Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Guernsey County’

Family Memories of Guernsey County’s Annie Oakley

Emma Thompson Feeds

This old metal sign from 1913 stirred up family memories of their great-aunt, Emma Sherby.

Memories awaken when a picture or object appears that opens doors to the past. Recently, an original Thompson Feed Company sign brought back memories to the family of Emma Sherby as it stated: No Hunting Without Permission.

 

Emma Thompson Feed 001

This popular feed mill was located at 125 N. 7th Street, where the Genealogical Society is located today.

   In 1913, Ohio decided that hunters needed to have a license. Young Emma at the age of 17 purchased one of those early licenses for the fee of ONE DOLLAR in Cambridge at the Guernsey County Clerk of Courts. She was a very slim girl as the license listed her at 5’9” and 120 pounds with light hair and blue eyes.

 

Emma's Hunting License

Emma was the first woman to have a hunting license in Guernsey County, and perhaps in the state of Ohio.

   Since the law went into effect on November 12 and Emma purchased her license on November 15, she definitely was one of the first to purchase a license and also the first licensed female hunter in Guernsey County.

   Word of this early license spread quickly and an article titled “Girl Hunter Bags Rabbits for Tables of Mining Settlement” was written in the Cleveland Press on November 29, 1913. Hank Sherby still has that original article as well as the cloth hunting license issued to his great-aunt Emma.

 

Emma Cleveland Press

An article about Emma appeared in the Cleveland Press in November, 1913.

   Using a W. Richards Double Barrel Shotgun, her hunting ability was well known in the area as she liked to explore the out-of-doors and often bagged wildlife not only for her own family but for the neighbors as well. Some even called her Guernsey County’s Annie Oakley.

   Back in 1896, Dr. Robbins came to the farm’s log cabin on horseback to deliver baby Emma. A large ledger contains this information about the day she was born: “May 8, 1896, Emma born Friday at 4 o’clock on the farm in the afternoon.” Two months later they moved to the house where Emma lived the rest of her life.

 

Emma's house

She spent her entire life in this house on Cherry Hill Road.

   Her parents, Michael and Josephine Sherby, had four children: Elvin, Emma and twins Ella and Emanuel. Michael was a headhunter recruiting miners for Cambridge Collieries and rented houses on Buffalo Mine Road to miners. Later he worked for Byesville State Bank.

  Dependable seems a proper word to describe Emma. She worked hard all her life. Emma never married but cared for her family by working the farm to pay bills, raising a large garden, canning chickens for winter food, and was a beekeeper to keep honey on the table. Hank describes her as “a hunter/trapper/fisherwoman..a true country girl.” Sounds more and more like Annie Oakley!

 

Emma with fish from their farm pond

Their farm pond supplied fish for the family and also water for the miners’ homes.

 Sometimes when money was scarce during the Depression, Emma would take feathers from the chickens and ducks and barter them for goods at the general store. People enjoyed having the feathers for their pillows and comforters.

  Hank and his brother, Robert, fondly remember bringing in a bucket of blackberries to Emma in the summertime. She would then fire up the wood stove and bake them a blackberry pie in a small tin. Still sounds delicious! It was no secret that Emma had a sweet tooth as well.

 

Emma's traps

These traps were used by Emma to capture animals for fur.

   Although she had the important hunting license, Emma never cared to get a driver’s license. In fact, it is said that Emma never left Guernsey County in her life except when she had to register for Social Security.

   She worked so hard that one wonders what she did for relaxation. Every day the flowers she grew gave her pleasure, but on Sundays, she could often be found riding her white horse on a trail ride in the vicinity of Cherry Hill.

 

Emma's gun with Hank

Hank Sherby feels lucky to still have his great-aunt’s gun.

   Having grown up in the Depression, Emma saved everything and some would say she was a hoarder. In their barn, she had saved a pile of cherry boards that she always said would be used for something special. When Emma died at the age of 93, they made her casket from these cherry boards and had the funeral at the farm where she lived her entire life.

   This lady lived from 1896 – 1983 so would have seen many changes in our world. After living through the Great Depression, it’s easy to understand why Emma saved everything. She didn’t want to have to do without again. Imagine her excitement at seeing those first automobiles, telephones, television, and even a man landing on the moon. Family remembers that Emma kept up with the news and they received four newspapers in their house.

 

Emma gun

Emma hunted with a W. Richards double-barrel shotgun, a gift from her dad.

   Annie Oakley expressed her feelings when she said, “Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life.” Have a feeling that Emma would have agreed.

   Liberated women have been with us throughout history. That’s nothing new. Emma certainly depicted that image from a very early age and continued to do things throughout her life that people today would label as ‘liberated’. Emma Sherby was just ahead of her time.

