Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Karen and the late John Sticht helped sponsor Ride ‘n Roll Motorcycle Dice Run.

Dreams of retirement in the country brought John and Karen Sticht from Euclid to Cadiz, where they wanted to build a log home on a couple of acres and have two bison to manicure their lawn. John definitely did not want to have to mow the yard! That dream has expanded into a family business at Boss Bison Ranch.

This beautiful log home was built for retirement purposes.

Now the ranch has more grass than they know what to do with on 180 acres. The number of shaggy bison has also increased to 46 and slowly growing. These are sturdy animals as their wool covering keeps them cozy down to 60 below.

Karen displays the soft warm items made from bison wool.

Shedding of wool occurs in the springtime with full coats grown back by November. That wool is soft to the touch and has been made into hats, socks, and gloves that are exceptionally warm. It is usually mixed with sheep’s wool to keep it from being too warm!

Tours of the farm get you up close to the bison in the field.

Reminiscent of the days of the old west, thundering hooves of bison can be heard at Boss Bison Ranch when the herd takes a notion to run. Their grandson, Duncan, enjoys taking you on a farm tour in a pick-up or four-wheeler so you can get close to the huge buffalo. Children especially enjoy feeding them bread and petting their soft wooly coats.

The herd enjoys shade on a hot spring day.

Boss Bison Ranch is proud to honor the history of the buffalo as they feel that it once roamed this section of Ohio. The Native Americans used every part of the buffalo with nothing being wasted. Meat was important but so was the hide, which was tanned for clothes, blankets, and teepees. Even their bones were put to use for everything from needles and buttons to dishes and hoes.

A bison mom watches over her new calf.

Springtime is a special time to see the newborn calves as they follow their mothers over the hills and interact with other new calves. It’s a peaceful time to sit and watch these large animals gently moving through the plentiful grass. Most of the calves are born from late April to early June, but there have been surprises at Thanksgiving!

Pick up bison and elk meat from their freezer in the store.

A three-year-old buffalo will dress out at 400 pounds of fresh meat. You are sure to be told the health value of eating bison meat. It has less fat, calories, and cholesterol. Bison actually contains higher amounts of protein, iron, and Vitamin-B than beef, chicken, or pork. Members of the National Bison Association make certain their animals graze on grass and are not fed in feedlots with added chemicals or hormones.

Their food wagon serves bisonburgers and bison chili cheese dogs.

The Stichts’ family has a retail and butcher shop that is open to the public. You might want to take some of this lean meat home with you! They have a food wagon that travels the area for festivals and pow wows. Recently they have been at a Salt Fork Pow Wow and the Hopedale Motorcycle Memorial.

These drummers performed at a previous festival.

The 7th Annual Baby Bison Days Pow Wow, a special event open to the public, is being held at the ranch on June 19-20, Father’s Day weekend. Prepare to enjoy an indigenous Native American Pow Wow that honors Veterans and First Responders!

Host drum at the pow wow this year will be Red Bird Singers.

There will be Native American dancing, Native crafts, over 20 Native vendors, and demonstrations. All drums are welcome with Red Bird Singers being the host drum and TBA co-host. There is a $5 admission fee for the day along with a non-perishable food item. All donations go to Haractus Food Pantry.

The bison will be close to the festivities that day so you can get a good view of these magnificent animals and their calves. You’ll want to stop at their lunch wagon for a buffaloburger. Buffaloburgers are 95% lean meat so you really get a quarter-pounder when you order one. Items served at the wagon include buffaloburgers, hot dogs, french fries, buffalo chili, and beverages. Popular items are a mushroom swiss buffaloburger and buffalo chili cheese dogs.

Perhaps you will get a chance to touch the soft fur of a baby bison.

Make sure to plan a visit to Boss Bison Ranch at 45701 Unionvale Road, Cadiz Mon-Sat 10-6 to see those magnificent bison that once roamed freely in our country. Now these amazing animals can be seen, fed, and touched for free at the ranch.

Enjoy floral paths with paved walkways throughout the arboretum.

Springtime! Nature awakens from her winter nap to display lovely shades of green, blossoming trees, and springtime flowers. It’s the perfect time for a walk outside to soak up the sun while enjoying the Spring Show.

Edmund Secrest founded the arboretum in 1908.

One place perfect for this adventure is Secrest Arboretum located on the campus of Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. The arboretum was established in 1909 by Edmund Secrest, the first state forester in Ohio and director of the Experiment Station from 1938-1948. Although it is a research arboretum over 10,000 people visit in annually.

Kids enjoy climbing in this natural play area.

This arboretum was designed with adults and children in mind. While adults will enjoy the trees and plants, children have been given play areas in the midst of the natural world.

This slide is a big attraction for kids of all ages and extra slippery on a burlap sack!

Fortress at the Hogs-back is a place for kids of all ages. Kids enjoy climbing over the rocks, walking through cement storm drain pipes, and best of all, going down the huge slide in the side of a hill. That slide is even big enough for adults to enjoy!

Blossoming crabapple, redbud, and cherry trees highlight the grounds in springtime.

Training programs and evaluation of new plants are provided to Ohio Nursery, landscaping organizations, and Master Gardeners. But the grounds are a beautiful and peaceful place for a walk any season of the year.

Attractive metal artwork appears outside the Visitors’ Center.

Stop at the Orientation Center where outside there’s a map of the grounds showing the different trails to take and information about the arboretum. This 110 acre facility is a living laboratory for research, teaching and learning. There are over 2,500 varieties, species, and cultivars of plants to learn about.

A special research project involves finding the best coneflowers for our area.

Visit their new research project, a Coneflower (Echinacea) Garden with over 100 varieties of coneflowers. There are colors from white and pink to red and yellow. Here they are determining the best coneflowers to grow in our area.

Flowers appear everywhere. There are 15 different theme gardens so you will be sure to find something you enjoy. There’s Gayle’s Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, Ohio’s Native Garden, and Million Flower Pathway to give you an idea of what is available. The Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance might become a favorite.

The main reason the Native Garden is so important is that it provides food for our native butterflies, birds, bees, and all wildlife. They have done an outstanding job of labeling the plants and trees so you can have information for perhaps a new plant for your garden.

A hillside amphitheater is a great place for weddings and concerts.

John Streeter Garden Amphitheater is a great place for weddings, concerts, and theater productions. The sandstone steps make a perfect entrance for the bride while guests can sit on the sandstone seats. Several musical events have been scheduled for this summer. Check their website at www.secrest.osu.edu for more information.

Frequent benches provide a place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Along the way you will find giant frogs, tortoises, and pieces of metal artwork in the form of butterflies, birds, and flowers. There’s also a pavilion for picnics, and benches throughout for visitors to rest or just enjoy the scenery and the scent of the flowers.

Springtime blossoms added beauty throughout the arboretum.

Friends of the Secrest Arboretum are responsible for funding, volunteering, keeping the grounds looking wonderful, and scheduling educational and musical events. They have played an important role in developing Secrest into a national and international treasure.

Beauty awaits around every corner.

The arboretum is open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Easiest access is to place 2122 Williams Road, Wooster in your GPS, then follow the signs that lead to the arboretum.

Stroll their paved walks through forests and meadows to discover what plants would be best for your home. It’ s a great place for a family outing any season of the year!

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.

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