Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Cambridge’ Category

Dickens Victorian Village Bus Tours

Buses have coned places for parking in front of the Welcome Center.

Step back in time at Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio during the months of November and December. The friendly small-town atmosphere will have you feeling like you’ve arrived in jolly old London during the late 1800s. Bus groups get special treatment during their visits and we usually have nearly fifty groups a year during that season.

While this article is basically for the tour groups, you will find many things here that make it a great place for a family weekend adventure.

As soon as a tour group arrives in Cambridge,  you will get that Victorian feeling. A costumed guide will step on your bus at the edge of town and stay with you throughout the day as they tell how Dickens Victorian Village began sixteen years ago.

Our mayor welcomes you to Cambridge along with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

Tour venues are very flexible as each group has particular interests. Most groups begin the day with a slow bus tour of six blocks of downtown Cambridge. During November and December, there is a Victorian scene under every lamppost in those six blocks. In 2021, there were 168 life-size mannequins in 96 different scenes.

A touch of snow adds to the holiday cheer on one of the Victorian scenes.

The scenes are based on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and also scenes from London during Dickens’ time. Each scene has a brass plaque attached, which explains its connection to that time in history.

Everyone enjoys a tasty treat from Kennedy’s Bakery.

Along the way, almost every bus group stops at Kennedy’s Bakery, a hometown favorite that has been in business since 1925. Three generations of the Kennedy family have created the same tasty pastries year after year. Bus groups stop back again and again.

Mosser Glass still produces glass at their factory with a beautiful Gift Shop included.

If you arrive in the morning, Mosser Glass provides an interesting stop as they are still making glass on site. Watch them create some beautiful glass pieces. Cher purchases turkey candy dishes here each year for her guests at Thanksgiving dinner. They have even provided beautiful glass Easter eggs to the White House. Their showroom is outstanding.

Volunteers at the Welcome Center are dressed in Victorian garb to welcome guests.

Down the street, the bus will have a coned off place to park near our Dickens Welcome Center. Here Father Christmas will greet the bus. Volunteers at the Welcome Center will talk about how the figures are made and encourage you to dress in Victorian clothes at Imagination Station. Have your picture taken for a fond memory with a beautiful Christmas tree or the figure of Charles Dickens himself.

Several unique shops help make this stop a pleasure for those who enjoy shopping.  Find a unique gift for yourself or a friend from several shops which include locally made articles.

Francis Family Restaurant has a large banquet room for buffets.
Mr. Lee’s Family Restaurant provides great meals and service
Theo’s Restaurant has delicious buffets and serve their homemade pies.

Of course, lunch is always an important stop of the day. Three local restaurants have delicious buffets that are only prepared for bus tours. Take your choice of Francis Family Restaurant, Lee’s, or Theo’s for a buffet that will leave you satisfied.

The Queen’s Tea takes place at the beautiful Cambridge Country Club.

Some wish to have an upscale lunch or dinner and choose to have dinner with Queen Victoria at the Cambridge Country Club where she tells about her life growing up in London from childhood to adult.

Victorian ladies greet you at the Cambridge Glass Museum.

Several museums give a great place to spend a couple of hours. Cambridge Glass Museum greets you with ladies dressed in Victorian costumes and tells you of Christmas at the Glasshouse. They will give you many hands-on activities to keep your group smiling.

Coal Miner Dave tells the story of those early coal mines in the area.

Another possibility is the Guernsey County Museum where you can meet Coal Miner Dave, who tells of those early years in the county.  At the same place, you will discover a one-room classroom and a teacher who will give you a lesson and perhaps even a test. Those are highlights of a museum packed with historic pieces.

Ladies enjoy wearing hats and shawls as they enjoy tea and sweets.

You might prefer having afternoon tea at one of our local churches. They will provide a short program of music and information before serving tea, scones, and cookies.

Finish off the evening with the Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

We always end the day with the Holiday Courthouse Light Show, which has over 65,000 lights synchronized to holiday music. An entire hour is different! The show starts every evening from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 from 5:30 – 9:00. You can even watch it from the coach.

These are just a few ideas you might include in your trip to Dickens Victorian Village. If you would like to learn more please contact me at DickensGroupTours@gmail.com for additional places to visit.

Jerry Thompson Portrays Civil War Santa

Jerry Thompson overflows with the Christmas spirit as he enjoys portraying the Civil War Santa as well as today’s traditional Santa Claus. Usually, it is the adults that enjoy his Civil War stories while the children prefer the modern Santa.

Jerry participated in a Dickens Marathon Reading dressed as Civil War Santa.

While Jerry majored in history at Miami University, his interest in the Civil War began with his great-great-grandfather, Sgt. Major Alfred Weedon. Alfred was born in 1845 on a farm just outside of Liberty, (now Kimbolton) Ohio. In July 1861, he enlisted in the 26th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Inspiration was received from a Harper’s Weekly cover by Thomas Nast.

One day, Jerry saw the cover of an old Harper’s Weekly magazine, where they did a story about the Civil War Santa on January 5, 1863. Thomas Nast drew a Civil War Santa distributing gifts to the Union soldiers. It was his first Santa Claus cartoon and the only Civil War Santa he ever drew. From that one publication in Harper’s Weekly, the troops jumped on the idea and it ran through the camps of the Union soldiers.

Jerry then jumped on the idea of portraying Civil War Santa to honor his great-great-grandfather. A seamstress from Claysville looked at the picture and designed a costume for Jerry. She used red and white awning material for the pants, and a navy-blue sweatshirt with white stars sewed all over it. The finishing touch was a red hat encircled with holly.

These Civil War historians presented a program at Roscoe Village.

Jerry had been a member of the Southeastern Ohio Civil War Roundtable for many years and served as president. So, it seemed only natural to begin presenting programs at Civil War Roundtables and various Christmas outings. There he told the story of Christmas during the Civil War and especially shared the story of the Civil War experiences of Alfred Weedon, his great-great-grandfather.

