If you want the feeling of the Old West right close to home, head on down to Dogwood Pass in the hills of Southern Ohio. Many roads head that direction. All are scenic.
This Western town developed rather recently in Beaver, Ohio as an idea of Mike “Frog” Montgomery. Now, Frog has always had a passion for the history and life of a cowboy. He grew up on the farm that today holds Dogwood Pass. Why, he and Sharlene even got married on this spot twenty-five years ago.
One thing Frog always wanted was his own saloon to hang out in after horseback riding or hunting. In 2009, he decided to build a saloon in his back yard. Just for a hobby! Even Mike admits that his hobby went wild…Wild, Wild West, that is.
Not only is there a growing village, but a couple times a day you can see a live Wild West Show, “Bank Robbery at Dogwood Pass”. There’s a whole lotta shootin’ and chasin’ goin’ on, including a jail escape.
A special children’s show lets children decide if they’d rather be an outlaw or a deputy. Most want to be outlaws! Everyone takes an active part in the show.
Every year the Montgomerys hold a cystic fibrosis event in honor of a dear friend who suffered with that illness. The Brad Schneider Memorial, very important to the Montgomerys, is a day when all proceeds go to someone currently fighting Cystic Fibrosis.
Roy Rogers Memory Museum displays photos and movie posters along with some of Roy and Dale’s clothes and guns. Frog continues to search for Roy Rogers’ memorabilia to showcase at this western museum.
That first building, the saloon, holds a nice gaming parlor and a beautiful bar.Their stage can accommodate bands or Djs. The strongest drink you can purchase there is “root beer”.
You’ll find Dr. Cochran’s office ready to help the injured right next door to the offices of Sheriff John Dillon. This sheriff can even ride his horse while sitting backwards in the saddle.
This is a family venture, now aided by about 75 volunteers that help run Dogwood Pass. One thing Frog is adamant about – all voluteers must dress in authentic western costumes. Actually, Frog dresses that way all the time, so people are quite used to seeing him in town with guns in his holsters.
Volunteers find it so much fun they travel miles to get there on the weekends. They drive from Cincinnati, Columbus, Springfield, and even indiana.
Two movies have been filmed here. “Western World” tells the story of a sherrif faced with more corruption and deceit than he thought possible. A second movie still in the process of being finished, “Brimstone Saint”, involves a preacher who became a gunslinger to stop witchcraft in his small town.
Every weekend they are open on Friday and Saturday, usually from 11 -6. Check out their special events on their Facebook page or on their webpage at www.dogwoodpass.com .
In October, they have a Haunted Trail, then in December, a Christmas tour. Since Mike and his wife live right outside the fence, he never turns anyone away that wants to visit his town.
Weekend visitors range from 300 – 1000, and tour buses frequently make stops there. That’s why Mike is planning to build an amphitheater to have even more extensive Wild West Shows.
If you don’t have the time to head out west, take a drive some weekend soon and visit the biggest Old West town west of the Mississippi. Mike’s a great country boy at heart and adds a personal touch by talking with everyone. You’ll feel welcome at Dogwood Pass.
Dogwood Pass is located in southern Ohio south of Chillicothe. The actual address for your GPS would be 722 Adams Road, Beaver, OH. It’s a back road trip anyway you look at it, but what would you expect going to the Old West.