Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

Early Cambridge City Park History FIlled with Wonderful Memories

Families throughout the area have pleasant memories of times spent at Cambridge City Park. Some have been here from childhood to adulthood and have seen many of the changes in recent years but those early years remain only a memory.

Col. Taylor’s mansion built in 1878 is today a popular Bed & Breakfast.

The area that we call Cambridge City Park today was once part of Col. Taylor’s thousand-acre estate. The home we know today as Taylor Bed & Breakfast was actually the first house to be built on the hill outside of town.

Not only did he build a beautiful home for his wife, but he had a nearby barn where he kept his horses, the only means of transportation at that time. Since the horses needed water, Col. Taylor built Taylor Lake. When the pond froze over in the winter, blocks of ice were cut from it and stored in an underground cellar. Usually, they had ice until sometime in July before it all melted.

The City Pond, where children love to feed the ducks, was the first part of the park.

Taylor Lake today is the duck pond at our Cambridge City Park. In January 1913, Taylor Grove and the lake were sold to the city by Col. Taylor’s heirs for $25,000. Our Cambridge City Park was about to begin.

In July, a Clean-up Day was organized. All men interested in the City Park were to line up at the Courthouse and march to the City Park being led there by the Cambridge Band. A Colored Band was also there to liven the day. Ladies provided a picnic supper in the evening.

Electric Park hosted a Chautauqua celebration and many other activities before Cambridge City Park existed.

The Cambridge City Band began playing at the park in July 1913 when they sponsored the Lincoln Chautauqua, which had previously taken place at Electric Park. The price of a season ticket to enter the performing tent for the six-day event was $1.50 for adults and $1.00 for children 8 -15. There were a number of seats, swings, and tents provided for the patrons. Anyone wishing to do so could pitch their tent there that week.

In July, a lifeguard was appointed to oversee the swimming in the former Taylor Lake with rules laid down for the conduct of boys and girls to be enforced. If the girls were highly interested in swimming there, arrangements would be made to set aside a particular time for them to swim as well as have a woman oversee during that time and give lessons in swimming. A bathhouse has been promised by city council in the near future.

Baseball was played in the park in the summer of 1913.

At about the same time, the first baseball diamond was constructed which brought local teams and their families to the City Park. Money was raised by a group of interested citizens for a stadium called Lakeview Park that seated approximately 1000 people. Many baseball and softball games were played here each summer. It also was the perfect place for the annual Jaycee’s Fireworks on July 4.

By July of that year, families and organizations were already having their picnics there. Some of the first groups were the Mail Carriers Association of Southeastern Ohio and the Welsh-American Society, both of these on Labor Day.

A bathhouse along the pond, where swimming was popular, was an early addition.

Gravel walks were installed, rope swings, a bathhouse on the side of the lake, high and low diving boards, and the lake was enlarged. They wanted it to be the most beautiful recreation ground in Southeastern Ohio.

One of the early buildings to be constructed was the Big Pavilion, which served as a dance floor, concert hall, and speaker’s stand. Often there were six or seven reunions held there in one day.

The Kiddie’s Pool was a popular and safe place to swim.

In 1930, the local president of Cambridge Glass Co., A.J. Bennett provided funds to build a Children’s Wading Pool at the park so they had a safe place to swim away from the pond. There were two sides to the pool – a shallow side for wading and a deeper side for swimming. Lifeguards did not like children going under the bridge to get to the deeper side. It was closed in 1973.

The slide at the big pool was a favorite for a cool ride.

In 1941, Cambridge City Pool was opened after being constructed through a federal grant by the WPA. In 1998, the pool had to be redone to meet current standards. Again, the community supported the project wholeheartedly.

The park pavilion had a Coca Cola concession stand in 1965.

By this time there were several concession stands throughout the park – at the big pavilion, baseball diamond, and swimming pool. One person recalls having keys to all of them and if he happened to be at the park would open whichever one had a crowd. His first summer he made $.75 an hour.