You might find interesting some of the highlights he tells. After Alfred enlisted, he fought and was captured in Perrysville, Kentucky, and in 1862 was exchanged and paroled to home for one year, as was a custom at that time. Every week, Alfred had to go to Camp Chase in Columbus by train from Kimbolton to report in.

When his year was up, he was sent to Chatanooga, Tennessee where he participated in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Even though weak and sickly, Alfred crawled with the rest of the troops to the top of that ridge for a Union victory. Seven months later, during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Alfred was shot in the leg, discharged from the service, and limped through the rest of his life.

Jerry stands by the house on Madison Avenue, where his great-great-grandfather lived a hundred years ago.

When he returned to Ohio, he first went back to his original home in Kimbolton but later moved to Cambridge on Madison Avenue. Mr. Weedon taught school at Birmingham and built the first house at Guernsey Station. He served as Clerk of Courts in Guernsey County, was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church and the Cambridge G.A.R. Post. He’s buried in Northwood Cemetery in Cambridge.

Often Jerry joins other Civil War historians to share stories at libraries and festivals. Roscoe Village held a special Civil War Tree Lighting program, which included many historians from around the area who sang and spoke about the Civil War. Jerry appeared as Civil War Santa.

This image by Thomas Nast helped create our modern version of Santa.

Thomas Nast, born in 1840, is also credited with being the man who invented Santa Claus as we know him today. When he changed the color of Santa’s coat from tan to red, his Santa became the inspiration for the Coca Cola Santa we know so well.

Jerry has also portrayed the traditional Santa at many venues for over 40 years. He’s made thousands of children happy in his Santa appearances at places like Lazarus and many malls. Being Secret Santa for Cassell Station was a pleasure for 25 years.

After 9/11, Santa wore an Uncle Sam hat during the Christmas Parade in the bucket of the firetruck.

In the Cambridge Christmas Parade, that was Jerry that waved as Santa from the bucket of the fire truck for about 20 years. One special year was 2001 after the event of 9/11 when he wore Uncle Sam’s hat instead of the traditional Santa hat.

Santa rode a motorcycle to help promote Christmas in July.

A motorcycle has even carried Santa on a couple of adventures. At Colony Square Mall, he participated in the Motorcyclists for Kids Toy Ride. Then Mark Dubeck from Moore’s Jewelers asked him if he would advertise their Christmas in July sale by riding around town on a motorcycle. Jerry knows how to have fun even if that July day reached 97°.

Santa and Moose the Wonder Dog posed for pictures at Pound Partners.

Pets with Santa sponsored a fundraiser for Pound Partners where people could get their pet’s pictures taken with Santa. Moose the Wonder Dog, the Pound Partners’ mascot, received a lot of special attention.

Of course, Santa only takes up a small portion of his life. Activities in the community and with his family fill his schedule these days.

In 2019, Jerry managed the Heritage Tent for the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival. There was a large variety of local talent displayed in that tent from potters and weavers to quilters and fabric designers. Local organizations also took part such as Guernsey County Museum, Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, and The National Road/Zane Grey Museum. In 2021, Jerry managed both the Heritage Tent and the Marketplace.

Jerry won the 2019 Muskingum County Hospitality Award.

The Muskingum County Hospitality Award was awarded to Jerry in 2019 for his dedication as a staff member at the Old National Road/Zane Grey Museum. His friendly manner as tour guide and host makes guests feel welcome as soon as they enter the door.

Acting has been something that Jerry has done for years as part of the local Cambridge Performing Arts Center. He played a variety of roles there for around 40 years. Some of his favorites were William Jennings Bryant and Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace.

In 2020, Jerry took part in Macbeth at Zanesville Community Theater. Its themes of greed, corruption, violence, and fear seem to have reappeared in 2020. He shook his head when he admitted that learning the lines is harder these days.

Motorcyclists gathered at Colony Square Mall for a Toy Ride.

During the past few years, Jerry has participated in the Dickens Marathon Reading held during the Dickens Victorian Village season. This year Jerry will be in charge of that event and is moving it downtown so more people can enjoy the readings. He always seems to find a way to help the community.

Jerry has led an interesting life locally from radio announcer to dyslexia instructor at Muskingum University. However, one of his favorite activities has been portraying Santa Claus and especially the Civil War Santa in memory of his great-great-grandfather, Alfred Weedon.

Celebrate the Holidays at Dickens Victorian Village

Mayor Orr along with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim welcome visitors to Cambridge, Ohio

Charles Dickens would have enjoyed a walk down Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge to see the scenes from his book, A Christmas Carol, as well as scenes from old England. Dickens Victorian Village takes you back in time to those long-ago days each November and December.

Many special events are planned throughout the months for the enjoyment of area residents as well as the multitude of visitors that pour into town each season on buses and in cars. They all enjoy the friendly atmosphere as they are greeted by Victorian dressed volunteers throughout the town.

Victorian Scenes

The glassblower scene can be found on the corner of 9th Street on the way to the Cambridge Glass Museum.

The heartbeat of the village lies in 168 scenes that line the street. They can be found under every lamppost and in some store windows. Each has a brass plaque explaining its relationship to London and Charles Dickens. The scenes are designed and refurbished annually by a Creative Team that takes great pride in making the characters appear real.

Dickens Welcome Center

Dickens Welcome Center contains many items with a touch of Old England.

Everyone needs to stop at the Welcome Center to pick up information about the downtown area and hear how the project began. Here you will find the first figure created for the village, that of Charles Dickens. Dress in Victorian clothes at a fun Imagination Station where you can step back in time yourself. Of course, there are wonderful gifts available to bring back memories of your visit.

Sherlock Holmes

A Sherlock Holmes mystery provides weekend entertainment.

