Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Wills Creek’

Summer Relaxation at Seneca Lake

Step away from the hustle and bustle of life. Relax as you drift along on the placid water of Seneca Lake, the third largest inland lake in Ohio, touching Guernsey and Noble Counties. Not many places still provide such a peaceful atmosphere.

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

Built in 1937 to control floods on the Seneca Branch of Wills Creek, today Seneca Lake Park provides the perfect place for a permanent camping spot, a getaway weekend, or just an evening escape.You can hear the pride in their voices as residents and frequent campers tell about the wonders of Seneca Lake.

Here you can find entertaining things to occupy your time, or sit in the shade of a tree and watch the world go by. Being at Seneca Lake makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of this regular busy world, and been given permission to unwind.

Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake under a cloud filled sky

When you think about going to the lake, boating, fishing, and swimming come to mind. And those things are all part of the charm of Seneca Lake, which some call East Central Ohio’s Playground. But there’s more.

Seneca Lake Fish Hatchery

Aerial view of the Senecaville Fish Hatchery and its 37 ponds.

Here you will also find the Senecaville State Fish Hatchery, which supplies fish- over twenty million in April alone – to over fifty different lakes as well as the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers. They have 37 one-acre ponds where walleye, saugeye, hybrid striped bass and channel catfish are raised.

Their campground has the honor of being the fullest campground in the Muskingum Watershed District. Once people discover this treasure, they come back frequently. There are a limited number of rental cabins, so bring along your tent or camper for a pleasurable stay.

Seneca Lake Beach

Families enjoy the activities of the beach area.

The recently installed water toy makes the beach even more fun for the children.It resembles the American Ninja Warrior Course and keeps the children squealing with pleasure.

Moms can sit under the shade of a tree while keeping an eye on the children. A concession stand nearby provides cool drinks and snacks as needed. If you decide to have a family gathering, a shaded picnic area complete with grills and picnic tables is located very close to the beach.

Their campground has the honor of being the fullest campground in the Muskingum Watershed District. Once people discover this hidden treasure, they come back again and again. There are a limited number of cabins for rent,so you might want to bring along your tent or camper for a pleasurable stay.

Seneca Lake Pontoon

Rent a pontoon boat at the marina for an enjoyable ride around the lake.

Seneca Lake is a Boater’s Paradise, where courtesy is practiced on the water. There are some special places that are only available by boat, such as a boater’s beach, volleyball sand bar and picnic on the Big Island.

If you need a way to get out on the water for the day, Seneca Lake Marina has pontoons, kayaks, canoes and fishing boats available for rent. With 3,550 acres of water, ski boats, jet skis, and sail boats will most likely drift past. You can rent a boat for a couple hours or a few days.

Seneca Lake Marina

Dockside Restaurant provides a great place to relax here at the Marina.

Need a vacation from cooking? Dockside Restaurant provides a menu where you might enjoy Big Island Nachos, Camp Fire Fries, or BBQ delights from their smoker which are sure to please your family. Have a delicious meal while sitting out on the deck with a grand view of the lake.

Seneca Lake Crane 2

A sand crane takes a stroll along the water’s edge.

While there you might spot the nest of an osprey, watch a sand crane feed along the water’s edge, or see numerous varieties of ducks and geese floating along with the boats. Wonder what animals are lurking in the surrounding woods?

The best feature of Seneca Lake may be that it’s family friendly. Everyone looks out for everyone else. For those who enjoy time near or on the water, Seneca Lake Park is a great place for a family picnic  or a hike on one of their many hiking trails. It’s one of those special places that families return to year after year.

Be soothed by the water of Seneca Lake sometime soon.

 

 

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Cambridge Ohio Union Depot – Then and Now

Early Cambridge Union Staton - 1907

Early Cambridge Union Staton – 1907

Long ago the railroad station at Cambridge, Ohio was a hub of activity. Originally, the Baltimore & Ohio Depot was located on the first floor of the Depot Hotel at 444 Wheeling Avenue. However, the most recent railroad station, Cambridge Union Station, was built by the B & O and Pennsylvania Railroads in 1907. According to local train historian, Dave Adair, this special railroad station had an identical twin built by B&O Railroad at Washington, Indiana. Today Cambridge Union Station remains along the tracks, but stops are no longer made there…only memories remain.

Deliveries of mail and goods were made at the train depot around the clock for fifty-four years. Mail was placed in a mail cart, then pulled by mule up the hill to the post office, which was then located where Pavlov’s Music is today. Orders placed at Sears or Montgomery Ward were usually delivered the next day, and often residents would eagerly wait by the tracks for their arrival. For those who could not meet the train, delivery services, like those run by Billy Singer, met the train daily for home deliveries.

