yourself or a friend. See all the colorful flowers and plants that are sure to make you welcome the gardening season with a smile as you anticipate the results.

McDaniel’s Greenhouse is located at 2725 Rix Mills Road – County Hwy 55 – off Route 40 west of New Concord. You can’t miss the greenhouses when you come into Rix Mills. Visit their website at www.mcdanielsgreenhouse.com

Photos from David Adair collection

This double engine stops by the tipple for some coal in its feeders.

In 1895, Robin’s Mine just two miles from Lore City loaded train cars with coal mined there to take to the big cities, where much of it would be used in steel mills. However, one day something happened. The mine ran out of its vein of coal.

Two years earlier, Madison and Alexander Robins furnished financing for the opening of a 97-foot shaft that led to a vein of coal 5′ high. As the men worked the shaft, that vein kept getting smaller and smaller until it disappeared into a wall of stone called a “horseback.”

This 1895 picture shows a fairly new King’s Mine tipple with wooden coal cars waiting to be filled.

At that time the Robins brothers thought about abandoning the project but they had thousands of dollars invested. Up stepped Joe King, a local colored man who worked in the mine. He proposed that they blast through the horseback, without having any idea of its thickness,  to see what was on the other side.

Joe and a few friends took on that project and did indeed blast through the stone wall and find another vein of coal. This vein was even larger than the first one at 14′ high!

Joe King had a professional picture taken at a studio in Cambridge.

Imagine the excitement of the Robins brothers when they were shown this new discovery. Why they were so happy, they changed the name of the mine from Robin’s Mine to King’s Mine in honor of Joe King. A town near the mine was named Kingston. Joe became a bit of a celebrity in the coal mining town for a while.

A locomotive gets a load of #7 coal in its tender.

During their heyday, King’s Mine had as many as thirty trains a day stop to pick up coal to take to places like Akron or Cleveland. At the tipple, they would drop 35-40 tons of coal into each car plus 14 tons into the tender of the steam locomotive. Now, that’s a lot of coal.

This receipt shows coal being sold to Morton Tin Plate Co. in Cambridge in 1895.

Workers in the mine were a diverse group but most were uneducated in 1895. There were around 350 Hungarians, Slavs, Polish, and Negroes who found this a place where they could at least feed their families and have a roof over their head.

This young couple dressed in their best to meet at the tipple.

Housing was provided for the workers by the company. In those early days, the miners earned about $15 every two weeks and were paid in cash. Their rent was $12 a month, which they paid at the company store. Not much left for anything else. A mule was worth more to the company than a miner.

This photo of King’s Mine in 1926 shows the company store on the left with all the windows.

That old song “I owe my soul to the company store” was certainly true in King’s Mine and other towns in Guernsey County at that time. You must realize that in the summer there was no work at the mine because not as many needed coal in the summer. Then the miners had to put their rent and any food purchases on the tab at the company store to have part of their pay taken each payday in the future to help pay this debt.

Occupants of this little town would exchange milk, butter, eggs, and sometimes meat. If they needed sugar, flour, coffee, or supplies to work in the mine, they had to purchase those at the company store. Miners were never given equipment to work with. They had to purchase their own picks, shovels, carbine hats, and even dynamite. Life was not easy for these miners.

Students studied with their teacher at a one-room elementary school.

It was common practice for the miners to put a couple of lumps of coal in their dinner pail all year long either from the mine or on their walk home along the tracks. That way they could heat their house at no cost. The children most likely would also pick up a few lumps on their way home.

While the company had electricity in their company store and even at the coal mine to move the coal to the tipple, miners had no electricity in their homes. There was no running water and always outdoor toilets.

Ohio 265 sign shows a rough road in 1926 in front of the power house and tipple.

In 1908, a fire destroyed the tipple, all the buildings, and machinery. For seven years, this mine did not operate and became filled with water. At that time, it was leased to Akron Coal Company and the mine was rebuilt. From 1916 to 1936, the mine continued in full operation until all the coal was mined out.

This bronze statue made by Alan Cottrill to honor all miners stands at the old depot in Byesville, Ohio.

A bronze statue created by Alan Cottrill can be found at the old Byesville depot. In the early 1900s, Byesville was the coalmining capital of Ohio. It honors all those miners who worked in the dangerous underground mines with very little pay or benefits. Part of the plaque on that statue reads:

May our miners of those early days never be forgotten for all their dangerous work underground with little pay and no benefits.

Everyone enjoys a visit to their beautiful Mosser Glass showroom filled with glass made in the factory close by.

