Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for June, 2013

John Morgan’s Raid in Ohio 150th Anniversary Celebration

Morgan's Freebooters enter Washington, Ohio ~Harper's Weekly, Aug, 1863

Morgan’s Freebooters enter Washington, Ohio
~Harper’s Weekly, Aug, 1863

John Morgan with the remnant of a band composed of the most villanous cut-throats and scoundrels….made his way into this county on Thursday, the 22nd. (Guernsey Times Extra Addition Cambridge, Ohio July 28, 1863)

This statement by the local newspaper back in 1863  sums up the feeling of Northern residents regarding the antics of Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who led his raiders on a chase through Ohio during the Civil War.  His main goals were to destroy supply lines while creating chaos and fear.

Cannon fire ignites celebration.

Cannon fire ignites celebration.

This special celebration took place in Lore City, Ohio at the Leatherwood Park trailhead of The Great Guernsey Trail, which is a paved pathway from Lore City to Cambridge used for walking and biking.  Often you see parents pushing their children in strollers, or children pushing their parents in wheelchairs. This six mile trail has become a favorite spot to exercise and get some fresh air in the Guernsey County area.

Andy Warhola, Civil War speaker

Andy Warhola, Civil War speaker

Local Civil War Roundtable members, Andy Warhola and Tom Snyder, explained Morgan’s ravaging two week raid through Ohio with slides, maps and pictures. They told of Morgan’s stealing two steamboats in order to cross the Ohio River into Indiana. Proceeding into Ohio above Cincinnati, they headed across the state with Union forces in pursuit.

Thinking the best way to escape was to again cross the Ohio River, Morgan led his men to a ford, which would let them have easy access to Buffington Island, a stepping stone across the Ohio. But his plan went amiss when Morgan decided to wait until morning for the crossing instead of attempting to move in the pitch darkness of night. The next morning however produced heavy fog, so again he was delayed, thus giving the USS Moose time to reach their crossing point. This is said to be the only Civil War battle in Ohio. Here the Union turned Morgan and his Confederates away with heavy losses.  What had started out as 2500 men, was down to approximatley 1100 after the battle at Buffington Island.

After this they headed towards Guernsey County entering at Cumberland and continuing to Londonderry. Finally they were captured in Salineville, heading to the Ohio River again. Along the way they were hungry and needed horses so there was plenty of thievery and destruction.

In the town of Campbell’s Station, which is today Lore City, there was more financial damage than anywhere else in the county.  They robbed the safe in the warehouse of $4,000, then burned the warehouse, train station and bridge as well as three railroad cars filled with tobacco…all this before the Union forces arrived.

Couple in Civil War dress

Couple in Civil War dress

Nearly 150 years later, Lore City was filled with a Civil War feeling as many dressed in clothing of the time. A cannon was fired several times after careful loading by a group of Morgan County Re-enactors dressed as Confederate soldiers.

Local historian, Dave Adair, described the town of Campbell’s Station, which at the time of attack had only about sixty people. Their telegraph office was kept busy sending messages and receiving replies regarding Morgan’s Raiders. Due to the messages, Morgan and his Rebel scoundrels changed their route to avoid a railroad trestle, where a hundred men were waiting to ambush them.

Dave Adair speaks in the pavilion, which was the site of the original train station in Campbell's Station.

Dave Adair speaks in the pavilion, which was the site of the original train station in Campbell’s Station.

Dave also explained why Campbell’s Station changed its name to Lore City.  There happened to be two Campbell’s Stations at that time and the larger one kept the name. When deciding what to rename the smaller town, the Irish Catholics had a big hand in it. Their church were attempting to educate the people in this small community; therefore devised the new name as The City of Learning or Lore City… lore meaning knowledge or learning.

Ohio Hills Spinners and Weavers

Ohio Hills Spinners and Weavers

Spinning and weaving demonstrations were given by members of The Ohio Hills Spinners and Weavers, who also added stories of working conditions during the Civil War. Music was plentiful from start to finish. Bluegrass music, which included many Civil War songs, was provided by Mr and Mrs Small. While many of the Civil War songs were of a sad nature, Mrs. Small had written a happy song, Black Berries, to which everyone sang along. Cambridge City Band swung into action with their rendition of Civil War hits such as: Listen to the Mockingbird, Swanee River and many more. This was followed later by Dynamic Trio, who played 50’s and 60’s rock and roll.

Riders enjoying the horse and wagon ride were greeted by Mayor Carpenter and wife, Sharon.

Horse and wagon riders were greeted by Mayor Carpenter and wife, Sharon.

Horses were an important part of the Civil War and it is estimated that over a million horses and mules were lost during the battles. General Morgan was indeed known as “The King of Horse Thieves”.  Wagon rides, which seemed fitting for the anniversary celebration, were provided along a segment of the Lore City trailhead in a wagon resembling the wagons used during the war to carry generals, the wounded and supplies.

