Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Delaware Indians Settle Schoenbrunn Village

Schoenbrunn signStep back in time nearly two hundred and fifty years to see the location of the first church and school west of the Allegheny Mountains. Along the banks of the Tuscarawas River in New Philadelphia experience historic Schoenbrunn Village.

Schoenbrunn Scouts

Scouts from Pennsylvania came to see if this would be a great place to settle.

A group of Christian Delaware Indians arrived from Pennsylvania with Moravian missionary, David Zeisberger, in 1772. They came by invitation of Chief Netawatwes, head of the Turtle Tribe in the Tuscarawas Valley of Ohio.

Schoenbrunn David Zeisberger

This portrait of David Zeisberger hangs in their museum.

David was born in Moravia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. His parents immigrated to Georgia to become missionaries. They sent David to school in Holland, but harsh conditions there caused him to flee to the United States to join his parents.

The family moved to Pennsylvania, where David began preparing for his calling as a missionary to the Indians. He studied their language and learned the traditions of the tribe. Often considered a genius, many called Zeisberger the Apostle of the Indians.

Schoenbrunn Guide

A guide welcomed visitors as he strolled through the reconstructed village.

Near a big spring, deep in the woods, a settlement was established called ‘Beautiful Spring’ by the  Delaware Indians, but translated into ‘Schoenbrunn’ by the Germans. This provided a safe place for the Delaware Indians who had converted to the Moravian faith. Religious services were an important part of each day.

Schoenbrunn Indians

These young men both had Indian blood – one Iroquois and the other Delaware. The glass beads they wore served as early travelers’ checks.

From 1772-1777, this village housed approximately 300 people. The only white people there were Zeisberger, his assistant missionary and the missionary’s wife. The remainder of the village consisted of Christian Delaware Indians.

The village had a short five-year existence due to pressure from both Delaware Indians, and frontiersmen wanting to settle in Ohio. Originally the village contained about forty buildings, but over time these buildings were destroyed, the land was farmed, and all traces removed of the settlement.

The people of Tuscarawas County wished to commemorate this development. Maps, letters and the original diaries of Zeisberger led them to the general area where the town existed.  After extensive research and archaeological excavations, the sites of the school and church were discovered and rebuilding of Schoenbrunn began in 1927.

Schoenbrunn Museum Tools

Museum exhibits display tools used during the early days of Schoenbrunn.

At the entrance stands a museum filled with historic exhibits and an excellent video explaining the history of Zeisberger and the founding of Schoenbrunn Village. Here you will find tools the Delaware Indians used, the original school bell, and books written by Zeisberger. These included a translation of the Four Gospels into Delaware Indian language.

Schoenbrunn Herb Garden

An herb garden provided their medicine. Most had confidence in the medicine man’s healing.

Today, Schoenbrunn contains seventeen reconstructed buildings, including the church and the school on their original sites. The location of the cemetery has also been discovered, while  the stones were created in the 1920s. The Moravians had used identical wooden crosses on all graves because they felt all were equal in death.

Schoenbrunn Candle Makers

Two Moravian women had the heavy task of making candles by dipping them fifty or sixty times.

The candlemakers in the Davis cabin actually still make all the candles used throughout the village. They were made of pure beeswax in those early days, to signify the purity of Christ. The Davis cabin served as home to a Native American, his wife and four children. The walls in many of the cabins were whitewashed in order to reflect the candle light.

Schoenbrunn School with volunteers

Costumed volunteers meandered in front of the school where both boys and girls were educated.

Their schoolhouse sat in the center of the village where both boys and girls received instruction in their native Delaware language. Two doors entered the building – one for the girls to use, and one for the boys. In 1775, there were approximately one hundred children being educated.

Schoenbrunn Wordworking

Children enjoyed watching a wood-maker finish a leg for a bench. He also served as the interpreter for the village.

Anton cabin served as home to the village interpreter, making it easier for the whites and various Indian tribes to communicate with each other. This Delaware Indian also was talented in woodworking, making benches and repairing spinning wheels and wooden door hinges. Building a cabin took twenty-three days.

Everything in their community from school and church to their burial in God’s Acre was divided into what they called “choirs”. The young men and boys were placed together, the young women and girls, and then older men and older women. They did not congregate as families or get buried as such.

Schoenbrunn cooking fire

The missionary’s wife cooked meals here for her husband and David Zeisberger, a bachelor.