Historical Kennedy Stone House at Salt Fork State Park

Kennedy Stone House 2

Kennedy Stone House is located at Salt Fork State Park.

Visits to Salt Fork State Park should include a stop at Kennedy Stone House Museum. Built in 1840, this sandstone house today overlooks the tranquil lake.

Kennedy Castle

This picture of  Culzean Castle shows the family’s background.

The Kennedy clan originated in Scotland, where they lived in beautiful Culzean Castle perched on the Ayrshire Cliffs. Benjamin Kennedy, the original owner of this house, was born right here in Ohio in Harrison County. He bought the land in 1837 where the Stone House stands today.

His grandfather, Samuel, was a well known doctor in New Jersey. It has often been said that Dr. Kennedy had the “Scottish gift of second sight”. There was a “panic” in 1837 and no one had much money. Some have wondered whether Benjamin got the money to purchase the land and build the house from his grandfather’s estate.

Kennedy Root Cellar

The root cellar kept Kennedy food cool in the summer and from freezing in the winter.

He hired an Irish family, who some say worked barefoot, to build him a four room stone house at a cost of $500. For another $60, he also built a root cellar to store their foods to keep them fresh. Benjamin, his wife and six children settled on their eighty acre farm along Sugar Creek where they made a living raising sheep.

At that time, you could reach their home on a dirt roadway by horseback or horse and buggy. In the early years of Salt Fork State Park, you would reach the Kennedy Stone House by taking a hiking trail through the woods or arriving over the water. Today you can still use those means or if you prefer, drive down a short country lane and park very near the house.

Kennedy View

Today the view from the Kennedy bedroom shows a peaceful lake.

Restoration on the old house began in 2000 by Friends of the Kennedy Stone House under the leadership of Pauli Cornish. While the basic structure remains the same, there are few original furnishings or items.

Kennedy Salt Fork Sign

Leftover sandstone blocks from the summer kitchen were used for this entrance sign.

Stones left over from the summer kitchen were used to create the entrance sign for Salt Fork State Park. Little did they dream at that time that the house would someday be restored.

Kennedy Fireplace

The oxen yoke used in building the stone house hangs above the summer kitchen fireplace.

Above the sandstone fireplace in the summer kitchen hangs an oxen yoke used by the oxen that hauled the sandstone to the site by the Irish masons, who built this beautiful house. All the blocks for the house came from their property. The summer kitchen was an important addition as it kept the main house cooler in summer.

Kennedy Chest

This trunk carried precious pines from Maine to plant at Vietta’s new home.

Upstairs is an ornate old chest used by Vietta, the wife of son Matthew, to bring two pine saplings from her home in Maine to be planted in front of the Kennedy home. Both have now been removed.

Kennedy Bed

Visitors demonstrate how to use that extra blanket on the rolling pin bed.

Upstairs you’ll find tools and information about those Merino sheep they raised. You are welcome to feel that soft wool. In the bedroom, you’ll find a unique rolling pin bed. The bottom of the bed looks like a large rolling pin. It has a blanket wrapped around it so if you get cold in the middle of the night, you can easily reach down and unroll an extra blanket.

Kennedy Sheep Display

A small section upstairs gives information regarding the sheep the family raised.

If you have the spirit of adventure, another path leads three quarters of a mile to McCleary Cemetery. There are over 200 graves there, most being local people. Benjamin, his father Moses, and many other Kennedys are buried in Irish Ridge Cemetery.

The first people buried there were McClearys, who owned a saw and grist mill in the area. Miss McCleary, a school teacher, lived in the Stone House for a time. Sometimes she rewarded an excellent student by letting them spend the night at the Stone House.

Kennedy Docents

Sisters, Elaine Lipps and Jane Ransom, greet visitors and tell the Kennedy history.

Now, volunteers man the Kennedy Stone House Museum from May through October. If you would enjoy dressing in period costume and telling the Kennedy story, there is a docent cabin available for volunteer use at no cost…just bring your own linens. You can then enjoy up to a week at the lake while helping at the Stone House during the day.

Kennedy Cornish Cabin

Volunteers get to stay in this lovely little cabin near the Stone House.

Presently they have forty-seven docents that come from Maryland, Virginia and all over Ohio. Their visitors have arrived from as far away as Russia and India. Recently Robert Cody Kennedy, a young descendant of the Kennedy family, heard about the house and stopped by to see the house his ancestors built. His father in Tennessee still receives an invitation each year for their family reunion in Scotland.

Kennedy Picnic Shelter

A picnic shelter by the Stone House was the perfect place for an art class to take a break.

