Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

Tour Historic Fort Steuben

Fort Steuben captures the spirit of America and represents the opening of the West after the Revolutionary War when settlers could finally afford to purchase land. The first seven ranges of the Northwest Territory along the Ohio River needed to be surveyed into sections before being sold to those settlers.

This original Fort Steuben cornerstone, erected in 1786, has been preserved.

In 1787, Fort Steuben was constructed to protect the surveyors from the Indians as well as prevent squatters from coming across the Ohio River from Virginia. The Federal Government wanted to sell this land so made it illegal for those early pioneers to cross the river and settle without purchase.

Here’s an overview of some of the buildings inside the fort.

Major John Hamtramck was responsible for getting the fort built. It was named for Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a drillmaster who served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War. It’s easy to see how Steubenville, Ohio received its name. It was the perfect place for a defense with the Ohio River to the east, a bank of hills on the west, and a nice plateau on which to build. Its location was mid-way between Pittsburgh and Wheeling.

One hundred fifty soldiers guarded this fort. There was a lookout station where they could easily watch the Ohio River. However, after one year, the fort was abandoned and never used again.

The University of Steubenville holds an annual archaeological dig here.

Some say that in 1790, the fort burned but archaeological digs have shown no evidence of ashes or burnt objects. Others think that perhaps settlers dismantled the buildings and moved them to a place where they were going to live.

Some items found in the dig are displayed inside the Welcome Center.

Every year since 1978, the University of Steubenville has conducted a summer session on the grounds of the former fort. Their archaeological dig has discovered many discarded items from that time and some are on display at the Fort Steuben Visitors Center while others can be found at the University of Steubenville.

The hospital included a surgeon and a shelf filled with medical supplies.

Several times over the years, people had been interested in reconstructing the fort, but it wasn’t until 1986 that two ladies became enthusiastic about the project after attending a lecture by the archaeologists. Their enthusiasm led to the community becoming involved in the project. It began in 1989 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the fort was completed.

Nutcracker Village happens each year during November and December.

Fort Steuben Park has become a central part of community activities as this is where they hold the Dean Martin Celebration, Nutcracker Village, Farmers’ Market, 4th of July Fireworks, and weekly concerts in Berkman Amphitheater during the summer months. The fort is a private effort funded by local supporters and is staffed with a director and many helpful volunteers.

The table in the Officers’ Quarters was used for dining and as a place to spread out maps of the surveyors.

Taking a self-guided tour or touring the fort with a trained interpreter in this reconstructed village gives you a glimpse of what life was like over 230 years ago. There are seven buildings in the complex where you will find posted stories of the trials and tribulations suffered without today’s modern conveniences. Step inside the Officer’s Quarters, Hospital, Commissary, or Guard House to learn their stories.

The original Federal Land Office, where plots of land were sold, was moved close to the fort.

A special feature is the Federal Land Office, the first one built in the United States in 1800. The original building has been moved near the fort. There seemed to be a natural connection as this Land Office was where people came to buy the land after it had been surveyed. The agent and his family lived in the Land Office cabin.

The agent and his family lived inside the Land Office.

The land was measured off in plots of one square mile, which would be 640 acres. A settler could purchase a square mile for $1 an acre but had to buy 640 acres. Later, those plots were divided and settlers could purchase 320 acres for $2 an acre. Some consider this Ohio’s Ellis Island as it was at the Land Office that people started new lives.

Berkman Amphitheater has weekly concerts during the summer months.

The outstanding Visitors’ Center is open all year long while Fort Steuben is open from May through October. Hours for both are from 10 am – 4 pm. Admission to the fort is $10 for adults and $7 for students 6-12. Those under six are admitted free.

If you enjoy history, you’re sure to enjoy visiting the Welcome Center and Fort Steuben.

The Bloody Bible Displayed at Olde Main Street Museum

Harley Dakin, historian, provided information at Olde Main Street Museum.

One of the most famous legends of Tuscarawas Valley history involves the Bloody Bible, which today can be found at the Newcomerstown Olde Main Street Museum. However, it had a long journey and interesting story before arrival there for safekeeping.

The story centers around John Early, who grew up in Harrison County, lived a happy life, and enjoyed the music of the violin, which he played very well. After meeting a Methodist circuit rider, John Early was converted to Christianity and gave up his violin playing as “the devil was in it.” At that point, he moved just south of Newcomerstown in a beautiful log house.

Traveling Methodist preachers were welcome at his home and eventually, John donated land to have a Methodist Episcopal Church built on the boundary line of Tuscarawas and Guernsey County. There was also room for a church cemetery. In 1853, when Early died, he was one of the first people buried in the cemetery on the west side of the meeting house. His tombstone can still be found there today.

This church replaced Early’s log church where the story began.

The story of the Bloody Bible begins before the start of the Civil War and after the death of John Early. When members of Early’s Church came to the log meeting house in early May to attend their usual Sabbath School, prayer, and class services, what they found when they opened the door was forever impressed on their minds.

Stains can still be seen on the Bloody Bible at the Olde Main Street Museum.

Sometime since the previous Sabbath, a terrible deed had been done. Someone decided to mock God by offering a lamb as sacrifice upon the altar of the church. Then they sprinkled the pages of the Bible with the blood of the lamb causing blood to drip down the altar and cover the floor. The lamb was still there beside the Bible when they entered.

It was later discovered that the deed was done by three young men called “Sons of Belial” who met at Whiskey Springs. They liked to play tricks on neighbors and for some reason especially the Early family. His cornfield had been destroyed, a new plow wrecked, and horses tied to the edge of a cliff so they fell to their death. They later told people they had stolen the sacrificed lamb that was a pet of a young crippled boy in the Early family.