The art of glassmaking has been in the Mosser family for generations. It all began back at the Cambridge Glass Co. where Orie Mosser was the plant manager. His son, Tom, began working at the glass company as a teenager. You can see why this family knows how to produce fine glass.

When Cambridge Glass Co. closed in 1954, Tom Mosser wanted to find a way to continue making glass as it was the only thing he knew well. It wasn’t until 1959 that Tom Mosser joined forces with two other long-time employees of Cambridge Glass, Rudy Wencek and Mary Martha Mitchell, and started making glass under the name of Variety Glass. Glass held a passion for all three.

Tom and Georgia enjoyed vacations with their family at the beach.

For several years, they made glass pharmaceutical equipment, much of which was from molds of the Cambridge Glass Co. Several former employees of the glass company assisted. But Tom wanted to make decorative items and tableware that would add beauty to everyone’s home, so in 1971 he started a second business, Mosser Glass, which remains to this day.

Tim Mosser now serves as president and manager of production.

That tradition of fine glassware continues with Tom’s son, Tim, taking the reins of the company as president and manager of the production end. Tom’s daughters, Sally Johnson and Mindy Hartley, are partners in running the gift shop. They are one of the last glass companies around where you can actually stop by and watch them make hand-pressed glass. Tours are free!

Glass is poured into a mold to take the desired shape.

In the factory portion, you can see a product being made from its beginning to end. Watch as they gather the melted glass from a furnace with temperatures of 2900° F. Then it is placed into a custom glass mold, shaped, finished, and gradually cooled.

Glass is placed into the furnace to be reheated or fired.
It takes a skilled craftsman to finish a cake plate.

It takes a team of experienced, talented craftsmen to produce this quality glass. Tour groups find this an exciting stop during their day both for the factory and the gift shop.

The Mosser daughters, Mindy and Sally, take charge of the gift shop.

And what an elegant gift shop it is! The place just sparkles with beautiful colors that bring people back again and again. In the early days, Mosser made many collectibles such as cats, clowns, Christmas trees, and hen dishes. But today they have changed their focus to more plain and simple tableware that younger people seem to like.

Their newest addition is a marble batter bowl.

That family tradition continues as they bring new ideas to the company that people will cherish. Their newest addition is a batter bowl, which is sure to be popular.

This Mosser Bathing Beauty Soap Dish adds elegance to your bathroom.

Other items enjoyed by many include their Cambridge Spirit Collection, decorated cake domes, and the bathing beauty soap dish. Everything can be purchased in a wonderful variety of colors which vary from soft to bright and will add charm to your home.

Georgia was honored with this peaceful blue color being named with her in mind.

One of their most recent color additions is a peaceful Georgia Blue. This honors Tom’s wife, Georgianna, who exerted a calm influence over the family during her life. She was instrumental in designing many new pieces.

Ohio State glass creations are very popular.

You might be surprised at all the things that Mosser Glass makes. While you can see their beautiful productions for your home in the gift shop, they also make headlight and tail light lenses, industrial and residential lighting fixtures, dental light lenses, cuspidors, and the list goes on.

Their Christmas trees appear in many colors and are highly collectible.

Mosser Glass is located at 9279 Cadiz Road, Cambridge. They are known the world over for their elegant, hand-pressed glassware in a variety of colors. Stop by to see the beauty of the glass created here for fifty years and take something special home with you.

This jadeite trinket box makes a great gift.

Small family-run businesses like Mosser Glass succeed due to their love of making glass in the traditional way that has been in their family for over a hundred years. Tim, Sally, and Mindy have a passion for the glass business. That’s what makes Mosser Glass so special.

Mosser Glass is located at 9279 Cadiz Road, Cambridge, Ohio. They are located about a mile from I-77 west at Exit 47.

If you want a whistle made in the United States, Columbus, Ohio is the place to find it. The American Whistle Corporation is the only factory in the US that makes brass whistles. Everything that goes into the making of the whistle is made in the US. It’s one place where people can really whistle as they work.

No one is certain how the whistle began but evidence of whistles carved out of bones, gourds, or branches have been around since the early humans. In prehistoric Egypt, small shells were used as whistles. The first recorded use of a whistle by a referee was in 1878 at an English Football Association soccer contest between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield.

They also make this popular Ohio State Buckeye whistle.

While sports teams seem an obvious place for their whistles, there are many others that use whistles frequently. These include lifeguards, hikers, hunters, teachers, and police. The piercing sound of a whistle is louder than a yell and carries much farther.

Brass whistle parts are assembled and soldered.