Stop by the Kennedy Stone House Museum to get a glimpse of life in Guernsey County in the early 1800s. Sit on the porch steps and feel the footsteps of the past as you enjoy the present day view of the lake. Soak in that peaceful feeling.

To arrive at Salt Fork State Park, take Exit 47 from I-77, which will be US Route 22 North.  It’s approximately six miles to the Salt Fork State Park entrance on the left hand side. Watch signs carefully for directions to the Stone House once you reach the Salt Fork Lake Region.

Coal Miner’s Statue -Unsung Heroes Remembered

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

Those words rang true for the thousands of coal miners that lived in the vicinity of Guernsey County, Ohio during the early 1900s.

In order to honor these men and coal miners across the nation, a statue in their honor has been placed at the old train depot in Byesville, Ohio. This is no ordinary statue as it was commissioned by Alan Cottrill, internationally renowned sculptor, who has his studio in Zanesville.

The Train to Nowhere

These were busy tracks in their day, but today they have no traffic.

Why, you might ask, is this statue in Byesville? Why not place it in some larger city? Byesville was the coal capital of Ohio back in the early 1900s. Perhaps a hundred and fifty trains would roar down their tracks each day. Cars carried coal from Marietta to Cleveland and often into Canada.

coal_miners_memorial_09-08-2012_1

These volunteers were present for the dedication ceremonies.

Raising money for the statue was itself a challenge. Contributions came from local residents as well as all those who rode the now silent Byesville Scenic Railway. Total cost of this memorial was $40,000. So if you rode the train or visited their museum, perhaps you had a hand in making that statue become reality.

When you made a donation in any amount, you were given a badge saying:

I GAVE    COAL MINERS MEMORIAL    BYESVILLE OHIO

coal-mineres-memorial-badge

This was no ordinary badge as it was designed very carefully. Each color on the badge had great significance.

Yellow stands for a beam of sunshine that sheds light on the darkness of the dungeon of a dark and gray mine.

Gray is for the rock/slate layers that are found above and below the seams of coal.

Black needs little explanation as it is the color of coal, also known as black diamonds, buried sunshine, or rocks that burn.

Red is for the color of blood that was spilled onto the ground from those who either lost their lives or were injured while working about the mine.

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Everything on this bronze statue has meaning.

His hat gave him a place to hang his carbide light. This was the only light down in those coal black mines. The miner had to purchase the pellets to fill his carbide light…at the company store, of course.The coal mines gave them nothing. Why, they had to buy their own picks and dynamite! 

If you look closely at the statue, 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.

pieces-for-memorial

The sculpture pieces in Cottrill’s studio wait to be assembled.

The miner statue is missing his right index finger in honor of all the men injured in the mines. The dinner pail he carries was made by the Buckeye Aluminum Co. and was an important part of the miners day.

Many of those miners were immigrants, often called dumb hunkies  Everyone headed out to work swinging their dinner pail. The pails could not be set down on the mine floor or the rats, the miners’ mascot, would open them and eat their lunch. So miners always hung their dinner pails high on the mine wall.

A West Virginia ham sandwich was quite the treat. That ham by the way was what we call bologna.They always left a little something in their pail, just in case a cave in occurred and they might be below ground all night. If they made it safely through the day, the miners would let the children have their pails on the way home for a little snack.

From top to bottom each item has special significance from his hat to the dynamite at his feet.

coal-miner-plaque

The dedication plaque at the statue

A portion of the plaque behind the statue states:

May the personal sufferings, sacrifices and the hardships endured by your families, never be forgotten nor taken for granted.

May the memory of these unsung heroes live on for generations.

The Coal Miner Memorial Statue can be found in Byesville, Ohio off I-77. Take Exit 41 and head into the small town of Byesville. Turn left on Second Street and two blocks down on the right hand side you will see the old train depot. The statue stands in front of the depot.

Guernsey County History Museum Dressed for Christmas

guernsey-county-museum

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.

guernsey-county-one-room-school

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.

open-house-guernsey-county-museum

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.

guernsey-county-curator

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.

guernsey-co-museum-volunteers

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.

guernsey-county-ice-bike

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.

guernsey-county-mail-cart

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.

guernsey-county-christmas-tree

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.

 

 

 

 

The Many Faces of Dr. Jones

Berk at dentist

Dr. Beryl Jones seems perfectly at home beside his dental chair.

Dr. Beryl K. Jones, local dentist, must have been born with music in his soul. His world revolves around music, and entertaining others as a result.

Growing up in a caring family provided real blessings in his life. His parents had a great influence on his life as his dad played trombone and his mom sang to entertain others. Some think perhaps he received his entertainment antics from her example.