Mrs. Manson Castor, who attended the church, holds the Bible in 1946 at the age of 89.

When the young boys did this terrible deed, one young man shouted for John Early to rise from his grave. A pillar of fire arose in the door of the church and swept down the aisle. One of the boys was not able to see or speak, had to be carried to his home a mile away, and was in a stupor for much of his life. The others could barely stand to live with the guilt. But no charges were filed as the church people agreed, “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”

The original story of the Bible appeared in The Cambridge Jeffersonian on April 20, 1899.

The story was first written by Solomon Mercer in the Cambridge Jeffersonian on April 20, 1899. He had a personal interest in the story as his father, James Mercer, lived in the northwestern part of Guernsey County in Wheeling Township. His neighbor was John Early.

Mercer remembered this tale well as he was there when it happened. Everyone was headed to Sunday School that morning in their best church dress. When they entered the church, the smell of the killed lamb was so strong that no services were held there that day. Mercer even remembers his father and another family member carrying the lamb between two sticks out the church door.

A plaque pays tribute to Jim Rogers and family who gave the museum the Bible.

For many years, Jim Rogers of Orrville kept the Bible in his home under glass in a special table he had built. He had received guardianship of the Bible from his wife’s aunt. At the age of 92, Jim wasn’t well and asked the Newcomerstown Museum if they would display the Bible there. It was added to their collection in June of 2020 after being gone from Newcomerstown for 150 years.

Chris Hart prepares himself to present the story of “The Bloody Bible.”

At the age of 10 in 1964, young Chris Hart saw the Bloody Bible on display in the window of Newcomerstown News on Main Street during their Sesquicentennial. As he looked at the Bible through the window, he thought, “That would make a great story.” Today he tells that story to organizations around the area as he portrays one of the young men who played havoc with the church that night.

The Bible’s story is featured in “Tales of the Buckeye Hills” by Lonzo Green.

The Bloody Bible was featured in the book, “Tales of the Buckeye Hills” by Lonzo Green, a retired Methodist minister, and that book is also on permanent display. He tells the story of Early’s Church and the circumstances of the Bloody Bible in the first chapter of his book. His story ends with this quote from the page that was opened in the blood-soaked Bible:

Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth,

that shall he also reap.”

This tombstone in the cemetery near Early’s church bears the name of John Early.

Sometime in the near future, plan to visit Olde Main Street Museum at 213 W. Canal Street, Newcomerstown to see a replica of an early 1900s village. They built an entire village inside a building! While there be sure to see that popular legend in Tuscarawas Valley history…the Bloody Bible.

Olde Main Street Museum can easily be found from I-77 in Ohio by taking exit 65 for US 35 to the west. In two miles turn left on Pilling Street, then quickly turn right on East Canal Street. You will find the museum on the left hand side about a mile down Canal Street.

Early Television Museum Picture Perfect

TV adds so much to family happiness.

~Motorola

Early Television Museum is located in Hilliard.

RCA’s first television on the market, TRK-12, was Steve McVoy’s initial early television purchase. He found it on eBay in pieces. Collecting became a passion and soon his basement was filled with old television sets. His wife suggested he find another place to store them.

Once he discovered an available building, he founded the Early Television Foundation in 2000 at Hilliard, Ohio to preserve the history of television sets. At Early Television Museum, progress is shown from the early mechanical systems of the 1920s to the introduction of color television in the 1950s.

There is a large display of early television sets from outside the United States.

However, Steve developed a passion for televisions early in life. He fondly remembers that first set in his parents’ home. The 1953 model Admiral 21-inch set received only one channel in Gainesville, Florida where he grew up.

At the age of ten, the family has a picture of Steve pulling a little wagon with the words “TV Repair” written on the side. By seventh grade, he worked in a TV repair shop after school.

Steve’s first business, Freedom TV, was located in Gainesville, Florida.

That passion turned into a business as he opened Freedom TV, an antenna shop, which supplied apartment buildings and hotels. When antennas lost their popularity, it seemed a logical move to create Micanopy Cable TV to provide television service.

Steve McVoy, originator of the museum, takes visitors on a tour of the facility.

Since Steve enjoys starting new businesses and giving many people a place to work, he expanded his cable company to several states, including Ohio. In the 70s, he met his wife Suzi, who just happened to work at his Columbus, Ohio cable company. The move to Ohio happened at that time. He sold the cable company in 1999 before he opened the Early Television Museum.

Larry McIntyre has been with Steve since the very beginning. He has always been interested in the electronics side of the television industry as his grandfather was an electrical engineer.

Early sets were made in Columbus by Murry Mercier and his father in 1928.

At the museum, there is a self-guided tour where you can press a button to hear about the television sets and their programs. The sets are numbered to make it easy to follow the narrative. The facility is well arranged with easy transition from one era to the next.

A Felix the Cat statue was used by RCA/NBC to test early television equipment in 1928.
Television were introduced to the United States consumer market in 1939 at the World’s Fair.
This RCA TRK-12 was displayed at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Starting with the 1920s, you find yourself on a fascinating journey through the early years of television beginning with early mechanical. RCA then developed the technology for sets using tubes, but it was the BBC that put it into operation in 1936. That first purchase of Steve’s, the RCA TRK-12, was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. It cost $600 – more than the cost of a modest car at that time.

This early television by Dumont was the largest black and white set ever made.

After WWII, there was a burst in television production. During the war, they had learned much about how radar operates and applied this to the television world. Then sets could be purchased at a lower cost.

This Emerson Telejuke played records and television in New York City in 1947.