If you want to get a little more adventuresome, today you can follow the trail that Morgan made during his raid. Signs have been posted from Cumberland to Londonderry with information regarding the events that took place in that particular area. Would make an interesting Sunday drive!

Lore City, Ohio is located in Guernsey County just east of I-77. Take exit 46, US Route 40 east, then follow Route 40 for four miles and turn right on State Route 265.  Continue on 265 until a four way stop, where a right hand turn leads you over the bridge to Lore City.  Leatherwood Park is to the left after you cross the bridge.

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Relax with Nature at Dawes Arboretum

Dawes All Season Garden

Dawes Arboretum

Imagine being where no one is in a hurry. Dawes Arboretum could be the perfect place for you! This nature haven is dedicated to increasing the love and knowledge of trees, history, and the natural world. Young and old walk around the grounds at a leisurely stroll and traffic has a speed limit of 15 mph. Ah!  This is a spot to relax!

Way back in 1917, Beman and Bertie Dawes purchased a farm known as Woodland in Licking County. The family renamed it Daweswood and began planting trees, from all over the world, that would grow in Ohio. He hoped to encourage others to plant trees at their farms also. In 1929, Dawes Arboretum was formed and by then, Beman had planted over 50,000 trees and purchased more land.

The Visitors Center is a great place to begin your visit. Here you can pick up a map to guide you throughout the 1800 acres, and discover a little history of Dawes Arboretum as well as their family.  Beman Dawes’ father was a Civil War veteran, who served in The Iron Brigade. His brother, Charles, served as Vice-President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge.

Dawes All Season Garden

Dawes All Season Garden

One of my favorite spots is walking leisurely through All-Seasons Garden behind the Visitors Center. Here you are greeted with the flowers of each season from Spring through Fall – tulips to mums. There is a wide variety of plants here, some perennials and some annuals, but all striking in their setting. Name plates are frequently found near trees and plants with both their scientific and common names for easy identification.  Benches provide a spot to relax and to take time to smell the roses. A charming gazebo offers a touch of shelter on a rainy or sunny day, and provides another spot for viewing the garden.

Lake at Japanese Gardens

Lake at Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Garden creates one of the most tranquil spots at Dawes. With a beautiful small lake at its center, the plants of Japan weave their way around the pond and into your being. Give your feet a rest in the small meditation house at the edge of the reflecting pool to let the tranquility soak in.  A stone path crosses the pool filled with colorful koi, making it a favorite of young and old alike.

Since Dawes is located in Ohio, the Buckeye state, it seemed only fitting that buckeye trees would be included in the landscape. The Dawes family decided to plant 17 trees in the shape of the number seventeen honoring Ohio’s admission to the Union as the 17th state.

Large Hedge spells our Dawes Arboretum.

Large Hedge spells our Dawes Arboretum.

Dawes Observation Tower

Dawes Observation Tower

Perhaps you will notice as you approach the arboretum that there is a large hedge, which spells out DAWES ARBORETUM quite clearly. As you slowly drive through the wooded areas, toward the end of your tour, you will arive at The Observation Tower at the southeastern end of the arboretum. Climbing the tower gives a great view of the surroundings including the hedge. This hedge is thought to be the longest hedge in the world at  2,040 feet long and approximatley six feet high. Bernie Dawes decided to build the hedge for the enjoyment of planes flying into the Columbus Airport.

Bald Cypress Swamp Trees with Knees

Trees with Knees

One last treat before you leave is the Cyprus Swamp. This Bald-Cypress Swamp is one of the most northern swamps in North America.  A delightful boardwalk gives guests an up-close and personal view of the trees and their root system, as well as the creatures in the water.  The bumps you see coming out of the water have given these trees a nickname: Trees with Knees. Botanists aren’t really sure what their purpose is but some think it might help them breathe, while others think it is perhaps to help brace them from the wind.

Every season of the year brings a variety of trees, plants, and blossoms to center stage. This is definitely one of those spots where you can enjoy a walk through the trails, or a drive down the roadway, at any time of the year.  Beautiful scenes appear around every bend.

Meander through the grounds anytime of the year surrounded by the beauties of nature at Dawes Arboretum with over 16,000 living plants. It’s opened 362 days a year and admission is free.  You’ll want to come back each season!

Dawes Arboretum is located near Newark, Ohio just off I-70.  Take Exit 132 , Route 13 , and proceed North on Route 13 for about three miles.  The entrance is located on the left hand side of the road at 7770 Jacksontown Road.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can Lesson from Dad

Dad's old truck

Dad’s old truck

Hop in the truck. Let’s go for a ride! Those were the words that lifted my heart and put a skip in my step. Often on a Sunday afternoon, Dad would dress in his best white shirt, put on his straw hat, and jump up on the running board of his Chevy pick-up truck. Happy memories were made on a Sunday drive sitting in the front seat between Dad grasping the steering wheel, and Mom clutching the door on the other side.

