Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Salt Fork Lake’

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.

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Evidence of Bigfoot in Southeastern Ohio

Bigfoot Newcomerstown

This large Bigfoot outside The Feed Barn keeps an eye on customers.

Bigfoot captures the attention and following of many residents of Southeastern Ohio. Frequent meetings are held all year with devotees telling of their latest sightings and experiences with the illusive Bigfoot.

Recently an employee of Salt Fork State Park saw something large stand up along the road as she was driving past Hosak’s Cave in the park. This Bigfoot ran into the woods, but left behind a large footprint, which the Bigfoot investigators made into a plaster cast.

Bigfoot Crossing

It’s no surprise that in the Salt Fork Lake area you might find a Bigfoot Crossing.

Each spring, Salt Fork State Park holds Ohio Bigfoot Conference, which draws hundreds to listen to the latest information about Sasquatch, another name for Bigfoot. This year those dates are May 19 and 20. Cliff Barackman from Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Bigfoot Orrs

Vicky Veselenak shares a passion for Bigfoot with her dad, Marvin Orr.  You can have lunch with Bigfoot at Orr’s Drive-in.

Several area businesses use Bigfoot as a drawing card. In Byesville, Marvin Orr at Orr’s Drive-In placed a statue of Bigfoot beside their picnic tables. Marvin and his daughters frequently attend Bigfoot meetings and conferences. After hearing all the stories told by ordinary people, it makes them believe there’s ‘something’ out there.

Daughter Vicky used the Bigfoot theme in her classroom in Rolling Hills for years. Her bulletin boards were alive with his image, wooden Bigfoots made great hall passes and she designed her own six foot tall Bigfoot with a jigsaw. Stop by Orr’s and have lunch with Bigfoot.

BF The Feed Barn

Three Bigfoot statues draw attention to The Feed Barn in Newcomerstown. Doyle Donathan, manager, enjoys sharing stories about this mysterious creature.

The Feed Barn in Newcomerstown displays and sells Bigfoot statues and tee shirts because of all the sightings in the area. Recently, a young boy was crossing the railroad tracks down by the Tuscarawas River and checked both ways to make sure no train was coming. No train in sight, but he did see a Bigfoot step across the track easily with one long stride.

Bigfoot Caldwell

Denny Crock keeps customers watching as he frequently dresses Bigfoot as a snowboarder, fisherman, or even ready for Jamboree in the Hills. It’s difficult to find his shirt size – 7X.

In Noble County at the Caldwell Food Center Emporium, you will be greeted by Bigfoot at the entrance to the parking lot. Denny Crock, owner, knew people talked about Bigfoot frequently so wanted a concrete statue at his store. This 6’2”, 2400 pound creature attracts much attention.

Bigfoot Salt Fork

This carved, restrained, wooden statue hangs out in Wildlife Lounge at Salt Fork Lodge.

Out at Salt Fork Lodge, Ohio Bigfoot Conference donated a carved wooden statue since their meeting provides Salt Fork Lodge its largest conference of the year. Rooms and cabins are filled to capacity this weekend and the Lodge Gift Shop has record sales with their wide range of memorabilia.

Bigfoot Gift Shop

The hottest items at the Salt Fork Lodge Gift Shop are tee shirts. But they also have              “Bigfoot I Believe” wine,  action figures, games and much, much more.

Nothing But Chocolate will give you a sweet taste of Bigfoot as she has his footprints for sale – in chocolate of course. Amanda makes these delicious footprints for the Bigfoot Conference and for State Park Conventions held at Salt Fork.

Local investigations began with Don Keating in 1980. He wrote an article about a sighting in the Newcomerstown area. Since then Don had organized the Ohio Bigfoot Conferences at Salt Fork State Park until he recently stepped back to devote more time to another interest – meteorology.

Bigfoot Doug

Doug Waller, local Bigfoot investigator and enthusiast, has written two books about the group’s experiences.

Doug Waller speaks frequently around the area about the legendary Bigfoot. The founder of Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation, Doug and his team tell about the activities and sightings of this mysterious creature.

Ideas range from an ape-like animal to an extraterrestrial being. The Native Americans saw Bigfoot as a spiritual being, including it on their totem poles.  The Delaware Indians cautioned residents here long ago to put out food offerings for “the wild ones in the woods”.

Bigfoot sign

This clever sign always brings a smile to the face of Bigfoot fans.

Each person is free to explore the ideas he finds probable. But when you hear a scratch on the wall, smell something terrible outside your door, or see an eight-foot tall creature lumber off into the woods, you just might become a believer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magical Sleigh Ride

Waiting at the theaterTap, tap, tap! Sitting on a cold bench outside the theater, Katherine tapped her foot impatiently waiting for the show to begin. Dressed in a warm cape with a red knit scarf around her neck, the winter chill didn’t bother her. The Christmas season always brought her out to watch the crowds pass on their way to shop for the holidays. But Katherine didn’t need to shop for anything, she only wanted to see the Christmas show.

While she waited, she heard the clip-clop of horses’ hooves on the pavement.  Riding in a horse and sleigh would be more fun than playing charades at a party, thought the young lady. The second time she heard it, she jumped from the bench and moved quickly to the side of the street.

“Any chance you could pick up a lady for a short ride?” Katherine smiled as she approached the driver of the sleigh.