Authentically dressed volunteers, who all have a passion for history, help you understand what life was like in the 18th century. They serve as storytellers to explain the daily life of the early residents as well as the importance of missions in American history.

Schoenbrunn Butter Churn

Churning butter took much time and patience.

Visit this historic Schoenbrunn Village Monday through Sunday from Memorial Day to the end of August. During September and October, they are only open on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a great place for a family excursion, where you can have an enjoyable outdoor adventure while learning about the history of early America.

Schoenbrunn Village is located in Tuscarawas County at 1984 E. High Street, New Philadelphia, Ohio.  From I-77, take Exit 81 East on US 250.  Next take Ohio Exit 259 to E High Street. The village will be on the left.

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National Road – Zane Grey Museum

Zane Grey Museum

The Zane Grey Museum was originally constructed to resemble a frontier fort.

Three pieces of history are superbly woven together at the National Road – Zane Grey Museum between New Concord and Zanesville, Ohio along old Route 40. Learn about the road to the West, famous author Zane Grey, and Zanesville potteries.

Way back in 1811, Ebenezer Zane discussed with George Washington the need for a road across the newly settled country. Washington agreed it was vital to the future of the country so proclaimed, “Open a wide door, and make a smooth Way.” That began Zane’s Trace, which became part of the National Road.

Zane Grey Crossing

Diorama sections show their difficult work in constructing The National Road over streams.

The museum presents a detailed 136′ diorama depicting life on the original National Road, often called “The Main Street of America”. All the figures are hand made from clay and accurate down to the tiniest detail.  The first road was dirt, followed by the Corduroy Road made of logs, making it very rough. Eventually a stone foundation was in place with crushed stone on the top, and finally bricks

Zane Grey Ferries

Ferries took wagons and supplies across the Ohio River.

Every mile a stone mile marker gave travelers information on mileage to various towns along the way. A Gunter Chain, 66′ long, was used to measure the distance of one mile time and time again. If you moved the 66′ chain X 80 times = 5,280 ‘, the distance of one mile. The Gunter Chain also measured the distance across the road – 66’.

Zane Grey Diorama

Logs formed the Corduroy Road, a rough stretch to travel.

After WWI, Dwight Eisenhower led a convoy of trucks across the National Road, and during WWII, General Eisenhower discovered the Autobahn in Germany. When he became president he felt it of high importance to develop better highways in America. Thus began our interstate highway system.

Zane Grey Stop

The 10 Mile House provided refreshments along the highway. Baker’s Motel is located on that spot today.

Pearl Zane Grey, being born in Zanesville, traveled this road frequently. His early writing attempts were squelched by his father, who insisted that Zane attend the University of Pittsburgh so he could be a dentist and follow in his father’s footsteps. Zane did graduate with a degree in dentistry after enjoying a time of pitching his great curve ball on the college baseball team, where he enjoyed a full baseball scholarship.

When he married Dolly, her encouragement and editing abilities, along with a nice inheritance, made it possible for Zane to abandon his dental practice and begin following his passions…writing and fishing.

Zane Grey Study

Zane Grey wrote his books by hand in his study, surrounded by native American items he had collected in his travels.

His first book was Betty Zane, the story of a young girl who helped save Fort Henry. But it was Riders of the Purple Sage that put popularity into Grey’s writings. His books sold like hot cakes. Zane wrote all his stories in long hand, then his wife, Dolly, typed them and had them published. Many were turned into movies.

Zane enjoyed fishing more than anything else and spent over 300 days a year at that sport. He split the money from the books with Dolly, and he spent his half on fishing, boats, and travel. When he traveled out West, he filled his tablets with descriptions of the scenes he saw, for use in his stories.

Zane Grey fishing

Big-game fishing was the real passion in his life.

The only books that sold more copies than Grey’s at that time were the Bible and school primers. Hemingway was quite jealous of Grey, not because of his successful writing career, but because of his great fishing ability. Zane’s love of the great out-of-doors can be seen in all of his books through his detailed descriptions. 

Now how does the fantastic collection of pottery fit in? The perfect clay for making pottery could be found in this area quite easily – in dirt roads, such as the National Road, which had clay as their base. Potters would go out to the road and dig up a small portion of clay to make a vase or bowl. This became known as a “potters’ hole”. Thus the term we use today for a hole in the road – “pot hole”.

Zane Grey Pottery

This is a small section of the Zanesville Pottery collection on display.