The Emerson Telejuke became popular in 1947 in New York City. Most people still did not have a television set in their homes so they could drop a quarter into the jukebox and either listen to some 78 rpm records or watch television for thirty minutes. Every bar, restaurant, and club had a jukebox.

In 1954, Westinghouse made the first color television which sold for $1295.

In the 1950s, color tv was introduced. Westinghouse made the first color set for sale in 1954 at a cost of $1295. Sixty New York department stores offered them for sale with not a single purchase that week. As color quality improved, prices came down, and sales increased. However, it wasn’t until 1970 that color sets outsold black and white.

Early camera equipment surrounds this production van from Newark WGSF 31.

School groups frequently tour the museum. When he tells them that in the 50s, you might get only two or three channels, they find it hard to believe. A fourth-grade group took it upon themselves to count the sets and came up with a total of nearly 200.

Recently they added a 6′ Nipper to their RCA showroom.

During 2020, the museum added 4 mechanical, 2 pre-war, and 18 early color sets to their database. They also acquired a video of French TV in 1935. They are always looking for something unusual to add to their collection.

Kuba Komet’s home entertainment center was developed in West Germany in 1957.

Regular hours for the museum are only on the weekends. Saturday they are open from 10-6 and Sunday noon-5. They open during the week by appointment. Set aside an hour or two for exploring this well-arranged display of older television sets from the United States as well as Europe. Visit their website for detailed information at www.earlytelevision.org.

Early Television Museum in Hilliard is a great place to see how technology has changed over the years. For many, it will bring back memories of sets they had early in life. You hear it, you see it, you’re right there with RCA Victor.

Early Television Museum is located about two miles off I-270 west of Columbus at 5396 Franklin Street, Hilliard, Ohio. Enjoy your visit!

Fort Laurens – Only Revolutionary War Fort in Ohio Country

Fort Laurens Entrance

Fort Laurens is in Bolivar Ohio just minutes off I-77.

   Add a little history to your summer fun by visiting Fort Laurens near Bolivar. A Revolutionary War fort was built in Ohio back in 1778 by General Lachlan McIntosh on the banks of the Tuscarawas River. Fort Laurens was the only Revolutionary War fort built in the Ohio Country by the Continental Congress.

Fort Laurens Original Fort

This drawing captures the design of the original fort.

   Fort Laurens was named after Henry Laurens, the fifth president of the Continental Congress. The Americans built Fort Laurens with three purposes in mind.

Fort Laurens rifleman

Riflemen dressed in linen shirt and overalls helped build Fort Laurens.

   First, they hoped to use it as a base to attack the British garrison at Detroit Second, they hoped it would keep the American Indians, who were loyal to the British, from conducting raids against American settlers in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Finally, by offering protection to the neutral Christian Delawares, the Americans might convince them to forsake their neutrality and join the patriots’ cause.

Fort Laurens Men suffering in winter

That cold winter, men suffered at Fort Laurens in cold huts with little food.

   However, conditions were so cold during that first winter that most of the men were moved to Fort Pitt. Learning of the terrible conditions inside the fort, the British and a couple of hundred Indian warriors laid siege to the fort. The men inside the fort were reportedly reduced to making a soup broth of boiled moccasins. Two men snuck out and returned with a deer carcass. It is said that the men were so hungry they ate it raw.

   General Brodhead reported to General George Washington that the fort was too far from Detroit to stage an attack and not close enough to the Delaware Indians to offer protection. General Washington ordered the fort abandoned in August 1779.

Fort Laurens Picnic Shelters

Picnic shelters provide a great place for family gatherings.

   In July of 1887, Christian L Baatz visited the fort and became interested in preserving its history. Baazt with his friends Ed Pease and William Lowe became acquainted with landowner David Gibler. David and his brother had leveled the fort in 1853 for farming. 

   After much promotion on their part, in 1908 Ohio Archaeologists and Historical Society indicated they would like to purchase the land and create a state park. DAR and SAR also wanted to preserve the location for historical purposes.

Fort Laurens School Group

School groups participate in demonstrations to learn more about the history of our country.

   When nothing had been done for several years by these three organizations, Baazt, Pease, and Lowe drew up a petition to gather signatures to present to the Ohio State Legislature to create a proper memorial on the site. In 1915, legislation was passed to preserve the Fort Laurens site.

   It had only served as a fort for one year before it was abandoned in 1779. Part of the fort was destroyed during the building of the Ohio and Erie Canal. None of the original fort remains above ground, but the outline of the fort is still highly visible. The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, an 80-mile long recreational trail, goes through the site today.

Fort Laurens Museum

The outline of the original fort can be seen in the vicinity of the museum.

   A museum tells the story of soldiers on the frontier. There is an informative video that you won’t want to miss telling the fort’s history. A display of archaeological items discovered during excavation is displayed in the museum.

Fort Laurens soldiers guarding tomb

Uniformed soldiers were present at the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Patriot.

   There is a Tomb of the Unknown Patriot of the American Revolution paying tribute to the unknown defenders of the fort. In 1976, the year of the bicentennial of the American Revolution, a special military ceremony was held to bury the remains of the first soldier excavated in 1973. Twenty-one men lost their lives there in the year it served as a fort and the remains of some of those men are in a crypt in the museum wall. 

Fort Laurens crypt

This crypt in the museum wall contains the remains of some of the men who lost their lives here.

   Events are held here throughout the year from February through December. Check their website for up-to-date events at www.fortlaurens.org . Almost every month they have an interesting speaker. In July, they will be talking about “Women of the Revolution” presented by Sharon Snowden of Ohio First Ladies Museum.

Fort Laurens Reenactment

Reenactments bring to life the conflict of Revolutionary War days.