Imagine the thrill of a memorable school field trip on the train. Such was the case with first grade students from Glass Plant School, who enjoyed riding the rails to New Concord. There they visited the home of their teacher, Miss Daniels, enjoying milk and cookies along with a view of her flower garden. Before the return trip to school, a walking tour of Muskingum College campus impressed the youngsters.

Memorial Plaque at Cambridge Union Depot

Memorial Plaque at Cambridge Union Depot

My family would drive to town in their pick-up truck to get cardboard cartons of baby chicks that arrived on the train. Mom always went along to stop at Thompson Feed Mill for feed for the chickens. She wanted to be sure to get feed sacks that would match the ones she was using to make some kitchen curtains or pillowcases.

Those were the days when people used the train instead of an automobile for trips to far off Zanesville and even Columbus. A friend recalled  the thrill of riding the rails to Zanesville to visit her eye doctor. Another remembered trips to Lazarus in Columbus via the train as a family adventure.

Dad often talked of hopping on the train to Chicago. Back in 1958, the cost of a one way ticket was $19.85, which included an overnight Pullman car. Have to wonder if in his younger days, Dad rode in the Pullman or perhaps in a boxcar?

While the tracks are still active today, no stops are made at the lonesome depot. Outside the depot stands a memorial placed there in 1926 by the Daughters of the American Revolution to remind visitors of the beginnings of Cambridge. In the earliest times, crossing of Wills Creek was made by ferry, the first real business in Cambridge. Nearby, Ezra Graham established Ferry Cabin, the first house built in Cambridge back in 1798.

Double Covered Bridge over Wills Creek

Postcard view of Double Covered Bridge over Wills Creek

Crossing Wills Creek near the station, was the original Double Covered Bridge that carried people and animals down the Old National Trail from 1828-1913. That early bridge was somewhat dangerous to cross as the timbers often were displaced by floods, causing the bridge to frequently lean. Cost to cross the bridge was twelve cents. Soon nearby, a tavern and hotel were built and Cambridge got its beginnings.

Cambridge Union Station - 2014

Cambridge Union Station – 2014

Union Station is still a great place to visit and feel the old memories that live there. Once in a while a train passes by so you might get a friendly wave from the engineer. As you stroll around the depot, notice the viaduct where that double covered bridge used to cross. Let your eyes wander to Wills Creek and imagine a steamboat going down those waters. Life then was certainly different than what we experience now.

Cambridge Union Station is located in Cambridge, Ohio just off Route 40, the Old National Road. It sets on the west side of the present viaduct near the corner of Wheeling Avenue and 4th Street. Since it is right along the railroad tracks, you can’t miss it!

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. 

90th Birthday Words of Wisdom “Family first and always”

Luella's favorite photo of herself

Luella’s favorite photo of herself

How does it feel to be 90 years old? “I love it!” exclaimed Luella Polcyn of Coshocton, Ohio as she celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends.  Now ninety candles on a cake could cause quite a flame, so they wisely scheduled the party at Three Rivers Fire House – just in case!

When she blew out the candles at her 80th birthday party, someone asked her what she had wished for. She quickly replied, “I wished everyone of you would be at my 90th birthday celebration.” Now she wants a repeat performance at age 100.

Luella began school at the age of four, walking with her brother Charles along the narrows of Wills Creek to school at Tyner in Guernsey County, Ohio. They walked about a mile each way in all kinds of weather to get their education at this one room school.

The family moved to Colorado when she was ten. Seven people fit in that 1928 Olds – their first car with glass windows – with the trip taking seven days. She graduated from high school at the age of sixteen in Colorado Springs before going to Blair Business College. That was quite the education for a young lady at that time.

Some of Luella's grandchildren look over her 90th birthday cake.

Some of Luella’s grandchildren look over her 90th birthday cake. She still likes sweets!

Her first job at sixteen was a waitress at a restaurant. They were allowed to eat one free meal a day including dessert. Luella has always had a sweet tooth and dessert is sometimes her entire meal these days, but then she just couldn’t resist having ice cream on her pie…two desserts. That time her sweet tooth got her fired, even though it seemed to her that they had plenty of each.

At a carnival in Colorado Springs, she met the man who was to be her husband, Louie Polcyn, and was married in 1942.  Two years later, Louie was off to WWII and stationed in Burma where he was a mule skinner. While he was at war, Luella worked at the Nabisco Cracker Company for 46 cents an hour. Somehow with the $30 Louie sent home from his military pay each month, and her working at Nabisco, Luella saved $1,000, which was used for down payment on a house. They also bought a Model A Ford about that time, and she remembers that the gas prices were 10-12 cents a gallon.

