Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Dave Adair’

Guernsey County History Museum Dressed for Christmas

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Explore the history of the area by visiting Guernsey County Museum.

All 17 rooms at the oldest frame home in Cambridge have been tastefully decorated with a touch of the Christmas season. The Guernsey County Museum enjoys having people stop by to wander through its vast collection. Curator Judy Clay will escort visitors through each decorated room and explain the history of many of the artifacts that are left on display for the holidays.

The museum, the former McCracken-McFarland home, was moved down North Eighth Street, a half block from the corner, to its current location in 1915. Outside the house, the yard has some interesting features. There is a 4′ tall National Trail mileage marker, and the original steps from the 1823 house.

Many of the older generation from the area will remember Mrs. McFarland, a Brown High School English teacher, and Mr. McFarland, the banker who always wore a carnation in his buttonhole.

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Volunteer Madelyn Joseph stands by the pot-bellied stove in the one-room school room.

Recent additions to the museum include a room from a one-room schoolhouse showing desks and books used at that time. At the back of the room stands the pot-bellied stove, which appeared in some form in every one-room school to keep the room somewhat warm on cold winter days. On special occasions, retired teachers will describe the lessons and activities that happened in a classroom where one teacher taught all eight grades.

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Dave Adair tells the story of the difficult life of a coal miner.

Another added attraction is an entrance way to a coal mine. In the early 1900s throughout Guernsey County, over 5,000 people were employed in the mines. Here, Dave Adair, local historian, explains to groups the life of a coal miner and at this time of year presents “A Coal Miner’s Christmas”, telling how they celebrated Christmas with very little money. Most gifts were handmade or perhaps purchased at the company store – an orange or walnuts were special treats.

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Museum Curator Judy Clay explains the beautiful table setting, which includes Cambridge Glass and a Tiffany lamp overhead.

The home has been expanded and updated through the years without destroying its 19th Century charm. Many remember the time when homes had two sitting rooms – one for the family and the other to use only for special guests. While this was the first house in the area to have gas heat, they still read by candle light. Throughout the museum, you will see beautiful pieces of Cambridge Glass and Universal Pottery, as these two companies provided an important means of earning a living during the early years of Guernsey County.

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Friendly volunteers at the museum prepare for visitors by decorating the tree and preparing to serve refreshments. 

The walls in the hallway are covered with pictures of people who have made a difference in the area…the Guernsey County Hall of Fame. These community leaders have all contributed something special to make this world a better place.

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The ice bike made travel possible in the winter with its sharp prongs in the back and sled-like runner in the front.

Every room upstairs had a special theme. The Military Room contained items from Civil War days to WWII. A small sewing room held a spinning wheel and a weasel, which when it got filled with thread – went pop! That was the basis of the song, “Pop Goes the Weasel”. A dentist’s office, Dickens’ room, and rooms packed with antique ladies’ clothing finished off the top floor. The waistline on some of those dresses seems unbelievably small.

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This old mail cart actually carried mail from Cambridge’s Union Depot to the post office.

Bountiful treasures reside inside this old frame house. Perhaps you would like to roam the halls and revive some old memories. If you have any pieces of history you would care to share, please contact the museum. Every small town should take pride in having a special place to keep the history of their area alive for future generations.

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The angel topped Christmas tree is decorated with old ornaments trimmed with lace.

Holiday hours for the Guernsey County Museum are Tuesday and Thursday 4:00 – 8:00, and Saturday from 10:00 -8:00.  Admission is $5 per person. Come explore some old memories of days gone by.

The Guernsey County Museum is located at 218 N Eighth Street off Steubenville Avenue in Cambridge, Ohio. It’s on the street directly behind the courthouse.

 

 

 

 

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Dreams Do Come True

Dave received his first train in 1950.

Dave received his first train in 1950.