Berk and his dad

A young Berky poses with his dad, Dr. B.K. Jones.

Berky, as he is commonly known in the community, made his  first serious attempt at music in 6th grade when he played drums. But during a concert, he only got a chance to play once as there were too many drummers. So he picked up his dad’s trombone and began trying his hand at it. Many don’t realize that Berky only had three trombone lessons in his life and a couple on the cello. Otherwise, he is self-taught.

Berk on pony

His love of animals began when he was a child.

Throughout high school and his years at Ohio State, Berky continued to enjoy his time playing the trombone in the Ohio State Marching Band even more than schoolwork. Since he loves animals and has from time to time had a mountain lion, bear, jaguar, moose, groundhog and more, being a veterinary crossed his mind. But even more, he wanted to come back to Cambridge and practice dentistry with his dad, Dr. B.K. Jones.

Berk at Senior Center

The Chordial Chorus tried a little audience participation at a Dickens Victorian Village brunch.

Today Berky sings in three barbershop quartets: Popular Demand, Four Flats, and Brothers, where Berky’s tenor voice rings out loud and clear. The Chordial Chorus, Cambridge Chapter of the Harmony Barbershop Society,  gets leadership from Dr. Jones. These talented voices entertain at events throughout the year and their harmony is always outstanding.

Berk Cambridge Band

For 175 years the Cambridge City Band has been delighting audiences.

One of his favorite musical groups is the Cambridge City Band, which is celebrating its 175th Anniversary this year. Berky has a long history with this band, where he started playing his trombone back in 1977. Then, one day the band was looking for a director and he thought maybe he would apply.

His previous experience at directing came from the church choir, and an unusual late night directing practice. Berk went to sleep listening to a Henry Mancini record, and pretending he was directing that band. By the way, Mr. Lucky was his favorite song.

Berk directs band

As a director, he puts his heart and soul into the music.

Berky was indeed lucky to be chosen as the next band director and has enjoyed entertaining ever since. The band and audience are lucky to have someone directing with his dedication and hard work.

Berk leading the Chicken Dance

Berky dressed as a chicken to lead the Chicken Dance.

Today Berky directs The Cambridge City Band creating concerts that are filled with fun and appreciated by many. His goal is to do whatever necessary to entertain the audience. He learned, “It’s not about you. It’s about them.” Audience participation is frequent, and quite often he surprises the audience with one of his many costumes. He really does have a room full of costumes!

Berk in clown costume at Quaker City

He even convinced other band members to join in the Clown Band.

Let’s not forget that Dr. Jones is also a local dentist with a busy practice in Cambridge, and a second office in Caldwell. His laid-back attitude makes it easy for those in his presence to sit back and relax.Since Walt Disney is one of his heroes, a large figure of Mickey Mouse can be found in his office with smaller Disney characters seen throughout.

While he has been to Disney World several times, one place he would like to visit is Alaska. The trip would be even better on Princess Cruise Lines where Cambridge’s Gordon Hough acts as musical director. Gordon even told Berky to bring along his trombone when he decides to make that voyage.

In the summertime, the Cambridge City Band presents a free concert twice a month at the City Park Pavilion, which is packed with fans and overflows onto the banks outside. To close each concert, Berky says, “Good night, John boy. It’s just me. I’ll be seeing you..and keeeeeep smilin’.”

WILE: The Early Days of Cambridge, Ohio Radio

WILE Beatty Ave

WILE moved into this beautiful old home on Beatty Avenue in 1948.

You’re listening to WILE, 1270 on your radio dial.

Thus a radio station began broadcasting in the hills of southeastern Ohio in Cambridge on April 9, 1948 after playing “Beautiful Ohio” as their sign-on song. Located at 917  Beatty Avenue in the old Orme home, this daytime-only radio station operated on 1000 watts.

Enthusiastic young locals began working at the station in various capacities. Several young ladies were continuity writers, who wrote those much needed commercials, while young men became announcers.  They also had to keep things on schedule. Since everything was live at this time, that often became a difficult task.

WILE Sesqui - Square Studio

WILE placed a temporary station on the courthouse lawn to get people interested in their new venture.

WILE Donahoe - Sesqui Court

Howard Donahoe, founder, managing director, and co-owner, appears at the Sesquicentennial Court facing penalties for not having a beard.

1948 provided big excitement in downtown Cambridge as it celebrated the Sesquicentennial of Guernsey County. In order that area residents could learn more about this new radio station, WILE placed a temporary studio on the courthouse square for broadcasting. This perhaps began their popular remotes.

