Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for October, 2014

Beautiful Autumn Leaves HIghlight Lindy Point

A roadside peek on a cloudy day

A roadside peek on a cloudy day

Every little corner of West Virginia seems to have a beautiful mountain view, and nobody does Autumn better than West Virginia. Lindy Point near Davis, West Virginia, provides a dynamic view in several directions.

Lindy Point Overlook sign

Lindy Point Overlook sign

Heading back a narrow curving road only wide enough for one vehicle, it seems obvious that this is not a heavily traveled area even for tourists. There are only four parking places at the entrance to Lindy Point so it would appear they don’t expect many visitors, but surprisingly several people were met on the trail.

Rough path to Lindy Point

Rough path to Lindy Point

Traveling down a long, secluded path, each step needs to be taken carefully. Many tree branches, briers, and rocks appear on the path, which is basically a black dirt trail, but rather level. There are interesting plants along the way as the trail leads through dense rhododendron bushes. While eyes were open for animals, especially bears, none were spotted.

At places the road was muddy from rains of the past few days, and the black dirt trail turned into a boggy black adventure. There were places where there was no way around due to the heavy brush, so the only way to proceed was to walk right over the murky black bog. This was accomplished by placing the foot flat on top of the mud, one step at a time, and you didn’t sink in…well, at least not too much. A walking stick on this trail was particularly useful and welcome.

Looking over the edge at Lindy Point

Looking over the edge at Lindy Point

Finally we reached the end of the trail to a magnificent view from the overlook. Here you can see 48 acres of the Blackwater Canyon, one of those picture postcard views in all directions, as the valley is ignited with the colors of Autumn leaves. The Blackwater River runs through the bottom, while at the top are unusual, free-standing, rock “chimneys”, which add to the spectacular view. These enormous rocks were pushed up during the formation of the mountains many years ago.

Zoomed View of the river below Lindy Point

Zoomed View of the river below Lindy Point

A young man and his family appeared at the summit and told of his teenage adventures there for frequent picnics.  He remembered the time they were having a party out on the rocks before the platforms were built. One of his friends had too much to drink and fell to his death off the rock into the canyon below. The area was closed for a couple years and then the platform was put in place as a safety measure.

The walk back seemed much shorter and faster, but at the end it was necessary to clean the boggy mud off our shoes before moving on. 

Autumn is a great time to catch the view from Lindy Point. Anytime is beautiful, but the colors of the leaves highlighted its beauty.

Directions to Blackwater State Park travel many scenic routes along the way. These are the clearest directions I have found: Take I-7o E to I-79 S. Stay on I-79 S to Morgantown, WV. At Morgantown, follow I-68 E to Rt. 42 S, Friendsville, MD. Follow to Rt. 219 S through Oakland, MD, to Thomas, WV. At Thomas, take Rt. 32 S to Davis, WV. See what I mean?

 

Advertisements

Downton Abbey Weekend Opens Dickens Season

Downton Abbey Tea Party

Downton Abbey Tea Party

The pleasure and eloquence of merry olde England will appear in historic downtown Cambridge, Ohio during the 9th season of Dickens Victorian Village. Fans of Downton Abbey will be especially pleased during the first weekend of Nov 1 – 2 with Desperate for Downton events, including etiquette instruction, a tea party, and fashion show.

Father Christmas and his wife enjoy opening festivities.

Father Christmas and his wife enjoy opening festivities.

Opening ceremonies will be held at the Guernsey County Courthouse with entertainment by local groups, candle lighting, and caroling. Then watch the 2014 debut of the Guernsey County Courthouse Music & Light Show. You’ll be impressed.

Abbey Etiquette at the Cambridge Glass Museum

Abbey Etiquette at the Cambridge Glass Museum

A touch of old Victorian England presents itself through this special Desperate for Downton weekend. Begin with an etiquette class that will have you eating prim and proper for the rest of the holiday season. The National Museum of Cambridge Glass prepares an opulent location for this learning experience, as well as a feast for the eyes with their elegant table setting. Learn proper etiquette, then meander through the aisles of the glittering Cambridge Glass Museum.