Luella's family made this quilt especially for her birthday.

Luella’s family made this quilt especially for her 90th birthday.

At the age of 50, Luella found a job that would change her life. Her children were raised and she began working at Frontier Airlines. Now she was traveling to places she had previously only dreamed of – Rome, Russia, Mexico, Portugal, Alaska, and many more. She was footloose and fancy free.

Now Luella enjoys relaxing at home so a beautiful autumn leaf quilt was made by members of the family – one square at a time. Luella has made many quilts over the years and all the family has enjoyed a gift quilt for some special occassion – birthday, graduation, wedding, new baby and the list could continue. So today they thought it fitting to reward her wtih a quilt they made especially for her. Each person who assisted wrote their name on one of the leaves. Before the party was finished, everyone in attendance had written their name and good wishes on the back of the quilt. Now on a cold winter’s day, Luella will be surrounded with the love of her family and friends.

This 90 year old lady has seen many changes over her lifetime. Some would automatically expect that all the new technology would be the biggest change, but Luella says that is not so. To her the biggest difference in today’s world is how people treat each other and have lack of consideration for another person’s life. She never thought she would see the crime we have today.

Luella surrounded by her children: Gladys, Randy, Greg, and John.

Luella surrounded by her children: Gladys, Randy, Greg, and John.

Her greatest accomplishlment in life, however, is her loving family. Their love of children shines through with every addition to the family, and there have been plenty of those. Besides her four children, who came to the celebration from Colorado, Hilliard, Ohio, and Coshocton, Luella has 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren.  She tells everyone, “One thing you should never forget – family first and always.”

Ohio’s Scenic Seneca Lake Park Gem of the Appalachians

Seneca Lake under a cloud filled sky

Seneca Lake under a cloud filled sky

Drifting into a peaceful world is something everyone would hope to do. At beautiful Seneca Lake in the foothills of the Appalachians, this is not only a possibility, but a likelihood.

Senecabille State Fish Hatchery

Senecaville State Fish Hatchery

Created in 1937, Seneca Lake Park in southeastern Ohio is part of the Muskingum Water Conservatory. This dam was originally constructed to contain floods on the Seneca Branch of Wills Creek. Here over 3,550 acres of water are filled with fish, boats, swimmers and fishermen!  The main entrance to the park leads you past the dam and the fish hatchery, which has 37 one-acre ponds.

New water toy at the beachHeaded up over the hill and through the woods, you arrive at the entrance to the beach and picnic area. This is a spot where family reunions have been held for over seventy years  Picnic baskets always overflowed with fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and homemade pie or cake during those long ago reunions. The shady picnic area made for an inviting place for moms and dads to visit while the children enjoyed the playground or swam at the nearby beach. An awesome water toy installed in 2013 provides a special place for the young ones to play

Many call this their summer home, as cabins are frequent along the shores. Boat docks are placed nearby home locations, since most campers want the pleasure of drifting on the waters for a relaxing get-away. There are a wide variety of homes in this rural area ranging from small cabins to elegant residences.

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

But perhaps you would rather rough it a little and stay in your camper or even your tent. There are 513 campsites available if you prefer getting back to nature. Some of those tent sites are located near the beach. If you are wanting a vacation from cooking as well, The Dockside Restaurant at the entrance to the campground provides delicious food with the choice of dining inside, or perhaps on the deck overlooking the lake..

The Bar where friends meet

The Bar where friends meet

If you are going out for the day, you might want to rent a canoe or kayak at Ray’s for a reasonable daily rate. Then you can guide yourself into the many coves, or float around the island where many  stop for a picnic or party. There is a second swimming area called “The Bar”, where boats are anchored while children and adults jump overboard and enjoy cooling off in the fresh water lake.

Water skiing is another popular summer time activity. One young man didn’t quite make the attempted turn and landed in the lake. When he climbed back on the boat, he was alarmed to find a blue gill in his swimming trunks. His friends won’t let him forget that story.

Seneca Lake, the third largest inland lake in Ohio, is definitely a Gem in the Appalchian area.

Seneca Lake Park is located approximately thirteen miles south of Cambridge off I-70. Take exit  #37 to Buffalo and Senecaville and proceed straight ahead at the four way stop in Senecaville. The main entrance to the park it just a few miles down the road on the right hand side. Watch for signs!

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