   Revolution on the Tuscarawas: Revolutionary War Encampment and Reenactment takes place on July 18-19. Explore British and Continental camps to meet soldiers from both sides of the conflict. Children can enjoy musket drills, colonial America games and crafts throughout the day. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time for this event.

Fort Laurens Towpath Trail

This shady Towpath Trailhead leads to the Ohio & Erie Canal after a walk through an enclosed walkway over the interstate.

   Today Fort Laurens is managed by the Zoar Community Association and remains a special memorial to those who died during the Revolutionary War. While there, bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxing walk on The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The trail goes through a shady woods before crossing the interstate on an enclosed walkway. On the other side is part of that original Ohio and Erie Canal. You can walk the three miles to Zoar Village on the towpath trail if you have the time and energy.

   Add history to your summer adventures!

Fort Laurens is easy to reach off I-77 in Ohio. Take exit 93 for OH-212 W, then turn left on Mulberry Steet. Fort Laurens is on the left hand side. There is no admission fee to the grounds but a small fee for the museum.

Heartland Travel Showcase Promotes Tour Group Travel

Heartland Bus (2)

Area travel attractions and tour groups enjoyed a peaceful ride to Heartland Travel Showcase.

    Every February, tour group leaders and attractions from the eastern United States meet at Heartland Travel Showcase to share ideas in various locations of the eastern United States. They have recently been in Pigeon Forge, Detroit, and Chicago with plans to have their showcase in Cleveland for 2021.

Radisson Hotel Home

Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol was our home for a few days.

     This gypsy has been fortunate to be able to attend the Showcase for several years as the tour group coordinator for Dickens Victorian Village.  We were fortunate to have a great bus driver for our trip to Lansing. When we arrived, we unloaded our suitcases at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing, which was just across the river from the Lansing Center where the Showcase was to take place.

     Heartland Travel Showcase is produced by the Ohio Travel Association in various cities in the eastern part of the United States. Travel is an important industry accounting for nearly $44 billion dollars a year in the state of Ohio. These shows are an important place to make connections and let others know about your particular event.

Lansing River Walk

An enclosed pedway led us from the hotel over this Grand River to the Lansing Center where the Showcase was held.

     This weekend event sets up booths early Friday morning, followed by what is called a Four Minute Meet. Here the tour groups are set up in a large conference room in alphabetical order and attractions have four minutes to tell them about why they might like to arrange a tour to their particular area and attraction.

Heartland Set up

Tour attractions just finished setting up their booths in preparation for the next two days of appointments with tour operators.

     The evening always has entertainment and a delicious buffet of foods provided by the city hosting the event. In Pigeon Forge, we visited The Island at Pigeon Forge as well as the Titanic Museum and a buffet at a country/dinner theater. Detroit treated us to a historic museum while Chicago opened the doors to their Impression 5 Science Center.

Lite Brite at Science Museum

Freedom to play with a giant Lite-Brite screen has Heartland visitors at the science center designing the mega-screen with a huge heart.

Heartland Slime

Several enjoyed the challenge of making their personal bag of “slime” for the kid in them.

     These places not only show other groups the highlights of their area but gives a chance to become familiar with other attractions and tour groups on a more personal level.

2020 Heartland (2)

Dixie Lacy from the Visitors and Convention Bureau and Beverly Kerr, group tour director for Dickens Victorian Village met with many potential visitors.

     Saturday and Sunday are spent at appointments that are scheduled with various attractions. This gives tour operators a chance to learn more about the attractions and see if they would like to schedule a visit.

    All events throughout the weekend are spent in networking with other tour groups and tour operators. There were also seminars on ways to learn about trends in the travel industry and how we might use them in our event.

Heartland Muskingum

On one side were friends from Muskingum County. Brenton Baker from the nearly opened  Dresden & Co. shared the booth with Kelly Ashby, Zanesville’s Chamber Vice President.

     We were pleased to be surrounded by other area attractions making it easy to discuss combined tours for a possible several day tour. These connections are an important part of the travel industry so we have friends who can help answer questions.

Heartland Marietta

Across the aisle, another special friend,  Deana Clark from the nearby Marietta/Washington County CVB  provides possibilities of many interesting tours.

Great Ohio Lodges - Salt Fork

On the other side representing Great Ohio Lodges were Joan Arrowsmith and Kathlene Williams. Our local Salt Fork Lodge is part of that group and the perfect place for lodging.

     By the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, ideas are flowing in everyone’s minds about tourism in 2021-22. It’s been a great place to build relationships and plan tours.

Heartland Capitol Building Lansing

Our last evening there, we took a walk to a nearby restaurant and had this view of the Lansing Capitol right down the street.

The bus ride home has everyone talking about possibilities for the future.

If anyone is interested in a tour to Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio during November and December each year, please contact me at DickensGroupTours@gmail.com and we’ll design a plan for your specific group.

“Chihuly: Celebrating Nature” at Franklin Park Conservatory

Chihuly Annie's Pond

“Anemones and Niijima Floats” can be found at Annie’s Koi Pond. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

I want my work to appear like it came from nature. So that if someone found it on a beach or in the forest, they might think it belonged there.

~Dale Chihuly

Stunning glass artwork by Dale Chihuly is being featured at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus. The vibrant colors make this exhibition glow from within.

     Select pieces of Chihuly have been exhibited at Franklin Park since 2003 when they were honored to be the second botanical garden in the world to host an exhibition by Dale Chihuly. This time they are excited to be able to exhibit their full collection and several pieces on loan, the largest Chihuly collection in a botanical garden.