WILE Musical Farmers

“Dallas Bond and the Musical Farmers” had a regular Saturday program.

Early programs featured locals in everything from music to ministry. Groups came to the station for live performances. A popular musical show, “Dallas Bond and the Musical Farmers”, combined several small groups of local performers in Studio A.

Oak & Ash Hosfelt boys 001

Ray and John Hosfelt, known as Oak and Ash, brightened everyone’s day.

Another of those local groups contained two young men from Indian Camp, Ray and John Hosfelt, better known as Oak & Ash, “The Forest Rangers”. They sang their way into the hearts of many listeners throughout the county.

On Saturday morning, boys and girls gathered around the radio to listen to “Story Time for Children”. In the afternoon, “Junior Talent Time” gave youngsters a chance to shine by singing or playing a musical instrument. A couple friends practiced singing with me “You Are My Sunshine”, in hopes that someday we would get the courage to go to the radio station. But we never did.

WILE Beatty Ave Studio

Announcers had a grand piano for backup in the studio.

Donna Lake Shafer, who started working as a continuity writer at WILE in the summer after she graduated from Cambridge High School in 1948, remembers Election Night being a very important event at the radio station. Election results came over the station’s Teletype machine, which printed messages from news wire services. Only a few local places received up-to-the-minute reports of the Truman – Dewey presidential election.

Even though the radio station was off the air, people crowded inside the Beatty Avenue headquarters to hear results coming in on the Teletype machine. Donna stayed busy that night keeping hot coffee and cookies ready at this big election party, which was attended by owners of the radio station, local officials and curious citizens. Remember, television sets in homes didn’t exist at this time.

These were not high paying jobs, according to Laura Bates, an early employee of WILE. When she started in 1952, her salary was $140 a month. But Laura recalls, “I loved to write and use my imagination. Working at WILE was enjoyable. You felt like you were a family.”

WILE Velvetones B

VelvetonesB  were part of the WILE scene. Edgar Fisher on the right was later one of our city councilmen.

In those early days, the station manager banned certain music from the air. Sometimes it was too loud, or occasionally the lyrics might be offensive. The radio served as the voice of the community.

Many changes have been made over the years. The station is now located on College Hill, where its transmitter  stood years ago. Almost everything is recorded these days and the station airs around the clock. From Land ‘O Lakes Broadcasting Corporation in 1948 to AVC Communications today, their community spirit still gets broadcast over the hills of Southeastern Ohio.

 

Granny Rides the Interurban

Imagine what it would’ve been like to take a Gypsy Road Trip a hundred years ago. At that time a modern means of transportation in Guernsey County was the Interurban, a type of electric railway with light, self-propelled, electric cars. Midland Power & Traction provided the electricity from their location  on Foster Avenue at 2nd Street (recent home of Variety Glass) in Cambridge, Ohio.

Just for fun, let’s step on the Guernsey County Interurban and take a little road trip with Granny through Guernsey County on a summer day long ago. She has a special destination for her trip today, but will enjoy all the sights along the way.

All aboard for a ride into the past.

Interurban on 8th St 001

Tickets could be purchased at The Electric Shop across from the courthouse.

Having saved her pennies for weeks now, it’s time to purchase her round trip ticket for a quarter. The Electric Shop on the corner of South 8th Street across from the courthouse is a handy place to get a ticket.

Cambridge Glass Company Baseball Diamond

This aerial shot of the old Cambridge Glass Company shows the baseball diamond, a popular weekend form of entertainment.

At the first stop on the trestle by the Cambridge Glass Company on Morton Avenue, glass workers wait. Many employees use this for their ride home after work, even on a Saturday. Granny notices the baseball teams preparing to enjoy the summer day. Looks like the semi-pro teams of Cambridge Glass Clear Cuts and Byesville Bobcats are ready to “Play Ball”.

Today a stop will be made at the Byesville Driving Park along Chapman Creek. Many depart the train at Stop #7, called Marjorie or Springfield, and walk about a quarter of a mile to the grandstands at the park to watch the horse races.

Korte

Korte’s Park had perhaps the only swimming pool in Ohio back in the early 1900s.

Others get off at Stop #9 and visit the nicest picnic area around at Korte’s Park. This is said to have been the only swimming pool in the state of Ohio, so quite a popular spot during the summer months.

Interurban Car on Byesville Depot Street

The Interurban rolls down Depot Street (now Second Street) in Byesville.

This Saturday afternoon when all the coal miners are shopping in Byesville, the Interurban has to slow down a little because of the miners and their families flooding this main thoroughfare. Coal miners were not welcome to shop in Cambridge, so Byesville was a busy town.