Horseshoe contests were popular at picnics and reunions.

Pitching horseshoes was another important means of entertainment. There were several horseshoe pits at the park and many tournaments were held there usually accompanied by an ice cream social.

A man who lived close to town brought in his ponies for the children to ride.

Most children have dreams of riding a pony. Someone helped make that dream come alive by bringing several of his ponies to the park and charging a small fee for a ride. Speaking of horses, in those early years, you could hear the musical sound of a carousel at the park. No wonder the park was such a busy place..and still is today.

Kids of all ages enjoy a fast spin on the merry-go-round.
The Witch’s Hat was considered the most dangerous ride at the park.

Over the years, the playground has become an important part of the park. The largest section was begun soon after the park opened. A merry-go-round that parents felt was a terror device gave youngsters of all ages a chance to see how fast they could spin. The playground has been upgraded today through the generosity of the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs.

The firetruck made a great place for climbing and using your imagination.

An old fire truck that out-lasted its usefulness at the city fire department was stripped of all removable parts and placed in the park in 1957 for children to climb on. Not often did children get a chance to play on a fire truck.

The Armstrong Bridge was originally over Salt Fork Creek before the development of Salt Fork Lake.

In 1966-67. the Armstrong Bridge was relocated to the City Park. This bridge, built in 1849, originally spanned Salt Fork Creek near the town of Clio. When Salt Fork Lake development was announced, the bridge was moved to preserve it.

This is just a little taste of the history of our Cambridge City Park. This community has been so supportive of the park since its beginning through individual and business financial support and volunteering. May they keep improving and supporting the park to make it even a better place for future generations.

History of Coal in Harrison County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jewelry made from coal is showcased in their lobby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A coal crew works at Short Creek mine in 1910.

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

Coal was delivered by barge on the Ohio River.

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

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

Pea Ohana Watersports for a River Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone gets their river tubes ready for departure.

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

Group is organized for their gentle ride down the river.

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

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

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

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

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

The fun begins on the bus ride!

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

Great view of the Y Bridge happens along the journey.

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

Pea Ohana provides a great place for family fun.

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

Raymond Ramos painted this mural inside the activity center.

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

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

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

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

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

Burley Clay Products Add Beauty to Your Home

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

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

Hand-painted birdbaths are a popular item.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A fingerprint pad is made for foreign airports,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quality handmade items for the garden are made here.

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

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

Their showroom is open all year long.

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

Great Guernsey Trail Provides Variety of Activities

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

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

This bridge on the trail crosses over Leatherwood Creek.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Families enjoy the wheelchair accessible path.

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

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

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

Maintenance keeps the trail trimmed and cleared all year long.

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

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

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

Fun at Fox’s High Rock Petting Zoo in Hocking Hills

Fox’s Petting Zoo is south of Logan on Route 664.

Next time you’re in the Hocking Hills area, take the youngsters a few miles south of Logan to Fox’s High Rock Farm and experience their Petting Zoo. The animals and hosts are very friendly. Get up-close to gentle animals that love extra attention.

Aaron and Cindy Fox want to share their love of animals.

Some people naturally love animals. Aaron and Cindy Fox grew up with dogs, cats, and horses all their life. So in 2016, when they found a small farm near Logan, they thought it would be the perfect place for a Petting Zoo so they could share their love of animals.

Horses have been a long-time Fox family favorite.

The animals here love people, as are well cared for and given special treatment from the time they are born. When animals are handled with kindness, they reciprocate by being gentle and love to be petted, fed, and talked to.

Miniature donkey Cindy watches over her baby Zeke.

At the Petting Zoo, you will find sheep, horses, a pig, miniature cows, miniature donkeys, many goats, and friendly cats. While this is a small petting zoo, guests receive significant attention. Several college students, who all love animals and children, work here during the summer months. They answer questions and assist children as they find a favorite animal to pet.

