Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for July, 2022

History of Coal in Harrison County

The Coal Mining Museum is in the basement of the Puskarich Public Library.

A Coal Mining Museum has been created to preserve the rich mining heritage of Harrison County Ohio. It can be found on the lower level of the Puskarich Public Library at 200 E. Market St. in Cadiz. Displays are many and detailed with informative signs to describe both the early day and modern mining found in Southeastern Ohio.

After the Puskarich family helped with the half-million-dollar campaign to build the new library in 1986, there was a large area on the lower level that remained empty. Since their family owned and operated the successful Cravat Coal Company, the Puskarichs spearheaded the plan for a Coal Mining Museum. Their family, along with other area coal mining families, presented items for display.

Watch fobs were often gifts from mining companies for advertisement purposes.

During the late 19th century, Harrison County was one of the top coal-producing counties in Ohio until its decline in the 1980s. Items and pictures from those mines plus miners’ tools are on display from various coal companies.

Walking into the museum, you will notice that the walls and ceilings are black, giving you the feeling of being in a dark coal mine.

This Ohio map shows the locations of coal fields at a glance.

Coal is sometimes called “buried sunshine” because it came from plants that originally absorbed energy from the sun. When coal is burned, we are using energy that was created millions of years ago. Along with oil and natural gas, coal is considered a fossil fuel since it traces its beginning to plants that were once alive. Often prints of fossils can be found in a piece of coal.

Jewelry made from coal is showcased in their lobby.

The Coal Mining Museum is a great place to learn how coal is formed, the tools used to mine it, and the heavy equipment used in strip mining. Historic photographs line the walls giving you a better understanding of mining and the size of equipment used.

Universal Newsreel photographer captures the moment when Ida Mae is allowed back in the mine.

One of those photos shows Ida Mae Stull, the first woman coal miner, dressed for the mines. Ida was one of 18 children and carried a lantern to the mines for her father when she was six. Ida enjoyed digging coal and mined six or seven cars a day by the age of 30. Her pay for the day was $2 but that paid the mortgage on her property and kept her off charity. Legal action then made it illegal for women to work in the mines but in one year she won her case and was back doing what she loved – digging coal. Ida lived to the age of 84.

The Watts Coal Car made in Barnesville was donated by the Cravat Coal Company.

A featured display shows an actual Watts Car loaded with coal and equipment in front of a large photo of the entrance of a deep mine. Watts Cars were made in nearby Barnesville and this car was donated by the Cravat Coal Company.

Bird cages were an early safety feature in the mines. If a bird died, the men had to leave quickly.

Another interesting display shows safety measures in the mine. A birdcage is displayed which was the earliest way of telling if the mine was safe for miners. If the bird died, they knew the miners had to leave as quickly as possible to escape the deadly gas in the mine. Later methods show rescue kits provided for the miners with oxygen tanks that would last up to an hour that would last up to one hour.

Mines paid in scrip which could only be used at their company store.

Of special interest were the various scrips used as payment to the coal miners. In this way, they had to buy everything from the company store. These people really did “Owe their soul to the company store.”

The miner’s dinner pail hung from a nail in the mine to keep the rats out.

Everyone went to work swinging their dinner pail. If they were lucky, they might have a West Virginia ham sandwich inside. By the way, that ham is what we call bologna. Miners always left something in their dinner pail in case there would happen to be a cave-in. If they had a lucky day, on the way home they would give their dinner pail to one of the children so they could have a snack.

The GEM of Egypt was a power shovel used for strip mining.

Pictures show some of the large machines that mined the coal on ground level. These included the GEM of Egypt (Giant Excavating Machine at Egypt Valley Mine) and the Mountaineer. In 1955, Mountaineer was the first of the super strippers to work in the coalfields around Cadiz.

Tour buses came to see the Mountaineer, the largest mobile land machine ever produced.

A beautiful 99-seat theater shows films about the coal industry and its history. There is a video presentation produced by AEP telling of the conversion of coal to electricity. Students seeing the video realize how much happens before they can turn on their light switch at home.

A coal crew works at Short Creek mine in 1910.

A Coal Miners’ Reunion is being planned for May in conjunction with the annual Harrison Coal and Reclamation Park dinner auction. All miners past and present are invited to attend.

Coal was delivered by barge on the Ohio River.

The Puskarich Public Library and the History of Coal Museum are open Monday through Thursday from 9 am – 8 pm and Friday from 9am – 5pm. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Check out their website at www.thecoalmuseum.com for more information.