These quality American Whistles have been on the scene since 1956 when the company was Colsoff Manufacturing, and are used as safety tools for young and old alike. Brass, which is used in many musical instruments, is chosen for its resonance plus it never rusts. Some of these whistles with a particular decibel rating can be heard for over a mile.

Here’s a close-up of the nickel-plated whistle and the protective Safe-T-Tip.

In 2018, the present owners purchased the Whistle Factory and are making many additions that complement the brass whistle. Their line of whistle accessories includes lanyards in many different colors. They are also the only United States manufacturer of a rubber mouth protector, Safe-T-Tips, to guard the teeth and lips against damage as well as cold temperatures.

American Whistle Corp. shows their American spirit by displaying a large USA flag.

The process for making a whistle begins with coiled brass, 30–ton presses, state-of-the-art soldering tables, and continues on through polishing, specialized plating processes, and finally, putting a synthetic cork ball inside the whistle! One coil of brass produces 5,000 whistles. A special machine smooths, polishes, and cleans the whistle of everything until it is perfectly free of any burrs. As clean as a whistle!

Joyce, a 25 year employee, inserts the cork balls inside the whistle.

They will even place a logo on the whistle to give it a personal and professional touch. There are a variety of finishes to the brass whistles. While most are nickel-plated, many are finished with brass, bronze, and even 24-karat gold.

The American Spirit Whistle is made specifically for Walmart.

Experienced hands-on workers using high-tech procedures make over a million whistles a year. One of their largest orders goes to the New York City Police Department. They also proudly make the whistles in 24-karat gold for the Super Bowl referees each year with proper logos applied.

The most expensive whistle they ever made was for the retirement of a man who had been grand marshal of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade for many years. That whistle ended up costing over $500.

Personal Safety Whistles are used by the Columbus Police Department.

During the recent pandemic, business was slow since most of their products are made for the sports world where games were being canceled. At that point, they decided they would make an additional whistle, a Personal Safety Whistle, which might be of assistance to those staying at home. This is a durable plastic whistle designed to support the needs of individuals and families and alert others to signs of distress. No batteries required.

Plastic whistles are made in two pieces. Then after the ball is inserted into the whistle, they are placed in a machine where high-frequency sound waves actually melt the two pieces together.

Phil Clark serves as tour guide and spokesman for American Whistle.

If you would like to see how these whistles are made, take a 45-minute guided tour of the factory at 6540 Huntley Road, Columbus. You will hear fascinating information about whistles and their origin. Watch as whistles are being made on some very high-tech machines as well as some of those original machines used from their beginning.

Tours must be scheduled in advance with at least sixteen people in the group. However, if you wish to tour without a group, call to see when they can add you to a group already scheduled. They are very flexible!

This is a tour everyone from preschoolers to seniors will enjoy. They adapt the tour to the age group that is visiting. Everyone leaves with an “American Classic” whistle!

Their sign on the wall says it all!

American Whistle Corporation

The Best Whistles in the USA

American Whistle Corporation can be found at 6540 Huntley Road, Columbus, Ohio in the northwestern section of Columbus. Be sure to call ahead to make reservations at 614-846-2918.

Retirement often leads to finding a hobby that makes life more fulfilling. When Marsha Stroud and Lee Marlatt retired, they found a recipe to make birdseed feeders and decided to try it. Now in their fourth year, they create the most unique birdfeeders imaginable for every season of the year. When they started this venture, they had no idea it would become so popular.

Marsha and Lee enjoy talking to customers at Rise and Shine Farmers’ Market.

They named their business simply “For the Birds” since that’s the purpose of everything they make. Their handmade solid birdseed feeders are a popular item at craft shows, farmers’ markets, schools, and Facebook. There’s a great variety to choose from. These birdseed art pieces must of course be non-toxic to birds.

Choose from a selection of owls in all colors.

The feeders begin with a cake or cupcake mold in various shapes and sizes. Roy, Marsha’s husband, cuts away a narrow section of the mold so a wire or hemp can be used as a hanger. Then a wild birdseed mix or sunflower seeds that have been combined with gelatin, water, flour, and light corn syrup gets poured into the mold. After being dried, Marsha colors the pieces with a food coloring paste.

Flowers and butterflies are the most popular birdfeeders for summertime.

Some of the more popular shapes in the summer are flowers such as zinnias, daisies, or roses. During the winter, snowmen and snowflakes become popular. Hearts appear for Valentine’s Day and bunnies for Easter. Their original ideas give customers something different to look forward to each year.

A heart-shaped birdfeeder is welcome anytime of the year.

Designing the birdseed feeders requires hours of experimentation, often causing frustration and even sometimes failure. But in the end, they put their heart and soul into each creation making it unique. They hope that it will end up being a special moment in someone’s life, or in some bird’s life!

