Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

McD Perry

Mr. C at the height of his career.

Small towns love their heroes, especially when they’re a big star like Perry Como. Canonsburg, PA has never forgotten Perry Como, although the younger generation might not be familiar with his name.

Como statue

This statue of Perry Como can be found at City Hall in Canonsburg.

   At the center of town in front of their City Hall, you’ll find a statue of Perry Como. When it was placed there it sang 24/7 but now it just sings sporadically. Como is dressed casually in his traditional style with slacks and sweater. Just down the street, you’ll find a two million dollar McDonald’s packed with memorabilia from locals who went on to stardom.

   Coming from a large family of ten children, Como was the first to be born in America to his immigrant parents, Pietro and Lucia Como.  He never spoke English until he was in first grade because his parents only spoke their native Italian at home.

   Italians love music so his father purchased an organ for $3 for their home. By the time Perry was three years old, he could play songs on the organ by ear. Pietro had all of his ten children take music lessons even if he could barely afford them since he made a living by working in the mill.

McD Perry the barber

This picture of the young Perry as a barber was found at McDonald’s.

   By the age of ten, young Perry tried to help his family by working after school at Steve Fragapane’s barbershop for fifty cents a week.  By thirteen, he had his own chair at the barbershop even though he had to stand on a box to cut people’s hair.

Como Church

This is the church the Comos were said to have attended.

   At the same time, Perry played trombone in the town’s brass band, played guitar, sang at weddings and was an organist at church. He also was a member of the Canonsburg Italian Band. Throughout his career, “Ava Maria” was his most requested song.

   When he was fourteen, his father had a severe heart condition, and Perry opened his own barbershop.  His goal was to be the best barber in Canonsburg. When customers would marry, they would use every treatment Perry had available in his shop while he sang romantic songs to entertain them.

Como_family_at_home_1955 TV Radio Mirror

This picture of the Como family at home shows a happy family.

   By the time he was twenty, he moved to work in his uncle’s barbershop at Meadville, PA, which was not too far from Cleveland. He went with friends to the Silver Slipper Ballroom, where they asked if anyone would like to come up on stage and perform. His friends urged him to try and director Freddy Carlone offered Perry a contract on the spot.

   But he wanted to talk it over with his father first. Since his father was an amateur baritone, he told Perry to take the chance or he would never know if he could be a professional singer or not. Financially, this was not a good move as his barbershop earned him $125 a week while the singing contract was for $28 a week.

Perry_como_1939_ Ted Weems Orchestra by Bloom

This young Perry Como is pictured when he joined Ted Weem’s Orchestra.

   He received his big break in the 1930s on a popular radio show, Beat the Band. His first recording with Ted Weem’s Orchestra on this show was the song, “You Can’t Pull the Wool Over My Eyes”.

McD Perry's bust

A bronze bust of Mr. C can be found at Canonsburg’s McDonald’s.

In 1943, he signed with RCA Victor and remained with them throughout his career. While in Canonsburg, a stop at McDonald’s is also a ‘star’ event. Here you will find memories of local stars including Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, and The Four Coins. When you pass by Mr. C’s bust,  “Catch a Falling Star” will automatically start playing.

Como golf

Pictures of Perry Como and his love for golf can be found at McDonald’s.

Perry Como loved the game of golf and in 1955 was Golfing Champion of the Garden City Golfing Club in New York. MacGregor even has a Perry Como Putter. When he wasn’t with his family or working, Perry was on the golf course enjoying his favorite hobby and passion.

McD Hit Parade

Inside the front door of McDonald’s, you will find this list of songs made popular by Canonsburg artists.

   Mr. C, as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records and had his own television show. Canonsburg keeps his memory alive through the statue erected in 1999 and McDonald’s memorabilia. If you’re ever in the area and enjoy hearing about the stars, Canonsburg is the place!

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania is located off I-79 at Exit 45 – PA 980/ Canonsburg. Watch for signs to direct you to the various attractions.
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Cy Welcome to Museum

This photo with Cy’s old rocking chair welcomes you to the Olde Main Street Museum.

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. Those are things that are American to the core. In the nearby town of Newcomerstown, a baseball legend grew up and his legacy is still celebrated today.