If you enjoy history, you are sure to enjoy all that has been accumulated at the Coal Mining Museum in Cadiz.

Pea Ohana Watersports for a River Adventure

Want to drift down the river on a sunny afternoon? Pea Ohana Watersports in Zanesville might be the place for you to visit. There you can rent a river tube, kayak, or paddleboard so you can float or paddle the day away as you go down either the Licking or Muskingum Rivers. Opening Day is May 27, 2022.

Bear and Marissa Davis, owners, enjoy life on the river.

While the name may seem strange here in Ohio, Pea Ohana is a famous surfing hotspot in Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu. That’s a favorite place for Bear Davis and his wife, Marissa to vacation. For added connection, Pea Ohana means Bear Family in Hawaiian. For Bear and Marissa, “Pea Ohana is not just a business, it’s a lifestyle.”

Bear’s ancestors came here from Wales and became coal miners in Coshocton. While the family still owns a farm in Coshocton, the family moved to Newark to work on the canal there. Bear remembers always being around the water. His family would take their boat to different rivers every chance they had.

Over the last several years, Bear has been a lacrosse coach in Division 1 schools and won championships there. He has actually coached lacrosse all over the world and today still helps to coach it in the inner-city in Columbus. But his love for being on the water was always in the back of his mind.

Business partners, Bear and Mark, greet those seeking an adventure on the river.

Bear began looking for a spot to open a business on the river and checked several places. A building became available under Weasel Boy Brewing at 126 Muskingum Avenue along the river in the Putnam district that seemed the perfect spot. There was also a restaurant, Muddy Miser, next door. Bear, his wife Marissa, and a friend Mark Sell are partners in this place for river fun.

Everyone gets their river tubes ready for departure.

At Pea Ohana you can rent kayaks, river tubes, or paddleboards for your adventure on the river. There is a large assortment as they have 700 river tubes, 70 kayaks, and 40 paddleboards at this time. Bear indicated, “Our plan is to create a hub for anything on the water for people who want to try something new.” Families have a blast making new memories on the river.

Group is organized for their gentle ride down the river.

There are different sizes and shapes of tubes to suit your taste. Some of their river tubes have a back support for extra comfort and even a cup holder to soothe your thirst as you drift on the river. Pick your favorite to take you down a four-mile ride on the wild and scenic Licking River over two sets of rapids. Enjoy a splash through the water.

A group of kayaks and river tubes enjoy drifting down the river.

The colorful kayaks come in two shapes. Some of them you can sit down in and others you sit on top. It’s all according to your preference. There are also cooler tubes to carry drinks and snacks for your time of relaxation.

This passenger/equipment bus takes passengers to the starting point of their ride.

They might drop you off in their equipment bus at Dillon Falls for a four-mile stretch on the Licking River. Some make the trip in an hour and a half while others prefer to drift lazily for maybe four hours. Another route begins at their headquarters and goes four miles down the Muskingum River. If you have your own kayak, they are happy to arrange drop-off and pick-up for you.

The fun begins on the bus ride!

Paddleboards are something new and Bear feels it is important to be ready for the experience. It begins at Historic Lock #10 where you first have a yoga class by Yoga Booth to loosen up the muscles for the adventure of using the paddleboard up and down the historic Muskingum River canal in downtown Zanesville.

Great view of the Y Bridge happens along the journey.

While floating down the Muskingum River, passing under the famous Y-bridge is a highlight of the trip. Pea Ohana provides guided tours for the beginner on up. Bear, River Fun Engineer, feels, “A trip to the river with Pea Ohana will be a fun and relaxing way to escape life’s worries for a few hours.”

Pea Ohana provides a great place for family fun.

Everything is done on an individual basis with each person having their own kayak or tube. They do encourage everyone to go with a group for safety purposes and a new group begins hourly as needed. Along the route, there are checkpoints to make certain that no one is having a problem and that all are on track.

Raymond Ramos painted this mural inside the activity center.

Corporate or birthday parties give people a chance to know others on a different level. It’s a relaxing atmosphere to talk with your fellow drifters as you go down the river. After the trip, they have a 6,000 sq. ft. room where you can have a birthday or corporate party.

If you are quick, you might even catch a fish.

They are also opening a site in Columbus this summer at the Boat House Restaurant at 679 Spring Street in Confluence Park. Here you can drift down the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers.

Kayaks and tubes are available for rent Friday through Sunday at Pea Ohana Watersports in Zanesville. Fees for the kayak rentals are $35. Tube rentals are $25. Call 740-297-8798 to make an appointment for an outing Monday through Thursday. Live life today!