This young man is giving special attention to a lamb by combing it.

Visiting a petting zoo has many benefits for children. They learn how to be gentle and caring with goats and sheep yet learn to be brave when petting larger animals like donkeys and horses. It’s the perfect place to observe the unique behaviors of the animals at close range.

This young lady goes nose to nose with a gentle cow.

Aaron and Cindy want the Petting Zoo to be affordable so admission is $2 per person. Many children come back often during the year to watch the animals grow and change. Baby animals are always a big attraction.

Purchase an ice cream cone filled with Petting Zoo Feed and get close to the animals.

If you really want the animals to be your friend, buy an ice cream cone filled with Mazuri Petting Zoo Diet for $1. All the animals like this food which is purchased in 40-pound bags. You’ll have them eating right out of your hand. Yes, they even eat the cone!

Primary diet for all of the animals is hay from the Fox’s farm. During the winter season, they receive grain in the morning, but throughout the summer when the Petting Zoo is open, animals are fat and happy from all the food they are fed from the ice cream cones.

Goats, especially the baby ones, are very popular.

Get up close and personal with many goats that fill the pens. Children love watching the playful antics of the goats. Rub a pig’s belly or hug a lamb before heading out to the pasture to pet a horse, donkey, or cow.

This friendly pig likes to have its belly rubbed.

Rules for visiting say: 

  • Please no hitting, biting, pulling, running, yelling, or screaming.
  • Not responsible for butts, scratches, licks, and spit.
  • We take responsibility for fun, good times, big smiles, laughter, and education.
Nacho is a rescue cat that loves the attention of visitors.

Their gift shop is filled with gifts you are sure to enjoy. Find tee shirts, local Hocking Hills products (some made of goat milk), and stuffed animals, of course. Just outside the gift shop is a Penny Pincher machine that turns your penny into a souvenir with a picture of an animal on it. They have a wide selection of animal Christmas ornaments so I had to have one for my Christmas tree that gets decorated with memories of all my favorite places.

Their other business is Hocking Hills Canoe LIvery.

Aaron and Cindy are never bored as they also have Hocking Hills Canoe Livery in Logan. Here, the staff helps plan canoe, kayak, and raft trips on the Hocking River.

Once in a while, Aaron and Cindy find someone reliable to watch the animals and take a break in the Smoky Mountains or at Gatlinburg. Stopping at any Petting Zoo they see along the way is part of their journey as they are always looking for new ideas and ways to improve their zoo.

Children enjoy feeding the goats.

Their goal at the Petting Zoo is to give others the joy they feel being surrounded by animals on a daily basis. The Petting Zoo is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day every day except Wednesday from 10:00 – 5:00. During September and October, they are usually open on the weekends.

Teach the love of animals to your family by visiting the Petting Zoo with super friendly animals just south of Logan on Route 664. Take pictures for memories of a great day in Hocking Hills. The animals are waiting for you!

General Custer Honored at Birthplace

A large outdoor sign points the way to New Rumley and the museum.

New Rumley, Ohio, the birthplace of General George H. Custer, honors him with an annual Custer Observance on the first Saturday of June. This year on June 4, 2022, the day begins with music by JT Thompson of Scio at 11 am by the monument. Members of the Jewett Veterans of Foreign Wars General George Armstrong Custer Post 3071 will raise the flag.

Infantry will demonstrate Civil War-style before Custer Observance Day.

Dr. Mandal Haas of Carrolton returns with his Civil War cannon along with artillery and infantry reenactors to explain the equipment and give demonstrations of their use. Kevin Haney will have his collection of muzzleloaders on display featuring Ager rifles.

Steve and Lisa Ball will sing Civil War songs that tell of life at that time.

After lunch at New Rumley United Methodist Church, Civil War music will be provided by Steve and Lisa Ball. Not only are their songs entertaining, but the stories they tell of their historic significance are always a crowd-pleaser.