But the collection goes beyond those humble beginnings and includes the work of over 132 potteries in the Zanesville area. Thousands of workers contributed to this large display, which was originally the collection of Mr. Downey, the owner of Conn’s Potato Chips. Upon his death, half of his pottery was given to the Zane Grey Museum for display, while the other half is in the Zanesville Museum of Art.

Zane Grey Model T

Find surprises along the way like this Model T Ford.

Next time you travel along the Old National Road, today’s Route 40, stop at the National Road – Zane Grey Museum and watch a film about the life of Zane Grey. The knowledgeable guides will lead you down the road to books, movies, pottery…and some surprises along the way.

National Road – Zane Grey Museum is located on old Route 40 about a half mile from I-70, Exit 164, Norwich Exit. The museum is located between New Concord and Zanesville, Ohio.

 

Take a Country Drive to Explore Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails

 

Garden of Eden

Quilt patterns on the sides of barns gave a purpose for a country drive.

A Sunday drive has always been one of my favorite things. Dad would travel the back roads exploring places we’d never been. That same feeling occurred while wandering along the Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails. It was a peaceful, old-fashioned road trip on those narrow, two-lane country roads, where you could actually take time to look at the scenery.

While Quilt Barns have become a nationwide movement, they got their beginning fairly recently. In 2001, Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother’s passion for quilting, so painted her mother’s favorite quilt square on their old tobacco barn in Adams County.

Ohio Quilt Barns

These counties in Ohio have Quilt Barn Trails.

From there, the Quilt Barns arose to reflect the spirit of the community. In Miami County, quilts were hand-painted on the barn’s surface replicating the look of fabric, while in Harrison County emphasis was on the Underground Railroad.

Coshocton County Heritage Quilt Barns feature family quilt patterns. Each quilt has a story to tell. The Pomerene Center for the Arts is responsible for creating this historic drive to view our nation’s agricultural landscape. They have three possible routes: Tiverton Trail, SR 643 Trail and Progressive Valley Trail.

It is important to either print off a map from the computer, open one on your phone or tablet, or pick one up at Coshocton Visitors’ Bureau in Roscoe Village. Directions are essential.

Mother Setzer's Quilt

Mother Setzer Quilt Barn appeared in a natural rock setting.

Several of the Quilt Barns have online connections to stories about the colorful quilts and who originally designed the quilt squares. Mother Setzer Quilt Barn appeared first on our adventure, and had a lovely setting with a firm foundation of large rocks around the barn. Their grandmother made this quilt pattern from scraps of her clothing and black silk dresses.

While SR 643 became the trail of choice, meandering from that path became frequent. The desire to see more Quilt Barns eventually included parts of all three Coshocton trails.

Sweet Pea

The lane back to Sweet Pea Quilt Barn featured a picturesque white fence.

Many of the Quilt Barns sat on back roads. Some became a challenge, and a four wheel drive vehicle would have been helpful on this rainy day as roads were steep and muddy. But beautiful, scenic farms throughout this Amish countryside made the day enjoyable. Corn shocks were a sight not seen since childhood.

Chalice

A barn near a lovely stone home featured Chalice pattern.

Chalice was the name given to the quilt pattern made by Catherine Stubbs on a barn near a lovely stone house. It appears that Catherine stayed very busy with quilting and life in general. One day when her husband was at work in the coal mines, she moved them to another house closer to his work. It’s said when she cooked Sunday chicken dinner, she could stretch one chicken to feed twelve people.

Butterfly with Raindrops

Butterfly Quilt Barn received raindrops during this trip.

The Butterfly Quilt Barn near Fresno showcases a quilt made and designed by Oneita Hahn. Family members remember her quilting frame being up in the dining room quite often. Quilt patterns frequently were created by the quilters themselves and then drawn on newspaper.

Snowball

In downtown Coshocton, you’ll find Snowball pattern on the side of a former quilt shop.

Not all barns were in the country. One actually was found in downtown Coshocton on the side of an old IOOF building, which formerly housed Mercantile on Main. Snowball, a black and white quilt, decorated the front of this one-time quilt supply shop.

Canal Era Applique

Blacksmith shop in Roscoe Village displays an attractive quilt pattern.

In Roscoe Village on the side of the Blacksmith Shop, Canal Era Applique could be seen upon entering the village on North Whitewoman Street. The quilt square on display appeared on a quilt made by Hannah Hays, whose family arrived in the area by canal boat.