Every other year Holmes fans await the newest Sherlock Holmes mystery written by local playwright Anne Chlovechok. Can you figure out the murder mystery this year surrounding Sherlock Holmes and the Chlosterphobic Conundrum?

Performances will be at Pritchard Laughlin on November 12-14 and 19-21 at 7:00 on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 3:00. Join in the fun of this tantalizing mystery that begins at the Colonel Taylor Inn.

Trolley Tours

Ride the trolley to learn local history from historian, Rick Booth.

Three weekends during the season, hop on a Trolley Tour of downtown and the city of Cambridge. Learn the story of how Dickens Victorian Village began and about the history of Cambridge from its founding. Hear stories of some of those settlers from the Isle of Guernsey who made Guernsey County the special place it is today.

Tours are still offered in 2021 at $10 a person on the following Saturdays: December 4 and December 18. They run hourly beginning at 10:00 am with the last trolley leaving at 5:00 pm. You’re sure to hear some special stories from trolley guide and local historian, Rick Booth.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Relax to the sound of horses’ hooves on an evening carriage ride.

If you prefer taking a slower ride through town, climb in the carriage and enjoy viewing the Victorian scenes to the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves. It’s also a special way to experience the Courthouse Light Show as you listen to the music all snuggled up in a blanket surrounded by the cool evening air.

Carriage rides will be available from November 12 to December 18 for $10 for adults and $8 for children under the age of 12. Catch the carriage on West 8th Street beside the Courthouse. Availability depends on the weather.

Victorian Teas

Ladies dress in their finest for a Victorian Tea.

Ladies and gentlemen enjoy dressing in their finest clothes and wearing beautiful hats as they enjoy teas in the Victorian style. There are three teas during the season where English pastries, confectionaries, and fruit accompany a wide assortment of teas. Every tea has entertainment for the enjoyment of those in attendance.

Two of the teas take place each year at the Masonic Ballroom in downtown Cambridge while the third tea is held at the Cambridge Country Club each November with Queen Victoria in attendance. Reservations are required for all of the teas by calling 740-421-4956. There is only one tea remaining in 2021 and that will be on December 11 at the Masonic Ballroom at a cost of $18.95.

Christmas Candlelight Walk

Cindy, Lindy, and Mayor Tom Orr prepare for the Christmas Candlelight Walk.

Get in the spirit of Christmas! Bring your own candle or lantern and join your friends at the Dickens Welcome Center on December 18 at 6:00 pm to begin an evening stroll as you pass the scenes of Victorian characters. Charles Dickens often took strolls through downtown London so would approve of this entertaining evening.

Guides will tell stories regarding the scenes during this free event. Learn more about the time of Charles Dickens. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bundle up in case snow flurries happen to fall.

Courthouse Holiday Light Show

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

Be dazzled by the 65,000 lights synchronized to holiday music on the Guernsey County Courthouse. People line the streets to watch this spectacular light show presented by AVC Communications. It’s a favorite of tour buses and local residents. Children enjoy dancing to the music.

Enjoy this Holiday Light Show any evening from November 1 through December 3 1 from 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Watching from the courthouse lawn or sitting on the benches enhances the show but you can view it from your car and tune to the radio station to listen to the music.

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As you can tell, there’s plenty to see and enjoy while visiting Dickens Victorian Village. For more information visit www.DickensVictorianVillage.com or check out their Facebook page.

Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Create happy memories with your family and friends this holiday season at Dickens Victorian Village.

The Living Word – Ohio’s Only Outdoor Passion Play

LW Amphitheater

Their hillside amphitheater contains a re-creation of Old Jerusalem.

The only outdoor passion play in Ohio, or in any of the surrounding states, takes place in the hills just outside Cambridge. The Living Word Outdoor Drama tells the story of the last weeks of the life of Jesus. The perfect hillside amphitheater is centered around a 400-foot panoramic set which looks like Old Jerusalem at the time when Jesus lived. The mission of the drama is “To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

LW Cast

The volunteer cast of the Living Word Drama takes pleasure in each performance.

   Dedicated volunteers from many area churches are at the heart of The Living Word from participating in the drama to working in the ticket booth, gift shop, and concession stand. Lighting and special effects along with authentic costumes make this a spectacular event. A white donkey and an authentic horse-drawn Roman chariot add to the excitement.

Jesus healing a child

This picture of Jesus healing a child is on the front of this year’s Living Word brochure.

   A special feature of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is the ability of audience members or area residents to participate in the show. Costumes are available for them to wear as they become part of the story. Bring your own sandals (no flip-flops) or use those available with the costumes. It’s a great opportunity to be on stage in a large production without having to learn any lines.

LW Harvey and wife

Living Word was founded by Frank Rougton Harvey with his wife, Hazel.

   The Living Word Drama was founded in 1974 by Biblical dramatist Frank Roughton  Harvey when he moved to Guernsey County from Georgia. Since that time over a half million visitors have witnessed the show, which celebrates its 45th season this year.

LW Jesus healing

Jesus heals a woman while townspeople show amazement at his divine authority to heal.

   Today the Living Word is directed by Heath Dawson, a young man with a passion for the outdoor drama. He has the enthusiasm of youth as well as a love of God that makes a great combination for this position. Heath looked out over the performance and remarked, “I love this place. I don’t ever see myself wanting to leave.”

LW scene

The disciples gather at the home of Mary and Martha.

   It’s amazing to find something as magnificent as The Living Word Outdoor Drama located in the hills of Guernsey County. It’s a spectacular setting over 400′ long with a temple, courtrooms, homes, and gateways. The cast puts their heart and soul into making the scriptures come alive as they tell the story of those last days of Jesus’ life.

LV Last Supper lighted

The disciplines gather with Jesus for the Last Supper in the Upper Room.

