Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for October, 2022

Pennington’s Brings National Entertainment to Jewett, Ohio

Their dining area seats 170 and is packed on concert nights.

If you build it, they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams became the mantra that created Pennington’s in Jewett. It all began in 2015 when Nashville music veteran Shawn Pennington and his long-time friend, Pete Koch from Scio helped organize a concert in Deersville for their 200th birthday.

A feature of that concert was a group called Trick Pony, who performed on a stage built outside the Deersville General Store. More than 2,000 people filled the street to watch that performance. It seemed to Shawn and Pete that the Ohio Valley was hungry for good country music…and the idea for Pennington’s began.

Shawn, grandfather Hobe, and manager Pete were instrumental in getting Pennington’s started.

Shawn has a longtime connection to the Jewett-Scio area. While his family lived in Pittsburgh, as a child Shawn spent nearly every weekend and summer vacation with his grandparents, Hobart and Mary Stroud in Scio. So, it was natural for Shawn to feel that Scio was the place he called Home.

In the early 90s, Shawn traveled the world as a professional musician before moving to Nashville to become tour manager for the up-and-coming Sara Evans. He worked hard on promoting her career where she sold more than 2 million records and toured with greats like Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Reba McIntire.

Shawn Pennington enjoys trying new things – like Pennington’s Restaurant in Jewett.

Because of his success and the relationships he had built, a powerhouse management firm of Dale Morris & Associates asked him to join them. It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Shawn’s talents as musician/producer, tour and production manager, and eventually artist manager led him to play important roles in the careers of Big & Rich, John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy, and Randy Owen just to name a few.

So, when he got the idea for a country music restaurant in the Jewett-Scio area, he thought it would be a chance to bring some of those country music artists, as well as rock and comedy, that he knew to perform there. He felt people were eager for good music in that part of the country.

Pennington’s is located in the 110-year-old Kammeyer Opera House in Jewett.

Shortly after he began thinking about the restaurant, his granddad, Hobe, called to tell him that granddad’s favorite place to eat was going up for sale in Jewett. Jo-Lin’s Restaurant was located in the old Kammeyer Opera House, a 110-year-old building with a lot of class and character.

Their patriotic spirit includes a large wall hanging of the Pledge of Allegiance made by local Lewton Metalworks.

Again, he called upon his old friend, Pete Koch to manage the restaurant as Shawn had no previous experience managing a restaurant. But it was a change that he thought would be fun and of benefit to the community.

Their well-lighted stage is set up for a Night Train performance.

Over the next few years, they redecorated the building, added a fantastic stage area with cool lighting, improved their product, and found a group of people that could carry out running the restaurant easily.

Now, the restaurant seats 170 people for dinner and a show. It’s a place where you can get up close and personal with the performers. If you’re down front, you may only be a few feet away. Even in the back, you’re only about fifty feet away. Not many places you can have this kind of experience.

Pennington’s manager, Pete Koch, presents Sarah Snyder with a check for the Harrison Co. Military Support Group.

Food is delicious as well. They have daily specials that give great variety to their basic menu. It includes wings, cod nuggets, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, soups, and pizza. They have a wide variety of beverages including soft drinks, beers, and wines. Children have their own special menu.

People get to sit up close and personal with the performers.

Every weekend since July 2021, they have had award-winning talent on stage. Past performers include Frankie Ballard, Little Texas, Pam Tillis, Neal McCoy, Deana Carter, Thompson Square, and Confederate Railroad just to name a few. There are special groups every month so check out their website to see who is performing. Get your tickets online by going to www.penningtonsjewett.com.

In 2016, Shawn opened Pennington Entertainment, a full-service artist development and management company. He started this Nashville enterprise with over twenty years of management for other companies under his belt. While music is his main focus, Shawn also has produced television programming for major networks.

Being a pilot has become Shawn’s relaxation therapy.

Shawn still lives in Nashville but makes frequent weekend trips to Jewett. He’s trying something else new these days…he’s upgrading his pilot’s license. His passion for flying, which began as a ten-year-old, became strong again just a few years ago when Allen Jackson, the personal pilot for Kenny Chesney, invited him to the airport to hang out. There happened to be a flight school right next to Chesney’s hangar where the owner took Shawn up in a little Cessna for an hour flight.

When he returned from that flight, he had ten new voicemails and 48 new emails on his phone. He had completely forgotten about his Blackberry for an entire hour! Flying became therapy for him. The next month he took a Boeing 737 introductory course and has been obsessed with aviation ever since.

Their newest addition is a Block O Bar for Buckeye fans.

Life keeps Shawn very busy between his restaurant, aviation, and artist management. Because of his Nashville experience, he wants Pennington’s to provide an experience to the client from the minute they enter the parking lot until they leave the performance. Shawn remarked, “I want Jewett to be a destination town.”