  Denton True Young was born in Gilmore, not far from Newcomerstown. Called Dent as a youngster, the lad went to a two-room school in Gilmore but only went through the sixth grade. The boys loved to play baseball and would often either walk or ride horseback for twenty miles to play the game.

   To practice pitching, Dent would throw a ball (if he had one) into a target on the barn door, or walnuts through the knot holes in the fence. It’s no wonder he was known for accuracy during his pitching career.

Cy ball and glove

Cy’s glove holds a baseball marked 1897 – Cleveland…the date he pitched his first no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.

   Dent received his first contract from a team in Canton at the age of 23. They paid him $60 a month. Wanting to impress his teammates, he threw the ball so hard that no catcher wanted to catch him, so he threw into the fence. One fellow said it looked like a cyclone had struck the fence. The name stuck and Cyclone was his listed name for two years. That soon became shortened to Cy, a name which stayed with him through the rest of his life.

Cy Indians program

This old Indians scorecard only cost a dime.

   Over the years, he played with Cleveland, St. Louis, and Boston. He holds the records of most innings pitched at 7,356 and most wins with 511, a record that is not likely to be broken. Not many could pitch like he did in both games of a double header…and he never had a sore arm!

Cy - 1892 Scrapbook

His personal 1892 scrapbook is on display at the museum.

   In 1914, a young man in Newcomerstown by the name of Jimmie Knowles had a shoeshine stand in front of the newspaper office. He remembers Cy Young coming to town almost every weekend in his big Cadillac and parking it on Main Street. Then he’d stop by and have Jimmie polish his shoes. He always left a tip.

Cy - Trophies

This framed photo shows Cy with his many trophies.

   Cy tried his hand at management for one year with the Cleveland Green Socks as he had a hankering to get back into the world of baseball. But the league was dissolved and Cy returned to Tuscarawas County.

   When Cy retired at the age of 45, he enjoyed the life of a gentleman farmer in Peoli. There he raised potatoes, and tended sheep, hogs, and chickens and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Cy - ax and wood he chopped

This ax belonged to Cy Young and it is said this is some of the last wood he chopped.

   When his wife, Roba, died in 1933, Cy lost a good friend as they had known each other since childhood. After her death, he worked at various jobs and eventually moved in with friends and helped them bale hay, handle the horse and even chop wood.

   He was an active member of the community and moved up through the ranks of the Masons, was a member of the local Elks Club and was elected to the Republican Party Central Committee.

   Old-timers baseball games gave him pleasure and a chance to meet old friends. In 1937, Cy Young was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the second class ever. He was the first to donate memorabilia to their new museum in Cooperstown.

Cy - Showcase

Several showcases at Olde Main Street Museum contain Cy Young memorabilia.

   In 1948, great excitement filled Newcomerstown as Cy Young was to be honored at Cleveland Stadium for his 80th birthday. To make the day even more special, Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians, arranged for the C&M Railroad to make a stop in Newcomerstown and bring the whole town to Cleveland at no cost to residents.

   Pitching was Cy’s specialty and he threw a fastball with cannonball speed that few could hit. Because of his fantastic pitching ability, the Cy Young Award was created in 1956 and given annually to an outstanding pitcher in all of baseball. Beginning in 1967 through today, the award is given to a pitcher in each league.

Cy - Cy Young Park

The Cy Young Park in Newcomerstown remembers one of baseball’s original legends.

   The first Cy Young Festival was held in 1958 in Newcomerstown. Every year a baseball star pitcher is featured. This year it will be Randy Jones, who won the Cy Young Award in 1978 when he played for the San Diego Padres. Great names such as Dwight Gooden, Dean Chance, and Vida Blue have attended the festival.

Cy- Tombstone

Fans visit his Peoli tombstone to leave baseballs and other memorabilia.

   The festival begins on Saturday morning with a Cy Young Run. Afterward, a car caravan can be seen heading to Cy’s grave in nearby Peoli at the Peoli Church. You might stop along the way at the Newcomerstown McDonald’s where they have a large display honored this hometown hero.

Cy - McDonald's

Stop by Newcomerstown McDonald’s for wall displays about this local hero.

   The afternoon is filled with bands, food, and fun for everyone. The annual parade begins at 6:00 and stops at the Olde Main Street Museum. There they have a special display of Cy Young memorabilia.

