Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for July, 2015

Zoar Village Garden’s Symbolic Design

Day Lilies greet visitors to the Zoar Gardens.

Day Lilies greet visitors at Zoar Garden.

Summer time and the flowers are blooming! The beautiful garden at Zoar Village seems most spectacular during the month of July. An entire block of vegetable and flower beds will have you wanting to find a seat and enjoy the scenery, or casually stroll down the pathways.

Long ago this garden began as a place for the communal village to grow their vegetables as well as brighten their life with flowers. Who tended those early gardens at Zoar? School boys and elderly men received this assignment as the female occupants all had household chores that must be done daily, while the men were either working the fields or building the Ohio and Erie Canal.

The center of the block garden has a special spiritual significance.

The center of the block garden has a special spiritual significance.

The spectacular Zoar Garden symbolized New Jerusalem to those German Separatists in the early 1800s. At its center stands a tall, slightly bent, Norway spruce, which represents Jesus. Surrounding the tall pine, twelve smaller junipers depict the twelve disciples.

These in turn are circled by an arbor vitae hedge, indicating heaven. Paths in the garden are proclaimed as pathways to paradise showing that no matter what path you take, if you look to Christ, you will be led to heaven.These people had strong religious beliefs now that they were free to worship as they pleased in the United States.

During the winter months, the greenhouse is filled with tropical plants.

The Gardener’s House had a conveniently attached greenhouse.

At the north end of the garden stands the Gardener’s House, which served as residence for gardener, Simon Beuter, and his family back in 1835. Shortly thereafter, a greenhouse, or hothouse, was added. Since they grew oranges, lemons and other fruit in the middle of winter in the greenhouse, it was also called the Orangerie.

Tropical plants were stored in the greenhouse during the winter months.

Tropical plants were stored in the greenhouse during the winter months.

Hothouses were unheard of in Ohio at this time. The tropical fruit trees were kept outside in large wooden tubs in the summer, but could easily be moved into the greenhouse during the cold winter months. After the Ohio and Erie Canal was built, wealthy Clevelanders would send their plants during winter to Zoar to be kept in the greenhouse, because of its unique underground heating system.

A vegetable garden would naturally have been part of the Zoarites Garden.

A vegetable garden would naturally have been part of the Zoarites’ Garden.

Research shows the Separatists frequently used many home remedies for ailments so grew medicinal types of herbs in their communal garden. They also grew fresh fruits and vegetables to provide strawberries and cabbages for the Zoar Hotel, where President William McKinley often dined on a Sunday afternoon.

Charming flower boxes on local fences added to the beauty of the village.

Charming flower boxes on local fences add to the beauty of the village.

Along the streets of town, many residents have beautiful flower gardens of their own. Baskets of flowers grace fences, and bushes bloom with beauty. There is much to see and do throughout the village with costumed guides telling about life there long ago.

While in the area take a stroll through Zoar Wetlands Arboretum or find the Trailhead nearby for the one-hundred mile long Towpath Trail of the old Ohio and Erie Canal.

Plan a visit to delightful Zoar Village on the banks of the Tuscarawas River where a guide remarked, “You could live your whole life here and never need cash. They believed cash was corrupting. It turns out they were right.”

Zoar Village can be reached just three miles off I-77 at Exit 93 between Dover and Canton, Ohio. 


Henry David Thoreau’s Thoughts Still Meaningful Today

Chautauqua in Coshocton on a rainy evening

Chautauqua in Coshocton on a rainy evening

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

Ohio Chautauqua always brings informative and interesting characters to the stage. A recent performance in Coshocton was no exception as Kevin Radaker, professor of English at Anderson University in Indiana, portrayed Henry David Thoreau, one of the greatest writers of American Literature. Even though Thoreau wrote from 1817-1862, his thoughts still influence and inspire countless people today. The audience sat mesmerized during his lecture…you could have heard a text message beep.

Banjo player entertained before the main speaker.

Banjo player, Jerry Weaver, entertained before the main speaker.

Thoreau was born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts and chose to reside there his entire life. Two sisters and a brother rounded out the Thoreau family where his father ran a pencil factory, and his mother had strong views as an abolitionist. He worked for a while in his father’s pencil factory and as a carpenter, but said he was just so-so at carpentry. However, he did become a devout abolitionist for the rest of his life, following in the footsteps of his mother. He considered himself a writer by profession, a mystic and philosopher.

After graduating from Harvard, Thoreau became friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who encouraged him in his writing and introduced him to Transcendentalism, which emphasized the spiritual matters over the physical world. Thoreau felt that every seventh day should be a day of work, while the rest of the week be treated as the Sabbath.