   Witness scripture come to life through the Sermon on the Mount, the Palm Sunday Entrance, The Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension in this beautiful outdoor setting. The excellent sound system makes it easy to clearly hear the performance from any seat in the amphitheater during this two and a half-hour drama.

   The traumatic ending grabs at the heart of young and old alike. A hush comes over the crowd and many hide their eyes when the crucifixion happens as they can’t bear to watch the agony involved. But resurrection follows giving hope to all. It’s a dynamic drama.

LW Jesus on Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday brings Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

   Many improvements have recently been made. New this year are a graveled parking lot, fresh paint in the concession area and restrooms, and wonderful landscaping at the Cross of Mercy circle in front of the box office. Currently, they are working on better lighting for the parking lot.

   During August, the drama hosts “Crucifixed”, a day of musical entertainment geared toward young people. It will feature Christian music bands from across the nation, including As We Ascend, Random Hero, The Protest, Zahna, and our own local praise/worship team The Love Brothers.

LW Art

Roman equestrians add excitement to the drama.

   A family-centered day will be held in September. The “Jerusalem Experience” will feature Biblical experiences of making costumes, games, and fun for the entire family. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students but include Free Admission to the evening performance!

   Their director is certain to greet you as you leave with a smile and “God bless you.” His faith means everything in his life as he has discovered, “It’s amazing what God can do to, for, through, and with a person when you let Him.”

LW Jesus praying   The present attendance record stands from 2016 when nearly 700 people witnessed the Living Word Outdoor Drama. This year “Set the Attendance Record Night” will occur on September 25, 2021, the season finale. They are hopeful that this time there will be nearly 1,000 people in attendance. On this final night of the season, admission is by donation only. Come early to get a good seat.

   Shows for this powerful drama are 7:30 on Friday and Saturday evenings June through Sept.

LW Entrance   Admission is $18 for adults, $6 children (4-12) and $16 for seniors (60 and over). It’s located a couple of miles outside Cambridge at 6010 College Hill Road. It’s a great place for families and even tour buses to spend an evening.

   Listen to the story that never grows old for people of all ages at The Living Word Outdoor Drama sometime soon. Because He lives!

For more information visit their website at www.livingworddrama.org.

Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival – Coming Back Strong in ’21

Another year arrives when folks from far and wide gather in Cambridge City Park for the annual Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival weekend from August 13-15. 2021 will be the 51st year for the festival to be held. Over the years, it has changed with the times but still keeps the juried art as its basis.

Visitors are sure to find something special as the festival includes artists, entertainers, concessions, crafts, student art, heritage tent, marketplace, and some surprises. This weekend event will bring a smile to your face as you see friends and neighbors throughout the park. Here are some highlights of the weekend.

Artists

Artists Russ Shaffer and Virginia Price have been with the festival for many years.

All the work that is seen at this festival is made by the artists themselves. Many will be demonstrating their craft as you watch them make rugs, pottery, musical instruments, and more. It’s a fun time to perhaps find a hobby you might enjoy during the rest of the year.

Maggie and Gene Jorgensen together create beautiful jewelry. Gene also does unique forged iron shapes.

Many of the artists have been in attendance for many years. One artist has actually been at the festival since its beginning. Virginia Price, 101 years old, will again be displaying her watercolors. She still paints even today so is a precious part of the festivities. New artists like Ken Vaughan will showcase their leather goods made from deerskin. Variety can be found around every bend.

Entertainers

The Loves Gospel Quartet, comprised of a father and his three sons, is always a crowd favorite.

Throughout the weekend, the Performing Arts Tent or the Big Pavilion provides a place to rest while listening to talented artists sing, dance, or play their musical instruments. You won’t be disappointed in the variety of music being presented.

These Ladies of Longford give a lively performance of Itish music.

The Loves Gospel Quartet is a popular local group that is always a crowd-pleaser as well as the Cambridge City Band and Muskingum Symphonic Winds. A Celtic group, The Ladies of Longford, delight the crowd with their lively Irish music, and for those who enjoy bluegrass, join Kevin Prater Band, another favorite.

Concessions

Buckeye Concessions is a favorite place for kettle korn and lemonade.

Everyone likes to take a break from walking the grounds and have a treat, or lunch at one of the many concession stands. You’ll be able to get everything from homemade ice cream or kettle corn to a cool Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade.

You might have to wait in line to get some of Russo’s Wood Fired Pizza.

Then head down to the big pavilion to sit down with friends and have lunch. Get some delicious Zeke’s BBQ, Rosso’s wood-fired pizza, or stop by J.C. Concessions for a sandwich or meal that will give you strength to carry on with your festival enjoyment.

Crafts

Crafts for children are a favorite part of the festival. Adults can join in as well.

Each year local ladies interested in the arts create many ideas to be used by children and adults in a special pavilion. For children, they range from masks and crowns to picture frames. Adults might create a design on a tote bag or jar.

Craft classes are held daily in one of the small pavilions with patient ladies guiding children and adults in creating some artistic items they are sure to want to display at home. Cost for these classes is $3 and under.

Student Art

These artistic students were award winners at the 2019 show. They are pictured with sponsors and organizers.

A popular exhibit has become the student art display by youngsters from K-12. Several area art teachers have projects with their class for display and other students submit something they have done at home. Prizes are awarded in different age groups to encourage children to continue practicing their artistic talents.

Artwork from area students of all ages can be found in the Student Art Tent.

High school seniors have a special category as each year a senior or two are awarded scholarships to continue their love of art. Last year a scholarship to continue their education was also given to a college student who had artistic creations on display.

Heritage Arts Tent

Chuck and Shana Fair demonstrate pottery making and decorating in the Heritage Arts Tent.

Showing their Appalachian heritage, many local craftsmen and groups display their talents in this large tent. Here you might find someone making pottery, quilts, or weaving wool.