Cy - Olde Main Street Museum

Cy’s memorabilia can be seen at the Olde Main Street Museum in Newcomerstown.

   Sunday begins with an Old Timers Vintage Baseball game at the Cy Young Memorial Park Field. Players will be dressed in uniforms similar to those of the mid-1800s and use the same rules and language of the Civil War era. Or you might prefer to go to a Car Show on Main Street, a talent show or pet show. There are events for everyone to enjoy.

Cy - 1 953 Little League Opening

He appeared at the Newcomerstown 1953 Little League Opening where he encouraged youngsters to play ball.

   The Annual Cy Young Days Festival is held in Newcomerstown in June of each year. The festival not only promotes Cy Young but also increases awareness of all the youth baseball and softball programs in the Newcomerstown area. It’s all about Cy Young and baseball, the game he loved.

Cy Young won 511 games in 22 seasons and pitched three no-hitters. Imagine what kind of contract he could command today for an arm like that.

 


Trolley on Brick Street

The Marietta Trolley explores the city on those old brick streets.

   When Harley Noland opened his restaurant in Marietta, he began thinking of ways that could bring more tourists into the area. That was when the idea of a trolley struck him. This was twenty-five years ago, and the Marietta Trolley has been making tours ever since.

Levee House

The Levee House was a popular place to dine along the river.

   His restaurant, The Levee House, was located on the Ohio River making it convenient to have a Bed & Breakfast nearby on a historic riverboat, CLAIRE E. Both of those businesses are no longer in operation but the trolley lives on.

Harley

Guide Harley Noland brought the trolley to life again about 25 years ago.

   Sometimes Harley still gives the trolley’s guided tour, but there are also several local historians that help with that side of the project now. Each of them has wonderful factual knowledge of the area and tells accurate stories of those early pioneers who settled at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.

   This is the perfect way to see the highlights of the city while traveling their old brick streets and learn about its history. The city has an abundance of beautiful Victorian homes, churches, earthworks and historic spots that will have you going back for a second look. There’s history on every corner!

   This year the trolley ride begins on Front Street at the Armory, which is the new home of the Marietta/Washington County Visitors Bureau. Then begins the ninety minute narrated tour of Marietta on the trolley made of mahogany with a great speaker system for easy listening.

Westward Monument

The Start Westward monument marks the 150th anniversary in 1938 of the signing of the Northwest Treaty Ordinance.

   Coming from the East Coast, the settlers designated the area along the Muskingum River as “The Commons”. Today there stands a monument to the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Northwest Territory Ordinance. This Memorial to the Start Westward of the United States was carved in 1938 by Gutzon Borglum, the same man who carved Mount Rushmore and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

shanty-boat

Ohio River Museum displays a shanty boat, which floated a family from job to job.

   A stop at the Ohio River Museum focuses on the role of the rivers in the expansion of our country. It gives a chance to view the last shanty boat, which is a complete house that people lived on. There is also the oldest pilot house in the United States close by.

w-p-snyder-jr

Stop back and take a tour of the W.P. Snyder, Jr to learn more about early riverboats.

   The Adventure Galley was the first flatboat to arrive in Ohio from Pittsburgh. The W.P. Snyder, Jr.. is now docked nearby and the last coal-fired, steam-powered sternwheel towboat to have operated on the Ohio River.

   Sacra Via, “Sacred Way”, is an ancient path from the Muskingum River to the earthworks in Marietta. The pathway was surrounded by earthen embankments about twenty-six feet high and was covered with mollusk shells from the river so that it sparkled in the moonlight.

   The mounds are the site of a Winter Solstice Sunset Watch and it is strongly believed these mounds were placed here for an astrological alignment. This site has not eroded in 2000 years due to the heavy clay used to build it up.

Conus Mound

Conus in Mound Cemetery was an ancient burial ground.

   Mound Cemetery contains Conus Mound, a burial mound surrounded by an earthen wall and a dry moat. This was used for burial and ceremonial purposes. The cemetery surrounding it has more Revolutionary war officers than any other cemetery in the United States.

Oil House

This was home to an early family who made their living from the oil fields.

   A bubbling black substance coming out of the ground was put on joints and felt to be a healing compound. It was called Panther Water and used as medicine. When its true purpose was discovered, the crude oil in this town made many men rich. That gives a reason for many of the lovely homes in the area.

