Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Canal Dover’

Discover Canal Dover History at Reeves Carriage House Museum

Dover Museum can be found upstairs at the Reeves Carriage House.

Dover Museum can be found upstairs at the Reeves Carriage House, which had a fairytale like appearance during a winter visit. Perhaps this will cool you off!

Little pieces of Canal Dover’s history can be found on the second floor of the Reeves Carriage House Museum in Dover, Ohio.  Each town needs to have their history preserved in some fashion and the Dover Historical Society has found a perfect way to showcase Canal Dover from its founding in 1807 through the Great Flood of 1913.

While this was for a special opening during the winter months, events are held here all year long. Summer is a great time to explore the Reeves Victorian House and Museum as it is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon until 4:00 from June through October 31. Then their spectacular Victorian Christmas display happens from November 11 through December 22.

This old Victrola sign advertised the business of Wnkler in Canal Dover.

This old Victrola sign advertised the business of W.A. Winkler in Canal Dover.

Reeves Banking and Trust Company was organized when local banks refused to loan money to Reeves.

Reeves Banking and Trust Company was organized when local banks refused to loan money to Reeves.

In 1818, Dover only had five buildings, three of them being taverns. But when in 1825 the Tuscarawas River was included in the layout of the Ohio-Erie Canal, growth became imminent and the first schoolhouse was soon built in a forested area on Fourth Street. Canal Dover became the tolling station on the Tuscarawas as boats traveled from the Ohio River to the Great Lakes.

Soon mills were built along the river banks making steel a growing industry. Naturally, this switch to an industrial area brought with it the arrival of the railroads in 1854. Steel became big business until a coal strike in 1920 closed mills for about a year.

When Jeremiah Reeves desired additional funds for his business operation, local banks refused to give him a loan. So in August, 1903, Mr. Reeves opened his own bank, Reeves Banking and Trust Company.  This bank continued in operation until 1982 when it merged with Huntington National Bank.

Original switchboard used in Dover.

Original switchboard used in Dover.

During WWII, most industries in the state converted their systems to supply the armed forces.  Women employed at Reeves Steel made steel castings for military use. There is a historical plaque on the Reeves Home honoring employees who lost their lives in service during WWII.

Even with the presence of mills, Dover’s water supply remained clean and was untreated until 1998. In fact, it was the last city east of the Mississippi to require sterilization of its water.

Their fire department was organized in the 1870s. The original horse drawn, wooden fire wagon on display was probably used by local firefighters. The cart was kept inside the firehouse, then pulled outside by one of the firemen. Horses were then hitched to carry it to the reported fire. While this firewagon had seats, most did not so the firemen had to run along side the wagon as it went to the fire. When someone decided to attach boards alongside the wagon for the firemen to stand on as they rode, these boards became called “running boards” because they saved the men from running.

This horse drawn fire wagon had a two man seat, which was unusual at that time.

This horse drawn fire wagon had a two man seat, which was unusual at that time.

Telephone companies operated via the switchboard for many years. Here the operator, or operators, would manually transfer each call coming in to the proper person.  An old time clock added a touch of yesteryear to the tour.

In 1908, the city was voted “dry” putting 22 saloons and two breweries out of business overnight. The Great Flood of 1913 definitely wet things down for a short time and made many changes in Canal Dover. After 48 straight hours of rain, the Tuscarawas River overflowed its banks with flood waters between three and ten feet deep.This was the end of the Erie Canal but the beginning of plans for Dover Dam to prevent future similar floods from happening.

Upstairs at the Reeves Carriage House Museum contains historic photos, interesting anecdotes, and unusual museum artifacts. The history of Dover tells the story of the United States as well. Every generation helps make our country great and strong.

Reeves Carriage House Museum can be found behind the Reeves Victorian Home off I-77 at exit 83. Take a right on Tuscarawas Avenue, left on W Front Street, right on Wooster Ave, and a left on Iron Avenue. The Home and Museum can be found at 325 E Iron Avenue. Parking is in the rear of the home near the Carriage House Museum.