Carl Wickham has his hand carved Civil War items on display. They are made to scale…just perfect!

Local organizations and individuals display their Appalachian connection through displays of the Guernsey County Historical Society, CARA, and Zane Grey Museum. It’s a great place to learn more about our area’s history throughout the years.

Marketplace

Popular Candy’s Gourmet Fudge is back with delicious baked goods as well.

For many years, Ohio-made products have been featured. Most are tasty treats from the area such as honey, jellies, homemade baked goods, and candy.

Lisa Bell of Farmstead Bakery makes the most delicious gluten-free products you have ever tasted.

Bell Farmstead Bakery will be back with their tasty, gluten-free items. While there you can also pick up a bouquet of flowers to brighten your day or the day of a friend. All of these are from Ohio individuals or companies.

Salt Fork Festival Chorus entertains on Sunday afternoon with voices of local people who love to sing.

For 50 years, the festival has given many an opportunity to display their works of art as well as their musical talents. Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival weekend is a great chance for free entertainment as you walk through over a hundred different artists’ displays.

Put the weekend of August 13-15 on your calendar as a time to explore the arts at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival at the Cambridge City Park. Take your family or friends along for a fun-filled artistic day with great entertainment and food that satisfies.

See you at the festival!

Julia Swan’s Quilts Tell a Story

Traditional would not be a word that describes Julia Swan or her quilts. Julia has been a community minded lady all her life and helped introduce many new ideas in the area. It wasn’t until after the children had all left home that Julia seriously worked on quilting. She tried a few of the traditional patterns but found that she enjoyed making her own creative designs instead.

Angels of God quilt used mother’s handkerchief collection.

Most of her quilts have a story behind them. The Angels of God quilt began with dying the fabric to look like Marc Chagalla’s sky. Louis Palmer, art professor at Muskingum College, helped her arrange the background of angels, which were made from folded handkerchiefs that her mother collected.

When they walked around the fabric, Palmer noticed a godlike figure had appeared in the fabric so Julia used it as the focal point and highlighted it with quilting. The halos for the angels were lace doilies. Their faces were originally to be white until Julia accidentally dropped them in her coffee cup then they had many different skin shades.

The Exhibition quilt contained pictures drawn by her grandchildren.

The Exhibition, more a wall hanging than a quilt, is a collection of three drawings done by her grandchildren when they were three or four years old. These looked like modern art to her eyes! When Julia’s children were young, they had bunny fur jackets so she used some of that fur for the coat of the lady in this wall hanging.

The Many Faces of Liberty represented Ohio in a national quilt competition.

During a Statue of Liberty contest, each state had a quilt chosen to be displayed in New York City. Julia’s quilt, The Many Faces of Liberty, was chosen from Ohio. The face on each Liberty figure was created to represent the people of many nations who have immigrated to the United States. To personalize the quilt, one face has red hair since nearly all members of the Swan family have red hair.

Ohio Barn quilt appeared in Ohio University’s quilt show during Ohio’s Bicentennial celebration.

Pride in family continues as Julia and her granddaughter Anna have combined efforts to make a book of her quilts, Julia’s Quilts “Through the Eye of a Needle,” so the family will always remember their meaning. Her granddaughter is a Delta pilot but not doing much flying these days.

Tom and Julia enjoyed family fun with their four children.

Julie met Tom Swan, the love of her life, at Muskingum College and they settled in Cambridge where Tom had his medical practice and Julia was busy raising four children. At that time Julia was busy giving Red Cross swimming lessons, which were free to all children in the area and volunteered at Hill ‘n Dale Girl Scout Camp.

During this time, Julia enjoyed knitting and made sweaters, mittens, and scarves for everyone in the family. She made needlepoint pillows for almost every chair in the house. That artistic side of her just couldn’t stay hidden. The family enjoyed performing together, hiking, and camping.

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars has been marching in area parades for 45 years!

In 1975, Julia was instrumental in developing what some called a Marching Flag but what the ladies of their bridge club called Broad Stripes and Bright Stars. That first parade was the Bi-Centennial Celebration in downtown Cambridge when the ladies donned their flag sections and marched with the tallest on the side toward the stars going down to the shortest on the other end.

Julia recalled that no mechanical transportation was permitted in that parade so everything was drawn by horses. That made for some careful stepping with the white pants and white shoes of the flag ladies.

This group still marches today in most Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades. There are still two of the original in the group and two daughters of original members have continued the tradition.

This picture was taken at their first parade in 1975.

A special project that involved quilting took place when the Hospital Wing she was a member of decided to hold the Daffodil Luncheon. Al Shore from New York City brought clothes down for modeling during the early years. For about thirty years, the wing members all did a square of a daffodil quilt, which raised money for the hospital through chances sold.

The Swan family supported the Salt Fork Ats & Crafts Festival from its beginning and provided, among other things, a puppet show that children loved and still remember to this day.

Julia uses her picture at a Dickens scene for her Christmas card each year.

Julia enjoys going downtown and visiting with the Victorian scenes on Wheeling Avenue during Dickens Victorian Village. Each year she has her picture taken with one of the scenes. One year she was wiping the coal dust from the face of one of the coalminers with her white handkerchief.

Granddaughter Anna and Julia get creative with ceramics.

Writing letters to friends is also something she has always enjoyed but today she writes wearing a glove to help protect her fingers. Her letters are still filled with positive thoughts and humorous stories in spite of the difficulty with writing. She encourages friends with her motto for living, “Life’s much more fun when you enjoy reading, art, and music. Learn to enjoy each day.”

Playing golf has been one of her favorite pastimes for years.

She even creates cards for her family. On Valentine’s Day, her card included a picture of one of her quilts and this verse:

Come to the gallery along with me

Such pleasures there are yet to be

Admiring these quilts of mine

Together with my Valentine.