Rufus Dawes House

Rufus Dawes house was the boyhood home of U.S. V.P. Charles Dawes, who was also a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

   An interesting sidelight of the tour are the flood markings on many of the downtown buildings showing how high the flood waters came.  1913 looked like the year of a very high flood.  Many times the flood marks were up to the second story of the old brick buildings. Many of the rich built their homes on terraces to avoid the flood waters.

Newest Mansion

The newest mansion was built by a present-day entrepreneur who makes refrigerator magnets.

   But not all of Marietta’s lovely homes are old. One pillared house was built in the last 17 years by a man who manufactures something you wouldn’t think would be a million dollar business – refrigerator magnets.

The Castle

The historic Castle was built in 1855 at a cost of $10,000.

   The location of The Castle today sets on grounds that were originally used by a potter and his wife. It would have been one of the earliest pottery manufacturing locations in the Northwest Territory. Many prominent Marietta residents lived here including Ohio Senator Theodore Davis. Today it is open as a historical museum to honor the legacy of The Castle families as well as provides educational and cultural activities to learn more about its connection to Ohio history.

St Mary's

The Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption is only one of the many historic churches on the tour.

   The Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption was a stop off the trolley to view the spectacular interior, which takes one back to its European roots. The church was consecrated in 1909. The beautiful stained glass windows were created in Munich, Germany. There are nearly 140 images of angels throughout the church. Large angels bearing palm branches and torches can be found surrounding the sanctuary while cherubs adorn each column.

   Beauty like this would not have been normally seen at this time in history or even today for that matter. Many say it compares favorably with Basilicas in Europe.

harmar-historic-bridge

This Pedestrian bridge over the Muskingum River is a pleasant stroll from downtown Marietta.

   Fort Harmar, the first frontier fort in Ohio Country, was situated on the Muskingum River, called the easy way west. Built in 1785, it was named for General Josiah Harmar. He had been ordered by the United States Army to build a fort here to discourage illegal settlers from squatting there. It did just the opposite as made them feel protected by the fort nearby. Tall masted sailing ships were later built here.

Douglas Putnam Place

Anchorage was built on the hill in Harmar by abolitionist Douglas Putnam in 1859.

   The Douglas Putnam House sits high on the hill overlooking the river in the Harmar district. He was the leader of the abolitionist society in Marietta. As one of the wealthiest members, his support of the UGRR was not surpassed. From his house, you could see Virginia on the other side of the river, which at that time was not a real barrier as it was shallow enough to be crossed on horseback.

River Lafayette

The Lafayette is the oldest hotel in Marietta…and haunted.

   The trolley tour is one of the most popular tours in the Marietta area. Parking is free at the Marietta – Washington County CVB at 241 Front Street. Hop on the trolley Tuesday through Saturday during July and August at 10:00 to experience a glimpse of history.

   It’s a great way to discover Marietta!

Confluence Most Beautiful

Putnam said that where the Muskingum meets the Ohio River was the prettiest sight he had ever seen.

Take Exit 1 in Ohio off I-77 to Pike Street. Continue west on Pike Street until it ends at the Lafayette Hotel. Take a right and the Visitors Bureau will be at 241 Front Street. Buy your trolley ticket when you get on the trolley.

Rudy WencekHobo Rule No. 1: Decide your own life. Don’t let another person rule you.

Young boys thoughts often turn to adventure when they have nothing else to occupy their mind. Such was the case with my dad, Rudy, when he was a young teenager.

   His parents had died when he was but a young child so he lived with his sister and her family. At a very young age, he began working at Cambridge Glass Company and took pleasure in seeing the sand turned into beautiful glass objects.

   However, there were days when the glass company was not busy. Sometimes workers would sit outside and pitch pennies while waiting to see if there was a job for them that day.

   On days when there was no work, Dad often hopped on a train as it slowed down for the crossing near the glass plant. How he enjoyed the freedom to explore as he rode those trains from New York City to Chicago and all the places in between.

   This happy-go-lucky train hopper often told of the friendly people he met in his travels and the other ‘hobos’ who were riding the rails. They always shared their food, clothes and sometimes their cigarettes.