The Custer Museum is inside this old church.

An auction of Civil War and Wild West-related items will follow in the sanctuary. The day’s events culminate with remarks from General Custer (aka Rick Williams). Take time to view the museum packed with memorabilia and the historic signs in the pavilion near the monument.

Their collection of Civil War swords is a favorite.

The General Custer Museum in New Rumley, Ohio has a collection of memorabilia from General Custer as well as general Civil War artifacts. One of the most impressive items there is the swords that were used during the Civil War.

Visitors enjoy exploring the museum.

Another impressive piece is a document with the signature of General George H. Custer from 1873 when he was stationed in Memphis, TN. On this particular document, it says that he inspected the horses for the cavalry.

Dave Rose, president, enjoys telling visitors about the museum.

Dave Rose, president of the Custer Museum in New Rumley, has a long-time interest in the Civil War after his great-great-grandfather gave him his Civil War jacket. Dave served in the U.S. Army Cavalry and said they didn’t ride horses but tanks. He spent twenty-four years in Germany serving our country.

When asked to describe General Custer, Dave said, “He was brave…a fighter and hunter.”

George Custer grew up in a family of several brothers and one sister. George had an attraction to a young lady, whose father was a judge. He didn’t like George’s drinking and forbid his daughter to see him. From that time on George never took another drink as he wanted to marry Elizabeth.

A nearby exhibit tells the story of Libbie, the General’s wife.

George attended West Point and taught school before finally marrying Libbie, who went with him wherever he was sent. George Custer served in the Civil War as Brigadier General and often Libbie stayed in a tent with the military or nearby in a fort. She was always by his side and his biggest cheerleader.

While some feel General Custer wanted to destroy the Indians, everyone does not feel that story to be true. Custer made many friends with the Indians when he was out west and often went hunting with them. General Grant did not like Custer’s affiliation with the Indians and wanted him to leave the Army. At that time many feel Grant sent Custer to Little Big Horn, knowing it would be his downfall. At that final Battle of Little Big Horn, five members of the Custer family died.

George W. Custer statue is a highlight of your visit.

In 1932, the town of New Rumley decided to honor their local hero with a statue. Elizabeth Custer then lived in New York and was unable to attend but through the amazing world of technology even at that early date, she gave a speech from New York that was heard at the dedication ceremony in New Rumley.

The exhibit pavilion near the statue tells the story of General Custer.

Today they have added information boards in a pavilion that tell the history of the general with many pictures included that can be seen throughout the year. It is on the same ground where his birthplace was located and the outline of the bricks shows where the actual house stood.

New Rumley isn’t the only place that holds memories of General George Custer. Monroe, Michigan has a large statue of him on horseback while nearby Cadiz has his signed calling cards and a lock of his hair and Scio has a collection of books and pictures.

This early picture of George Custer shows him as a West Point cadet.

Visit the Custer Museum in New Rumley on the last Sunday of each month from now until September. The museum will be open on the first Saturday in June from 10 – 5 during the Custer Observance. Enjoy a day learning more about the Civil War and General Custer.

Baranich, Gable & Lee – The Pickin’ Preachers

Join three preachers with harmonizing voices while playing awesome guitars and you have excellent entertainment. Not only are Baranich, Gable & Lee talented musicians but they know how to connect with the crowd.

Kirk Gable brought the group together just two years ago and they have quickly become popular throughout the area. Kirk had been a songwriter and performed with several different bands – most of them rock and roll. However, when he received a calling to Christianity, he decided to gather a group that would play old country songs with a positive touch as well as gospel.

The group meets weekly to practice together to reach that special sound.

Kirk said, “I went looking for the best singers I knew.” He was acquainted with the Legendary Jim Lee, who was well known for his voice and played bass guitar…a sound Kirk needed. Next, he contacted Perry Baranich, a friend he had played with in previous bands as a great lead guitar.