Julia still stayed very busy up until the recent pandemic. She has a strong faith in God and enjoys Bible study and sings in the choir at her church. Being a volunteer at the John & Annie Glenn Museum also has given her great pleasure over the years. She is currently part of the planning committee for the 100th John Glenn Celebration scheduled for this summer in Cambridge and New Concord.

Family fun in the great outdoors make for a pleasant day.

Every day is a special adventure for Julia Swan. She doesn’t feel that all the wonderful things in her life have been merely coincidences but part of a bigger plan. She tells family and friends, “Be open to God’s surprises.”

Robb Gable Features Dickens Victorian Village in “Christmastime in My Hometown”

Personal experiences become the basis of many songs that Robb Gable writes. A popular song at this time of year is one he wrote specifically about Dickens Victorian Village called “Christmastime in My Hometown.”

Robb entertained with his Christmas song at a Victorian tea.

Ever since the Courthouse Light Show began fourteen years ago, Robb and his wife, Robin, have attended every Opening Night. The whole family loves Christmas with its music, lights and manger scene. Excitement fills the air in downtown Cambridge during the Dickens Victorian Village season.

This scene provided the inspiration for “Christmastime in My Hometown.”

One evening while watching the Hallmark channel on television, Robb realized that his hometown was very much like a Hallmark movie. As he sat on the couch watching television, he wrote the words to “Christmastime in My Hometown” in ten minutes. The words just flowed as he remembered what happens downtown Cambridge in November and December.

Christmastime is here again.

And our little town is busier than it’s ever been.

And that old courthouse shines so bright

Music fills the air upon a cold December night.

Christmas Eve service has become a tradition at Southern Hills Baptist Fellowship.

Christmas has always been special with his family and every year on Christmas Eve the family gathers at Southern Hills Baptist Fellowship for a musical service that packs the building. Robb, his two sons, and his brother, Pastor Kirk look forward to this family tradition.

Saturday nights with his sons are special musical evenings.

Robb’s love of music drifted over to his two sons, Cole and Eli. Cole has varied talents which include producing classical to heavy metal sounds as well as being an author. Eli has drifted down to Nashville where he writes songs and performs on the drums and guitar.

There’s more to Robb’s musical ability than just Christmastime. He’s a singer, songwriter, and producer of musical entertainment and especially enjoys Christian country music. During the recent pandemic, Robb shared a series of YouTubes, “Alive from the Couch.”

Robb began playing piano and guitar at an early age.

You can find out a lot about Robb just by listening to the words of the songs that he has written, as most of them are from events that have happened in his life. He grew up on a little dirt road on College Hill just a few miles out of town. This led to him writing a song “Dirt Road.”

Many can relate to Robb’s life experiences easily when he puts them to music. Take his “Trailer” song that tells about a few years when he and his family lived in a trailer. It was the first place his family could afford to call their home. His songs all have meaning that touches on real life.

His older brother, Kirk, actually gave Robb the desire to be a musician as Kirk always played music around the house. At the age of seven, Robb began taking piano lessons and when he was eleven, began playing guitar.

This Gable Brothers album cover features the two brothers, Kirk and Robb.

Kirk and Robb performed as the Gable Brothers for several years beginning in 2000. Their songs were heard world-wide and several of their songs charted in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Their dog, Scout, likes to hang out in Scout Dog Studio.

Today, Scout Dog Studio is where Robb’s music all begins and where he spends most of his time. The studio is named for their dog, Scout, who seems to enjoy hanging out in the studio as well. Robb has two studio rooms. One is devoted to drums, which he feels are the foundation of music. He loves drums and also plays keyboard along with the guitar.

Robb’s collection of Fender Telecasters keeps growing as each one has a different voice.

Robb has quite a collection of guitars but he says that each one has its own voice and purpose. Fender Telecasters have become a favorite and his collection of them has expanded to over 30, according to his wife. She knows Robb well as they’ve been married for 27 years.

A guitar kit was the perfect birthday present for Robb.

Robb loves anything about music. He especially enjoys the process of production. Usually he writes the words first and they come quickly. His songs begin with a recording of the drum, which often is done by his son, Eli. Then Robb adds the rest himself piece by piece…a guitar or guitars, keyboard, and last of all the vocals.

The last song he wrote was for Robin on their anniversary. He took a little more time to write that song – fifteen minutes since it was special! No matter what happens around him, he is happy when he sees her smile.

Recently, he has gone back to his renovation business as he likes working on his own schedule. Gable Renovation specializes in interior remodeling as Robb is a carpenter by trade. He offers trustworthy service, fair pricing, and quality results. He wants to exceed your expectations.

Robb leads the band at Trinity Baptist Church in Cambridge.

In his spare time, he is very active in his church and leads the band at Trinity Baptist. Spreading the Christian message through song gives him great pleasure.

Cole, Robin, Scout, Robin, and Eli enjoy a Gable family vacation.

The Gable family has enjoyed many wonderful family vacations over the years. Sometimes they take their guitars along and they always stop at a music store. Robin recalls one year when they didn’t take a guitar with them. About a week into the vacation, they bought a guitar at a local music store and passed it around like candy that evening. The Gable boys all love their music.

Join Robb and Robin downtown at the Courthouse Light Show.

Catch that hometown Christmas spirit at Dickens Victorian Village in downtown Cambridge during November and December. You’ll understand why it inspired Robb to write “Christmastime in My Hometown.”

And people come from all around

To see the sights and hear the sounds

Of Christmastime! Christmastime in my hometown.

Rise and Shine with Lisa Bell

Invest in your health!

Bell Barn

Their barn has become a symbol of her bakery business.

Bell Farmstead Bakery & Products came about as a result of Lisa Bell’s chronic stomach issues. While she tried the advice of many doctors, nothing seemed to relieve her problem. Then in 2014, she met a holistic doctor that had a bit of different advice.