   Picture Dad in his ‘hunky cap’, gray work shirt and pants, and maybe a few dollars in his pocket. Perhaps he stopped in a hobo jungle to share a can of beans or mulligan stew with other wanderers. Life was simple on the rails so not much was needed.

   It’s interesting to know that in 1915 there were a million hobos in The United States. By 1930 when Dad was riding the rails, that number had increased to over two million.

   There were many ways of hopping on a train. They might find an empty boxcar, hop on between cars, grab a railing and climb to the top, or even ride under the train. These young and vigorous men had plenty of nerve.

   Clicking his fingers, Dad often said, “If I hadn’t met Kate, I would probably have ridden those trains all the way to the Pacific Ocean.” But marriage and full-time employment at Cambridge Glass Company stopped his riding the rails

   While Dad never rode the rails again, he still enjoyed driving anywhere Mom would go. Sunday drives always took us on adventures in every direction. Perhaps Dad set the stage for my being a gypsy.

This story was in our local newspaper as part of our Rainy Day Writers tribute to Father’s Day. It is a true story of his early life that my Dad liked to share with his grandsons. Dad went on to be co-owner of a local glass company, Variety Glass, so the glass industry played a large role in his life.

Freedom.

Its importance isn’t usually discovered until it is taken away.

Stone - Old Stone Academy

Stone Academy provided a place for Anti-Slavery meetings as well as the Underground Railroad.

Perhaps you have felt like running away from a bad situation. That’s how most of the slaves felt in their quest for freedom. The Underground Railroad helped them succeed in finding this special liberation.

   Even before the time of the Civil War, Anti-Slavery organizations were very active. A center of activity in Ohio was the Old Stone Academy in Putnam on the Muskingum River.

Stone - drive with timeline

The drive to the house has a timeline from the settling of John McIntyre in Zanesville until the end of the Civil War.

   While the Stone Academy served as a station on the Underground Railroad in the 1830s, that wasn’t the reason it was built back in 1809. The oldest building in Muskingum County was designed to be the new state capitol building. It was built by Dr. Increase Mathews, Levi Whipple and Ebenezer Buckingham.

   However, across the river in Zanesville, then a separate community, John McIntire and others constructed a building for that same purpose. Zanesville did serve as the capital of Ohio from 1810 to 1812.

Stone Anti-Slavery

“Coming to Blows” by Adam Chandler depicts the pro-slavery mob outside Stone Academy during an anti-slavery lecture.  Theodore Weld said, “Mob came, broke the windows and doors, tore off the gate and attacked me when I came out with clubs and stones…”

   The Stone Academy became a school and had public offices for several years. It was the center of abolitionist activity in Putnam with the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society holding state conventions there in 1835 and 1839. Both years, mobs of pro-slavery disrupted their meetings threatening to burn all of Putnam. The people of Putnam were very unpopular with their neighbors across the river in Zanesville.

Stone Notice to Slaves

This notice was posted as a warning to fugitive slaves.

   These abolitionists were mainly from New England and had a very strong religious background that made most of them desire to have equal rights for all. However, there was a section of this group that proposed sending the blacks back to Africa in the 1830s.

   The Stone Academy has been accepted by the National Park Service as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. There is a new Ohio historical marker at the Stone Academy.

Stone - Putnam Presbyterian Church

The Putnam Presbyterian Church served as a meeting place for Anti-Slavery meetings.

   Nearby the Putnam Presbyterian Church held many anti-slavery meetings. Their pastor was the brother of Harriette Beecher Stowe. One of their popular speakers was Frederick Douglass, an African American orator who spoke of slavery issues across the state.

   A story was published about Douglass in “The Anti-Slavery Bugle”, which told of his purchasing a ride from Columbus to Putnam to speak at the Presbyterian Church. Douglass paid $3 in order to ride inside the stagecoach that day, but when they saw he was an African American, he was not permitted to ride. He took the case to court and won an out of court settlement for $15.

Stone - Increase Mathews House

Increase Mathews House was another stop on the Underground Railroad in Putnam.

   The slaves who came through this direction were understandably not very trusting of the station masters. These brave souls took a lot of chances during their flight. They wanted above all else to be free.

   Nelson Gant was one of those freed blacks who settled in Muskingum County. He had to raise money to purchase his wife’s freedom as she was still a slave in Virginia. Gant became one of the wealthiest men in the county with a successful produce business, which originated that famous cantaloupe, the Dresden Melon. He worked hard and transported slaves in his wagons.