“Usually people pay to ride, but I’m in the Christmas spirit tonight so let me help you up here.” Then the driver wrapped a warm blanket around her legs before they headed off on an adventure.

Katherine and the sleigh just seemed to float over the town almost like a magic carpet with sleigh bells attached.  She could look down and see all the mannequins along the street. There were those beautiful courthouse lights she had heard so much about but had never seen.  Katherine’s laughter warmed the air as she pleaded with the driver, “Could you circle around again so I can see those lights a little better. Slow down!”

The driver settled the sleigh softly on the roof of the bank building. Then he watched with Katherine as they enjoyed the beautiful courthouse with pulsating Christmas lights synchronized to holiday music.

Later as they drifted over the city, Katherine was as excited as the kids at a chestnut roasting. Her heart skipped a beat as they swooped down around the frozen Salt Fork Lake. The dazzling snow-capped firs and pines were the perfect hide-out for a family of deer. The snow glistened in the moonlight creating a magical feeling in the air.

Mannequin still waitsThe evening flew by with Katherine feeling like a young girl again. Happiness like this was a priceless treasure even though she knew it would soon end. As the sleigh came back to the theater, it dropped down to the street and the clip-clop of horses’ hooves was heard once again. Katherine sat back down on the bench and waited with the ticket still in her hand. Perhaps that ticket will bring her more magical happenings in the future. But for now, Katherine is again the mannequin that sits on the bench in front of the theater, hoping the passers-by will enjoy their walk through Dickens Victorian Village.

Story Behind the Story

Being a volunteer at Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio brings me lots of pleasure. A few weeks ago, however, one of  the mannequins was stolen from the bench in front of the theater.  Strangely enough, the next day she was back on her bench. Another volunteer, who knows I enjoy writing stories, suggested that I create a story about her adventure while she was gone.  Hope you enjoyed Katherine’s little sleigh ride!

Autumn Sunday Drive in Beautiful Ohio

“Want to take a ride?” Those were familiar words growing up, as my father always enjoyed a drive through the country, at any season of the year. While mom always went along, she never enjoyed them as much as father and daughter. Since we liked to explore all the back roads, mom came to calling us “gypsies”. The passion for exploring has never left, so now you know a little background for my blog, Gypsy Road Trip.

This beautiful autumn Sunday Drive in the hills of  Southeastern Ohio began at the dam of nearby Salt Fork Lake.  With fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky, the shades of autumn leaves were reflected off the calm lake. Tranquility surrounds you here interrupted only by the distant sound of a speedboat sliding through the waters. Sit and soak in the sun and grab some fresh ideas floating through the air.

Sunday Drives are aimless ventures and who knows where the next random turn will lead. Along the side of the road the autumn colors catch your eye where a large red and white striped tent is fall home to Center Creek Farms. Here families  stop to let their children explore the scarecrows, pumpkins, and wagons that are all part of the fall scene. There is even a pick-your-own pumpkin patch so everyone can see pumpkins at their various stages from green to orange. No roadside stand at this time of year would be complete with out apple cider, preserves and honey. Bought a jar of local raw honey as it’s always good to ward off a cold when a sore throat first starts to develop.

Farther down the road, an old Studebaker pickup is loaded down with autumn treasures at the Troyer’s Country Market. There’s a cute scarecrow driving this load of beautiful mums, pumpkins and other autumn decorations. Mums were brought to the United States back in colonial times and colors range from the traditional yellow shades to oranges, purples, and pinks.  Since they are  ‘short day plants’,  chrysanthemums bloom in the autumn when the nights are longer.  A pot of beautiful mums will brighten your life, or the life of a friend, for perhaps several months.

Sometimes a single tree can catch your eye as it glows like a ray of sunshine.  Here a golden maple tree is the center of attraction in someone’s beautiful yard. Temperature and moisture are the two elements that determine the amount and intensity of autumn colors. The most beautiful colors occur when there is a series of warm autumn days with cool, but not freezing nights…following a year of a warm, wet spring with normal summer rainfall. With those determining factors, every autumn brings about a new spectacular display.

Had to top off the day with a stop in West Lafayette at a favorite ice cream stand. Noticed that keeping with the season they had pumpkin ice cream, so had to give it a lick. Wasn’t sure if the pumpkin would be something to my taste, so had them put a scoop of raspberry on the bottom so there would definitely be something deliciously satisfying. Both flavors hit the spot!

Any season of the year is a great time for a drive through the countryside wherever you happen to live.  If  for some reason you can’t take a drive, stop back and read another gypsy jaunt here on Gypsy Road Trip. Enjoy the adventure!

Springtime at Salt Fork Lake

Gentle breeze blows across  Salt Fork Lake causing rippling waves to lap the shore.  The deep blue of the lake reflects the clouds and trees as their leaves appear in the most gorgeous shade of spring green.

This is the perfect place for meditation. Peace seems to reign as the world comes alive with Spring in all its glory.  Time to think about the future, relive pleasant memories of the past, and enjoy the moment. There is a feeling of freedom as the worries of everyday life seem to lift away and are replaced by calm within.

Others have the same idea as a picnic table at the edge provides a good photo setting for a young family as they too enjoy the beauties of Mother Nature.

Along the bank, a father and his young son are enjoying some quality time fishing together quietly.  The bond they build will last for a lifetime.

Water calms the spirit so this is a great place to relax all through the year.  When you need a place to get away from it all, take a drive to the dam at Salt Fork Lake and find some peace.

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