Visit their website at http://www.peaohama.com for more information and to make reservations. Take time this summer to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. Bear reminds guests, “ Make magic happen on the river this summer.”

Burley Clay Products Add Beauty to Your Home

Burley Clay Products is located in Roseville in the old McCoy Pottery building,

Their passion is pottery! Burley Clay Products is the only company in the United States that still makes ceramic birdbaths, which are their number one selling item. However, they make other things that will surprise you.

Hand-painted birdbaths are a popular item.

Burley Clay began in 1923 on Maysville Pike in Zanesville when brothers, Zane and Dr. Samuel Burley, became interested in the clay industry. In 1984, the business was sold to Steven McCann, who began looking for a larger facility when in 1998 McCoy Pottery closed its doors and walked away leaving everything inside the plant as it was when work finished that day.

When McCoy closed, they left everything behind just as it was at closing time,

After much cleaning and removal of items, Burley Clay opened their factory at the old McCoy Pottery plant in Roseville in 2000, according to Vice-President Rick Emmert, who began his Burley Clay career in 1987 as an engineer. Rick had a long-time interest in clay as his grandfather owned a ceramic factory in the area and Rick often went to work with him. That led him to a degree in ceramic engineering from Ohio State University.

This WWI propeller was used to dry the pottery gradually at their Maysville plant,

Rick continues to have a deep interest in ceramics and enjoys the creative process. “I think it’s cool to make things from clay.” On the wall in his office, a WWI surplus propeller reminds him of the early days of Burley Clay when it was at the Maysville Pike facility. A dozen of these propellers ran during the night to dry the clay gradually.

This saddle is used in chimneys to reduce pollution and is made daily,

The item his grandfather made is still being made at Burley Clay today. It is a ceramic piece, called a saddle, that is used in industrial towers to help stop pollution. These are made mechanically today by the thousands and they currently have orders that carry them through next January. A popular item!

A fingerprint pad is made for foreign airports,

A fingerprint pad has become important for use in foreign airports. Another item used at airports around the world is an earplug that regulates air pressure while flying. Burley Clay makes the ceramic part while another company finishes the rubber addition. They have thousands of molds that they work with.

Burley Clay gave new life to this old McCoy kiln – “The Cadillac of Kilns.”

One machine, an Allied model, from McCoy Pottery days is still in use after recent repair. It is a unique round kiln that operates 24/7 on a continuous track firing pottery as it goes. It is known as the “Cadillac of Kilns” and produces about 5000 pieces a week.

They feel fortunate there’s a clay field just about a mile from their current facility. This clay was dropped there long ago by a glacier that moved through this section of Ohio. Vein #3 is about 30′ down and provides the fire clay they need. When mined, the clay looks like very hard rocks before they weather it. Then it is mixed into a liquid so they have a slab of clay to work with.

A Burley Clay employee, Cody Beisser, is jiggering a bird bath bowl.

Approximately 70 people run the plant today. Some retire and miss the action so much they return to work. Many have grown up playing as children in the factories of McCoy or Burley when their parents worked there. Family tradition plays a big role in their success. The birdbaths and planters are still all made by hand. Rick admitted, “We still like to do things the old-fashioned way.”

Vice-President Rick Emmert enjoys the creative process and takes pride in their products.

Today, you can buy things in their store at Burley Clay or at one of the stores they supply. Their products are sold all over the country mostly in mom-and-pop stores or nurseries. Items can also be ordered from their website and shipped directly to your home. They ship to about forty states, most of them being in the northeast.

Quality handmade items for the garden are made here.

Burley Clay is well known in the area for its community involvement. Many festivities will find a Burley Clay Birdbath or Planter contributed as part of the raffles or prizes. This also provides a great advertisement for their products.

This year the 56th Crooksville-Roseville Pottery Show will be held at the Roseville Village Park in front of the Burley Clay offices on July 14-16, 2022. Not only will you see fine pottery on display, but can enjoy pottery pitch, the beer garden, and helicopter rides (weather permitting). Check out their Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Their showroom is open all year long.

You know their product is a great one since they have been in business since 1923. Next year they will celebrate their 100th anniversary. Creating a place of beauty and peace for your home is their goal. Enhance your garden with products made in this area.

Great Guernsey Trail Provides Variety of Activities

Enjoy the view from the observation deck at Coal Ridge Park.