Thoreau holds his favorite drink - water.

Thoreau holds his favorite drink – “Water is the only drink of a wise man.”

His best know masterpiece, Walden, was written while Thoreau lived for two years in a small cabin at the edge of Walden Pond, not far from Concord, on property owned by Emerson. His daily walks in the woods are best described in his own words: “There is nothing so sanative and so poetic as a walk in the woods and fields.” He compared the value given him by his walks to what others get by going to church. Walden Pond was his greatest adventure.

Even though Thoreau spent most of his live in Concord, he did venture to other places. Cape Cod and Maine helped him picture in words the wrath of the sea, yet capture the vigor and health of Nature. He felt national preserves should be created, not for recreation but re-creation of the wilderness, his main fascination.

He was a great fan of travel, but a slightly different kind than what we might presume. His mystical travel required an inward journey, which is accomplished by using our imagination and intuition. Through these inward journeys, Thoreau came to realize what the ancient Orientals meant by contemplation and forsaking work. Sometimes he loved to sit on his porch for the entire day, while his neighbors scoffed at his poor work ethic.

Thoreau relaxes on stage.

Thoreau relaxes on stage.

Perhaps he liked to read some of his favorite books as he sat on the porch for a day. Those would include: The Bible, Hindu’s Mahabharata, and Chinese teachings in Four Books of Confucius. He felt that all these similar teachings should be written side by side for better comparison.

Thoreau encourages his readers to take an inward journey, pointing out that it may very well be more difficult than being on a ship with hundreds of other people crossing the ocean.

What he wrote a hundred and fifty years ago is still relevant today.


Discover Canal Dover History at Reeves Carriage House Museum

Dover Museum can be found upstairs at the Reeves Carriage House.

Dover Museum can be found upstairs at the Reeves Carriage House, which had a fairytale like appearance during a winter visit. Perhaps this will cool you off!

Little pieces of Canal Dover’s history can be found on the second floor of the Reeves Carriage House Museum in Dover, Ohio.  Each town needs to have their history preserved in some fashion and the Dover Historical Society has found a perfect way to showcase Canal Dover from its founding in 1807 through the Great Flood of 1913.

While this was for a special opening during the winter months, events are held here all year long. Summer is a great time to explore the Reeves Victorian House and Museum as it is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon until 4:00 from June through October 31. Then their spectacular Victorian Christmas display happens from November 11 through December 22.

This old Victrola sign advertised the business of Wnkler in Canal Dover.

This old Victrola sign advertised the business of W.A. Winkler in Canal Dover.

Reeves Banking and Trust Company was organized when local banks refused to loan money to Reeves.

Reeves Banking and Trust Company was organized when local banks refused to loan money to Reeves.

In 1818, Dover only had five buildings, three of them being taverns. But when in 1825 the Tuscarawas River was included in the layout of the Ohio-Erie Canal, growth became imminent and the first schoolhouse was soon built in a forested area on Fourth Street. Canal Dover became the tolling station on the Tuscarawas as boats traveled from the Ohio River to the Great Lakes.

Soon mills were built along the river banks making steel a growing industry. Naturally, this switch to an industrial area brought with it the arrival of the railroads in 1854. Steel became big business until a coal strike in 1920 closed mills for about a year.

When Jeremiah Reeves desired additional funds for his business operation, local banks refused to give him a loan. So in August, 1903, Mr. Reeves opened his own bank, Reeves Banking and Trust Company.  This bank continued in operation until 1982 when it merged with Huntington National Bank.

Original switchboard used in Dover.

Original switchboard used in Dover.

During WWII, most industries in the state converted their systems to supply the armed forces.  Women employed at Reeves Steel made steel castings for military use. There is a historical plaque on the Reeves Home honoring employees who lost their lives in service during WWII.

Even with the presence of mills, Dover’s water supply remained clean and was untreated until 1998. In fact, it was the last city east of the Mississippi to require sterilization of its water.

Their fire department was organized in the 1870s. The original horse drawn, wooden fire wagon on display was probably used by local firefighters. The cart was kept inside the firehouse, then pulled outside by one of the firemen. Horses were then hitched to carry it to the reported fire. While this firewagon had seats, most did not so the firemen had to run along side the wagon as it went to the fire. When someone decided to attach boards alongside the wagon for the firemen to stand on as they rode, these boards became called “running boards” because they saved the men from running.

This horse drawn fire wagon had a two man seat, which was unusual at that time.