Birdwatchers will enjoy having a couple of these feeders outside their window. A large variety of birds will soon appear in your backyard with the addition of these solid birdseed feeders. Keep your bird book handy for easy identification.

Many place their feeders outside a window for easy birdwatching.

Give one as a great gift for someone in a nursing home. If a tree isn’t handy, get a shepherd’s hook and place it outside their window where you can hang one of these unique birdseed feeders. Often the birds hang off the birdfeeder while they get a good snack.

Marsha and Lee like to customize the feeders according to requests. A man asked them to design a birdfeeder in the shape and color of the OU paw for his mother’s 90th birthday as she was a big OU fan.

Snowflakes and snowmen are the best sellers during the winter months.

Another lady requested a wreath of sunflower seeds with cranberry accents as a special Christmas treat…for her chickens!

As you might imagine, they are always on the lookout for molds of various shapes for their creations. One mold that has escaped their grasp is that of a turtle, not a Ninja turtle, just a regular box turtle.

The ladies prepare for the next farmers’ market with new birdfeeders.

Marsha and Lee, with help from Roy, usually work in the Stroud’s basement three days a week. They use approximately 100 pounds of birdseed each week to make between 80-90 birdfeeders. Their largest mold takes ten cups of birdseed.

This shows a small section of their craft show display.

The local Rise & Shine Farmers’ Market in Cambridge is one of their favorites as all products there are either locally grown or handmade. It usually runs from May – September so add them to your calendar now.

The River City Market in Marietta is held every Saturday for special homemade treats.

In February, Marsha and Lee plan to be back at the “Handmade, Homemade, Homegrown” River City Market in Marietta. While this is an outdoor market, it is held throughout the year. Here, For the Birds has an enclosed tent with a heater for some extra warmth. They are there on Saturdays from 8-noon.

This OSU birdfeeder is a big hit with Buckeye fans.

While many feeders are purchased at craft shows, they can also be found on Facebook and have been shipped to North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania to name a few states. They will be carefully packed and shipped for your personal use or as a gift for someone else.

Rufus Bernard joins For the Birds in saying Happy New Year.

Marsha does take breaks from this hobby. One of her favorite escapes is to Florida where she enjoys spending time on the beach. A few years ago, a St. Bernard ended up on their doorstep and they adopted him. Now Rufus, a rather large but friendly dog, keeps them busy and entertained.

Feeding the birds in the winter months is especially important as there isn’t much natural food for them to maintain their body fat reserves for those cold winter nights. Once they discover you have food for them, they’ll return again and again.

Visit “For the Birds” on Facebook where you can find many pictures of their work. For the Birds is just a phone call away at 740-584-0691. They have gift certificates available and do accept credit cards. There’s a feeder for every season so choices are unlimited.

Feed the birds. Not all birds fly south!

Visit For the Birds at one of their farmers’ market sites or find them on Facebook where you can order direct. Call them at 740-584-0691.

Ground breaking for the Ohio-Erie Canal took place in Newark on July 4, 1825 with Governor DeWitt Clinton, a Master Mason of New York, taking the first shovelful.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson actually discussed the idea of a canal from Lake Erie to the Ohio River back in 1784. It wasn’t until July 4, 1825, that ground was broken for the Ohio-Erie Canal at Newark, Ohio to move goods more efficiently across Ohio.

This map shows major canal stops but not all of the branches.

Amazing as it seems these canals were hand-dug with shovel and wheelbarrow and sometimes mules pulling drag lines. The canal was about 40′ wide at water level and 26′ wide at the bottom with a depth of about 4′. Farmers and townspeople started digging the canal but were grateful for assistance from German and Irish immigrants.

Pay for canal workers was 30 cents a day plus room, board, and a daily ration of whiskey. The whiskey was to help fight off the Shakes, which happened due to the frequency of malaria on the mosquito infested waters.

Many have enjoyed a ride on the Monticello III at an old section of the canal in Roscoe Village.

Many of us are familiar with the gorgeous towpaths that encourage biking and hiking along the old canal. Perhaps you were lucky enough to have ridden on the Monticello III at Roscoe Village as the horses still pull it along the old canal. However, there are pieces still visible from that early canal that go unnoticed here in central Ohio. Here is a sampling of some of those canal remnants.

New Philadelphia- Lock 13

Lock 13 – New Philadelphia was open until the disastrous flood of 1913.