Spring is in the air! Take a leisurely walk or bike ride down the seven-mile Great Guernsey Trail that goes from East Cambridge to Lore City. It’s a smooth walk or ride as the trail is paved with asphalt and fairly level. So whether you’re a walker, runner, skateboarder, or cyclist, the trail provides a great place to exercise surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.

This bridge on the trail crosses over Leatherwood Creek.

This all began as a rails to trails project along the old tracks of the CSX Railroad. Leatherwood Creek runs beside the trail for much of the way so you can expect to see waterfowl on your walk. You might also see rabbits, squirrels, bald eagles, deer, and other wildlife as well. You’ll be surprised at all you will discover as you explore the Great Guernsey Trail.

A child walks the trail with their dog. Photo by Cassie Clarkson Photography

Ron Gombeda, Director of CDC which supervises the trail, explained, “The natural beauty along the trail makes it a great place to visit. The habitat assortment of wetlands, woodlands, and creek makes it a great place to view a variety of wildlife.” This trail has recently been given the honor of being designated a National Recreation Trail by the Department of the Interior.

At the Corduroy Road trailhead in East Cambridge, you will find the Guernsey County Archery Range with an elevated shooting platform and the Trailside Skate Park suitable for skateboarding and rollerblades. The Trailside Concession stand sells prepackaged snacks, drinks, and bicycle repair kits during hours of operation. They even have a charger for electric cars at a nominal fee!

The dog parks are a great place to let your dog run free and get some exercise.

Great Guernsey Trail Dog Parks can be found at the Corduroy and the Lore City Trailheads. Dogs like to play too and this gives them a fenced-in place to run freely.

Lore City Park provides the other trailhead for Great Guernsey Trail and has plenty of parking.

The Lore City Trailhead has restrooms, drinking water, and a beautiful playground for the children. It’s also a historical site with a sign telling the story of Civil War General John Hunt Morgan stopping at what was then Campbell’s Station and causing havoc along the famous Morgan’s Raiders Trail.

You might be lucky enough to spot a deer during your walk or ride.

A new trail has been added near the 1.5-mile marker that links the Great Guernsey Trail with Coal Ridge Park and Trails. While the trails here are still unimproved, you’ll find observation platforms and a large pond for fishing and kayaking.

Melissa West and Karly Lyons work on the Earth Science feature at the trail.

Earth Science Education Stations have been created through the assistance of Karly Lyons. These have been placed at various spots along the trail and filled with rocks, fossils, minerals, and other earth-related materials. Learn a little more about our world as you travel the trail.

Find Little Free Libraries along the trail at Cambridge, Kipling, and Lore City.

A Little Free Library has been added to the trail so people can pick up books and leave ones they have already read to share with others. Adult and children’s books are usually available in boxes at Cambridge, Kipling, and Lore City.

Cambridge Rotary and Buckeye Trail students help plant a Butterfly Garden along the trail.

During the spring and summer months, enjoy the many wildflowers that grow along the trail. Stop by the Butterfly Garden which was started by Laura Dunlap. The Cambridge Rotary Club and Buckeye Trail students have helped with planting flowers there to attract the butterflies. It’s a nice stop along the trail.

A Sensory Path provides a series of movements for kids to follow.

There are frequent markers so you know how far you have gone. Benches also appear quite often so you have a place to rest if needed. They’ve thought about everyone when designing this trail.

Families enjoy the wheelchair accessible path.

For those using wheelchairs, the trail is accessible for a relaxing drive in the fresh air. Parking and restrooms are available at the beginning and end of the trail with a portable restroom located midway down the trail.

Three times during the year, the trail sponsors a 5K/10K/ Family Fun Walk with a half marathon, which attracts around 250 participants. The first one will be on May 21 followed by one in August and then December for those who enjoy the cold. All proceeds go to improvements at the trail.

In October, Treats on the Trail gathers at the Lore City Park. There may be close to a thousand people at this event. It is a free event and open to the public with costume contest, prizes, and raffles. Treats are given by many local businesses from Cambridge to Kipling and Lore City.

Maintenance keeps the trail trimmed and cleared all year long.

When it snows, there are a few cross-country skiers who get out early and use the trail before the maintenance crew clears the trail for walkers and bikers. It’s amazing how many different uses this trail has developed and they have plans for more. A five-mile obstacle trail course could be their next project.

Great Guernsey Trail has become a popular spot for outdoor exercise making it necessary to add extra parking at the Corduroy Trailhead. It’s the place where walkers, runners, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, and birdwatchers gather.

Make plans now to enjoy sunshine in nature as you travel the trail at any season of the year.

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