Chihuly Sunset Tower

“Sunset Chandelier” can be seen suspended in the Pacific Island Biome. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     These breathtaking pieces can be found in the Conservatory’s botanical gardens and courtyards. Most of his pieces are inspired and named for objects in nature. In the Pacific Island Water Garden, you can find that awesome Sunset Chandelier.

     Chihuly has been interested in glass since childhood walks on the beaches of Puget Sound where he found little pieces of broken bottles and Japanese floats. However, it wasn’t until he was a student at The University of Washington that he decided to weave some small pieces of glass into his tapestries.

Chihuly Lavender Reeds

“Neodymium Reeds & Green Grass” contain a rare lavender hue. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     A few years later, he melted some glass in an oven and blew his first glass bubble. At that moment, this artist decided to be a glassblower. Over the years he has experimented with many old and new techniques to create artistic creations beyond the normal bounds of function and beauty.

Chihuly Ceiling

“Persian Ceiling” contains hundreds of layered blown glass forms. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     This creator of unusual glass artwork still makes his home in Seattle where he and his wife, Leslie, take art to places that might not normally see it. They have formed the Leslie and Dale Chihuly Foundation which works with veterans, teenagers, and seniors. The foundation also gives grants each year to two Washington state innovative artists.

Chihuly Macchia

“Macchia” series is aglow with an unbelievable combination of colors. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Glass is the most magical of all materials and is one of the few materials that light can pass through easily. Chihuly was attracted by the way even a small glass opening creates a beautiful object. Color doesn’t seem to matter as he said, “I’ve never met a color I didn’t like.”

     Since an auto accident in 1976 where he lost his left eye, Chihuly has not blown glass himself but oversees a team of skilled glassblowers. He likens himself to the director of a movie or an architect overseeing the project these days. But his mark is still left behind on the productions. Traditional glass factories create perfectly formed vessels while Chihuly lets the glass take its own shape, and irregularity is prevalent.

Chihuly Paintbrushes (2)

“Paintbrushes” is named for the Indian Paintbrush flower.  Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Because of interest in glasshouses, his exhibitions have found their way into many botanical garden settings around the world. This outstanding blown glass has been seen from Venice to Jerusalem and Montreal.

     From 1994 to 1996, the artist worked with glassblowers in Finland, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy to create “Chihuly Over Venice” – a series of fifteen Chandeliers which he hung over canals and in piazzas of Venice, one of his favorite cities.

Chihuly Venetian

“Venetian Vase” is overwhelmed by sprouting flowers. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Four years later, his largest public exhibition, “Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, 2000” was viewed by over a million visitors at the Tower of David Museum. His creations can be found in over two hundred museums around the world.

     Like many artists, when asked about plans for the future, his response is, “If I knew what was to be created next, I would already have done it.”

Chihuly Blue Garden Fiori

“Blue Garden Fiori” was inspired by his mother’s flower garden. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     He does encourage young artists to surround themselves with artists and see as much art as possible. “Create something that nobody has ever seen before.” That’s something that Chihuly has become an expert at doing.

     The full Chihuly: Celebrating Nature will be at Franklin Park Conservatory until March 29. Don’t miss this chance to see beautiful and unique glass creations that are sure to please and surprise you.

     “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in some way that they’ve never experienced.” ~Chihuly

Franklin Park Conservatory is in Columbus, Ohio at 1777 E. Broad Street. They have exciting things happening all year long. Pictures in this post were taken by Gypsy Bev and were then approved for publication by Dale Chihuly.

Clark Gable Museum Celebrates Star’s Birthday

Clark PictureVisit the birthplace of the most popular figure on the Hollywood screen from 1936-1960. Clark Gable was born in Cadiz and grew up in Hopedale, Ohio. See his humble beginnings at the Clark Gable Museum in Cadiz…the only Clark Gable Museum in the world.

Clark Cadiz Sign   The museum came about after a deejay from Illinois called the Cadiz postoffice on February 1, 1983, and asked them if they knew whose birthday it was. The postman said he had no idea. The deejay told him Clark Gable and asked him what they were doing to celebrate his birthday. That was the last time “nothing” was the answer.

Clark childhood home

This postcard shows the house where Clark grew up in Hopedale.

   William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901, on 138 Charleston Street in Cadiz. His parents felt he was the apple of their eye. But unfortunately, his mother died when Clark was ten months old and his father then moved down the road to Hopedale, where their home is today a private residence.

Clark teen

Clark Gable poses as a teenager.

   His stepmother played piano and gave Clark lessons at home. He picked up brass instruments as a result and was the only boy in the Hopedale Men’s Band at the age of 13. Also, at this time he had a deep interest in literature and enjoyed Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Clark Family Picture

This family portrait shows Clark in the front and his father to the far left.

   His father insisted he engage in some more masculine activities so Clark became very adept at fixing cars. When they moved to Ravenna a few years later, his father wanted him to help on the farm. Clark went to work at Akron Tire and Rubber Company instead. But he seldom worked a full day as he would leave to go to the theater. Even if he went as an usher, at least he was where he loved to be.

   Clark worked his way west from Ohio by riding in boxcars and worked in the oil fields in Tulsa, Oklahoma along the way. He ended up in Oregon working as a salesman of ties in a department store.

Clark Poster

A lifesize poster of Clark hangs in the gift shop.

   But that was a good stop for him as he met his first wife there. Josephine Dillon, his wife and coach, saw that beneath his uncultured look there was the potential for a strikingly handsome man. So she had his bad teeth fixed and strengthened his undernourished body. His voice was rather high-pitched and she coached him how to lower it to a deeper resonance.

Clark Gift Shop Walls

Walls at the museum are covered with pictures of his many movies.