When playing with other bands during the time of StarQuest at Capitol City Music Hall in Wheeling, each of them was a member of a band that ended up being a finalist. Perry smiled as he remembered that their band was beaten out by a young singer, Brad Paisley.

All these guys had been playing music since they were youngsters and all have learned on their own. However, it was still a surprise how easily they were able to play together with a great blend of sound. Their first performance was for the Golden Sixties at Byesville.

It just so happens that all three of these musicians are also pastors of area churches. While their churches remain the main part of their ministry, their musical performances have become an added element.

Kirk Gable

Kirk Gable, a carpenter by trade, played in a rock band with Perry until he was saved. At that time, he began playing gospel music and would fill in as an interim pastor at times.

The Gable family gathers for their traditional Christmas Eve service at Southern Hills Baptist Church.

One night after church, he heard a voice telling him, “Whatever someone asks you to do tonight, that’s what God wants you to do.” He received a phone call that evening from a group of people who needed a pastor, so he had to say yes. Today Kirk remains with that same group at the Southern Hills Baptist Fellowship in Cambridge.

Jim Lee

Jim Lee started playing guitar when he was eight years old. When he was a freshman in college he began preaching at three churches every Sunday with another pastor taking three more in that circuit.

Jim speaks and sings at his local church service.

The minister asked Jim, “Did you ever think of using music as part of your ministry?” That combination works very well for him. Today Jim is pastor of East Nemishillen Church of the Brethren in Canton.

Perry Baranich

Perry Baranich has led a varied life as began working in the coal mines in his younger days, and later enjoyed being a voice on AVC for many years. During this time, he also sang at various places.

Perry Baranich giving a sermon from home on a snowy morning.

One night on their way home, he told his wife Jodi, “I feel that God is calling me to do something else.” When he got home there was a message on their answering machine asking him if he would be interested in being pastor at Birds Run Community Church. A quick answer! Since then, in 2014, he moved to his current church, Salesville Church of Faith.

Individual musical practice at home happens every day but they meet once a week to play together and often try out some new ideas. It is something they do strictly for fun. While they try to be mistake-free, they aren’t worried about making a perfect impression.

Their wives Jodi, Cindy, and Michelle are their biggest fans wearing their new tee shirts.

Their fans enjoy not only the familiar songs but the wonderful sense of humor shared by the three pastors. You can tell they are real friends by the looks they exchange and the comments they make while performing. They are making good use of the talents they were blessed with. When asked what their favorite songs were, they said they only sing songs that are their favorites. “Peace in the Valley”, “Grandpa”, and “Make the World Go Away” are a few of the crowd favorites.

Guernsey County Senior Center enjoyed an evening of their familiar songs.

They have become quite popular in the area and had concerts at the Cambridge City Park Pavilion, Guernsey County Fair, Living Free at Pritchard Laughlin, and Ohio Hills Folk Festival. They have also appeared at Epworth Park, Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, and at many churches throughout the state.

The Pickin’ Preachers gave a patriotic salute at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival.

If you would like to have them play for your church or organization, please contact them through Kirk Gable at 740-680-0621 or message them on their Facebook page. They enjoy playing for wedding anniversaries, corporate meetings, or wherever they can. They just enjoy music and like to encourage people through their songs.

Since the group plays well-known country and gospel songs, quite often you’ll hear the audience sing along. After a concert, people leave with a smile on their face as they feel uplifted by the positive sounds of Baranich, Gable, and Lee – affectionately called The Pickin’ Preachers.

Explore Ohio Art Corridor in Southeastern Ohio

School of Fish along the Muskingum River was the first sculpture made especially for the Ohio Art Corridor.

Sunday drives are the perfect time to explore The Ohio Art Corridor in Southeastern Ohio. There are over 150 miles of road to follow at a leisurely pace so you can enjoy the unique local art. Why, it’s like a Drive-Thru Art Gallery!