Ever since Dave Adair was a small child, he enjoyed trains. As a youngster, he frequently visited his Slavish grandfather, Dzeda, who lived near the train tracks in East Cambridge. Dzeda also worked in the Klondyke and Black Top coal mines in Guernsey County so he would tell Dave stories about the coal cars as they rolled by. It’s easy to see how Dave became interested in trains and coal mines.

Dave’s secret wish was that someday he would be able to have a caboose of his very own – a real one used on the train tracks.

Ellen, Dave's wife, started his collection with this caboose.

Ellen, Dave’s wife, started his collection with this caboose.

When Dave was about forty, his wife, Ellen, took a ride with him a couple weeks before Christmas. They stopped in Senecaville to look at a caboose that belonged to Herb Tipton and had been used on the B&O Railroad. When they arrived and looked over the caboose, Ellen said, “Merry Christmas!”

Dave couldn’t believe it and looking back on that day said, “It was the biggest shock of my life.” Of course, she told him it would be his Christmas and birthday present for years to come. Little did she know at the time that she was only starting a vast train collection that today fills their home’s yard.

This original chair from a B&O office holds two lanterns.

This original chair from a B&O office holds two railroad lanterns.

Over the years, Dave has narrowed his interest to Guernsey County trains and coal mining history. Almost everything in his collection came from Guernsey County. Every item and picture is special to him, but he doesn’t have any favorites. They are all part of history.

Dave built his own Depot and Museum in his back yard.

Dave built his own Depot and Museum in his back yard.

Since there wasn’t any place nearby that had room for his coal mine and train collection, Dave decided to build his own depot at his home and turned it into a museum. Nothing pleases him more than to sit down in his depot and tell stories about the coal mines and trains that were in Guernsey County long ago. But getting him to talk about himself was not an easy task.

Dave and his son, Alan, look over their large HO display.

Dave and his son, Alan, look over their large HO display.

Now that Dave is retired, most of his time is spent volunteering, while spreading the word about Guernsey County history. His slide shows have been popular attractions for years. He spends time volunteering at the Guernsey County Historical Society, Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, Coal Miners Museum in Byesville, and at various nursing homes, giving people a chance to tell their stories. He says, “It’s better to give than receive.”

Dave Adair tells coal miners' stories.

Dave Adair tells coal miners’ stories.

While he claims to be “an ordinary Joe”, the history he has collected makes him a special person even though to him it’s just a hobby. It’s a good thing to make people happy and that is what Dave does best as he shares his stories and makes people smile. Through it all, his main goal is to preserve the history of Guernsey County trains and coal mines.

Dave and his family, thirty people in all, recently went on a short vacation. Where do you think they went? They headed for the train tracks in West Virginia, where they rode the Tygart Flyer. He’s still living his dream.

The Train to Nowhere

The Train to Nowhere

The Train to Nowhere

A beautiful diesel-electric locomotive awaits on the tracks in the small town of Byesville, Ohio. At this point in time, it is called “The Train to Nowhere”, as it remains in place unable to move down the Byesville Scenic Railway due to circumstances beyond their control. But that doesn’t mean the spirit of the railroad isn’t alive here! It continues with a program called “The Coal Miners’ Story.”

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Bronze Ohio Coal Miner Statue

As soon as you pull into the parking lot, the bronze coal miner statue catches your eye. The Ohio Coal Miner was sculpted by Alan Cottrill at Cottrill Sculpture Studio and Gallery in Zanesville, Ohio, and dedicated in September of 2012. This statue is a tribute to miners and their families in Ohio, as well as across the entire nation. The miner’s brass tag reads 382, the number of coal miners who lost their lives in the deep mines of Guernsey County over the mines’ sixty active years. During the past few years, all contributions given to the Byesville Scenic Railway during their train rides were dedicated to building this memorial statue, which actually cost nearly $40,000 to reach completion.

A portion of the plaque in front of the statue states: May your personal sufferings, sacrifices and the hardships endured by your families, never be forgotten nor taken for granted.