Discover Elegance at J.E. Reeves Victorian Home in Dover, Ohio

J.E. Reeves Victorian Home holds many treasures.

J.E. Reeves Victorian Home holds many treasures.

“Ahead of its time” would best describe the magnificent home of Jeremiah and Jane Reeves in Dover, Ohio during the early 1900s. Today, the J.E.Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum still remain a showpiece of beauty and craftsmanship.

Reeves smokestack still stands today in acreage behind the house.

Reeves smokestack still stands in Dover today on acreage behind the home.

But Jeremiah did not always live in such grandeur. Born in England in 1845, Jeremiah began working as a boilermaker in Wales at the age of ten. When he was eighteen, he and his brothers moved to the United States, where they worked in the mills in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. A few years later in Niles, Ohio, they organized Reeves Boiler Works.

When they heard that Dover Rolling Mill was having financial problems, they purchased and reorganized that industry in the growing canal city. Reeves Steel became the backbone of industry in the Tuscarawas County area. The family remained in the iron and steel business for the rest of their lives, but had many other interests as well.

The wealthy played Whisk around the game table.

The wealthy played a card game of Whist around the game table.

When Jeremiah needed money to expand his business, no area banks would loan him the needed funds. But that didn’t deter Mr. Reeves. He opened his own bank. Over the years, he also built workers’ homes in Tin Town, a hospital, a streetcar line, Reeves Hotel and much more. Jeremiah definitely held the key to successful business encounters.

Reeves kitchen displays a warmer oven, local made teapot, and old-fashioned toaster.

Reeves kitchen displays a warmer oven, locally made teapot, and old-fashioned toaster.

J.E. Reeves wanted to help others by letting them help themselves. During the depression, a man knocked on his door, asking for money to help his family. Mr. Reeves refused to give the man cash, but told him, “I’ll give you a broom and you can sweep the sidewalks. Then I’ll pay you.”

Guide, Shirley, describes the elegant dining room with silk screen wall covering.

Guide, Shirley, describes the elegant dining room with silk screen wall covering.

Back in 1901, Jeremiah Reeves moved his family to a refurbished farmhouse on the outskirts of the growing canal city of Dover. Their Dover farmhouse became the most fashionable home for miles around. Mr. Reeves made certain that his family enjoyed all the modern facilities. In the early 1900s, this home had running water, gas heat, and electric lights. Nearly all the furniture and antiques seen in the home were originally part of the family home 100 years ago. Walls contain family photographs and outstanding artwork, while stained glass and leaded windows appear over door frames inside and out.

Next to the home stands a Carriage House Museum with a fairytale like appearance. This fancy barn actually held Mr. Reeves’ horses and carriages, and had space for a workshop.  Today inside this fancy garage, visitors will find a vast collection of vehicles: the family’s hansom, sleigh, rare electric car, and a restored doctor’s buggy. Upstairs the Carriage House features a history of Dover, when it was Canal Dover before railroads were prominent there.

Reeves Carriage House has a fairy tale like appearance.

Reeves Carriage House has a fairytale like appearance.

The mansion is open for tours, conducted by outstanding guides, for many special events such as Gatsby Night, Living History Tours, and their elegant Victorian Christmas. On a recent visit during Gatsby Night, entertainment was provided by the Moravian Choir and Big Band. Mrs. Reeves was a devout Moravian all her life, and Reeves Library can be found today at the Moravian College in PA.

The museum has been opened since 1976, when it was sold to the Dover Historical Society by Jeremiah’s grandson, Samuel, for the amount of $1.00. The family hoped that it would be preserved for its historical value…and that has been done with grandeur.

J.E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum can be found off I-77 at exit 83. Take a right on Tuscarawas Avenue, left on W Front Street, right on Wooster Ave, and a left on Iron Avenue. The Home and Museum can be found at 325 E Iron Avenue. Parking is in the rear of the home.

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