Ohio Rose & Star

Ohio Rose & Star can be found in Clary Garden in Coshocton.

The end of SR 643 Trail came in classy Clary Garden. Ohio Rose & Star has graced the side of their barn since 2003. Made by Coshocton Canal Quilter Helen Moody, this pattern was chosen to hang at the gardens in honor of the family’s rose business.

But this artistic project doesn’t stop here. All over the United States, Quilt Barn Trails have been created. Presently, over 6000 quilt patterns have been placed on barns in 33 Ohio counties, 45 states, and even some in Canada. It’s a wonderful excuse to get in the car and take a road trip.

Tractor Quilt

A clever tractor pattern on one barn added variety to the day.

This country adventure through scenic back roads will take you back to a less stressful time. The Quilt Barns provide a variety of attractive patterns in excellent condition. You can take this drive any time of the year and enjoy this grassroots art movement. Watch for Quilt Barns wherever you travel.

While on the Coshocton Quilt Barn Trails, you’ll find not only creative quilt patterns but Amish farms, meandering streams, beautiful stone houses, and unique shops along the way. Don’t forget your camera!

AMA – Motorcycle Hall of Fame Springtime is the Perfect Time to Get Out and Ride

AMA Museum Sign

This sign along I-70 directs motorcycle enthusiasts to the AMA Hall of Fame.

April’s “ AMA Get Out and Ride! Month” seems the perfect time to visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. What stories the bikes tell and history they hold.

AMA, American Motorcycle Association, serves a membership of over 200,000 with an average experience of 28 years. They own 615,000 motorcycles, which are ridden over a billion miles each year.

In 1990, AMA Hall of Fame first opened in Westerville, then moved to its present Pickerington location in 1999. Here it can easily be seen from I-70.

AMA Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame plaques surround a circular room. You’ll find familiar names there even if you’re not a motorcycle fan.

A special round room holds a plaque for each member inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. They recognize individuals who have contributed to the motorcycle sport over the years. At the entrance is a Glory Days Statue.

AMA Dirt Bikes

Dirt bikes are especially popular with the younger generation.

The displays at AMA Hall of Fame are arranged in sections according to motorcycle type: Dirt Bike, Road Racing, Motocross, Specialty and Off Road. Each one holds memorabilia from many familiar names, who are fearless, imaginative and awe-inspiring.

AMA Ashley

Ashley, AMA Associate Editor, enjoys motocross. Her favorite motocross racer is Ricky Carmichael, the winningest motocross racer of all times.

Ashley Price, Associate Editorial Director at AMA, gave an excellent overview. She had a passion for motorcycles, having gone to Motocross training daily at the age of 14 while being home schooled.

Her days were carefully monitored regarding food, gym and riding time. She only slipped up once on her food. At Walmart, she purchased a box of Wheat Things. Punishment – another six or seven miles of bike drills.

Those years of competition have given Ashley determination in life situations. “The camaraderie of family and friends has given many memories. I’ve learned life lessons in working hard to accomplish goals.”

AMA Adventure bike 2

Adventure bikes are the most popular today as they can ride in the street and off road.

Riding a bike in racing takes more strength and determination than it appears. It is one of the most difficult sports in the world. At the end of a race, riders are exhausted. It takes a great combination of man and bike to win consistently.

AMA Mechanics

Let’s not forget the mechanics, as their role in a race is crucial.

If you like motorcycles, you’re sure to find something of interest at AMA Hall of Fame, which is packed with motorcycle history. With 117 bikes, there’s a great variety. It’s not possible to describe all of them here, so you’ll have to visit yourself. Most were donated by names familiar in the biking world.

AMA Oldest Bike

Currently, the oldest bike at the museum is this 1914 Harley-Davidson, one of the earliest dirt bike racers.

A 1914 Harley claimed the honor for the oldest bike at the museum. Most popular now are adventure bikes. They can go on the street or easily off road due to their special tires. They’re not for competition, just enjoyment.

AMA Toy Bikes 2

Downstairs at the AMA Hall of Fame, there is a nice selection of motorcycle toys.

Downstairs, Motorcycle Toys and Collections stir up some memories, or watch a biking video. “Why We Ride” played during a recent visit and centered around family fun involved with making great memories. “It’s a most interesting, amazing adventure,” quipped one lady aged 78, heading for 100.

AMA Wooden toy bike

This wooden motorcycle overlooking the patio, gives children a chance to sit on the seat or in the side carrier.