There were 15 locks in Tuscarawas County. Lock 13 can be found south of US-250 near New Towne Mall in New Philadelphia. Many have memories of using this spot for childhood adventures when it was filled with brush at Blake’s Mill. Now it is cleared and there is an Ohio Historical Maker in place.

The canal was responsible for bringing more commerce to Ohio. Then farmers, lumberjacks, and coal miners could get their products to the Ohio River or Lake Erie.

Tuscarawas – Upper Trenton Lock

Lock 15 – Upper Trenton Lock was replaced with concrete walls after a flood in 1907.

Lock 15 was built of sandstone block and named for the nearby town of Trenton, which is now Tuscarawas. There were several warehouses at Trenton where merchants would bring their goods for shipment to all parts of Ohio. Today, the area has been made into a relaxing historical spot with a footbridge built over the canal.

Just down the road a few hundred feet is Lock 16 , Lower Trenton Lock. The lock tender lived on this site and took care of both locks. Both locks are on the west side of SR-416 with the Tuscarawas River on the east side.

Lock Seventeen

This old mill, Wilson’s Feed Mill, still stands in the village of Lock Seventeen.

Lock 17 was destroyed years ago when US-36 was widened. A small village called Lock Seventeen can be found here today. There are several homes, and an old mill, Wilson’s Feed Mill, that was most likely used during the canal days.

Loren Lindon shared the history of Beersheba and guided me to the mill and cemetery as it is today.

Life-long resident, Loren Lindon, told about its previous history as Beersheba, a Moravian village. The Delaware and Cherokee Indians made Beersheba a regular stop and several are buried in the cemetery there.

Newcomerstown – Canal Ditch

This deep ditch behind the hardware store has been saved as a reminder of those early canal days.

On the corner of Canal Street and Goodrich Street, you can easily see the saved ditch that was once part of the canal. The little red house at the end is said to have a foundation actually built on a wall of the old canal.

During canal days, this building was Miskimen’s Feed and Grain Mill with the canal running just north of it.

Temperance Tavern remains in Newcomerstown as a museum today. During canal days, that tavern, which served no alcohol, was a great place for travelers to get a great meal and spend the night.

Roscoe Village – Triple Locks

Walhonding Triple Locks Feeder Canal is located near the Visitors Center at Roscoe Village.

Branch canals fed into the main channel. Near Roscoe Village are well-preserved triple locks from the old Walhonding feeder. After the flood of 1913, much of the canal had a difficult time with repairs.

Triple Locks found a new purpose. It furnished water to a hydro-electric plant in Roscoe until 1950. Today, REACT Memorial Park, formerly Triple Locks Park, provides a beautiful, relaxing place for a picnic. Steps into the locks give visitors a chance to walk on the canal bed and see the stonework.

The Ohio–Erie Canal covered 308 miles with 146 locks so was quite extensive. The canal boats, which were 70-80′ long and 14′ wide, were pulled by a team of horses or mules who walked along the towpath. Large loads of cargo might require six horses, while a passenger boat would only need two.

This mural on the Portsmouth Floodwall shows the canal near its ending at the Ohio River.

Take a trip back in history and drive along the canal route. View some of these sandstone pieces still in existence from Cleveland to Portsmouth.

The advent of the railroads put a halt to travel on the canal. The trains could go 55mph, 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s interesting to note that the first locomotive came to Coshocton County on a canal boat. Assembly required!

Harley Dakin, historian, provided information at Olde Main Street Museum.

One of the most famous legends of Tuscarawas Valley history involves the Bloody Bible, which today can be found at the Newcomerstown Olde Main Street Museum. However, it had a long journey and interesting story before arrival there for safekeeping.

The story centers around John Early, who grew up in Harrison County, lived a happy life, and enjoyed the music of the violin, which he played very well. After meeting a Methodist circuit rider, John Early was converted to Christianity and gave up his violin playing as “the devil was in it.” At that point, he moved just south of Newcomerstown in a beautiful log house.

Traveling Methodist preachers were welcome at his home and eventually, John donated land to have a Methodist Episcopal Church built on the boundary line of Tuscarawas and Guernsey County. There was also room for a church cemetery. In 1853, when Early died, he was one of the first people buried in the cemetery on the west side of the meeting house. His tombstone can still be found there today.

This church replaced Early’s log church where the story began.

The story of the Bloody Bible begins before the start of the Civil War and after the death of John Early. When members of Early’s Church came to the log meeting house in early May to attend their usual Sabbath School, prayer, and class services, what they found when they opened the door was forever impressed on their minds.

Stains can still be seen on the Bloody Bible at the Olde Main Street Museum.

