Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for May, 2013

St Francis Hospital Museum Growing Piece By Piece

Items used at St Francis Hospital

Items used at St Francis Hospital

Many times unexpected treasures appear when exploring an old building. Such was the case in 2012 when Dave and Sarah Scott purchased an antique store housed in a former local hospital.  There in the corners and unexplored rooms, many items formerly used in the early hospital were discovered.

Dave Scott, owner, stands with medical supplies in their museum.

Dave Scott, owner, stands with medical supplies in their museum.

At the present time, Dave and Sarah have dedicated one room of their Scott’s 10th St. Antique Mall to a place called St. Francis Hospital Museum.  Nearly all of the items in the room are from the original hospital, having been found in the corners of the building.  Dave Scott, owner, stands beside some of the medical equipment used during the days of St Francis Hospital. The crutches in the background were found in a room in the basement while exploring the building.Only two items, a wheel chair and a bed, have been purchased and both were from the same time period as when St. Francis Hospital was in operation.

Back in 1922, this medical center began when the  Wells Hospital opened its doors on 10th Street in Cambridge, Ohio. This was a much needed addition to the city at that time and Dr. Henry L. Wells dedicated it to his parents. Dr. Wells was a tireless and modest physician whose feelings were summarized when he said, “I feel very highly rewarded with the respect and confidence that the community seems to have in me.”

The Order of St. Francis Nuns began operating that same facility in 1945 as St Francis Hospital. After WWII was over, Dr. Paul Huth arrived in the area and took over as head surgeon at the hospital. The hospital received a boost in 1957 when Cambridge Glass Company selected St. Francis Hospital for all hospitalization of workers needing medical attention. All emergency cases were to be sent to the hospital as well, with Dr. Paul Huth named as company physician.

The Walking Blood Bank poster

The Walking Blood Bank poster

An old poster features familiar faces in our local medical world encouraging people to give to the blood bank…at that time a Walking Blood Bank. Dr. Paul Huth, the hospital director is shown with Edith Spade while Dr. Joseph Utrata is being assisted by Twila Thacker.  Both Miss Spade and Miss Thacker served the community as nurses until recent years.

A visitor at the museum stated that he had been born in the hospital, and maybe even in the room where the museum stands. He remembered stories of the early hospital days as well as the doctors who cared for the patients.  Area residents remember that at that time appendectomies were as popular as knee replacements are today. So he smiled when remarking, “If you came in for an ingrown toenail, chances are you would not leave before having an appendectomy.”

1946 Hospital Bill

1946 Hospital Bill

An interesting hospital bill hangs on the wall.  It shows the costs for everything needed during the hospital stay. One surprising item was the cost of the room. The patient was there for seven days at $4 a day for a total room charge of $28. How times have changed!

St. Francis Hospital was finally closed in 1968 with the opening of a larger, more modern facility, Guernsey Memorial Hospital.  Today that hospital has been further improved and modernized and is now called Southeastern Medical Center of Ohio.

If perhaps, you have any knowledge of St. Francis Hospital or pieces of its history that you would care to share with future generations, please contact Dave or Sarah Scott at their 10th Street Antique Mall. Who knows what could develop here?

The St. Francis Hospital Museum is located in the Scott’s 10th St Antique Mall in downtown Cambridge. There is easy access as Cambridge is at the crossroads of I-70 and I-77. Wheeling Avenue is their main street and the museum is just a half block south of Wheeling Avenue on 10th Street.


Deming Luna Mimbres Museum Sundry Southwest Collections

Deming Luna Mimbres Museum

Deming Luna Mimbres Museum

Variety is the spice of life…and of museums. No matter what your interests, chances are you can find something to arouse your curiosity at the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum in Deming, New Mexico. Everything there is from the private collection of local residents, or former locals.

Housed in an old National Guard Armory, their unusual exhibits range from Mimbres pottery to Geodes and Gems to a Military Room. There is something that everyone can enjoy. Visiting the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum is a great chance to explore the history of Deming as well as the Mimbres heritage.

Since there is such a large variety of rooms to explore, only a few favorites will be visited here. This is one of those places where you could go back again and again to absorb the history that pours from its treasures.