This horse drawn fire wagon had a two man seat, which was unusual at that time.

Telephone companies operated via the switchboard for many years. Here the operator, or operators, would manually transfer each call coming in to the proper person.  An old time clock added a touch of yesteryear to the tour.

In 1908, the city was voted “dry” putting 22 saloons and two breweries out of business overnight. The Great Flood of 1913 definitely wet things down for a short time and made many changes in Canal Dover. After 48 straight hours of rain, the Tuscarawas River overflowed its banks with flood waters between three and ten feet deep.This was the end of the Erie Canal but the beginning of plans for Dover Dam to prevent future similar floods from happening.

Upstairs at the Reeves Carriage House Museum contains historic photos, interesting anecdotes, and unusual museum artifacts. The history of Dover tells the story of the United States as well. Every generation helps make our country great and strong.

Reeves Carriage House Museum can be found behind the Reeves Victorian Home off I-77 at exit 83. Take a right on Tuscarawas Avenue, left on W Front Street, right on Wooster Ave, and a left on Iron Avenue. The Home and Museum can be found at 325 E Iron Avenue. Parking is in the rear of the home near the Carriage House Museum.

Marietta Vice Walking Tour Filled with Thieves, Bars and Murders

This island contained an Amusement Park in 1900.

In 1900, Buckley Island contained an Amusement Park during the day, then became a Lawless Wonderland at night.

You had to be bold and brave if you dared walk on the seedy side of town in Marietta, Ohio back in the early 1900s. But Lynne Sturtevant recently led a crowd of fifty on an adventure back to early days as the old sections of Marietta were revisited. Along the way, characters in costume greeted the tour and told of dangerous adventures at that time.

Riverfront man and Lynne, our guide

Riverfront man and Lynne, our guide

Crime was a severe problem all along the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers in Marietta, with bars, bars, and more bars. The Ohio River flowed around a small island, that served as an amusement park during the day, but a whole new crowd arrived in the evening. They enjoyed all the vices of the time – drinking, gambling, prostitution, and murder. Going to the island in the evening had an added enticement of cheap beer. Along the shore beer was twenty-five cents a glass, but on the island, only five cents. The Island, now known as Buckley Island, was a lawless wonderland. If you wanted to do anything illegal, the island was the place!

Old hotel and bar

Notice the popular shadow advertisement of WHISKEY at The Levee House – just above the table tops.

Despicable characters roamed the streets, drinking and arguing over everything imaginable. One man and his wife were each found with bullets in their head after an argument over a wristwatch. The stories told were all true reports of the Marietta newspaper from that time.

Proud bartender

Proud bartender

Dance halls and saloons were the main businesses in town. Shadow advertising can still be seen on many buildings with words like WHISKEY worked right into the brick works.

Along the way, the group met a delightful bartender who told of some of the fights he had witnessed at the bars. The job he hated the most was cleaning the spittoons.

A character portraying Oliver Hyde, mayor of Marietta in 1904, spoke to the group in front of the police station. The building also served as the electric company and the mayor had his office on the top floor. He gave the latest police report describing real events in Marietta in 1904.

Historic Harmar Bridge

Historic Harmar Railroad Bridge

The historic Harmar Railroad Bridge provided a scenic walkway over the Muskingum River. This is the country’s oldest operating railroad swinging bridge, still using a hand crank to swing it open for passing boats. Where the Harmar Historical Village stands today, Fort Harmar existed in 1785 for the protection of the Indians.

Walking over the bridge, one of the roughest sections of town was on Maple Street. A young man, who lived there, told about his neighborhood. He spoke of Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, who were well known local folks. Mrs. Hayes served as a madam, while her husband usually caused problems. Mr. Hayes was very jealous of his wife and accused her of seeing the local bartender. She begged him, “Don’t kill me!”

He did.

Guy from the rough side of town

Guy from the rough side of town

The young man said the Marietta Police had never caught the husband and asked the mayor why he wasn’t working on it. The mayor, in typical mayor fashion said, “It’s under investigation.” The young man told the group to get back over the bridge as quickly as possible as the area was not a safe one.

While visiting a housewife in Sin City, she told of a murder that happened next door to her house. She was hanging out the laundry when she heard a husband and wife fighting next door. The husband yelled, “I’ll break your face right in if you do that again.”

Later she smelled a fire burning in their back yard and hurried to get her clothes off the line. About 5:00 the next morning, there was a knock at her door. At the door stood the next door neighbor. “Good morning, the missus has gotten drunk and fell into the fire and burned right up. She’s always getting drunk.”

