Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘coal mining town’

Beautiful Flower Gardens Found in Lore City, Ohio

A  beautiful flower garden reflects the caring of its owners.

A beautiful flower garden reflects the caring of its owners.

Sometimes we overlook the beauty in our small towns. On a recent walk through Lore City, the beauty of their flowers caught my eye. Several people throughout the town must spend the entire summer in their beds…flower beds, that is.

Recent rains have made a lush covering of flowers this year, but that makes weeding more difficult and time consuming as well. These flower beds were cared for out of pure love for flowers.

People still enjoy gardens for fresh vegetables.

People still enjoy gardens for fresh vegetables.

During a time when many people have given up gardening, this is not the case in Lore City. Here gardens thrive and townfolk are quite proud of their fresh vegetables. Gardens brimming with vegetables and flowers provide a popular mix throughout the town.

Beautiful flowers brighten this country home.

Beautiful flowers brighten this country home.

On a back country lane, one home stands out above the rest. This land previously was home to the now abandoned coalmining town of Goodyear. Back in its heyday, twenty-seven homes stood along this now rutted lane with grass growing down the middle. On a bank above the home is the place where the railroad track previously took coal from the coal mine.

This old hand pump was used when Goodyear was an active coal mining town.

This old hand pump was used when Goodyear was an active coal mining town.

Along the way, you even find a remaining handle pump that was used during the time that Goodyear prospered. One water pump would be used for two homes. It still works today!

Flowers line the steps to the old coal mining road.

Flowers line the steps to the old coal mining road.

When the flowers get overcrowded in their beds, rather than destroy them, some folks have attempted to plant them on the hillsides. A clump of day lilies or coneflowers give added color to the slopes.

Sunflowers were beginning to bloom.

Ten foot tall Sunflowers were beginning to bloom.

Even the backyards are filled with flowers. One last stop for the day led to discovery of beautiful sunflowers over ten feet high. Now, over the years sunflower seeds have been planted at my house, but no plants have ever grown. Oh, to have beautiful sunflowers like these.

Beautiful flowers and stones surround a small pond in a neighbor's yard.

Beautiful flowers and stones surround a small koi pond in a neighbor’s yard.

Then, as I drove out of town, a lady was working in her beautiful flower garden with a small koi pond. The care these people give their gardens is amazing. As they pull weeds and pinch blossoms, their mind is filled with nature and the problems of the world are temporarily forgotten.

Every small town has its beauty, if we have eyes to see.

Lore City is located in southeastern Guernsey County on OH-285 about ten minutes from Cambridge in the rolling hills of beautiful Ohio.

The Ghost of Walhonding at the Goblins’ Get-Together

Want to share a Halloween story in the spirit of the season as a diversion from my regular travel blog. Hope you enjoy!

Do you believe in ghosts? Melanie felt a bit skeptical, but her husband Jim refused to even talk about the possibility. Jim said that ghosts were as likely as a flying car.

On Halloween evening, they drove to the Goblins’ Get-Together at the popular Simply A-Maizing Corn Maze near an old coal mining town. Leaves floated down as a gentle breeze drifted through the valley on this beautiful Indian summer evening. The call of a hoot owl ensured vigilance under the hazy moonlit sky.

Friends gathered around a blazing bonfire, not to keep warm, but to watch the flames as they feathered into the air. Jim refused to wear a mask, even though Melanie explained, “Masks were originally worn to scare away the bad spirits, while people put food on the doorsteps to encourage good spirits. I’m wearing my mask just for fun.”

With moonlight dancing across the fiery autumn hills of southeastern Ohio, a mist rose from the nearby valley. All at once a cool breeze came out of nowhere. Melanie’s eyes glazed over with surprise and a shiver ran down her spine.

“What’s the matter Melanie?’ asked one of her friends, “you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“M-m-maybe I just felt a ghost! The icy air rushed past like someone opened the door to the freezer.” A faint smell of coal dust lingered in the frigid breeze. “Could it be the Ghost of Walhonding that our parents used to talk about? Remember those stories about the miner that was trapped in the coal shaft collapse?”

“Don’t be foolish,” grumbled Jim, “you know there isn’t any such thing as a ghost.”

At this old coal mining town, one friend suggested having a contest to see who could find the biggest lump of coal. They divided up in pairs and headed off in different directions.

Melanie suggested to Jim, “Maybe we should try over there by that old slate pile.” As they approached, they spotted a dirty young man walking by the pile where the silvery handiwork of nature’s lace maker glistened in the moonlight.

“We’re looking for a large lump of coal,” explained Melanie. “Do you live around these parts?”

“Been here all my life,” muttered the dusty man.

“Could you help?”

“Why sure. You wait here as I know a secret spot.”

In a few minutes, the young man returned with a beautiful large lump of coal. Melanie and Jim glanced at each other in surprise.

When they looked back, the dusty man had vanished, and a chill surrounded them; however, the coal remained at their feet.

Picking it up with quivering hands, they headed back to the bonfire. Everyone else decided the only coal left here was underground where the mine shaft caved in years ago, so Jim and Melanie’s find surprised everyone. Maybe later they would tell them of their encounter with the miner.

Could they have seen the Ghost of Walhonding and received his assistance? Who knows, maybe Jim will soon have a car that flies!

Read more about the Ghost of Walhonding in SOLD, a just released book of short stories by the Rainy Day Writers of Cambridge, Ohio. Gypsy Bev has two short stories included and my story, “What’s in the Jar?”,  also contains an encounter with  the Ghost of Walhonding.

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