Stone - Jim Geyer director

Museum director, Jim Geyer, told many interesting stories of the early days of the Stone Academy.

   In speaking with Jim Geyer, museum director, he tells of interesting programs they are developing to attract more people to the museum and the area. There are several UGRR stops involved in the area, not just the Stone Academy.

   Jim and other volunteers are reaching out to the community with a power point presentation suitable for schools, civic groups or retirement communities. He serves as a step-on guide for bus groups that come to the area. They are taken to various places in the Putnam Historic District that have a part in the UGRR story. At present, they have six sites locally that were part of that UGRR. These were called “safe houses”.

Stone - Lett Settlement

Lett Settlement, located where the Wilds is today, was composed of “free people of color”.

   Soon they are planning to add another interesting spot to their tours – The Wilds! There the Lett Settlement consisted of a group of “free people of color” who later assisted the fleeing slaves.

   Since the Stone Academy has been filled with so much activity over the years, it is no surprise that paranormal activity is frequently observed in the house and in the area. They have one special program called “History, Mystery, and Unsettled Spirits” that speaks of this phenomenon as well as some folklore. Ghost tours are conducted and paranormal investigations continue.

   Henry Howell managed the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society and gave fiery speeches. The residents across the river were not happy with his speeches and came to burn his house down. Howell escaped but his dog was left behind. They found the dog later hung in the back yard. Claims are made that the spirit of the dog can still be heard barking today.

Stone UGRR safe homes

A wall display tells of the ‘safe homes’ for the Underground Railroad.

   One problem they have at the Stone Academy is limited floor space and they have been discouraged from attaching pictures and displays to the walls. There are few artifacts here but much information in the form of charts and pictures. Due to the limited space, exhibits in the hallways are frequently changed.

Stone dolls

These dolls were made by an anti-slavery advocate with a duplicate set being given to Queen Victoria.

   The best part of the tour are the stories told by volunteers, who are very knowledgeable about its history.

Stone closet hideaway

This closet held a trap door that led to the basement where a slave could hide.

   The building served as a station for the Underground Railroad. A popular feature is a hidden trap door under the staircase that led to the crawl space under the building where the runaway slaves hid.

Stone - found under stairs

These articles were found under the stairs of the trap door.

  In the 1870s, Stone Academy became the private residence of Elizabeth Robbins, well-known actress, activist and writer. Today it is home to the display of the UGRR directed by Muskingum County History and located in the Putnam Historic District.

   Freedom remains an important element of our lives today. May we remain a nation where our freedom of choice is never extinguished.

The Old Stone Academy is located in Zanesville, Ohio. From I-70, take Exit 155 to Underwood Street.  Best to use your GPS to 115 Jefferson Street, which is across the Muskingum River using the 6th Street Bridge. There is an easy access parking lot beside the Stone Academy.

Veterans front shot

This symbolic architectural design houses the new National Veterans Museum and Memorial.

Those who dedicated their life to serving their country in all branches of the service during its many wars are being honored at the new National Veterans Museum and Memorial in Columbus, Ohio. Opened on the banks of the Scioto River in October of 2018, you will learn of their bravery, fears and belief in the greatness of America.

Veterans Memorial

A memorial statue along the outside walkway remembers those who served.

   Symbolizing the strength of our nation’s veterans, the unique architectural design of the building rises from within in a circular fashion to show their service never ends. The top of the building meets at a point to indicate that all the branches of the service come together to protect our nation and our world. This building has been recognized for its special innovative design and contains 28 million pounds of concrete.

Veterans trunks

Open the lid of a veteran’s trunk and hear his story.

   While stories of famous leaders like George Washington, Dwight D Eisenhower and John Glenn are well documented nationally, the stories of lesser-known heroes are often only known by family and friends. The NVMM is going to change all that by sharing their stories with the public.

Veterans letters

Letters from home have always been important to members of the military.

   Visitors are taken on a narrative journey as stories are told about veterans throughout the United States. Letters, pictures, and personal items help make these stories come alive. Listen to the letters they wrote home. Some will bring tears of sadness…or relief that they survived.