Doll Room Teddy Bear Collection

Doll Room Teddy Bear Collection

The Doll Room happens to be just inside the front door so is a natural place to begin your visit.  This impressive collection contains about 1000 dolls, the oldest of which are those with China heads. Being a bear enthusiast, the teddy bear exhibit caught my eye. There is even a doll brought back by a sailor from  the rubble at Hiroshima after the Atom Bomb exploded. But there is much more in this room than just dolls.  Here you will find wonderful old books – the oldest I spotted was one by Louisa Mae Alcott, Jo’s Boys, dated 1866. Beautiful doll houses, antique toys and bears are scattered throughout the room.

Mimbres Pottery

Mimbres Pottery

Another spot of high interest is one of the best collections of Mimbres Pottery in existence. The Mimbres Indians lived in this area in approximately 1000 A.D. Bits and pieces of pottery found in the area are displayed here with the black and white pieces being a favorite of Mimbres followers. Pictures of their burial method proved interesting as the deceased were placed in the ground, usually under their houses, in an upright sitting position. Then one of their beautiful bowls was placed on their head with a hole in the top so their spirit could go to another world.

Square Grand Piano

Square Grand Piano

A square grand piano caught my eye in the solarium of the Art Gallery. Made of Brazilian rosewood with two strings per key, this 1867 treasure was created by Hallet, David & Co in Boston. Grand pianos were often the centerpiece in Victorian parlors.  Perhaps you might enjoy listening to a Brahms Waltz played on a Square Baby Grand.

An historic replica of the famous Silver Stake was on display in the Transportation Room. Back in 1881, Deming was the meeting place of the second transcontinental railroad in the United States where Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroads joined together with the Silver Stake ceremony. Situated ten miles east of its present location, Deming at that time was a town of tents and shacks. Author James McKenna stated, “The great event in town was either the arrival of the stagecoach or the train.”

Admission to the museum is free but donations are accepted…after you have seen the exhibits. You can’t get much friendlier than that!

Veterans ParkOutside a well-tended Veterans’ Park remembers wars, conflicts and attacks all around the world. The sign reads:

Do spread the word

Tell the passerby

That in this little world

Men knew how to die.

Deming Luna Mimbres Museum and Veterans Park can be found near downtown Deming, New Mexico just off I-10.  From the east take Exit 82B and from the west take Exit 82A. This should exit left on Pine Street, which leads right downtown. Turn left again on South Silver Street, which leads to the courthouse. The museum and park are on the left side after two blocks.

Rootin’ Tootin’ Western Fun Hopalong Cassidy Festival

Pritchard Laughlin Civic CenterMore fun than a pig in mud !  That description summed up the feeling of those participating in the 23rd Annual Hopalong Cassidy Festival held at Pritchard-Laughlin Civic Center during the first weekend of May near Cambridge, Ohio. Everyone there seemed to be having fun in this beautiful springtime setting!

From the moment of arrival, you were greeted outside the center with some good old-fashioned BBQ by Smokin’ C BBQ from nearby Old Washington. This provided a break from the action anytime hunger appeared during the day. Their pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ baked potatoes are always favorites.

Festival LobbyInside was where the legend of Hopalong Cassidy was being kept alive. The lobby contained Western actors from days gone by. They autographed pictures, posed with fans, and answered questions in a friendly manner.

The large banquet room had hundreds of items for sale from days of Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Daniel Boone and other favorite Western stars. Fans and dealers from all over the nation come to explore over one hundred tables of collectibles to see if they can find a treasure.

Panel of Stars

Julie Ream narrated a Panel of Stars including: Darby Hinton, Johnny Crawford, and Don Quine.

Cowboys from the past seemed to be one of the main drawing cards.  Meet the Stars drew a large crowd in the Bar 20 Annex.  These stars were all from California, but enjoying the small town greeting. Western history expert Julie Ream, who remembered the days of attending Charm School, informed the audience that her cousin, Cactus Mack McPeters was the first to make a Western with Republic Pictures, while her Uncle Rex Allen, The Arizona Cowboy, made the last Western for them.

Representing The Virginia was Don Quine, who played the role of the grandson, Stacey. Today he spends his free time writing a book, but he would not give any inside information as to what that book was about. Perhaps it is his memoirs.