Sadly, the train is not able to chug down the track these days due to some issues over insurance and track ownership, but the volunteers at Byesville Scenic Railway are still sharing a unique presentation of life during the days when coal mines were booming in the early 1900’s. At that time, Byesville had 77 mines, and was considered to be “The Coal Mining Capital of Southeastern Ohio”.

Visitors are invited to take a seat on “The Train to Nowhere”, where they are given information regarding the 1917 train cars and the diesel locomotive. Back in the coal mining heyday, the train ran from Cleveland to Marietta delivering coal from Guernsey County mines. The Byesville Scenic Railway volunteers are optomistic that the train will be running again a few years down the track.

Dave Adair tells coal miners' stories.

Dave Adair tells coal miners’ stories.

In their “old greasy mechanic garage” – sometimes used as a movie theater room, the volunteers have constructed a makeshift mine of black plastic walls. It is here in Entry 7 South that a living history of a local coal miner is portrayed by volunteer, Dave Adair. He describes the harsh life of a miner as well as the poor home conditions. Beans and cabbage were two frequent items on their supper menu, with meat seldom being a part of their food supply. According to Miner Dave, “All were poor but no one realized it because all were the same.”

"I owe my soul to the Company Store."

“I owe my soul to the Company Store.”

Miners were very superstitious and often carried lucky pieces in their pockets. Over the entrance to the mine, a horseshoe was often placed. It had to be placed with the open side up so the luck wouldn’t run out with 100,000 ton of rock above their heads.

Treasures for families of coal miners and train enthusiasts can be found in the Company Store. A variety of gifts for young and old alike range from engineer hats and handkerchiefs to mugs and wine glasses. You won’t want to go home without a memory of those hard working miners.

Steve Stolarik explains Mineres Museum.

Steve Stolarik explains Miners’ Museum.

The Miners’ Museum has been developed in more recent years for the education of the general public. It contains a collection of original coal mining equipment used in the local mines. On the wall are displayed the various bits used to drill into the coal face to insert a stick of dynamite, which the miners had to buy themselves from the company store. Steve Stolarik was on hand to explain how the bits and lanterns functioned when the miners were deep in the mines. Included for display are numerous pictures of the old Guernsey County Coal Mines.

Keep your eye on the track to see when the “Train to Nowhere” will again be on the move. In the meantime, visit the website of Byesville Scenic Railway to see their scheduled events. Local train enthusiasts are singing hopefully, “I hear that train a comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend.” 

Byesville Scenic Railway is located in Byesville, Ohio just off I-77 (Exit 41) south of Cambridge. Turn toward Main Street of Byesville, then left at the traffic light.  The train depot is one block on the right. Free parking is available along Second Street and Seneca Avenue. 

John Morgan’s Raid in Ohio 150th Anniversary Celebration

Morgan's Freebooters enter Washington, Ohio ~Harper's Weekly, Aug, 1863

Morgan’s Freebooters enter Washington, Ohio
~Harper’s Weekly, Aug, 1863

John Morgan with the remnant of a band composed of the most villanous cut-throats and scoundrels….made his way into this county on Thursday, the 22nd. (Guernsey Times Extra Addition Cambridge, Ohio July 28, 1863)

This statement by the local newspaper back in 1863  sums up the feeling of Northern residents regarding the antics of Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who led his raiders on a chase through Ohio during the Civil War.  His main goals were to destroy supply lines while creating chaos and fear.

Cannon fire ignites celebration.

Cannon fire ignites celebration.

This special celebration took place in Lore City, Ohio at the Leatherwood Park trailhead of The Great Guernsey Trail, which is a paved pathway from Lore City to Cambridge used for walking and biking.  Often you see parents pushing their children in strollers, or children pushing their parents in wheelchairs. This six mile trail has become a favorite spot to exercise and get some fresh air in the Guernsey County area.

Andy Warhola, Civil War speaker

Andy Warhola, Civil War speaker

Local Civil War Roundtable members, Andy Warhola and Tom Snyder, explained Morgan’s ravaging two week raid through Ohio with slides, maps and pictures. They told of Morgan’s stealing two steamboats in order to cross the Ohio River into Indiana. Proceeding into Ohio above Cincinnati, they headed across the state with Union forces in pursuit.