Veterans Time Line

The Informational Timeline stretches from 1775 until today.

   The Exhibition Galleries follow the curve of the concrete structure, which shares a timeline of highlights from the Revolutionary War until the present. The walls are covered with information so you have to be selective in what you read or you could be there for weeks.

Veterans drum Revolutionary and Civil

Andrew Avey played this drum during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

   Talking to veterans at the museum was one of the real pleasures of the day. Many had not actually been in combat zones, but all felt an emotional attachment to those with whom they had served.

Veterans State Flags

The display of flags from all 50 states reinforces the fact that this is a national museum.

   Many tried to go out in the communities of the countries in which they were stationed to get a glimpse of real life there. Edward, a Marine who had served in Vietnam, went out with a missionary and played Santa for the children in their village.

Veterans Gear for Boot Camp

Veteran guide, Todd, explained the extensive, heavy boot camp gear.

   Todd, a veteran who is also a tour guide, shared his experiences in the Navy from 1965-69. His job was to patrol the coastline from Alaska to San Diego for Russian submarines. Another veteran, Dale, worked as a supply sergeant in the cold temperatures of Alaska where it was 59 below.

Veterans - Share Your Story

A special Share Your Story recording booth for veterans is located on the lower level.

   The Second Floor mezzanine features a Memorial Room to honor the fallen heroes. Here you will find a room where stories of the veterans can be videotaped for future generations. Many have relatives who have served but they don’t often like to talk about their experiences.

Veterans Memorial Grove

A Memorial Grove of American elms provides a place for reflection and relaxation.

   Outside the museum is a relaxing Memorial Grove consisting of American Elms, a tree that has given shelter to veterans since colonial times. This is a place for rest and contemplation with a beautiful limestone wall, a background symbolizing strength. Nothing relaxes more than water so the pool and cascades provide healing. Native plants appear throughout the area.

Veterans Wounded Veterans Memorial 2

The Wounded Veterans Monument recognizes all veterans – past, present and future.

   National Veterans Museum at 300 West Broad Street in Columbus Ohio is open to the public Wednesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Over half of their visitors are veterans. People from all over the United States, Holland, Ireland, England and France have already felt the emotion of the museum.

   To honor our servicemen, all veterans and active duty military members are given complimentary admission and parking. The same is true for Gold Star families.

Veterans WWI flag

A National Guard unit, “The Buckeye Division”, carried this 48-star flag during WWI.

   Veterans have a special place in our world as many remain active in the community with a volunteer spirit. As one veteran said, “There was a reason we were spared…to come back and do something good.”

   We honor those men and women who have sacrificed to defend our country. They served to preserve our freedom.

Our freedom is not free. It comes with a cost.”

~Lydia Thompson, Gold Star Mother

Veterans OverviewThe new National Veterans Museum and Memorial is located at 300 West Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio just north of I-70. Once on West Broad coming from the east, go over the Scioto River and the museum is on the right-hand side.

Vane 13 star flag made by great-great grandmother.

Vane still has the 13-star flag hand-sewn by his great-great-grandmother, Sarah Mulvane Sultzer for the American Centennial in 1876.

Flags and their history have always been part of Vane Scott‘s life. His father, Vane Scott, Jr, actually began telling the story of the American flag back in 1975. At that time, young Vane’s father and mother co-founded their own flag company, Colonial Flag Company, which became a division of Annin Flagmakers, the largest flag company in the world.

Vane Miss America

Five-year-old Vane Scott wore the white tuxedo in a parade for Miss America. The float he rode was designed by his parents’ company, Great Scott Displays.

    Before that, they traveled coast to coast with Great Scott Displays, which was started by his grandfather. They decorated cities and designed parades for national functions such as General Eisenhower’s inauguration, Miss America homecomings, Hollywood premieres, and fairs all over the United States.

Vane speaks

Dressed in colonial garb, Vane addresses a Barnesville Masonic Lodge gathering.

     Vane III has a rich family heritage in the Newcomerstown area. His ancestors, the Mulvanes, were the first white settlers in the area. Their Masonic tradition rings strong as his son makes the fifth generation of the family that has been part of the Masons. When Vane speaks of his family, you can hear how much he admires their legacy.

     After high school, Vane served in the Navy on two destroyers. When he returned home, it seemed only natural to work in the Coshocton flag company. Eventually, he became their plant manager.