An actual descendant of Daniel Boone, Darby Hinton accidentally fell into a role in the Daniel Boone TV series when his mother, running late as usual, dropped him off in front of the studio while she went to park the car. Here he was to try out for the part of a von Trapp lad in Sound of Music. So when Darby went inside, he fell right in line with the rest of the youngsters. He charmed those interviewing and got the part easily. However, when his mother arrived, she discovered he had gone to the wrong floor and instead of interviewing for Sound of Music, had accepted a role in Daniel Boone as his son. Today he is working on a PBS documentary of the life and times of the real Daniel Boone.

A sense of humor seemed to be the strong point for Johnny Crawford, who appeared on Rifleman for five years in the role of a son. When asked what he did when he became an adult, Johnny said, “I never grew up.” Music seemed to be his avocation these days and he sang Sweet Sue to the group…well, as much of it as remembered. Johnny said he could do the beginning of most songs.

Look Alike ContestAnother highlight was the Look-Alike Contests for young and old alike, which was judged by audience clapping. Youngsters dressed in Western gear competed for trophies, but just being there was the most fun for all of them.

In the adult division, Johnny Crawford served as moderator and put the competitors through their paces. While he sang, he had them perform in various ways such as dancing, cracking the whip, doing tricks with their guns, and testing their beards to see if they were real.  Gabby Hayes quipped, “My teeth aren’t real, but my beard is.”

Johnny noted, “Being a cowboy is a hard life.”

To which Gabby responded, “Durn tootin’.”

The Roy Rogers Look-Alike was a real estate broker, who wore his Roy Rogers hat to work every day. His rendition of Happy Trails to You brought a round of applause.

However, John Wayne’s Look-Alike was the overall winner of the contest. This big, strong fellow looked and sounded like The Duke. His dance steps were even quite smooth for a cowboy of his size.

Laura Bates, founder and chairmanLaura Bates, the founder of the Hopalong Cassidy Festival, paid tribute to Grace Boyd, Hopalong’s wife. Laura and Grace had become good friends over the years with Laura visiting their California home on the Pacific Ocean frequently. Laura dressed in a shirt of Hoppy’s that Grace had given her, and had the table covered in a scarf from their home. While the festival was to honor hometown cowboy hero, Hopalong Cassidy, his wife actually was a guest there for several years and became a real favorite of those attending. Grace went to the corral where cowboys and their families go after they leave this old world at the age of 97.

Many of the attendees come year after year to the Festival. One couple from Jacksonville FL said they had been there for 17 years. Seeing old friends, who are fans of Hoppy, is one of the best reasons for coming back year after year. See y’all next year!

The Hopalong Cassidy Festival is held annually at Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center near Cambridge Ohio.  It is easily reached from I-70 at Exit  176. Turn right coming off the exit onto Glenn Highway Road, and in about half a mile the civic center is on the left side of the road.

Mom’s Potato Quips

Gardening requires lots of water,
Mostly in the form of perspiration!

Mom and Dad take family and friends strawberries from their garden

Mom and Dad take family and friends strawberries from their garden

Mom and Dad spent much of their summer perspiring and watering the garden. A large part of their garden was a potato patch. They would pile dirt around the base of the potato plants to protect them from the sun by hilling them, hoeing carefully to avoid damaging any of the potatoes growing under the ground. These potatoes, a favorite comfort food, would last them through the winter if cared for properly.

Mom, a country girl at heart, had many uses for the potatoes. She always carried a raw potato in her apron pocket to prevent rheumatism, while her mashed potatoes and fried chicken dinner became a popular request for family and friends alike.

One morning the children, Mike and Rachel, were home from school, neither one feeling very well. Since poor little Rachel was running a fever, Mom told Rachel to lie down on the couch. Mom hurried to the kitchen to peel some potatoes, which she wrapped in a clean pillowcase before taking them to the living room.

“Rachel, I’m going to place these on your forehead. They’ll draw the fever out and you’ll feel better soon.” Rachel curled up on the couch under a colorful afghan, and soon fell asleep.

In the meantime, Mike complained of an earache. “Mom, would you fix something for my ear? You’re almost magic the way you make everyone feel better.” Mom dashed to the kitchen where she was boiling potatoes for supper. After she mashed some potatoes finely in a ricer, she wrapped the warm mashed potatoes in a clean kitchen towel, then placed the towel around his ear.