Bell- Strawberry Oat Muffin

People like these strawberry oat muffins so well they buy them by the dozen.

   This doctor suggested she try a gluten free diet for a couple of weeks just to see how she felt. That meant that she was to eat no products with grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Within three days, she felt better than she had ever felt; however, it took a year for complete healing and recovery. Her husband decided to try the diet with her and found he too felt much better.

   While Lisa started her gluten free business due to her own severe health issues, now she is helping others overcome this problem.  One of the first things they need to do is visit their doctor and schedule a test for Celiac, an immune reaction to eating gluten that damages the small intestine lining and prevents absorption of nutrients.

Bell - eggs, fried potatoes, Zucchini applesaue bread toasted with butter

This gluten free breakfast of eggs, fried potatoes, and toasted applesauuce bread looks mighty appealing.

   Once she found the gluten free diet made her feel so much better, her problem was finding tasty gluten free products. There weren’t any bakeries that offered anything gluten free and what she found in stores was dry, made with preservatives, using mega white rice flour and tapioca starch.  To correct this problem, Bell Farmstead Bakery & Products was born in 2016.

Bell Banana Nut Bread

Get to the Farmer’s Market early if you want some of Lisa’s banana nut bread.

   It became important to Lisa to not only have the products taste better but she wanted them to have nutritional value. She studied the ancient grains that our ancestors would have grown and used, such as amaranth, sorghum, and millet. Then she experimented with flaxseed meal, coconut, almond, and garbanzo bean flours. These flours are what bring the unique flavor and texture to her products.

   Most of the recipes used in her baked goods are ones she has created herself by trial and error for her family. She discovered that by using organic and non-gmo ingredients, products were not only healthier but also more flavorable.

Lisa and chicken

Her chickens provide the perfect eggs for her baked goods.

   Her chickens are even fed organic food. They start out with a feed ordered from Virginia that has no soy and then graduate to layer feed, which has no soy or wheat content. Any extras are organic produce that is grown by Lisa. After all, these eggs are what she uses in her baked goods.

Bell Pancake Mix

Bell pancake mix is Husband tested, Husband approved!

   Lisa is also president of the Cambridge Rise and Shine Farmer’s Market. This market only accepts homegrown produce, herbs, flowers, and plants as well as handcrafted goods. They cannot be purchased in bulk from an auction house but must be from the farmer’s garden. Here you get a chance to talk to the farmers that have produced the crops and get their suggestions for using them.

   Her products are sold at Rise & Shine Farmers’ Market, which is open every Friday morning May through October at the Southgate Hotel parking lot in Cambridge. Her products cater to those with food allergies and are all corn, soy, xanthan gum, gluten, and peanut free. Wheat, rye, or barley are not allowed in any of her products. Many people feel better when they avoid these foods.

Bell - Lisa in her herbs

Lisa can often be found working in her herb garden.

   Correct care of gardens and fields is of utmost importance. Chemical spraying of crops before or after planting contributes harmful substances to the body. Simply, you can’t digest poison! So the importance of pure crops is high on the list.

Lisa at Market Place SFF

Lisa was at one time chairman of the Marketplace for Salt Fork Festival.

   She also participates in the River City Farmers’ Markets in Marietta every other week. In past years, she also has organized the Marketplace for the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival. Each market seems to bring new experiences such as hot sunshine, rain, wind, and even snow has been encountered.

Bell Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins   Every week Lisa bakes something a little different for the Farmers’ Market crowd. A few of those treats from past weeks have included Zucchini Applesauce Bread, Rhubarb Mint Pie, and Apricot Date Scones. Something delicious always appears from her ovens.

Lisa - Wedding Cake

This gluten free wedding cake  looks and tastes delicious.

   There’s a wide assortment of breads, muffins, and pies available. Try some of her buckwheat or oat flax ginger pancake mixes. About a half dozen different oatmeal mixes include Raisin Cinnamon, Cranberry Almond Ginger, and Plum Vanilla. When talking with her recently, she was baking a vegan birthday cake and has also done wedding cakes.

Lisa - Organic Strawberry Patch

This organic strawberry patch provides fresh fruit for her baked goods.

   Lisa established her bakery because she doesn’t believe that being Celiac or having a food intolerance or allergy should prevent a person from having a tasty meal or a scrumptious dessert. Her goal is to create products that taste awesome and have nutritious value. Good nutrition is the key to a healthy immune system.

Lisa - Paloma chicken coop

Lisa served as local chief humane officer for livestock. Her animals are an important part of her life.

   When asked what advice she would give others, Lisa says without hesitation, “Invest in your health by eating healthy, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and practice grounding each day. Have faith in God and let Him be in charge of your life.” Grounding, or earthing, is the process of placing your bare feet on the ground for at least fifteen minutes a day to reconnect your body with the earth’s energy.

Bell Commercial   Right now, Lisa and her husband, Rick, are refurbishing a second house on their property to use as a commercial bakery. This is a very exciting endeavor and promises to give Lisa a place to experiment with her recipes while having a showroom where she can sell her products.

Bell Cooking Outdoors

Cooking outdoors is a year-round favorite for her family.

   She proudly states, “Everything I create is with a purpose and good intention not just for my family, but for you and your family also.” Contact Lisa at Bell Farmstead Bakery at 740-680-1866 or email her at bellfarmstead@yahoo.com. Visit her website at www.bellfarmsteadgfbakery.com .

   If you are having stomach problems and fatigue, Lisa would suggest that you have your doctor run a test for Celiac. Let her know your allergy and food intolerances and Lisa will gladly help you find some delicious foods to add to your diet.

The Camels Are Coming – Father’s Day Story

Dad, Mom and Bev 001

Mom, Dad, and a shy gypsy enjoy Father’s Day long ago. 