When the police arrived at the scene, over half of the woman’s body was severely burned, but they could see severe bruises on her neck. Perhaps she didn’t just fall into the fire, but was pushed. You’ll have to visit to find out…the rest of the story.

A rainy ending to an educational and interesting day

A rainy ending to an educational and interesting day

Rain held off until the very end of the tour, when it came down from the sky in buckets. The wind, rain and lightning made it seem that this place was perhaps still dangerous.

Marietta, Ohio is located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers in southern Ohio. Take Exit 1 off I -77 in Ohio to experience this delightful town. Characters along the way were provided by Paskawych Entertainment, LLC of Marietta.

The Cambridge Glass Museum Sparkles with Memories

Picture of the original Cambridge Glass Company in 1909

Picture of the original Cambridge Glass Company in 1909

Stepping inside the National Museum of Cambridge Glass in Cambridge, Ohio makes former employees and their families feel a great sense of pride in the fine work displayed within its walls. Visitor after visitor marvels at the fine workmanship that has stood the test of time. Over 6,000 pieces of the finest glass in the world are on display.

Original finishing bench from Cambridge Glass. Dad could have sat here.

Volunteers Cindy, Gary, and Sandi demonstrate making glass around an original finishing bench from Cambridge Glass. Dad might have sat on that bench.

My thoughts always turn to Dad and Mom when I enter its doors. Working at Cambridge Glass Co. for over thirty years, my dad, Rudy Wencek, learned to do many different jobs: carrying-in boy, presser, finisher, and blower. Mom, known as Kate to her friends, only worked there a few years in the packing department.

Two of Dad's turncards show he was finisher, the item being made, and amount paid.

Two of Dad’s turncards show he was finisher, the item being made, and amount paid.

All of the employees remember it being a great place to work. Since times were tough during many of those years, the company provided a factory restaurant, where employees could get an economical meal and have it deducted from their pay.  They also were able to get coal to heat their homes at a reduced rate from Cambridge Glass’s Near Cut Coal Mine. Insurance was even provided for their employees.

Our long driveway was covered, not with gravel, but with ashes from the furnaces of Cambridge Glass. Many recall employees’ sidewalks and driveways having a coating of Cambridge Glass ash.

These popular Georgian tumblers were used daily at my parents'home.

These popular Georgian tumblers were used daily at my parents’ home.

When the plant closed in 1958, glass enthusiasts wanted to preserve its history, so in 1983 they opened the first National Museum of Cambridge Glass. Today their museum is on 9th Street just off Wheeling Avenue in downtown Cambridge.

These marbles from Christensen Agate Co. were made from Cambridge cullet glass.

These marbles from Christensen Agate Co. were made from Cambridge cullet.

This past year they have created two new displays that are fascinating. One involves marbles. The Christensen Agate Co. made “the world’s most perfectly formed marbles.” They were located right behind the Cambridge Glass Company. To make the beautiful colors in their marbles, they used Cambridge Glass Company’s broken or waste glass called cullet, which they remelted to form the marbles..

This display shows some of the Cambridge Glass used in movies or television shows.

This display shows some of the Cambridge Glass used in movies or television shows.

A larger display is called Hollywood Glass. Here you can spot Cambridge Glass pieces that have actually been used in movies and television shows. It’s quite impressive to realize that the things made in this small town are considered fine enough quality to be used in such manner as: a wine glass in White Christmas, an etched pitcher in Gunsmoke, a funnel on Hawaii Five-O, plus many more.

School and bus groups frequently tour the museum. Beginning with a short video actually filmed at the Cambridge Glass Company in the 1940s, visitors are then given a quiz regarding the video. Those with the correct answers are dressed in working gear as the process is reviewed.

Students enjoy using the etching plates.

Students enjoy using the etching plates.

Another aspect that greatly interests adults and students happens in the etching department. Here they are given actual Cambridge Glass etching plates, for such patterns as Rose Point, Dragon, or Chantilly, and can see the patterns emerge on a paper trail rather than glass. Of course, beautiful, etched glass creations are visible throughout the museum.

Hopefully, someday you will take the time to see these pieces of glass artwork made by friends and family right here in Guernsey County. Dad and his co-workers should feel great pride in the beautiful gems they have created. Part of them lives on in their handiwork.

The National Museum of Cambridge Glass is located in Cambridge, Ohio at 136 S 9th Street, just a half block off its main street, Wheeling Avenue – also called old Route 40. Admission is a reasonable $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and children under 12 are admitted free.

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