Sometime since the previous Sabbath, a terrible deed had been done. Someone decided to mock God by offering a lamb as sacrifice upon the altar of the church. Then they sprinkled the pages of the Bible with the blood of the lamb causing blood to drip down the altar and cover the floor. The lamb was still there beside the Bible when they entered.

It was later discovered that the deed was done by three young men called “Sons of Belial” who met at Whiskey Springs. They liked to play tricks on neighbors and for some reason especially the Early family. His cornfield had been destroyed, a new plow wrecked, and horses tied to the edge of a cliff so they fell to their death. They later told people they had stolen the sacrificed lamb that was a pet of a young crippled boy in the Early family.

Mrs. Manson Castor, who attended the church, holds the Bible in 1946 at the age of 89.

When the young boys did this terrible deed, one young man shouted for John Early to rise from his grave. A pillar of fire arose in the door of the church and swept down the aisle. One of the boys was not able to see or speak, had to be carried to his home a mile away, and was in a stupor for much of his life. The others could barely stand to live with the guilt. But no charges were filed as the church people agreed, “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”

The original story of the Bible appeared in The Cambridge Jeffersonian on April 20, 1899.

The story was first written by Solomon Mercer in the Cambridge Jeffersonian on April 20, 1899. He had a personal interest in the story as his father, James Mercer, lived in the northwestern part of Guernsey County in Wheeling Township. His neighbor was John Early.

Mercer remembered this tale well as he was there when it happened. Everyone was headed to Sunday School that morning in their best church dress. When they entered the church, the smell of the killed lamb was so strong that no services were held there that day. Mercer even remembers his father and another family member carrying the lamb between two sticks out the church door.

A plaque pays tribute to Jim Rogers and family who gave the museum the Bible.

For many years, Jim Rogers of Orrville kept the Bible in his home under glass in a special table he had built. He had received guardianship of the Bible from his wife’s aunt. At the age of 92, Jim wasn’t well and asked the Newcomerstown Museum if they would display the Bible there. It was added to their collection in June of 2020 after being gone from Newcomerstown for 150 years.

Chris Hart prepares himself to present the story of “The Bloody Bible.”

At the age of 10 in 1964, young Chris Hart saw the Bloody Bible on display in the window of Newcomerstown News on Main Street during their Sesquicentennial. As he looked at the Bible through the window, he thought, “That would make a great story.” Today he tells that story to organizations around the area as he portrays one of the young men who played havoc with the church that night.

The Bible’s story is featured in “Tales of the Buckeye Hills” by Lonzo Green.

The Bloody Bible was featured in the book, “Tales of the Buckeye Hills” by Lonzo Green, a retired Methodist minister, and that book is also on permanent display. He tells the story of Early’s Church and the circumstances of the Bloody Bible in the first chapter of his book. His story ends with this quote from the page that was opened in the blood-soaked Bible:

Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth,

that shall he also reap.”

This tombstone in the cemetery near Early’s church bears the name of John Early.

Sometime in the near future, plan to visit Olde Main Street Museum at 213 W. Canal Street, Newcomerstown to see a replica of an early 1900s village. They built an entire village inside a building! While there be sure to see that popular legend in Tuscarawas Valley history…the Bloody Bible.

Olde Main Street Museum can easily be found from I-77 in Ohio by taking exit 65 for US 35 to the west. In two miles turn left on Pilling Street, then quickly turn right on East Canal Street. You will find the museum on the left hand side about a mile down Canal Street.

I’m excited to tell everyone that I have published my first book based on a Civil War diary that my son found through his antique business. “Life in the Mississippi Marine Brigade” The Civil War Diary of George Painter will take you on a journey through 1863 down the Mississippi River where George was part of the Union Mississippi Marine Brigade.

The diary has been transcribed for easy reading with historical facts added that will help explain some of the situations they encountered. The dates in his diary are exact to events that occurred during the war at that time.

The cover of the book is the actual cover of the diary as best it could be copied as it had a long trip down the Mississippi River back in 1863. It was in amazingly great condition after all these years.

A friend then drew a sketch of the Diane, which was the boat that George traveled on for most of that year. We were surprised at the size of these ramboats that formed the Mississippi Marine Brigade.

The book is now available on Amazon and can be found at https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08T9ZK6TP

I will be starting a new WordPress page for those interested in this book and my other writings so would appreciate you following me there at http://www.beverlykerr.com . That way those who enjoy my travel articles will not have to encounter multiple posts about the new book.

For those wanting an autographed copy, it can be purchased from me through my website and I will send you the book direct. I’m trying to figure out how to do that right now. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This is a new adventure for me so if you happen to be a Civil War fan and enjoy the book, I would certainly appreciate a review on Amazon.

