Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Ohio-Erie Canal’

Buckeye Lake Amusement Park Memories Linger at Buckeye Lake Museum

Buckeye Lake 1950s

This is an overview of Buckeye Lake Amusement Park as it appeared in the 1950s.

Trips to Buckeye Lake Amusement Park can be remembered by many adults today. As children, they would head there with their parents or neighbors for a full day of rides along the lake. Almost everyone took along a picnic lunch.

Buckeye Lake First Cabin

The first cabin built at Buckeye Lake has been restored next to the Buckeye Lake Museum.

   Today the Amusement Park is gone but the memories still remain at the Buckeye Lake Museum in Buckeye Lake. The museum opened its doors in 1998 and is located about a mile west of the original entrance to the amusement park.

Buckeye Lake 1918 Chevy

This 1918 Chevrolet 490 Touring Car brought visitors to the Cranberry Marsh Bass Club.

   Construction of the Ohio & Erie Canal gave a reason for Buckeye Lake to be created in 1826. This original swamp land had been left behind by a retreating glacier thousands of years ago. Buffalo Swamp was dug and dammed to create a source of water for the canal.

Buckeye Lake Swimming Pool

The Crystal Swimming Pool was a gathering place for the entire family.

   When the canal became inactive after the railroads gave a better and faster means of transportation, the state developed Buckeye Lake as a popular resort. With over 3800 acres of water, 35 miles of shoreline and twenty islands, people began flocking to the area. Twenty-one hotels sprang up along the shoreline.

Buckeye Lake Entrance 2

Cars came bumper to bumper through this entrance gate to the park.

   The Ku Klux Klan had rallies at Buckeye Lake in 1923 when 75,000 people attended. Then in 1925, it is said that 500,000 KKK members attended since the Grand Dragon of the five-state area lived in Newark.

Buckeye Lake Dip and Beach

The Dips Roller Coaster, which went over the lake, could be seen from the beach.

   After a few years, the lake seemed like a great place to add an Amusement Park. In 1931, “The Dips” Roller Coaster was built. This was a huge attraction as the roller coaster took passengers out over the lake. The roller coaster lasted until 1958 when a serious accident injured several passengers. It never ran again.

Buckeye Lake Rocket Ride

This was the popular Rocket ride.

   Rides like The Whip, Big Slide, Dodge ’em Cars, Octopus, Wild Mouse and Rocket brought crowds to the lake. Folks enjoyed the taste of their Caramel Corn and Salt Water Taffy, which were shipped all over the country.

Buckeye Lake Rides

Rides were part of the attraction for a visit to the amusement park.

   No wonder it was known as The Playground of Ohio with often 50,000 people in a single day. You could hardly get through the crowds, but still, people patiently waited bumper to bumper and shoulder to shoulder.

Buckeye Lake Skee Ball and Wild Mouse drawing

A popular skee ball game can still be played at the Buckeye Lake Museum.

   Many companies held their annual picnics at Buckeye Lake Amusement Park. Guernsey County residents will recall RCA having picnics at the lake. Admission to the park was free during most of its operation, and later $2 a car. Every Thursday was Family Day when the cost of each ride was five cents for children and eight cents for adults.

Buckeye Lake Taffy

This was the machine that made their famous salt water taffy.

   Their Crystal Ballroom brought quality entertainment to the area. The “Buckeye Lake Waltz” was a popular dance tune. Louie Armstrong, Bob Hope, Sammy Kaye, Guy Lombardo, and Glenn Miller were among the names who appeared at their ballrooms. This was a happening place!

   Big bands also performed at Skateland, which had a 50,000 sq.ft. round floor. It was not unusual to have 2000 skaters there in an evening.

Buckeye Lake Mastodon

A skeleton of a mastodon was found nearby. A cast of its head can be found at the museum.

   The park finally closed in 1970 after an attempt to revive it as a Country Western Theme Park.

  Just four miles down the road, when they were digging to build a golf course, they found the large skeleton of a  mastodon, called the Burning Tree Mastodon, that is the most complete skeleton ever found. It’s estimated to be nearly 12,000 years old. A cast of the head can be found at the museum.

Buckeye Lake today

Today, Buckeye Lake is still a great place for a boat ride, walk or picnic.

   Rides on the lake aboard a sternwheeler were popular even after the amusement park closed. But due to problems with the dam, the water level was not deep enough for the sternwheeler to operate.