Interurban Rocky Bottom 001

Interurban passes over Rocky Bottom swimming hole, a popular summer hang-out.

Just outside of Byesville at Little Kate, the tracks lead over Wills Creek on a trestle. Granny’s eyes light up as she notices a sign on the cowcatcher that says “Haag Railroad Show”. That sounds like something she would like to see.

As you pass over “Rocky Bottom”, a favorite swimming hole for youngsters, watch out for skinny dippers.  Sometimes they make people laugh, and other times cause embarrassment to those riding the rails. Granny has to cover her eyes!

Trail Run Mine is a busy town with over 1500 residents. You have to be quick as the interurban only stops here for seconds unless there are milk cans, ice, dynamite, or other freight to unload. They must keep on schedule.

Interurban Vacation Bible Class in 1925

Vacation Bible class of Lucasburg and Buckeyeville stops for a picnic at Ball’s Grove.

Up on the hillside, Granny spots families having a picnic under the trees. There is a spring nearby and she has heard that Ball’s Grove (today the northbound I-77 roadside rest) is a perfect place for a family to enjoy relaxing while the children play tag or kick-the-can.

Puritan Mine 001

Miners and mules line up outside Puritan Mine.

As the Interurban stops at Puritan Mine (Seneca Lane), coal miners get on board to head home for the evening. Granny fusses just a little to make sure they don’t get coal dust or grease on her best dress as she has almost reached her destination. The large cars have seats for forty-two, but often two hundred dirty miners will crowd on board, eager to head home for the day.

Interurban at Pleasant City 001

The Interurban can be seen on the other side of the covered bridge leaving Pleasant City to return to Cambridge.

By the time the cars have made it all the way to Pleasant City, the end of the line, there is reduced power for the trip back to Cambridge. Voltage is so low that cars leave at a crawl with their overhead lights no brighter than lightning bugs. Now you can see why they need that new substation on Morton Avenue to provide power to the stations at Pleasant City and Byesville.

Today’s a  special day for Granny as it’s her birthday. Her sisters live in Pleasant City and greet her as she gets off the Interurban. They are amazed that she has come so far all by herself.

Granny is excited to tell them about the Haag Railroad Show that is coming next week. “Maybe we could all go see their trained bears, ponies and blue-faced monkeys. There’s always something exciting happening around Guernsey County these days.”

Wouldn’t it have been an adventure to take a Gypsy Road Trip with Granny on the Interurban?

 

Discover Local History at Guernsey County Historical Museum

Guernsey County Historical Museum

Guernsey County Historical Museum

Located in the oldest frame house in Cambridge, the Guernsey County Historical Museum, expanding since 1963, presents a vast array of memorabilia from by-gone years. The new curator, Judy Clay, gave a very knowledgeable tour of the museum from top to bottom, and is constantly reorganizing displays.

Built in 1823, what is known as the McCracken – McFarland House sat on the corner of Steubenville Avenue and 8th Street.  Then in 1915, the house was moved down the block and turned on its foundation. The red stained glass in the front door is original, having been moved without damage.  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. Since the house is so old, you might think there would be spirits wandering its halls, but not so say those who work there. It is the quietest old house imaginable and nothing unusual happens there…at least not yet!

Bridge crossing Wills Creek

Bridge crossing Wills Creek – today replaced by the viaduct.

An interesting sidenote is that this house was actually part of the Underground Railroad and the McCracken family was active in helping the slaves move to safety. Today you will find a replica of the wooden, covered, two-lane bridge that crossed Wills Creek stored in the basement, where most likely slaves were hidden years ago.

At that time, homes had two sitting rooms.  One was for family use, while the other was a formal parlor used only when special guests arrived. A beautiful marbletop table that had belonged to the McFarland family has a place of honor in the formal parlor. Pieces of Cambridge Glass and Universal Pottery are scattered throughout the house, as these were two important means of earning a living during those early years in Guernsey County..

Guernsey County Hall of Fame Wall

Guernsey County Hall of Fame.

Ice Bicycle

Ice Bicycle

The beautiful family sitting room felt cozy in its time, as this was the first house in Cambridge to be heated with gas; however, candle light was still used for reading. 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.

The Tool Room contained an old mail cart and an ice bike. The mail cart was actually used by the Cambridge Post Office to pick up mail from the Cambridge Train Station. Among other items was a cigar press from the Quaker City Company that made cigars.

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 clothes finished off the top floor.

Old One-room school

Old One-room school

The One-Room School display contained traditional desks, teacher’s desk, blackboard, and some of those old books that were used long ago. On special occassions, retired teachers will describe basic lessons and activities in a one room school.

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.