TV adds so much to family happiness.

~Motorola

Early Television Museum is located in Hilliard.

RCA’s first television on the market, TRK-12, was Steve McVoy’s initial early television purchase. He found it on eBay in pieces. Collecting became a passion and soon his basement was filled with old television sets. His wife suggested he find another place to store them.

Once he discovered an available building, he founded the Early Television Foundation in 2000 at Hilliard, Ohio to preserve the history of television sets. At Early Television Museum, progress is shown from the early mechanical systems of the 1920s to the introduction of color television in the 1950s.

There is a large display of early television sets from outside the United States.

However, Steve developed a passion for televisions early in life. He fondly remembers that first set in his parents’ home. The 1953 model Admiral 21-inch set received only one channel in Gainesville, Florida where he grew up.

At the age of ten, the family has a picture of Steve pulling a little wagon with the words “TV Repair” written on the side. By seventh grade, he worked in a TV repair shop after school.

Steve’s first business, Freedom TV, was located in Gainesville, Florida.

That passion turned into a business as he opened Freedom TV, an antenna shop, which supplied apartment buildings and hotels. When antennas lost their popularity, it seemed a logical move to create Micanopy Cable TV to provide television service.

Steve McVoy, originator of the museum, takes visitors on a tour of the facility.

Since Steve enjoys starting new businesses and giving many people a place to work, he expanded his cable company to several states, including Ohio. In the 70s, he met his wife Suzi, who just happened to work at his Columbus, Ohio cable company. The move to Ohio happened at that time. He sold the cable company in 1999 before he opened the Early Television Museum.

Larry McIntyre has been with Steve since the very beginning. He has always been interested in the electronics side of the television industry as his grandfather was an electrical engineer.

Early sets were made in Columbus by Murry Mercier and his father in 1928.

At the museum, there is a self-guided tour where you can press a button to hear about the television sets and their programs. The sets are numbered to make it easy to follow the narrative. The facility is well arranged with easy transition from one era to the next.

A Felix the Cat statue was used by RCA/NBC to test early television equipment in 1928.
Television were introduced to the United States consumer market in 1939 at the World’s Fair.
This RCA TRK-12 was displayed at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Starting with the 1920s, you find yourself on a fascinating journey through the early years of television beginning with early mechanical. RCA then developed the technology for sets using tubes, but it was the BBC that put it into operation in 1936. That first purchase of Steve’s, the RCA TRK-12, was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. It cost $600 – more than the cost of a modest car at that time.

This early television by Dumont was the largest black and white set ever made.

After WWII, there was a burst in television production. During the war, they had learned much about how radar operates and applied this to the television world. Then sets could be purchased at a lower cost.

This Emerson Telejuke played records and television in New York City in 1947.

The Emerson Telejuke became popular in 1947 in New York City. Most people still did not have a television set in their homes so they could drop a quarter into the jukebox and either listen to some 78 rpm records or watch television for thirty minutes. Every bar, restaurant, and club had a jukebox.

In 1954, Westinghouse made the first color television which sold for $1295.

In the 1950s, color tv was introduced. Westinghouse made the first color set for sale in 1954 at a cost of $1295. Sixty New York department stores offered them for sale with not a single purchase that week. As color quality improved, prices came down, and sales increased. However, it wasn’t until 1970 that color sets outsold black and white.

Early camera equipment surrounds this production van from Newark WGSF 31.

School groups frequently tour the museum. When he tells them that in the 50s, you might get only two or three channels, they find it hard to believe. A fourth-grade group took it upon themselves to count the sets and came up with a total of nearly 200.

Recently they added a 6′ Nipper to their RCA showroom.

During 2020, the museum added 4 mechanical, 2 pre-war, and 18 early color sets to their database. They also acquired a video of French TV in 1935. They are always looking for something unusual to add to their collection.

Kuba Komet’s home entertainment center was developed in West Germany in 1957.

Regular hours for the museum are only on the weekends. Saturday they are open from 10-6 and Sunday noon-5. They open during the week by appointment. Set aside an hour or two for exploring this well-arranged display of older television sets from the United States as well as Europe. Visit their website for detailed information at www.earlytelevision.org.

Early Television Museum in Hilliard is a great place to see how technology has changed over the years. For many, it will bring back memories of sets they had early in life. You hear it, you see it, you’re right there with RCA Victor.

Early Television Museum is located about two miles off I-270 west of Columbus at 5396 Franklin Street, Hilliard, Ohio. Enjoy your visit!