Join in the fun of a Downton Abbey Painting Party  in the Dickens Welcome Center and Curiosity Shop located at 745 Steubenville Avenue. Try your hand at painting a Victorian style picture that is likely to become a treasured memory. Cost is $15 per person with all materials furnished.

Diplay of Victorian items at Downton Abbey Tea & Fashion Show

Diplay of Victorian items at Downton Abbey Tea & Fashion Show

The highlight of this Desperate for Downton weekend happens during the Downton Abbey Tea and Fashion Show. Spend an autumn afternoon at a delightful Victorian tea party in the breathtaking Masonic ballroom at 730 Wheeling Avenue. Classic Faire’s dainty delights on each tea tower will stimulate the taste buds, while The Alley Vintage and Costume Store will present the amazing trim styles of period fashions.

Get in the spirit of the day. Dress in your finest dress, hat and gloves in either historic or contemporary style and spend a charming afternoon for $30 per person. Even those who entertain on Downton Abbey would feel at home during this event.

Learn how to decorate your own Gingerbread House.

Learn how to decorate your own Gingerbread House.

If perhaps you aren’t in the mood for tea and fashion, Sunday afternoon at 1:00 there will also be a Family Fun Gingerbread Decorating class at the Guernsey County Senior Center at 1022 Carlisle Avenue. Parents and children have the opportunity to join forces and create a special gingerbread house.

Guernsey County Music & Light Show

Guernsey County Music & Light Show

Dickens Victorian Village takes place from November through early January each year. Historic Downtown Cambridge comes to life with 92 scenes of 166 lifelike figures representing classic scenes from Victorian society. To add to the festive atmosphere, each evening from 5:30 – 9:00 pm view the magnificent 1881 Guernsey County Courthouse Music & Light Show where thousands of lights pulsate in synchronized rhythm to seasonal music.

Come join in the fun!

Cambridge, Ohio is located at the crossroads of I-70 and I-77. Follow old Route 40, the National Trail, as it leads right through downtown Cambridge where you will see Dickens Victorian Village. 

Ghost Tales Flourish in Historic Marietta

Welcome to Hidden Marietta, where some stories – and some people – simply refuse to die.

The fountain marks the starting place for the Ghost Trek.

The fountain marks the starting place for the Ghost Trek.

The most haunted town in Ohio seems a natural place for a Ghost Trek – the streets of Marietta. Meeting near the Lafayette Hotel along the Ohio River, excellent guides tell some of the scariest stories about restless spirits left over from the past in this paranormal hot spot. Even rain won’t dampen your spirits.

While ghost stories are told at each stop, the tour also tells the history of early Marietta. As you hear stories of murder and paranormal activities, the heart races just a little faster as you glance around to see if there’s anything unusual happening.

The tour takes about two hours with perhaps a dozen stops, so many interesting ghost and historic tales are told along the way. Buckley Island in the middle of the Ohio River has experienced everything from Native American Indian attacks to an amusement park. At one point it also contained “Pest House”, where all sick people were quarantined to prevent illness from spreading on land. Once there, you stayed permanently. Today, hikers still feel sick and weak on the island…perhaps leftover energy?

Staircase the Ax Murderer used in 1890's.

Staircase the Ax Murderer used in 1890’s.

Walking down the brick streets, with Victorian style buildings, gives you the feeling of stepping back in time. Listen to the tales of footsteps, knocks, and voices in the night. When you visit the old La Belle Hotel, the eerie glow of the night beckons for a close look at the staircase where the ax murderer walked slowly up, then ran down. Those footsteps are still heard frequently today and reflect a residual haunting – energy left over from 130 years ago.

Today, guests at the Lafayette Hotel often comment about unusual happenings in their rooms. Glasses may be moved, lights turned on or off, and people are frequently seen roaming the halls. One of those nighttime visitors appears to be Mr. Hoag, former owner, in his brown derby hat.