Guernsey County Museum is located in Cambridge, Ohio near the crossroads of I-70 and I-77. The easiest route is from I-70, Exit 178, which is State Route 209 West. Follow 209 straight to the Court House. Make a left hand turn and a quick right turn on 8th Street right beside the Court House. After one block, make a right hand turn and a quick left turn on 8th Street again. The Museum is located just a few doors down on the right hand side at 218 N. 8th Street. 

Following Morgan’s Raiders Trail 150 Years Later

Sketch of Brig Gen John Hunt Morgan

Sketch of Brig Gen John Hunt Morgan

During the Civil War, 150 years ago in July of 1863, Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan led a band of scoundrels, known as Morgan’s Raiders, through Ohio on a two week expedition consisting of many raids and robberies. Their purpose was to create terror and deviate the attention of the Union troops from Confederate forces.

The Ohio Historical Society has commemorated that John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail with 56 interpretive signs from Cincinnati to West Point in northeastern Ohio. Official dedication took place at the entry point into Ohio at Harrison in July of 2013, although planning has taken several years.

First Morgan's Trail sign in Guernsey County at Cumberland, Ohio

First Morgan’s Trail sign in Guernsey County at Cumberland, Ohio

Wanting to explore the local side of this route, my drive began in Cumberland, Ohio, which is the first place in Guernsey County, my home county, that Morgan’s Raiders appeared. Here in front of the old Cumberland High School is plaque #39, which begins the local trail of clever escapes by Morgan. Having invited themselves as dinner guests, Morgan’s men stole horses, cash, and even a guide before heading on to Point Pleasant (today’s Pleasant City).

Watch for signs like this to follow the trail easily.

Watch for signs like this to follow the trail easily. Former Pleasant City High School sits in the background.

Morgan’s Trail is well-marked with signs at frequent intervals so you can rest assured you are still on the correct route. Stories on the plaques tell about real events that happened near each marker and all contain a couple beautiful old pictures from Civil War days. Each sign also explains, in the lower left hand corner, the location of the next commemorative stop

At the corner of State Routes 313 and 285 in Senecaville, followers will find plaque #40. On July 24 at 3 am, Morgan’s men rode into the village boldly knocking on doors to find out local road information. Lucky for Morgan, Colonel William Wallace of the Ohio Infantry had received an erroneous report and hours earlier had moved from that very crossroads. Ever since the battle at Buffington Island, Brig. Gen. James Shackelford had been in hot pursuit of the Raiders and seemed to be closing the gap.

Interpretive sign #41 at Lore City trailhead.

Interpretive sign #41 at Lore City trailhead.

Campbell’s Station (today’s Lore City) had the most destruction of any place in Guernsey County with Shackelford being only seven miles behind. Located at the trailhead of the Guernsey Trail, #41 plaque area was the only one in Guernsey County that had been expanded with other information about the history of that area, as well as beautiful flowers.

At the edge of town on Old Mill Road, the battle at Washington (today’s Old Washington) is recognized. Sign #42 is near Cemetery Hill where Shackelford’s troops began firing on Morgan’s Raiders, who had spent the night in Washington. The officers had moved in, unwanted, to the American Hotel while others slept throughout the town, even in the streets. It came as a surprise that the plaque was not downtown with the 1927 monument to this skirmish.

Those four stops mark the route through Guernsey County, then the Trail guides you on toward Piedmont. By now you are beginning to get caught up in the thrill of the chase and to understand the lay of the territory they are crossing. Winding roads follow the Trail as best they possibly can, but Morgan’s Raiders attempted to travel through the woods quite often so the route is close, but can’t possibly be perfect.

Imagine the surprise and fear when up to 2000 Confederate soldiers arrived in one of these small towns along the way.  No wonder the unruly children were disciplined with the phrase: Morgan will get you!

Monument to honor Morgan's Raid erected by Carroll County Historical Society in 1868.

Monument to honor Morgan’s Raid erected by Carroll County Historical Society in 1868.

My original plan had been to follow Morgan’s Trail just through Guernsey County, but once caught up in following Morgan’s Raiders, it was impossible to stop before reaching the spot where Morgan was captured. Being led through Harrison, Monroe, Jefferson and Carroll counties, the posted signs by the Ohio Historical Society were  easy to follow.

With troop numbers diminishing at each spot, Morgan continued to use clever escape tactics as long as he could.  The Raiders might pretend to be Union soldiers, stir up dust to hide themselves, or give promises they could never fulfill.

The last few marked encounters led through rugged, gravel roads. As you slowed down on these rutted and often muddy roads, you could almost feel the weariness of the troops.