   Clark went on to Hollywood to begin his career there as an extra in silent movies. He eventually appeared in 67 talking movies and was called The King of Hollywood. Some of his movies include “It Happened One Night,” “Call of the Wild,” “San Francisco,” and the immortal “Gone With the Wind,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1939. 

   So it seemed strange that his birthplace of Cadiz, Ohio would not have a display of some kind to acknowledge this famous celebrity. For years, the only things existing on the location where he was born in an upstairs apartment were a garage and flower garden. The house had been demolished years before.

Clark Monument

This monument to Clark was the first move to honor him in his hometown.

   Once the town decided to honor Clark, the first thing to be erected was a monument at the place of his birth. Then in 1998, the house was reconstructed. It has been furnished in the style of the day and has several of the King’s belongings on display.

Clark Home Upstairs

This is the reconstructed house on the spot Clark was born.

   Carole Lombard, Clark’s wife, is honored with a large display that was provided by a fan of hers, Norm Lambert. When Carole died in a plane crash while returning from entertaining the troops during WWII, Clark decided he would enlist in the Army Air Force as a tribute to her.

Clark Air Force

He served in WWII as a cameraman and gunner.

   During WWII, Clark Gable served as an aerial cameraman and bomber gunner in Europe with the Army Air Force. He enlisted as a private in August 1942 and was relieved from active duty in June 1944 at his request since he was over-age for combat.

Clark Cadillac

His ’54 Cadillac can still be seen as part of the tour.

   Inside you will find Clark Gable collectibles as well as “Gone With the Wind” displays. Books and pictures are on display from his childhood to stardom. In the garage, you will even find one of his cars, a classic 1954 Cadillac de Ville.

Clark Nan Mattern

Nan Mattern, director of the museum, displays a picture from “Gone with the Wind.”

    Since it has been opened, over 150,000 people have stopped by to share their stories and see the treasures. They are made welcome by Nan Mattern, the director, and a dozen ambassadors who help with tours of the facility.

   A lady from Portland remembered seeing Clark in his first performance on stage in Oregon. A man recalled his dad telling him the story of riding in a boxcar with Clark Gable as he headed west. His dad had given Clark five dollars for food. Years later Clark came back to that town and wanted to repay him for what he had been given. Many heartwarming stories are shared.

   Clark Gable was always humble about his good fortune. He commented, “I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Clark Back Entrance

This is the back entranceway to the upstairs apartment where he was born.

   Clark Gable Museum is located at 138 Charleston Street in Cadiz. It is closed December through February, except for Clark’s birthday. The remainder of the year it is open Wednesday through Friday 10 – 4. But if you wish to stop down at a different time or have a group that would like to visit, contact them for an appointment. Call the museum at 740-942-4989 or Nan at 740-942-2505.

Clark Downtown

This mural in uptown Cadiz shows he is remembered as a hometown boy.

   Join the Clark Gable birthday celebration on Saturday in February when the museum will be open from 10 -2 and serve light refreshments.  Clark Gable’s birthday will not be forgotten in Cadiz. 

   Clark Gable Museum is at 138 Charleston Street in Cadiz, Ohio. It is near the intersection of US 22 and US 250. Watch for signs directing you to the museum or follow your GPS. It’s not far from downtown Cadiz. 

Memories of Christmas Past at Arms Family Museum

Arms Entrance

The Arms Family Museum presents “Memories of Christmas Past.”

By the Fireside” brings to life the traditions and decorations used during Christmastime many years ago. Picture yourself sitting by a warm fire with stockings hung from the mantle ready for Christmas surprises. There’s so much to see in seven rooms filled with Christmas of old that you’re sure to find memories that have been tucked away in your mind from years in the past.

Arms Fireplace with cards

This brought back memories of hanging Christmas cards around a cardboard brick fireplace.

   The Arms Family Museum in Youngstown presents its 12th annual “Memories of Christmas Past” from November 23 through Sunday, January 5, 2020. This display has been designed each year by the mastermind of Anthony Worrellia, who explores the world for new ideas and rare Christmas decorations. Each year the rooms take on a different theme which gives them a special glow.

Arms Sitting Room with feather tree and wooden toys

Their cozy sitting room had a feather tree and wooden toys.

   Anthony searches all year for the perfect items to display. He borrows from friends and acquaintances all over the country. His connections through a group of international Christmas collectors, The Golden Glow of Christmas Past, help him in his search for new ideas. A team of volunteers and staff begin setting up the displays in late September.

Arms Asian Dining Room

This Asian dining room was inspired by a Christmas card collection.

   His ideas might come from something as simple as a collection of Christmas cards and postcards. That happened this year when the cards led Anthony to create a dining room setting with an Asian and European touch.

Arms Honeycomb Santa

Honeycomb Santas, candles, snowmen and other decorations were available in the 1920s.

   A display of those old-fashioned honeycomb decorations from the 1920s caught my eye. Large red plastic bells hung throughout the exhibit that used to hang in the classroom. A favorite in the library was a seven and a half foot crystal tree containing over 2,000 crystals which was wrapped with blue lights creating a magical feeling.

Arms Crystal Tree

2,000 crystals shimmer in a field of blue lights.

   A fun Scavenger Hunt along the way had you looking carefully for a list of things to be found. Included were 4 snow dogs, an owl with a Santa hat, a bonsai tree, and as many elves as you could find. It also caused guests to interact with each other creating an all-round friendly atmosphere.

   The setting is perfect as it showcases the Greystone house built by Wilford and Olive Arms in 1905. Upon her death in 1960, Olive left the Mahoning Valley Historical Society her home and its contents with the stipulation that it be developed as the Arms Museum.