Riders feel this is a great way to make friends. Children join in at an early age on their dirt bikes. Charity work frequently happens with motorcycle groups. Everything from Cancer Runs to Christmas Toy Drives occur around the world.

The AMA sets up a Gypsy Tour series for their members. Its purpose is to have a rally and provide a memorable experience for everyone involved. Motorcycle friends are a close knit family, where men, women and children enjoy the thrill of riding and racing together.

If you are passionate about motorcycles, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame would be a great family outing. Then, Get Out and Ride!

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found just off I -70 at Exit 112, Route 256. Take a left of Blacklick Eastern Road and another left on Yarmouth. Watch for their posted signs to 13515 Yarmouth Drive. Enjoy the ride!

Famous Endings Museum – Largest Funeral Memorabilia Collection in the World

famous-endings

Toland-Herzig Funeral Home in Dover features Famous Endings Museum.

What better place to have a Famous Endings Museum than a funeral home. In Dover at 803 N. Wooster Avenue, the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home has an outstanding display of funeral memorabilia from people who have made a difference in the world.

endings-entrance

The entrance to Famous Endings gives a glimpse of celebrities.

The staff hopes that their presentation will perhaps bring back memories, or even a smile to your face, as you see some of those people who had a great influence on our lives.

famous-endings-cafe-setting

This cafe setting provides a place for visitors to sit and listen to John’s stories.

Here you will find the largest privately owned collection of funeral memorabilia in the world. Everything from funeral programs, photos, newspaper clippings, and prayer cards can be viewed. Most of the memorabilia is displayed in one large room, but it has spread out to the hallways and other small rooms throughout the funeral home.

john-herzig

An excellent video by John Herzig helps explain his collection.

This is a rather recent collection started by John Herzig back in 1996. Up to that time, he had an autograph collection, but that was soon to change when he sent a request for the autographed picture of the late Joe Lewis, the boxer.

When he received the package in the mail, there was more than what he asked for. It included not only a picture, but also the program of the funeral ceremony. That was the beginning of his new hobby, which has evolved to over  2,000 pieces of funeral memorabilia on display today.

famous-nasa

NASA exhibit features Ohio astronauts with Judith Resnik highlighted.

Many funerals they actually attended under special circumstances. When John heard of the public funeral of Jack Kevorkian in Michigan, he suggested to his wife, Joyce, that perhaps it would be a nice weekend for a trip to Michigan. The next day after arrival, he told her they were going to the White Chapel Mausoleum for funeral services at 9:30. Her response was, “Have you lost your mind?”

His wife has patiently endured his many attempts to find funeral programs and memorabilia. Learn more about her tolerance as you hear about the 50th birthday trip to New York City that he promised her, or their stop at a celebrity filled cemetery in L.A. on the way back from a cruise. Joyce won’t soon forget these special trips.

john-glenn

The family attended the funeral of John Glenn and display memorabilia.

The trips to funerals are usually family affairs. Often Joyce accompanies him but recently his son, Troy, went with his dad to a couple memorable memorial services for John Glenn and Muhammad Ali. Their programs are already in place at the museum.

troy-and-jackie-robinson-1

John and Joyce’s son, Troy, especially enjoys the sports heroes.

John Herzig enjoys hearing stories about people who have changed the world in some way. Those are the kind of people he has honored in his Famous Endings Museum. “Each person has a story to share.”

Among his favorites are people who helped others. They weren’t big Hollywood or TV stars, but people who made a difference… and he has their funeral programs! Millard Fuller,  a self-made millionaire at the age of twenty-nine, is a prime example. Fuller gave all his money away to start Habitat for Humanity.

william-greatbatch

This large photo of William Greatbatch, inventor of the pacemaker, is surrounded by memorabilia of other inventors.

The collector placed high importance on William Greatbatch, who made the cardiac pacemaker, and Eugene Polley, inventor of the TV remote control and often labeled “Father of the Couch Potato”. This museum perhaps could be called the Influential Hall of Fame.

famouc-endings-steve-jobs

Steve Jobs is showcased in their entrepreneur display.

Famous Endings Museum has special admiration for Frank Inn and his love of animals. He trained popular animals such as Arnold the pig, Lassie and Benji, who he saved from a shelter. Frank’s daughter recalls, “He could train animals to do things that most people didn’t believe.” Some of those favorite animals were cremated and buried with Inn.

remote-control

Invented by Eugene Polley, the first remote, Flash-matic Tuning, definitely changed our lives.