Haunted Lafayette Hotel

Haunted Lafayette Hotel

Employees of long ago recognized Mr. Hoag as the best possible manager. Employees today say that sometimes during the night, the elevator will suddenly light up for 6th floor, which is where maintenance equipment is stored, and the manager frequently visited. After a short time, the elevator comes back down to the ground floor. Just Mr. Hoag, still checking on his hotel.

Former home of Marietta Sanitorium

Former home of Marietta Sanitarium

Another eerie stop was the Tiber Way Grille, where people hear moaning and sobbing. Close inspection of the old ghost advertisement on the side of the building, brings out the letters saying: Chronic Disease- Marietta Sanitarium. After the hospital moved, a funeral parlor occupied this building. Now you see the reason for the crying sounds. Soon this will become a Victorian style hotel – complete with ghosts.

Now that you have heard a few of the ghost stories, perhaps you’ll enjoy a visit to Marietta sometime soon yourself. While Halloween seems the perfect time for a Ghost Trek, this event is held every Friday and Saturday evening from June to November at 8:00. Meet at the corner of Front and Greene Streets, at the fountain by the famous haunted and historic Lafayette Hotel.

Watch out for those ghosts!

To arrive in Marietta, Ohio take Exit 1 off I off I-77 and head west on Route 7, Greene Street. Where the Muskingum River meets the Ohio River, you will find the old Lafayette Hotel, the starting point for the Ghost Trek. This walking tour is under the expert guidance of Lynne Sturtevant, founder of Hidden Marietta and author of several books of Marietta history.

 

Monongahela Indian Village at Meadowcroft

Indian Wigwams

Indian Wigwams

Inside the wigwam centers around a fireplace.

The wigwam centers around a fireplace.

If you want to see how Indians lived over 500 years ago, take a peek inside the walls of the Monongahela Indian village. Located at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village near Avella, Pennsylvania, the village provides a place to see what Indian life was like back in 1590. Tall branches, placed so close together that nothing could get through, surround the village. Only a narrow opening permitted entrance to the inside, making the village well protected and easily defended.

Home was a wigwam constructed over a frame of flexible young saplings. Bark woven with cattails covered the outside, while the inside was lined with bark. Furnishings were sparse. A raised platform, which served as a place to sit during the day and a place to sleep during the night, rested against a wall. Quite often a family of nine would live here.

Hunting camp with tools for hunting and fishing

Hunting camp with tools for hunting and fishing

Their hunting camp displayed several of the tools used for hunting and fishing. The guides passed around various animal skins so their softness could be felt.  The silky fur of a river otter felt the softest of all.

Three Sisters Garden

Three Sisters Garden

Gardens played an extremely important role in their life, with women being the gardeners. Their three main crops carried the name “The Three Sisters”. These three crops: corn, beans, and squash, depended on each other. The corn provided a stalk for the beans to wrap around, while the large leaves of the squash gave needed shade to keep the soil moist.

Being in charge of gardens by clearing the land of trees became the first order of business for the Indian woman. They killed the trees by hitting them with stones. Then pulled up the weeds as they loosened the soil with sharp stones. After planting the seeds, each hill of corn would be fertilized with one fish.

Protecting the garden was vital so they built an 8′-10′ fence with a lookout tower. Women and children took turns watching so neither man not beast could take their vegetables.

Atlatl Practice Area

Atlatl Practice Area

Hunting became the man’s contribution. Early hunting parties used an atlatl, which consisted of a handle with a hook or notch that propelled a spear with a swinging motion. Its pointed arrowhead succeeded in killing animals needed for food.

With the use of the atlatl,  hunters could throw the spear farther with more force than a regular arm motion. It took practice to hit the mark. Later bows and arrows became common.

A visit to Meadowcroft ensures a look into the past. The Smithsonian Institution has named it one of the  “Five Great Places to See Evidence of First Americans.”  Start your day at the Visitors’ Center to watch a film about the complex. Then visit each of the four special areas: Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Monogahela Indian Village, Frontier Area, and a Rural Village. Step back in time and enjoy the day.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter is found near Avella, PA off the beaten path. Your easiest bet might be to have your GPS guide you to 401 Meadowcroft Road in Avella, PA.

Tag Cloud