End of Trail near West Point, Ohio

End of Trail near West Point, Ohio

Finally, Morgan’s Trail, with plaque #56 entitled West End, came to an end in someone’s front yard where a monument had also been placed years ago. Morgan had tried his best to get back to cross the Ohio River and he was getting so close. Minutes later, I saw the beautiful Ohio River and felt a little sympathy for Morgan’s never reaching it.

The Heritage Trail from Cumberland to West End took Morgan’s Raiders four days from July 23 – July 26. By car, it took about eight and a half hours and I didn’t steal any horses, demand any dinners, or burn any buildings. They must have been worn out to have covered all that territory so quickly on horseback.

Even though he was captured for the moment, his cleverness helped him escape prison and travel unknowingly with a Union soldier on a train back home. Despite the chaos and destruction left behind, he taught the importance of never giving up in your quest to reach a goal.

Mysterious Bigfoot Legend – Skeptic or Believer?

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” This quote from distinguished astronomer, Dr Carl Sagan, is popular with Bigfoot investigators. They are still searching for more clues that will prove their Bigfoot theory.

Guernsey County, Ohio is one of those “hot spots” for Bigfoot investigators.  Annually, the Ohio Bigfoot Conference gathers informative speakers to share their adventures with the gathering crowd.  The 2012 conference was held at Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center near Cambridge, Ohio after previously being held at Newcomerstown and then Salt Fork Lodge. The move was partially made to accommodate the growing attendance as last year at Salt Fork they overflowed the conference room and many were  forced to watch the program on big screen TVs in the lobby.  The Bigfoot enthusiasts have increased from less than a hundred in 1989 to over seven hundred at present.

The goal of the Ohio Bigfoot Organization is to find, recognize, and protect what many believe to be an unclassified primate, commonly known as Bigfoot, and residing in North America.

A highlight of the meeting this year was the appearance of legendary Bigfoot seeker, Peter Byrne, who fascinated visitors in the lobby with his Bigfoot stories. Peter, the star of the show, has led professional expeditions in search of Yeti and Bigfoot.  His book, The Search for Bigfoot, tells of his fascinating life exploring since 1946 in the Himalayas for Yeti, the Himalayan version of Bigfoot.  Even though he is 86 years old, Peter still has a curious mind and continues his search for Bigfoot on the Oregon Coast.

Before the scheduled speakers, curious visitors checked out tables in the lobby with lots of unusual items. Of course, there were videos of possible sightings as well as plaster casts of large footprints left behind by something or someone. Lengths of these footprints average about 16″ long, but some range up to 22″, and are much wider than a human footprint.

Soaps and lotions carried the name Sasquatch, the Canadian Bigfoot rendition. One popular soap made in Canada bore the title Sasquatch Sweat Soap – Guaranteed not to grow hair. Sasquatch Sweat Cream was also available. Not certain if their purpose was to repel or attract Bigfoot.   There were even cookies for sale shaped like…yes, you guessed it, Bigfoot.

The first speaker of the day was past president, Don Keating, who led this conference for 23 years. He first heard of Bigfoot in 1984 from a story in the Newcomerstown News that told of strange sightings of a large, hairy creature in and around the Newcomerstown area. Later Don began investigating some of the unusual sightings he heard from neighboring Guernsey County as well – glowing red eyes, large footprints, and very tall creatures.

Salt Fork Lake area became one of those places where frequent strange events seemed to occur. Often something eerie seemed to be happening at Hosak’s Cave in the late evening hours, especially when there was a full moon.  For their safety, people were even strongly advised to leave the area by park rangers.

When Don Keating said he was leaving his president’s position to devote more time to his weather research, someone in the audience asked an interesting question: “Do you find predicting the weather a lot like investigating Bigfoot?” To which Don answered, “With both, you put your neck on the line.”

Grabbed a Bigfoot cookie to munch while listening to additional speakers which included: Dr John Bindernagel, wildlife biologist; Bill Draginis, surveillance and security expert; and Mike Esordi, crypto zoologist with artistic abilities. All are active in Bigfoot research and frequently share their knowledge through lectures around the world.

Whether you believe in the existence of Bigfoot or not, you could hear some interesting adventures at the conference. Maybe some evening you will want to spend the night at Salt Fork State Park. If you listen carefully, you might hear strange calls, branches breaking in the woods, or rocks being thrown into the lake. Could these sounds be made by Bigfoot?  Keep your eyes and ears open!

Salt Fork State Park is located just five miles north of Cambridge, Ohio just off Route 22. I-70 and I-77 intersect close by so you will have easy access to the area.  While in town, stop at Mr. Lee’s or Theo’s Restaurant as both have delicious home cooked meals at reasonable prices.

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