Buckeye Lake Queen of the Lake III

Queen of the Lake III sternwheeler is being refurbished for cruises on Buckeye Lake.

   In 2015, a new Queen of the Lake III was donated to the museum by Dr. Ronald and Cindy Downing of Zanesville. This sternwheeler can operate in less than two feet of water so the low level of the water in the lake will not affect it. Right now they are working on refurbishing The Queen of the Lake III into a dinner boat to help raise funds for the museum. Their dream is to have it on the water by late summer.

Buckeye Lake Covered Fountain

This covered fountain in the construction zone is the only piece of the original amusement park that remains.

   The only piece of the amusement park that remains is the fountain, which still stands in the original park’s location at Alexander’s Landing. Perhaps you’ll want to visit there and let your mind wander back to those days of fun and excitement at the Buckeye Lake Amusement Park. You can still take a picnic with you!

Buckeye Lake Museum is located off I-70 at Exit 129. Take OH 79 South aout two and a half miles to 4729 Walnut Road. The museum will be on the left hand side of the road.

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Temperance Tavern Museum Holds Tales of Newcomerstown Area

Temperance Tavern Sign

This sign in front of the museum explains the history of the town.

The Delaware Indians settled a village along the Tuscarawas River at what is today Newcomerstown. In 1776, over 700 Delaware Indians lived there with a few English colonists. The Indians called their village Gekelemukpechunk, but the settlers called it Newcomerstown after the Delaware Chief Newcomer of the Turtle Tribe.

Temperance Tavern Delaware Indians

These Delaware Indians arrowheads and artifacts are an important part of the town’s history.

   During the time of the Ohio & Erie Canal, the tavern and inn in Newcomerstown, Ohio was a popular stop for canal boats. One of the oldest homes in town, built in 1841 by Andrew Creter, Temperance Tavern was made of black walnut and still contains many of the original features.

Temperance Tavern

Temperance Tavern Museum, a beautiful old tavern and inn, is one of the oldest homes in Newcomerstown.

   The home and tavern was conveniently built between the canal and the stagecoach trail. One home on Canal Street still has the original canal ditch in their front yard. The ditch was never filled in.

   The Creter family lived on the first floor, while rooms on the second floor housed only women. Single men were literally locked in the attic to keep any embarrassing moments from happening with the lady guests. The basement contained Temperance Tavern. While the names don’t seem to fit together perfectly, no alcohol was served in this tavern.

   Miss Elizabeth, wife of Andrew Creter, still visits the house in spirit. While her form is seldom seen, frequently doors move and cabinets open. She keeps watch over her house.

Temperance Tavern Fireplace

This stone fireplace provided a place to cook meals for visitors to the inn.

   The kitchen has a large fireplace where all the tavern meals were cooked. The cast iron utensils hung over the fireplace for easy access in meal preparation. Meals were cooked and served here for people from the canal and stage, but it was also a local gathering place. The table served not only as a place for meals, but operations took place there as well.

Temperance Tavern Oven

Behind this cabinet was where slaves were hidden on the Underground Railroad.

   This was also a stop for the Underground Railroad. Slaves were hidden in the cellar of this house. You can still see a cabinet that concealed where slaves hid on their Underground Railroad route.

Temperance Tavern Miss Rose Tea Set

This beautiful Moss Rose Tea Set came all the way from Virginia in 1820.

   The dining room table displayed a beautiful Moss Rose Tea Set, which was brought to Newcomerstown from Virginia in 1820 by Mrs. John Snyder. The living room features military artifacts as well as a collection of dresses from the 1800-1900 time frame.

Temperance Tavern Wedding Dress

The wedding dress of Maude Scott highlights this display of clothing from 1800-1900.

   A wedding dress from 1894 belonging to Maude Scott shows the style of the time. It also gives history of one of those early prominent women in the Tuscarawas County area. Maude Scott was the first woman in the county to be elected to public office and formed the first Republican Women’s Club there, a couple examples of her forward thinking.

   Here also, you will find memorabilia honoring two of Newcomerstown’s favorite sons, Cy Young, the most winning pitcher in baseball, and Woody Hayes, Ohio State’s well-known and adored coach.

Temperance Tavern Woody

Woody Hayes, Ohio State University football coach, went to school here.