Sheriff Investigates Still

I enjoy writing about real situations so when our writers’ group decided to do a book called “Ripped From the Headlines,” I wanted to write about something that could have happened. One of my interests in natural health and I know a lady who brewed a special tea to help many problems. So this story is about a  fictitious local man, who was working on a natural cure. 

Boden, Ohio 1933 An anonymous source recently informed the Signal about law enforcement conducting an investigation in the woods outside of town. It seems a man known only as Lightning has been carefully watched by the sheriff’s office because of suspicious behavior involving a still in the hillside behind his home.

Neighbors watched Lightning carry bag after bag of materials into a cave under a rock cliff. Several local men were also seen entering the cave. It is suspected that they were there to purchase the brew being made.

A freshwater spring comes out in that area and is vital for the making of good rum, which some have heard Lightning say was his favorite drink.

Sheriff Harry Totten and a couple deputies surrounded the entrance on a recent morning very early before Lightning even arrived at the still. They hid in the trees so they could watch his approach.

Lightning whistled a merry tune of “Show Me the Way to Go Home” as he happily made his way to the hillside one sunny May morning.

Imagine his surprise when the sheriff and two deputies appeared from the woods with guns drawn. His whistling stopped as a puzzled look crossed his face.

“What’s the problem, sheriff? I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong.”

With a smirk on his face, Sheriff Totten answered, “We’ll see about that when we check inside the hillside here. Seems something strange is going on in that cave and we’re here to check it out.”

“Oh, sir, I can’t let you see in there as I’m working on a secret and don’t want anyone to see it until it is perfected.”

“Yea, sure. Some secret brew to make your neighbor’s feel better?” By now the sheriff was getting a bit upset by Lightning’s conversation.

“How do you know what I’m working on? No one has been told anything about it. This hasn’t even been tested yet.”

Exasperated, a deputy ordered, “Let us in the hillside and see what is inside.”

“Please don’t come in. I’m not ready for people to know about this.” pleaded Lightning.

“Sorry, but we’re headed in this very minute so step aside.” With that, they entered the hillside to find the still they were sure was making rum.

Inside they discovered something that resembled a still but it didn’t smell like alcohol at all. On closer inspection, it didn’t taste like alcohol either. In fact, it rather tasted like dirt.

“Yuk! This is horrible. You’ll never find anyone to buy this if you were planning on selling it. Whatever is it for?”

Lightning chewed on his lip as he tried to think of a way to explain what he was making without giving away the secret completely. Everyone knew about his wife’s rheumatism so maybe that would satisfy the sheriff.

“Actually, I’m trying to make a tonic that will help my wife’s rheumatism. She really suffers from the pain and I keep trying different combinations to see if I can find something that helps. I work on it each morning for a little while before I go to work and let her try some each day.”

Has it helped your wife any?” smirked the sheriff. “I don’t think anything you brew up here is going to prove to help rheumatism.”

With that, Sheriff Totten and his deputies had a good laugh as they returned to their recently purchased 1932 Ford Model B. “I always thought Lightning was a little off his rocker.”

Now Lightning could relax as he continued his experiment with the old Indian recipe his elders had passed down for generations. No one had developed it in recent years and Lightning felt it was about time that someone put it to work to help many people.

Living near Big Indian Run, he could gather the needed herbs and roots easily from the hillsides close by his home. When he combined them with fresh spring water, it didn’t take long in the still for the purest tea to overflow.

Some say it tasted like dirt, but if it helped a person feel better that was what was important.

He had heard stories of people being cured of their illnesses after drinking this special tea day after day. His ancestors had carried down the stories for generations.

Now, his daughter, Crystal, was very ill, too, and nothing seemed to help her. That’s what made him decide that this was the right time to develop this special brew.

“Daddy,” he heard her call. “Come carry me to the spring so I can watch you work.”

Quickly he moved to the house to help his daughter who was so weak she could scarcely stand. Together they sat by the spring and felt the soft summer breeze.

“If only you felt better and life could stay like this,” he whispered.

Crystal so wanted to go to school but right now that wasn’t possible. She knew her dad was trying his best to find a solution to make her feel better so she tried not to complain.

Day after day, Crystal drank the special tea her dad had brewed and day by day, he noticed a little color returning to her face and a little strength coming back to her body.

Sometimes the best cures for our aches and pains have been given to us in the natural world around us if we just know how to use them.

Today, Crystal enjoys going to school and laughs when her dad tells the story about Sheriff Totten thinking he had a still to brew alcohol.

His wife’s rheumatism has improved remarkably as well. There has to be something to that old Indian recipe.

Lightning is seriously thinking about bottling his brew!

Would you be willing to try some? 

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