Gnadenhutten Ohio Celebrates 250 Years

Ohio’s Oldest Existing Settlement

A local lady designed this wooden flag to celebrate their 250th Anniversary.

Gnadenhutten is the oldest settlement in the state of Ohio and this year celebrates its 250th birthday. In 1772, Rev. David Zeisberger, a Moravian missionary, and another young missionary, John Heckewelder, founded two villages along the Tuscarawas River in the state of Ohio with the help of Joshua, a Mohican chieftain.

Most are familiar with Schoenbrunn Village, which was Zeisberger’s first settlement for the American Indians – mostly Delawares. His second settlement that same year was Gnadenhutten and that town still exists today.

Children have many games to enjoy at the festival.

This October, Gnadenhutten will celebrate its 250th anniversary at their Homecoming Celebration on the 7, 8, and 9th. It all begins on Friday evening with food trucks downtown and apple butter being made at the museum. Saturday has activities planned all day long for all members of the family. Sunday, church services will be held in the Museum House in the Historical Park.

The stage is set for a musical Saturday afternoon and evening.

Streets downtown are blocked off for craft booths, Farmers’ Market, Corn-Hole Tournament, and music. While the kids are enjoying the Bounce House, Obstacle Course, Putt Putt, and Face Painting, adults might relax playing Bingo at the Fire House. Don’t forget to check out Custom Kemps Car Show in the afternoon.

Putnams System Rewind will provide music on Saturday evening.

Saturday will be filled with music. In the afternoon Wes Schryok and Mike Wykoff will be entertaining. Then that evening, Putnams System Rewind, a family band with a reputation for performing a great variety of music, will be on stage from 6 -9. Music will be followed by fireworks from the top of Stocker’s Hill.

An encampment in early 1800s style will greet visitors to the Historical Park.

Apple Butter Days happens on October 8 and 9 at the museum with apple peeling beginning on Friday night when they will show people how to make apple butter. The family of Samuel Shrock from Millersburg will be making the apple butter again this year. Enjoy visiting the encampment in the park where people will be dressed for the early 1800s.

A monument at the Historical Park remembers those who were slain.

A memorial was placed in the Historical Park at the spot of what is now called the Gnadenhutten Massacre. The plaque on the memorial states:

HERE

TRIUMPHED IN DEATH

NINETY

CHRISTIAN INDIANS

MARCH 8, 1782

Ten years after settlement, Captain David Williamson, an American Revolutionary War officer, and his militia suspected the peaceful Mohicans and Delawares in Gnadenhutten, who had been converted by the Moravian missionaries because they remained neutral during the war. Seeking revenge for other Indian raids, they tricked the Delaware into believing they were friends. The next day, March 8, 1782, they killed all the villagers except for two scalped boys who escaped and told of the incident. One Ohio historian called it “the wickedest deed in our history.” Story of this tragedy is told at the outdoor drama, Trumpet in the Land.

The museum contains a history of Gnadenhutten from its beginning.

A museum tells the story of those early settlers, who lived a peaceful life in their log cabins along the river. These Indians loved music and enjoyed working in their gardens. There is also a reconstructed church and log cabin like those that were on that site over 200 years ago. A burial mound contains the remains of those ninety Christian Delawares who were massacred that day.

John Heil, curator, visits at the museum with his two best friends, who never argue with him.

The mayor’s office and the museum have a small booklet “Massacre at Gnadenhutten” which is a copy of the history published by the Gnadenhutten Monument and Cemetery Organization back on October 7, 1843. It tells the entire story of what is called the blackest page in history of the Northwest Territory.

A special display tells the history of John Heckewelder, the founder of the village.

After the massacre, John Heckewelder returned to the village and again organized the town but this time with basically a white Moravian population. Today there is still a Moravian Church in Gnadenhutten called the John Heckewelder Memorial Moravian Church established in 1803. Due to his early persistence in establishing the village, Gnadenhutten still exists today.

The Moravian tradition lives on as John Heckewelder Memorial Moravian Church has been in the same spot for 220 years.

Mayor Rich Gosling hopes that in the future, “While we will never forget the tragic massacre that took place here, I would like for Gnadenhutten to, first of all, be remembered as the oldest settlement in Ohio.”

The Tuscarawas River flows at the edge of Gnadenhutten.

The town has grown from those early days when travel was on trails by horseback and wagon or on the Tuscarawas River. Things changed in the early 1900s when the Ohio-Erie Canal traveled along the river, followed by the railroad and then today’s highways.

Enjoy a visit to Gnadenhutten, the oldest established town in Ohio, during their 250th Anniversary celebration. Then watch what changes happen over the next 50 years.

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