Arms Guide Cassie Christmas Card collection

Guide Cassie tells of the vintage Christmas card collection on display.

   While the first floor has Christmas in every corner, the second floor shows the mansion as it was when the Arms lived there. Children prefer the basement, which resembles an old log cabin, as this is the place where they experience hands-on activities.

Arms Sleigh 2

Don costumes for a great photo opportunity.

   In the lower level at “Santa’s Village,” children and adults enjoy getting dressed in Christmas costumes of Santa, elf, or drummer boy. All of these costumes are locally made. Santa’s sleigh, made by another local gentleman, gives the perfect background for a photo opportunity. There are craft tables also where you can make bead or paint chip tree ornaments, holiday cards, or even a miniature Greystone mansion.

Arms Mantle Scene

This mantle scene shows four dogs pulling a girl on a sled. All of them have coats of real fur.

   Catch the Christmas spirit as you stroll through the three floors of Arms Family Museum. Volunteers throughout are very helpful and answer questions easily. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon – 4:00 from now until January 5, 2020, with their display of “Memories of Christmas Past.” In January, they will be rearranging and cleaning to be ready to open the traditional mansion in February.

Arms Gift Shop

Their gift shop contained many vintage items.

   Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children with toddlers under 3 being admitted at no charge. Active military, as well as military veterans, are always free. It’s quite a popular spot as over 8,000 people enjoyed the Christmas exhibit in 2018. Something new this year is permission to take pictures without a flash. Everyone enjoys photos of memorable places they visit.

  Arms Sign   Families have made “Memories of Christmas Past” a family tradition since there’s something new every year. Everyone will enjoy awakening memories and making new ones during a visit to the Arms Family Museum. The magic of Christmas never ends.

The Arms Family Museum is located in Youngstown, Ohio at 648 Wick Avenue. It is near the Youngstown State University campus so watch for their exit signs.

Creative Touch to Cambridge Glass Makes Treasures That Have Historic Value

Cambridge Ornaments - Fireplace MantleIf you break or chip a piece of your precious Cambridge Glass, don’t throw it away. There still might be a use for it.

   Cambridge Glass Company made beautiful pieces of glassware from 1902 -1958 that are still cherished today. Once in a while a piece gets scratched or even cracked, but those who love Cambridge Glass don’t want to throw it away.

Cambridge Chipped

A shelf filled with damaged Cambridge Glass waits to be transformed into ornaments.

   That’s when sisters Cindy Arent and Lindy Thatcher decided they would use these imperfect pieces to make Christmas ornaments. This year they made 170 ornaments and see them selling quickly at the National Museum of Cambridge Glass.

   All of the decorations they make are from imperfect donated glass. Some may be broken dramatically, while others may just have a chip or small crack. No perfect pieces are ever used to create an ornament.

Cambridge severely broken

The stem on a severely broken piece will someday hang on someone’s Christmas display.

   When a goblet is donated, Lindy cuts off the bowl and then cuts off the stem. Two ornaments can be made from one piece of damaged glass. The base of the goblet is not used for decorations.

Cambridge Lindy smooths

Lindy grinds the cut section smooth while wearing protective covering.

   She has a power saw that cuts the glass smoothly, but she still has to grind it to make the end perfectly smooth. Lindy is very cautious as knows that glass particles often fly through the air. She wears a respirator and protective glasses when grinding.

DSC04231

The top part of a goblet becomes a beautifully etched Christmas ornament.

   After grinding the edges, a bell cap is formed over the end from which it will be hung. An epoxy glue holds the bell cap in place after a few minutes of pressure before letting it set for 48 hours. Then a ring is attached for easy hanging.

Cambridge Cindy decorate

Cindy decorates the ornaments with ribbon and Christmas cheer.

   Every year in the springtime when National Cambridge Collectors Convention meets, Lindy and Cindy often get a new selection of items donated to them for use as ornaments. These ladies donate their time and materials, and all money from the sale of the ornaments is given to the National Museum of Cambridge Glass in Cambridge, Ohio.

Cambridge Sisters

Sisters Cindy and Lindy give all proceeds to the Cambridge Glass Museum.

   A favorite ornament is an etched goblet hung upside down so it resembles a bell. Add a beautiful gold or red bow and it’s the perfect highlight for your Christmas tree.

Cambridge OSU Buckeye and Rosepoint

This OSU Buckeye / Rose Point ornament is an eye-catcher.

   Requests are frequently given for ornaments of a particular pattern or color. A favorite of many is that ever-popular Rose Point. They are shipped all over the United States to people who had family working at Cambridge Glass. A perfect gift!

Cambridge and Cameron (2)

Cameron Fontana from Good Day Columbus chose a Christmas ornament for his wife.

   While Carl Beynon and Cindy began making jewelry in the form of necklaces and earrings from the broken glass many years ago, today those items are being created by Susan Elliott, an NCC member who now lives in New Concord. Her jewelry items can also be purchased in the gift shop at the museum.

Cambridge stem pictures

The wall behind Cindy’s work area shows different stem styles.

   Cindy and Lindy have a long family history of Cambridge Glass. Their aunt, Mary Martha Mitchell worked at the Cambridge Glass Company for most of her life so the girls heard about it all through their youth. Today both ladies are on the Board of Directors for the National Museum of Cambridge Glass. Cindy is the museum director while Lindy is the treasurer.

Cambridge Wildflower ornament

A Cambridge Wildflower ornament is trimmed in gold.

   While Cindy had heard about Cambridge Glass all her life, her interest was piqued when her husband, Mike, bought her a Cambridge Glass Moonlight bowl as a Christmas present. Her interest shortly thereafter became more serious.