This public art trail contains everything from murals to oversized sculptures as it winds through the Appalachian region. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

David is pictured under his Tree of Life, which can be found in Lancaster.

David and Rebekah Griesmyer are the masterminds behind the Ohio Art Corridor. David created School of Fish, the first piece of sculpture made just for the art trail. The fish swim through the air along the Muskingum River in McConnelsville across from the fairgrounds. Each fish measures 15- 20 feet in length.

His sister-in-law, Rebekah is the director of this non-profit organization. Their idea was to provide Appalachia access to culture, art, and educational experiences along a trail that would boost tourism in small towns and areas often overlooked.

This bronze statue of a soldier stands along the Muskingum River at Zane’s Landing.

The Ohio Art Corridor is working with welding and art programs throughout Southeastern Ohio to teach skills needed to create jobs. Interns are invited to help with creating the giant art sculptures along the corridor. They are hoping to partner with local schools in the future to involve students in designing the sculptures.

Flight of the Hawk Park in Lancaster has objects on the ground as well as in the air.

If you have an art piece you would like included on the trail, it has to meet certain criteria:

  1. The piece must be outdoors and free of charge.
  2. Stand-alone sculptures must be of a generous size.
  3. If the artwork is smaller than12 feet, there must be a collection of three or more sculptures in one location.
  4. Pieces must be accessible to everyone.

At this time the trail winds through Circleville, Lancaster, Athens, Portsmouth, McConnellsville, and Zanesville, and the list continues to grow daily as new pieces are added. These “micro parks” reflect the local history and beauty of that particular area.

This Circleville mural celebrates 100 years of the Pumpkin Festival there.

Ten large murals by Eric Henn can be found in downtown Circleville. One celebrates the bicentennial of Circleville while another depicts the many activities involved with their annual Pumpkin Festival, which has been celebrated for over 100 years.

A red-tailed hawk at Flight of the Hawk Park in Lancaster alights on its nest 42′ above the ground.

In Lancaster, Ric Leichliter has sculpted several metal vultures in the branches of a tree in the Flight of the Hawk sculpture park just outside of town on Highway 33.

This turkey sculpture joins other turkey and deer sculptures throughout the park.

Turkeys are scattered across the field. The main feature here is a 42-foot tall metal hawk with a wingspan of 14 feet. It’s even lit up at night!

Portsmouth has a Flood Wall over 2000 ‘ long covered with murals.
This section of the Flood Wall actually shows the flood of 1937.

Portsmouth has a floodwall, which is 2,200 feet long and covered with murals by Robert Dafford the entire length. It tells the history of Portsmouth during the last two centuries.

Locks of Love in McConnelsville is the newest addition to the corridor.

A recent addition in McConnelsville is Locks of Love “A Great Place to Fall in Love” created by David Griesmyer. Two large metal hearts are meant to have locks of love put on them just like the bridge in Paris, France. While the hearts have only been in place for a short time, locks are beginning to accumulate.

View the sidewalk art at any time at Alan Cottrill’s studio in downtown Zanesville.

Zanesville features Alan Cottrill’s bronze works in a sidewalk display outside his studio with an Indian atop his building to give recognition to his heritage. In Zane’s Landing Park, there are other bronze statues as well as murals that have recently been added.

This mural can be found in Zane’s Landing Park.

The Ohio Art Corridor will be the longest and largest outdoor art gallery in the world. It’s over 150 miles long! The other large outdoor gallery in Stockholm is 70 miles in length. Surrounded by parks, tables, and benches, The Ohio Art Corridor will be a place for generations to gather for years to come.

A bicentennial Legacy Monument depicts four notable people in the history of the Zanesville area.

You might want to take a long Sunday drive, or break the corridor up into sections and do several small day trips. That way you’ll be able to spend more time in the communities along the way. Whichever way you choose, if you enjoy art you are certain to find this an enjoyable trail to explore.

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.

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