Day 8: July 8, 2006
Through Ohio



I'm back in my own neighborhood or at least by own state and things are a little more familiar. Plus the schedule is starting to feel the effects of hanging out in DC and dawdling through Maryland. I'll probably pick up the pace a bit and slip by a few roadside attractions. Where appropriate, I'll point to previous trips on this website. I'll even start that off by pointing to a March drive that covered some of the same territory.

Back in March, the main street in Morristown was gravel and I kind of knocked the town for it. Apparently the gravel was there in anticipation of the new paving that is now in place. The first picture is of Church Street which was originally Zane's Trace and the second on Main Street where the National Road came through. The Black Horse is still for sale.

I-70 actually overlaid much of US-40 in this area and the first picture shows a bit of the old four lane near exit 202 that escaped being covered over. Its east end does disappear under the interstate, however. The west bound lanes are completely abandoned and the former east bound lanes now serve local two way traffic. The second picture looks across all four lanes at a truck passing on I-70. In between, there is an older brick alignment that has become someone's driveway.

This is Fairview where the Ohio Historical Society's guide book says I can get a Guernsey County guide at the post office. I stop but then postmaster says he knows nothing about a guide. But I'm barely down the ramp when he comes out with the guide in his hand. The guides were hidden by something and he forgot they were there. I thought it was pretty cool that he would run outside to make sure I got a guide.

The Pennyroyal Opera House is in Fairview and, when I stopped by, Ken was moving some plants out in the sun. He let me inside and told be that they had been kicking up a storm the night before. Audie Blaylock & Redline had been there putting out some "hard drivin' Bluegrass". The next show is August 25th and home cooked food is available before all shows. The plants Ken was carrying were, of course, Pennyroyal. Pennyroyal Oil, a cure all, was once a big business for the town and naming the town's current big business, the opera house, after it seems logical. Since a lot of people (me, for one) don't know what Pennyroyal looks like, Ken puts a couple of pots of it on the stage for each show.

When I was a kid, Hopalong Cassidy was my hero. I remember a Hoppy belt that I wore long after it had become unreadable. I think part of the attraction was that he was a good guy but always wore black. Had kind of a weird hat, too. His name appeared on 2400 different products and in 1950 he made over a million dollars from endorsements. That was from an 8% cut and was at a time when a million dollars still meant something. The most expensive item he endorsed was a bicycle. It sold for $59.95 when twenty bucks would but a darned good bike.

Hopalong's alter ego, William Boyd, was born in Hendrysburg, OH, and there is a festival in nearby Cambridge on the first weekend of every May. There is also a museum that consists of two filled rooms in the back of an "antique mall". A lot of those "antiques" are related to guys like Hopalong, Roy Rogers, & Gene Autry and the museum does bring in some potential customers. Howard doesn't push merchandise on museum visitors and is there if you need him.

The S-bridge at Peters Creek was in pretty bad shape when I was here in March. Metal supports were required to keep it from collapsing. It is now being taken apart and the stones identified for later reassembly. I stopped a few miles down the road at the Nation Road Museum, Alan King showed me a newspaper clipping about the project. The completion date of the million dollar project was not specified.

Having been there just three months ago, I skipped the displays at the museum and just bought a couple of books. I'd heard good things about Mickey's (all true) so stopped there for lunch. Then it was pretty much straight through Zanesville with jut the picture of the mid-river turn.

A shot of the Ohio State House and one of the oversized National Road mile marker that was a side affect of its renovation.

I didn't spend much time in Springfield, either. I grabbed a picture of the Pennsylvania House which I visited a couple of weeks ago. Some pictures from that visit are here. Not long ago, I also did a drive of the Dayton Cutoff which starts about a block east of the Pennsylvania House. That's covered here. One other Springfield & National Road related page has pictures of the recent Tin Can Tourist stop. Look here for that.

The Madonna of the Trail in Springfield was the first one dedicated. One reason for placing Ohio's Madonna in Springfield was that this was where the federal funding ended.

North of Dayton, two dams interrupt the straight run of US-40. The first picture is facing east across the Taylorsville Dam and the second is facing west across the Englewood Dam. There are stories of a ghostly apparition sending truckers to their death over the dam's edge. They are false, of course, but there is something behind them. In 1952, truckers told of crossing the Englewood Dam when the headlights would suddenly go out on an approaching car and other lights would go on to illuminate a skeleton driving. Men were badly shaken but no one ever drove off the dam and, although Sheriff Shuman took the reports and probably staked out the dam a few times, no one was ever caught. The stories did give Jim Colegrove a good idea for a song.

Some pictures from my own visits to the parks associated with these two dams are here (Taylorsville) and here (Englewood).

Each year, around the Fourth, my family has a pig roast that serves as a sort of informal family & friends reunion. I knew that today was the day and Aunt Phyllis even called to remind me. I missed her call but returned it from the parking lot of the National Road Museum. She had talked to my Dad in the meantime and knew I was out of town. We talked awhile and that was that. But, as I got closer to the Indiana line, I started doing some calculating. I would be crossing the road leading to the pig roast about 7:30 and it would be about fifteen miles away. Things would be pretty much over but the might still be some folks around. I decided to give it a shot.

Turns out that there were quite a few people still there. The cooker was all cleaned and the euchre games had been going on for quite awhile. Even the kids were starting to wind down. But there was still plenty of pork and trimmings and Cousin Mark turned me on to the last piece of his mom's pecan pie. Best detour I ever made. .

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