Thinking the best way to escape was to again cross the Ohio River, Morgan led his men to a ford, which would let them have easy access to Buffington Island, a stepping stone across the Ohio. But his plan went amiss when Morgan decided to wait until morning for the crossing instead of attempting to move in the pitch darkness of night. The next morning however produced heavy fog, so again he was delayed, thus giving the USS Moose time to reach their crossing point. This is said to be the only Civil War battle in Ohio. Here the Union turned Morgan and his Confederates away with heavy losses.  What had started out as 2500 men, was down to approximatley 1100 after the battle at Buffington Island.

After this they headed towards Guernsey County entering at Cumberland and continuing to Londonderry. Finally they were captured in Salineville, heading to the Ohio River again. Along the way they were hungry and needed horses so there was plenty of thievery and destruction.

In the town of Campbell’s Station, which is today Lore City, there was more financial damage than anywhere else in the county.  They robbed the safe in the warehouse of $4,000, then burned the warehouse, train station and bridge as well as three railroad cars filled with tobacco…all this before the Union forces arrived.

Couple in Civil War dress

Couple in Civil War dress

Nearly 150 years later, Lore City was filled with a Civil War feeling as many dressed in clothing of the time. A cannon was fired several times after careful loading by a group of Morgan County Re-enactors dressed as Confederate soldiers.

Local historian, Dave Adair, described the town of Campbell’s Station, which at the time of attack had only about sixty people. Their telegraph office was kept busy sending messages and receiving replies regarding Morgan’s Raiders. Due to the messages, Morgan and his Rebel scoundrels changed their route to avoid a railroad trestle, where a hundred men were waiting to ambush them.

Dave Adair speaks in the pavilion, which was the site of the original train station in Campbell's Station.

Dave Adair speaks in the pavilion, which was the site of the original train station in Campbell’s Station.

Dave also explained why Campbell’s Station changed its name to Lore City.  There happened to be two Campbell’s Stations at that time and the larger one kept the name. When deciding what to rename the smaller town, the Irish Catholics had a big hand in it. Their church were attempting to educate the people in this small community; therefore devised the new name as The City of Learning or Lore City… lore meaning knowledge or learning.

Ohio Hills Spinners and Weavers

Ohio Hills Spinners and Weavers

Spinning and weaving demonstrations were given by members of The Ohio Hills Spinners and Weavers, who also added stories of working conditions during the Civil War. Music was plentiful from start to finish. Bluegrass music, which included many Civil War songs, was provided by Mr and Mrs Small. While many of the Civil War songs were of a sad nature, Mrs. Small had written a happy song, Black Berries, to which everyone sang along. Cambridge City Band swung into action with their rendition of Civil War hits such as: Listen to the Mockingbird, Swanee River and many more. This was followed later by Dynamic Trio, who played 50’s and 60’s rock and roll.

Riders enjoying the horse and wagon ride were greeted by Mayor Carpenter and wife, Sharon.

Horse and wagon riders were greeted by Mayor Carpenter and wife, Sharon.

Horses were an important part of the Civil War and it is estimated that over a million horses and mules were lost during the battles. General Morgan was indeed known as “The King of Horse Thieves”.  Wagon rides, which seemed fitting for the anniversary celebration, were provided along a segment of the Lore City trailhead in a wagon resembling the wagons used during the war to carry generals, the wounded and supplies.

If you want to get a little more adventuresome, today you can follow the trail that Morgan made during his raid. Signs have been posted from Cumberland to Londonderry with information regarding the events that took place in that particular area. Would make an interesting Sunday drive!

Lore City, Ohio is located in Guernsey County just east of I-77. Take exit 46, US Route 40 east, then follow Route 40 for four miles and turn right on State Route 265.  Continue on 265 until a four way stop, where a right hand turn leads you over the bridge to Lore City.  Leatherwood Park is to the left after you cross the bridge.

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