Vane and Dad

Vane, Jr and Vane III, father and son, shared a passion for the history of our flag.

     His dad encouraged him to learn the story of the flag so he could continue telling it to the next generation. They even practiced a couple of times at the kitchen table when his dad was very ill.

Vane's Dad with flags

His dad, surrounded by flags, began the dynamic flag program back in 1972.

     For relaxation Vane and wife, Sue, enjoy a backroads motorcycle ride. On a ride some two years after he lost his dad, Vane began repeating the flag story in his mind as they rode along. When they took a break, he told Sue, “I need to tell Dad’s Flag Story.” Soon thereafter, he began sharing the story of our flag’s origin.

Vane Grand Union

The Grand Union Flag is often considered the first national flag. It combined the King’s Colors with the thirteen stripes of the colonies.

     The story, “The Many Faces of Old Glory”, tells the story of how our flag was developed. It begins with the early flag of England and progresses through our present flag. The story’s purpose is to make people understand why we love this country so much. Children, especially, need to understand our rich heritage, as they are our future.

Vane - Betsy Ross five point star

Vane demonstrated how Betsy Ross made her five-point star with one cut of the cloth.

     While it’s not possible to give you his entire flag story here, it’s not a boring history lesson. You can be assured there’s a bit of humor thrown in throughout. There are over twenty flags included in the show and some are quite unique. He still uses the flags his dad folded all those years ago.

Vane Easton flag -stripes in corner

The Easton flag followed the First Flag Resolution description in an unusual manner with the stripes being in the corner.

     Of special interest was the fact that when Congress enacted the First Flag Resolution in 1777, it said: “Resolved the flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; and the Union be thirteen stars white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Every seamstress designed it in a different way. No two flags were alike. That’s where Vane got the title, “The Many Faces of Old Glory”.

Vane Great Star Flag - 20 stars

The Great Star Flag contained twenty stars. This replaced the prior flag with 18 stars and 18 stripes.

     At first, they added a stripe and a star to the flag for each new state. But you can see that would be very cumbersome. So it was decided to maintain thirteen stripes to represent the original thirteen colonies, and then add a star for each state. Out present flag has been in place with fifty stars since 1960.

Vane DVD

Share this amazing story of our flag’s history with “The Many Faces of Old Glory” DVD.

     A special performance of this show was held at Patriot Plaza in Sarasota, Florida where Vane presented the flag history to 2000 people. Here the background music was provided by a live symphony orchestra, Sarasota Pops Orchestra. This flag show travels the country and will be returning to Florida in 2020.

Vane Sue

His wife, Sue, who he met on a high school blind date, runs the musical portion of the program.

     Today he uses a recording of the Tuscarawas Symphonic Orchestra as background for his talk. That local connection also appears on his DVD of the show. If others can’t see the program, that DVD would be a great way to introduce your young family members to the history of our country through the story of the flag.

     This dynamic story continues to raise patriotism to the end when Vane joins a recording of his dad singing, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Audiences are drawn to their feet as their voices are raised in singing our national anthem. His parents would be so proud of the story Vane is carrying on.

Vane Scott Main Street

As President of the Newcomerstown Historical Society, Vane appears on Olde Main Street as a shoe repairman.

     While Vane enjoys his flag story presentations, he”s not idle the rest of the time. Right now he is president of the Newcomerstown Historical Society, where tour buses are visiting their Olde Main Street Museum on a regular basis. He also serves as commander of the National Honor Guard, where they present at around thirty funerals a year. They also participate in several parades and serve as color guard for many school events.

Vane Scott -Amway Convention

His dad would perform the flag presentation for Amway and Eastern Star Conventions.

     Vane would like to perform more often for large groups all over the country as his dad did before him. This program should be a must see for all students to raise their awareness of our country’s history through the story of the flag. As one man said, “It’s history within history.”

     We may be born in America, but to be an American is quite another thing. After seeing “The Many Faces of Old Glory” you’ll leave a better and prouder American.

To contact Vane Scott regarding his program, “The Many Faces of Old Glory”, or to purchase a DVD, call Vane at 740-498-8803 or email vanescott@yahoo.com. Visit their website at http://www.ManyFacesofOldGlory.com .

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