Dad would truly “Walk a mile for a Camel.” He thoroughly enjoyed his Camel cigarettes. No other brand would do. Why at that time their advertisements stated, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Purchases were made by the carton.

   Needless to say, Dad always knew how many packs of cigarettes he still had left. One day when Dad and Mom returned from town, he found some of his packs of cigarettes missing. Mom questioned him as to whether he had smoked more than he thought. “No, Kate, I didn’t smoke that many packs. Someone had to take some.”

   Two weeks later, the same thing happened. This time they noticed that someone had come in through the cellar door while they were gone as the door was still wide open.

   Then Dad decided to play detective. He sent Mom to town at the regular time with me, wearing his work hat and white shirt, driving their car. We headed down the road to Indian Camp as we didn’t plan on staying away too long just in case Dad needed help.

   Before long, Dad heard someone pushing open the cellar door. Now was his chance to see who had been taking his cigarettes. He patiently waited at the top of the steps as he heard what sounded like young laughter.

   When the door to the upstairs opened, there stood Dad to greet the intruders. They happened to be two neighbor boys who wanted something to smoke and of course, their parents would not permit that.

   How surprised they were! He told them to come on upstairs and sit down in the living room. “Well, boys, should I call your parents? Will they approve of what you have done? You both know that stealing is wrong.”

   “Oh, please, Rudy, don’t call them. We’ll be in big trouble. We promise never to take your cigarettes again if you don’t tell.”

   Then Dad surprised them both by saying, “It will be our secret. If you ever want to smoke a cigarette, come over and ask me for one.”

   When Mom and I came back to the house, Dad was sitting on the porch with a smile on his face. “I caught two young boys and taught them a lesson. I don’t think it will ever happen again.” He was hoping that might cure their desire to take things that didn’t belong to them…and it did!

Saving History in Old Ohio Barns

Repairing or restoring an old barn that no longer serves its purpose has been taking place around Ohio with increased frequency. People feel these buildings instill that pioneer spirit and are worth saving.

Cowden Barn

Morrison-Cowden Barn (1869) Pigeon Gap Road

   In Guernsey County, Bill and Sue Cowden decided to renovate an old barn that carried fond memories for many of the neighbors and their children. This barn was originally on the 500 acre Morrison farm and used for horses for many years.

   The Morrison family came to Guernsey County from Ireland in 1855 and Sam purchased a farm on the east side of Pigeon Gap Road. His son, George acquired land on the other side which spanned Coshocton Road, now Route 209.

   It was George’s son, W.C., who is most remembered in the area. He grew record-setting crops of wheat, had an emergency airstrip on the farm, and entertained frequently. Morrison School received its name from W.C., who lived until 1953. Upon his death, his entire estate of 3.2 million dollars was left to Guernsey County charities.

Barn Cornerstone

The barn cornerstone clearly shows the date of construction of 1869.

   When you realize the Morrison barn was built originally in 1869 – only four years after the Civil War, you can understand the desire to put it back to some useful purpose. Bill realized the barn was either going to have to be repaired or torn down. “When the doors no longer open, latches no longer work, and the floor is unsafe because the roof leaks, you have to make a decision.”

Doorway to home

A workman repairs the doorway with the Cowdens’ home in the background.

Getting walls ready

The new walls were being prepared on the ground.

   Some things had to be changed. Big posts by the door had rotted so needed to be replaced. Sadly, the slate roof had so many pieces missing that it received a metal roof. New siding had been put on previously, but now they covered that with metal siding as well.

Barn framing

Inside framing using wooden pegs was still in great original condition.

   Outside the barn looks like a new barn, but inside you can still easily see its history pouring out through all that old timber framing. The amazing craftsmanship of our ancestors without all the tools of today makes it extra special. These barns were built by hand and often in six to eight months. Inside the barn looks pretty much as it did back in 1869. The hand construction used to build the barn can clearly be seen in the rafters. All the beams are wood pegged, no nails were used.

Lift again

A lift was used to atttach new siding to the barn.

   Today, Bill and Sue use this barn for hay and machinery storage. Over the years they have raised chickens and even pigs in the lower level. They are pleased to have been able to preserve this historic barn.

   Three other barns were found that have been treasured by their owners and repaired when needed.

Schumaker Old Barn

Schumaker Barn (1887) West Lafayette

   In nearby Newcomerstown, the Schumakers barn (1887) still has its original slate roof with the date written on it. Their farm has been in the family for over 200 years so Jim and Wendy Schumaker keep striving to make their farm a showplace for others to enjoy through their produce stand and a fall adventure of Pumpkin Patch & Farm Experience to interest children in farming.

Wilson Wells Barn 2

Wilson – Wells Bar (1932) Mantua Road

   Another was built by Carl Wilson (1932) during the Depression. He had purchased the supplies for the barn, but the banks closed before construction began. The contractor asked if he could keep his men working with Carl’s promise to make payment when the banks opened again. Both men fulfilled their promises. Today that barn has been extensively repaired and is owned by Jim and Dot Wells.

Bennett Smith Barn

Bennett-Smith Barn (1960) Pigeon Gap Road

   Across the road from the Cowden farm is the Bennett dairy barn (1960) that was built on the farm of the father, Sam Morrison. Today that barn has been repaired by owners Pete and Martha Smith after a tornado damaged part of the barn heavily back in 1993.

   Many people tend to feel that when something no longer fulfills its original purpose that it should be forgotten because repair takes time, money, and energy. Sue doesn’t agree, “Then you lose a bit of history and the wonderful work that went into it long ago.”

   Enjoy a ride through the country and pay special attention to the barns. You’ll find many large modern barns, those ready to fall down, and some that have been saved as part of our agricultural heritage.

   If you have a wonderful old barn, house, or building on your property that can be repaired, perhaps you will consider preserving it for future generations.

If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future.

~Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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