My job was trying to lose him on the back roads of Guernsey County. At each intersection of the road, it was my choice as to which way we should turn – right or left? But no matter how hard I tried, accomplishing that task was not a possibility.

With a snap of his fingers, he’d insist, “I know the back roads of Guernsey County like the back of my hand.” And he did!

Sometimes he would shut off the engine – to save gasoline, which was 25 cents a gallon at that time. Then we would fly down the hills and see how far we could coast before he needed to start the engine running again. A special enjoyment for him was the ability to drive over the roller-coaster like hills in such a manner that your stomach did little flips. The main goal was to have fun while enjoying a ride with his family.

Some of the hills were very steep and our black Chevy truck was very, very old. Sometimes we would make it part way up the hill, stop, then back down to the bottom again for a second try. That old truck didn’t have much get up and go, so it was quite a struggle to climb those steep Ohio hills! Next time he would get a better run for the hill. His laughter still rings in my ears as he would say, “I think I can, I think I can.”

When our truck finally rattled and sputtered to the top of the hill, he would clap his hands and with a voice filled with laughter say, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

What a great lesson in life: If we truly think we can do something, it can be accomplished. Lessons like that from Dad have stuck with me all these years. Mom always went along for the rides even though she didn’t enjoy them nearly as much as Dad and his daughter. Shaking her head, Mom would declare, “You two are my favorite gypsies.”

Chiricahua Desert Museum Educational Oasis in the Desert

New Mexico Desert Museum

New Mexico Desert Museum

In the middle of nowhere, or at least it seems, you will find an unexpected gem – a desert museum operated by people who enjoy being away from the crowds.  Here in the small town of  Rodeo, New Mexico, The Chiricahua Desert Museum found a home. The idea began as recently as 2006 and opened for visitors in 2009 when my first visit occurred. The Chiricahua Desert Museum has made major improvements since that time and during this recent visit has added many educational programs as well.

Tile Gila Monster at Museum Entrance

Tile Gila Monster at Museum Entrance

The museum sits in the middle of the desert between the Chiricahua Mountains and the Peloncilos. Here in the southwestern corner of New Mexico, the border of Arizona is only across the road. Desert plants, rocks and sand create a beautiful entrance way to the museum as you walk over a large tile design of a gila monster, a heavy, slow-moving, venomous lizard.  Mountains make a beautiful backdrop, especially as you enter the Botanical Garden.

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden

This corner of their large Botanical Garden is a place to relax and learn about the plants of the desert. Besides the plants, there are beautiful statues as well as a small pond. Here you might see a box turtle or lizard… if it isn’t too hot.

Dancing on a Dwarf Statue

Dancing on a Dwarf Statue

The museum itself contains many items found in the desert and beyond.  There is a large collection of arrowheads and pieces of pottery found in the area.  If enough pieces were found, they have been reassembled into beautiful vases and bowls. A collection of liquor bottles all contained the names of reptiles, such as: Blue Tongue Premium Lager, Granny’s Turtle Juice, Python Ale, or Mojave Red Premium Lager. A large bronze statue, Dancing on a Dwarf, was a centerpiece of the main museum. Wildlife artist, Tell Hicks, displays many of his paintings at the museum and his prints are favorites of those who visit. Often Tell sets up his easel at the museum so visitors can watch him create another amazing desert scene.

An interesting new addition is the state-of-the-art Reptile Exhibit.  Here you will find over 60 rare species enclosed in glass cases, but well and alive! Rattlesnakes and rock lizards are popular features as well as rat snakes and mud turtles. Personally, it was a relief that they were enclosed in glass!

Before leaving, check out the excellent gift shop with an outstanding selection of books and upscale souvenirs.  Beautiful turquoise and Indian style jewelry is on display and for sale at fairly reasonable prices. You can also find many good books and great artwork. This is not your ordinary gift shop, but quite superior with unusual treasures to view or purchase.

New Mexico 067Afterwards, lunch at the Rodeo Cafe was a real treat before heading to the Chiricahua Mountains through the small town of Portal, where neo-tropical birds hang out – a bird watcher’s paradise. The dirt road into the Chiricahuas and the Coronado National Monument was a spectacular, yet slow, two hour drive.  Billy the Kid was said to have a ranch here during his outlaw days.  What a great place to hide a herd of rustled cattle!

The Chiricahua Desert Museum is located in Rodeo, New Mexico in the Southwest corner of the state very near the border of Arizona.  From I-10, take Exit 5 South on NM 80. After about 30 miles of beautiful desert scenery, you will arrive in Rodeo. The Chiricahua Desert Museum sits on the left side of the road just a couple miles east of Portal, Arizona.

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