Some of visitors’ favorite exhibits are memorabilia from people who made us smile in the past, such as Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers. Comedian Leslie Neilson carried his sense of humor to his funeral. The packages of Kleenex he prepared for his funeral are on display there. They carried the inscription: “Stop crying. This is supposed to be a fun night. Love and laughs, Leslie.”

 

lincoln-lantern

This lantern from Lincoln’s funeral carriage has become one of John’s favorite treasures.

Several times a year, John schedules a “Night at the Museum” where he features a special person or group of people. Visit their Facebook page or website for details. The museum is free and open for visitation Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. It’s one of those places you have to see to believe and appreciate.

famous-endings-ripleys

Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured Herzig’s Famous Endings Museum.

Famous Endings Museum has been featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and is a frequent stop for tour coaches…especially Mystery Tours! This museum makes us look at death differently. As Randy Pausch wrote about funerals, “You can either be an Eeyore or a Tigger.” At Famous Endings Museum, they honor the contributions and memories,  as they celebrate the lives of famous people.

Visit Famous Endings Museum in Dover just off I-77 at Exit 83. Take Ohio 211 east/ Tuscarawas Avenue. Turn left on Slingluff Avenue and then right on Wooster Ave. The museum is on the left side of the street.

Coal Miner’s Statue -Unsung Heroes Remembered

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

Those words rang true for the thousands of coal miners that lived in the vicinity of Guernsey County, Ohio during the early 1900s.

In order to honor these men and coal miners across the nation, a statue in their honor has been placed at the old train depot in Byesville, Ohio. This is no ordinary statue as it was commissioned by Alan Cottrill, internationally renowned sculptor, who has his studio in Zanesville.

The Train to Nowhere

These were busy tracks in their day, but today they have no traffic.

Why, you might ask, is this statue in Byesville? Why not place it in some larger city? Byesville was the coal capital of Ohio back in the early 1900s. Perhaps a hundred and fifty trains would roar down their tracks each day. Cars carried coal from Marietta to Cleveland and often into Canada.

coal_miners_memorial_09-08-2012_1

These volunteers were present for the dedication ceremonies.

Raising money for the statue was itself a challenge. Contributions came from local residents as well as all those who rode the now silent Byesville Scenic Railway. Total cost of this memorial was $40,000. So if you rode the train or visited their museum, perhaps you had a hand in making that statue become reality.

When you made a donation in any amount, you were given a badge saying:

I GAVE    COAL MINERS MEMORIAL    BYESVILLE OHIO

coal-mineres-memorial-badge

This was no ordinary badge as it was designed very carefully. Each color on the badge had great significance.

Yellow stands for a beam of sunshine that sheds light on the darkness of the dungeon of a dark and gray mine.

Gray is for the rock/slate layers that are found above and below the seams of coal.

Black needs little explanation as it is the color of coal, also known as black diamonds, buried sunshine, or rocks that burn.

Red is for the color of blood that was spilled onto the ground from those who either lost their lives or were injured while working about the mine.

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Everything on this bronze statue has meaning.

His hat gave him a place to hang his carbide light. This was the only light down in those coal black mines. The miner had to purchase the pellets to fill his carbide light…at the company store, of course.The coal mines gave them nothing. Why, they had to buy their own picks and dynamite! 

If you look closely at the statue, the miner’s brass tag reads 382, the number of coal miners who lost their lives in the deep mines of Guernsey County over the mines’ sixty active years.

pieces-for-memorial

The sculpture pieces in Cottrill’s studio wait to be assembled.

The miner statue is missing his right index finger in honor of all the men injured in the mines. The dinner pail he carries was made by the Buckeye Aluminum Co. and was an important part of the miners day.

Many of those miners were immigrants, often called dumb hunkies  Everyone headed out to work swinging their dinner pail. The pails could not be set down on the mine floor or the rats, the miners’ mascot, would open them and eat their lunch. So miners always hung their dinner pails high on the mine wall.

A West Virginia ham sandwich was quite the treat. That ham by the way was what we call bologna.They always left a little something in their pail, just in case a cave in occurred and they might be below ground all night. If they made it safely through the day, the miners would let the children have their pails on the way home for a little snack.

From top to bottom each item has special significance from his hat to the dynamite at his feet.

coal-miner-plaque

The dedication plaque at the statue

A portion of the plaque behind the statue states:

May the personal sufferings, sacrifices and the hardships endured by your families, never be forgotten nor taken for granted.