   Woody’s dad was superintendent of schools in Newcomerstown. After graduation from Newcomerstown High School, Woody coached football at Mingo Junction and New Philadelphia before moving on to Ohio State.

Temperance Tavern Cy Young

This 1908 Boston Red Sox uniform belonging to Cy Young is on display at the museum.

   One special item in the museum is Cy Young’s complete 1908 Boston Red Sox uniform. The memorabilia span his life from baseball player to retiree, who enjoyed sitting on his front porch in a rocking chair, which is also in the museum today. From 1890-1911, Young won 511 games with an ERA if 2.63. No wonder he is a local hero.

Temperance Tavern Civil War Monument

Outside the museum stands a monument to Freeman Davis, a local Civil War hero.

   Outside the Temperance Tavern Museum is a monument honoring Freeman Davis, a local man who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War. Davis served as a sergeant with Company B, 80th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the war and his commendation came due to his bravery in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Tennessee.

Main Street BJ

BJ McFadden has served as president of the Newcomerstown Historical Society for several years but recently stepped down from that post.

   Located at 221 Canal Street in Newcomerstown, the Temperance Tavern Museum opens its doors each Memorial Day weekend through the end of October on Tuesday – Sunday. Every small town has interesting history to share. Stop by and explore Temperance Tavern Museum this summer!

The museum is located at 221 West Canal Street in Newcomerstown, Ohio. Off I-77, take Exit 65 for US 36, Turn left on US 36 and then take the second exit, Ohio 258, to Newcomerstown to the left onto Pilling Street. After a short distance, turn right onto East Canal Street and about a mile down the street you’ll find the museum on the left.

Drift Along on the Monticello III Canal Boat at Roscoe Village

 

Monticello sign

Look for this sign off Route 83 near Coshocton to find the Canal Boat Landing.

The smoothest ride you’ve ever had!

That describes the trip along the restored Ohio-Erie Canal near Roscoe Village. Two horses, Rock and Bill, slowly walk the original tow path as they gently pull a replica of the canal boats that traveled this same route in the early 1800s. Sit back and relax on this forty minute ride while you listen to the captain tell the story of life on the canal.

Monticello horses

Bill and Rock, two huge draft horses, wait patiently in their stable.

Two Percheron horses pull the Monticello III canal boat quite easily. The hoggee, or horseman, leads them along the tow path. He uses 150′ of rope to guide them as they pull with great ease this flat bottomed boat weighing twenty-five tons.

In 1803, the need for a canal was evident. They would place a boat carrying goods on the Muskingum River, and it would drift downstream to the spot in Marietta where it met the Ohio River. They had no way to get the boat back upstream, so they had to dismantle the boat and carry it piece by piece to be reassembled. The canal eliminated that problem.

Monticello hogie walks horses

The hoggee walks along the original canal towpath as he guides the horses.

Ground breaking for the canal began in 1825.The canal was built by Irish immigrants, who worked for 30 cents a day and four jiggers of whiskey. The need for whiskey came into play to avoid the condition known as canal fever.

First, the canal was dug by hand to a depth of four feet, then lined with clay to make a sturdy bottom. How did they pack the clay? With a sheep-foot roller – a herd of sheep ran over it to smooth it.

Completion occurred in 1832, seven years later. Transportation at that time gave few choices – either a stagecoach or a passenger boat. Rates for the boats were fifty cents a day, which included room and board, while stagecoach fares were typically five cents a mile.

Monticello turning

Monticello III gives a smooth ride that is certain to relax you.

Often three hundred boats traveled on the canal at one time. Passing became the real challenge as their tow ropes could easily get tangled. This intricate job fell to the hoggees, the boys who guided not only the horses, but also the tow ropes. Quite often they were teenage orphans with no other way to find food and shelter.

Former president, James Garfield, worked as a hoggee in 1847 when he was a teenager. The story was told that Garfield fell into the canal so often, he became ill. After that experience, that young man decided that college would be a better choice.

Monticello on the canal

Everyone enjoys their trip down the restored Ohio-Erie Canal.

Captains often lived in the cabin on the boats with their family. The females of the family would be the cooks and do household tasks as they traveled on the canal. All garbage and waste was thrown to the towpath side. So if the cooks needed extra water for cooking they would dip it from the side opposite the towpath.Turtle soup was a favorite treat.