“These mashed potatoes will keep your ear warm as toast, because potatoes stay warm for a long time. Be sure to keep them on your ear. You’ll feel better by supper time,” Mom explained in a soft voice to her son. Since Mike was a busy little boy, he didn’t want to lie down so instead sat on the porch whittling a stick with his penknife.

Soon Mom heard Mike cry out, “Ouch! A bee stung me.”

“Don’t worry,” Mom advised, “a slice of potato is just what you need to cool down the swelling from that bee sting. Hold it on the sting while you take the dog for a walk.”

At supper that evening when they sat down to golden brown fried chicken and mashed potatoes, Rachel sat in deep thought. “Mom, I can’t believe there are so many uses for a potato. But the best of all is your mashed potatoes, especially with that creamy chicken gravy.”

The smile on Mom’s face lit up the room. Next year they definitely would plant more potatoes!

This story appeared in the Daily Jeffersonian of Cambridge, Ohio as part of Rainy Day Writers stories for Mothers’ Day. While the picture is actually one of my mom and dad, the names of the children  in the story are fictitious. If you have any great ideas that your mom used to cure aches and pains, please let me know as I enjoy using natural remedies whenever possible.

Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan “The Rapids of St. Mary”

The roaring river of St Mary’s separates the twin cities,  Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste Marie, Michigan on the northwestern tip of the UP of Michigan.  The International Bridge takes road traffic over the St Mary’s River, which is the connecting river between two of the Great Lakes:  Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

Soo LocksThis is home to The Soo Canal, the longest locking system in the world, commonly called “The Soo” by locals. A stop at the Information Center gives you additional information regarding the magnitude of the locks and their importance to shipping in the Great Lakes Region.  Through The Soo, it is possible to watch very large ships being lifted or dropped 21′ as they go through the rapids from lake to lake. Two of the ships being moved this particular day were the S S Atlanta Huron, a bulk Canadian freighter measuring 736′ X 76′, and Lee A Tregurtha, an original WWII tanker now sailing for over sixty years,measuring even larger at 826′ X 75′.

Tower of HistoryIt was fascinating to watch the ships being moved and there were several vantage points.  A nearby tower provided an overview of the area, while it was also possible to watch the ships from the dock area – nearly close enough to touch them.

The Tower of History also gave great overviews of the city as well as the locks. Built in 1969 by the Catholic Church, its purpose was to tell the history of the early missionaries. Today the story of Native Americans as well as the early missionaries is told with pictures, films and displays. 2000 years ago the Native American Indians gathered near the waters here due to the abundant supply of fish and furs. The Tower of History is 210′ high with outside balconies to make viewing a pleasure.  Since it was a very windy day, it was advised that visitors not go to the top. But that was just a challenge and proved quite scenic.

Agawa Canyon FallsThe following day, an early morning train, Agawa Canyon Tour Train, left Sault Ste Marie on the Canadian side. The round trip of 228 miles over towering trestles into the Canadian wilderness provided a scenic view including many lakes, waterfalls and pines.  At the farthest end of the tour, the train sweeps down into Agawa Canyon with a stop at Canyon Park, home to many beautiful waterfalls.

Before leaving Sault Ste Marie the next day, visited the Museum Ship Valley Camp, an actual retired ship. The S.S. Valley Camp was built in 1917 by a shipbuilding company in Lorain, Ohio. It is possible to walk not only the decks, but also visit the living quarters and explore inside from top to bottom. Valley Camp once had a crew of 29 men, so is the perfect place to display lifestyle of the Great Lakes’ sailors. From the more luxurious Captain’s Quarters to the rather plain cabins of the Oilers and Coal Passers, visitors receive a true glimpse into how they lived and worked onboard.

Museum Ship Valley CampA museum with over a hundred exhibits exists inside Valley Camp. Many items are displayed that have been recovered from sunken ships in the Great Lakes. An attractive aquarium features many of the fish who swim in the St Mary’s waters.

Sault Ste Marie does not claim to be tourist country, but it certainly holds many interesting pieces of the past for the curious to explore.

To reach Sault Ste Marie on the US side, take I-75 North to its end. 

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