May the memory of these unsung heroes live on for generations.

The Coal Miner Memorial Statue can be found in Byesville, Ohio off I-77. Take Exit 41 and head into the small town of Byesville. Turn left on Second Street and two blocks down on the right hand side you will see the old train depot. The statue stands in front of the depot.

Trail Run- A Coal Mining Town

trail-run-view-with-church-by-tracks

This overview of Trail Run shows many of the homes, the church and the mines.

In the valley between Byesville and Buffalo, the small town of Trail Run can still be found. Years ago this town was a booming coal mining area with 2000 residents. Let’s take a trip back in time to see what this town was like in the early 1900s.

Originally, this area served as home to the Delaware Indians, who lived along Rocky Bottom until the early 1800s. They traded lead for whiskey along their trail beside the run.

trail-run-1

Men worked in the mines to provide for their families.

After the Indians were chased westward, this area had only a few scattered homes. But when coal was discovered in 1888, the town of Trail Run, officially called Robins, began. This town had two strong coal mines. The coal vein was best at No. 1 mine, where it was 6′ thick.

Many working these mines were Slovaks, Russians and Hungarians – about 1000 of them. When they arrived at Ellis Island, immigrants were greeted with signs written in their native language telling them where jobs were available. Most of the coal miners could not speak English so perhaps a sign in Slovak held up near the dock would have told them that jobs were open in the coal mines in Trail Run.

trail-run-2-mine-1928-closing

Trail Run Mine No. 2 is shown just before closing in 1928.

Life in the coal mines was difficult but better than being hungry. Cambridge Collieries built about fifty houses in Trail Run so the coal miners would have a place to live. Rent was $12 a month for a small house on a dirt street, which had no name.

Church attendance, baseball and beer were three of their main forms of recreation in the early 1900s. Since the mines were closed on Sunday, that was their day for a little entertainment. Later, a pool hall, dance hall and bowling alley were added.

st-michaels-orthodox-church

St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church served as home church for many of the Slavs, who worked in the mines.

Miners attended one of two churches in Trail Run. St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church welcomed the Slovaks, which made up a large percentage of the miners. Others attended Bethlehem Methodist, which still exists today.

1914-first-childrens-class-at-st-michaels

St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church had a large children’s class in  1914.

Five baseball diamonds could be found there. The coal mining towns all played each other, but there was a special rivalry between Upper Trail Run and Lower Trail Run. Baseball provided a great form of relaxation, which the families could watch and enjoy.

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Sikora’s Grocery on the corner of Trail Run Road and Robins Road was a popular place for supplies.

Often after the games, players would gather somewhere to drink a couple beers. There were two saloons in town. One of those bars, The Cave, was under Sikora’s Grocery. Or families might go to Williams or Checks stores for ice cream or candy.

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Men enjoyed visiting after church at Williams’ store.

Another way they might get something to drink happened in connection with the railroad. Cambridge Brewery would ship box car loads of beer barrels. If one just happened to fall from the train, a big party would ensue.

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Every day at least a hundred cars loaded with coal left Trail Run mines

Miners usually obtained free coal for their homes in much the same way. Since a hundred cars of coal left Trail Run daily, there was a good chance that coal might fall (or be accidentally pushed) from the train cars filled with coal. The children of the family would walk along the tracks picking up coal in a burlap sack, so their mother could cook and heat the house.

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Railroad track ran close to the first school at Trail Run in 1900.

The first school built in 1895 had a train track running beside it. When a train came by it was necessary to shut the windows to keep out the noise and the smoke.

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In 1923, this three-story, brick Community School provided education to grades 1-12.

However, in the 1930s, the mines shut down because people could get coal cheaper in West Virginia, Kentucky or Tennessee. Miners had to look elsewhere for employment. Some walked to work at nearby Senecaville, while others headed to Akron and Cleveland to work in the rubber and steel factories there. Population in Trail Run dwindled quickly.

Drive slowly through Trail Run some day while remembering those brave men and women who worked so hard to support their families in the only way they knew. Miners learned the value of hard work by working hard.

Trail Run is located in Ohio in Guernsey County south of Cambridge. Easiest route would be to take I-77, Exit 41 and head south on Vocational Road. Just past Bethlehem Methodist church, turn left on Robins Road. You will now head straight into Trail Run. Enjoy the adventure.

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