   Lindy often went with her Aunt Mary to glass shows all over the country. She couldn’t help but catch the fever traveling with someone who for over thirty years had served as secretary to Presidents of the Cambridge Glass, A.J. Bennett and W.L. Orme.

Creative Team

These busy ladies at the museum, Cindy, Sharon, and Lindy, also co-chair the Dickens Creative Team.

   Not only do these ladies volunteer their time to the Glass Museum, Lindy, Cindy and Sharon Bachna are also co-chairs of the Creative Team, which designs the Victorian scenes for Dickens Victorian Village. Cambridge is fortunate to have such dedication. They are busy and creative volunteers!

Cambridge Ornament Display

Ornaments can be purchased from the museum display.

   Cambridge Glass is still treasured in many ways today. You can find these spectacular sparkling ornaments in the gift shop at the National Museum of Cambridge Glass on 9th Street in Cambridge, Ohio. Their Holiday Hours from November 1 – December 21 are Friday and Saturday from noon – 4:00. 

   Cambridge Glass ornaments will add a special touch to your tree or home. For many, they will bring back memories of family members who worked at the factory. Stop by and visit their outstanding displays. It’s a great place to find a special sparkling Christmas gift or perhaps a treasure for yourself.

National Museum of Cambridge Glass is located at 136 South 9th Street in Cambridge, Ohio just a half block off Wheeling Avenue. Cambridge is located at the crossroads of I-70 and I-77 for easy access.

Founder of Piggly Wiggly Built Pink Palace

Piggly Wiggly pink palace

The Pink Palace was built in the 1920s by Clarence Saunders, founder of Piggly Wiggly.

   If you want to impress your friends and neighbors, building a pink marble palace might be one possibility. That is what Clarence Saunders decided to do back in the 1920s.

Piggly Wiggly trucks

Piggly Wiggly had their own delivery trucks.

   Clarence Saunders began working in Owen’s general store at the age of ten by cleaning, oiling, and trimming the kerosene lamps. When he was fourteen,  Owens hired him permanently at a salary of $4 per month plus room and board. A few years later, he received a job at another general store for $10 a month and worked there until he was 17.

Piggly Wiggly store

This is a replica of the interior of an original Piggly Wiggly.

   After working in the general store all those years, Saunders thought of ways to make it more customer-friendly. As a result, Saunders became the founder and sole owner of a new kind of general store. He wanted his store to be unique so named it Piggly Wiggly.

Piggly Wiggly Soup display

You could pick a can off the shelf all by yourself.

   This was the first true self-service grocery store. Previously, the clerk in the store retrieved the items for the buyer and brought them to the counter.  Now, the buyer entered through a turnstile and went down the aisles picking up the things they wanted and brought them to the counter to check out their total price.  By  1921, he had 615 grocery stores in forty states and many more franchises.

Piggly Wiggly Saunders

Clarence Saunders founded Piggly Wiggly.

   Saunders chose to use the fortune he had amassed through Wall Street stock to build a lovely home in Memphis, Tennessee. He purchased 155 acres across the street from the Memphis Country Club. He called his new home Cla-Le-Clare to honor his children Clay, Lee, and Amy Clare.  Since it was being built of pink Georgia marble, the Memphians called it the Pink Palace.

Pink Palace lobby

The Grand Lobby contains restored Burton Callicott murals.

   Sadly, his good fortune on Wall Street did not last. With only the exterior of the house finished, it was sold at public auction in 1925 and plans were to demolish it. However, the Garden Corporation stepped in and had the palace donated to the city with hopes of turning it into a museum.

Pink Palace star

Early controls for their planetarium are on display.

   A group of high school boys formed the Memphis Astronomical Society in 1953. They gathered weekly to look at the stars from the lawn. The city wanted to construct a planetarium and it was finally decided to put it in the Pink Palace. Due to a lack of funds, the high school boys ran the planetarium on the weekends for many years.

Pink Palace shows

Interesting films are shown on a large 3-D screen.

   The Mansion Theater has shows running throughout the day on a large 3-D screen. When visiting, the Dinosaur movie projected creatures flying into the audience and walking close by. Apollo II was to be shown later in the day.

Pink Palace General Store

Take a walk through an old general store where you were waited on personally.

   Explore an old general store like Clarence worked in as a boy. Then visit his first Piggly Wiggly store and see the improvements. His advertisement contained stories like these:

   A customer wants 5 pounds of granulated sugar put up in a cloth bag. She is in a hurry so she runs into Piggly Wiggly and helps herself. She pays the cashier and away she goes.

Piggly Wiggly circus

Enjoy a moving miniature circus in the Clyde Parke Circus Gallery.

   Upstairs the Clyde Parke Miniature Circus filled an entire room. This is a 3D model of a real circus done to 1:12 scale. Parke carved each of the figures from white pine he salvaged from packing crates. There are animals, clowns, a lady on a trapeze, and an audience of 1500 people. He donated the circus so people would remember “when the circus was the biggest show in town.”

Piggly Wiggly bear

This polar bear attracts plenty of attention.

   A large male polar bear from Alaska was donated to the museum forty years ago for educational purposes by Dr. Harold Misner. The bear has been a popular presence at many weddings in the Pink Palace. When the Memphis Grizzlies make the playoffs, he is lit with blue lights.

   The Pink Palace captures the history of not only Piggly Wiggly but that of early natural history in “A Walk Through Time” and the history of the early days of the South. Take time to visit their theater, have lunch at Metro Eats, and take home a memory from the Museum Store.

   “There’s Lively Learning for All at Pink Palace Museum.”

The Pink Palace is located at 3050 Central Avenue, Memphis TN. Your GPS should come in handy to find this location.

 

 

 

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