Monticello mileage sign

This sign at the edge of the landing tells distances from the Roscoe Port to Cleveland and Portsmouth.

As humorous as it may sound, there was a speed limit for boats on the canal to keep the banks from eroding. Four miles an hour was the limit and they were fined for speeding. Speed was determined by how long it took to get from one lock to the next.

Monticello map

This map of Ohio shows the route on the eastern side of the Ohio-Erie Canal from Cleveland to Marietta and Portsmouth.

In 1913, a major flood throughout Ohio wiped out the Erie Canal. Parts of it still exist today from Cleveland to Portsmouth. View a bit of history and take the smoothest ride imaginable at Roscoe Village sometime this summer. It’s relaxing!

The canal boat ride at Roscoe Village is seasonal from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Tuesday – Saturday at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 and Sunday at 1:00 and 2:00.

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.

Zoar Village – 1800s Communal Living

Bimeler Cabin was built in 1817.

Bimeler Cabin was built in 1817 by their original leader, Joseph Bimeler.

Desire for religious freedom caused about 200 German Separatists to escape their homeland and eventually make their new American home at Zoar Village in 1817. The town received its name from a Biblical source as Lot sought refuge in Zoar from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The group’s leader, Joseph Bimeler, first led the group to Pennsylvania, where they received help from the local Quaker community. The Quakers gave them jobs and finally loaned them money to buy about 5000 acres in northeastern Ohio.

Many in the group were having financial problems so they decided to put all their money together. The Society of the Separatists of Zoar held all property and finances, as they established one of the most successful communal settlements in American history.

Ohio & Erie Canal Museum with an original firehouse door as background

Ohio & Erie Canal Museum with an original firehouse door as background

In their early days, constructing the Ohio & Erie Canal gave work for the people of Zoar, plus easy access to receiving and shipping goods. Zoar actually became a shipping port during the days of the canal. The settlement lasted about 80 years before a public auction sold all communal property, and people began working for themselves.

Today, ten historic buildings offer a peek into life of the people who lived here. Guides dressed in costume give valuable information to make the day entertaining and informative. Special programs are held throughout the year that are educational and fun – from speakers to making hands-on projects. Take a step back in time and explore their way of life.

Residents in the 1800s would meet in the Assembly House each morning where they would be assigned daily tasks. The German women honored cleanliness in all things, so whitewashed walls and even scrubbed trees in their front yards.

The village blacksmith became responsible for making wheels for the buggies that the Zoarites used. Perhaps he had a hand in making the keg wagon that took beer to the workers in the fields. If you didn’t work, you didn’t get any beer!

Zoar School

Today, the former Zoar Public School contains memorabilia and a perfect place for educational programs.

Zoar Public School instructed students grades 1–8 from the village and surrounding area. Grades 1-4 studied downstairs with easy access to the playground, while older students in grades 5-8 were instructed upstairs until the school closed in 1960. At its beginning all instruction was in German, but over the years it gradually switched bit by bit to English.

Zoar Baker

Baker explains how the brick ovens were used.

A bakery contained three main rooms.  One room held bins of various kinds of flour, potatoes, and ingredients necessary for making the baked goods. Another contained a 6′ deep, brick oven, which filled an entire wall. Here 80-100 loaves of bread, each weighing 4-5 pounds, were baked each day. Finally, the distribution room handed out baked goods to students, who delivered various goods each day after school.

Two museums are located at the Town Hall. The Ohio & Erie Canal Museum is downstairs and contains pictures and memorabilia from the days of the canal through that area. Upstairs, The Museum of Zoarite Artifacts contains tools, pictures, spinning wheels, and toys used in those early days.

Pipe Organ at the old Meeting House

Pipe Organ at the old Meeting House

The Meeting House, built in  1853, contains Zoar-made bricks and sandstone from Zoarite quarries. Their unique sounding bell perhaps resulted from silver dollars being mixed with the ore while the bell was being cast. The beautiful pipe organ, purchase in 1892, filled the air with hymns while visitors joined their voices.

The original cabin of the founder still looked like a place this gypsy wouldn’t mind living. In many ways, these people were way ahead of their time!

Zoar Village is off I-77 at State Route 212 between Canton and New Philadelphia, Ohio. Their spectacular garden and greenhouse calls for a return trip and a separate posting. Don’t forget to stop at the Firehouse Grille & Pub for a relaxing break…everything was delicious.

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