Tuesday, June 30, 2009


If you examine a current map of Richland County you will notice a slight bevel to the shape of the very southeast corner of our county. That bevel is the result of this treaty line—a line that defined the boundary between white settlement to the south and Indian Territory to the north in 1795.

If you look on east across a modern map showing Ohio’s counties you will see that same bevel on the northwest corner of Tuscarawas County. The original treaty line was a straight line extending slightly southwest across what is now known as Ohio and connecting the borders described above.

When counties were formed later their shapes violated this treaty line at the whim of local political considerations.

The US won the Battle of Fallen Timbers back then and negotiated this treaty with the vanquished Indians; giving them $20,000 worth of goods and domestic animals in return for which the US received much of what is now Ohio.

So, the next time you travel south on Bunker Hill South Rd., onto Doup Rd., then into Knox County you will be crossing this treaty line that once described the south end of Indian territory.
The picture above was taken about a mile east of Mt. Hope in Holmes County, just slightly north of the intersection of Winesburg Rd., and Township Rd., 652. Lady friend Joetta Goodman is standing in what was then Indian Territory. The photographer was not quite that brave.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A vertical one

Built in 1934, the fire tower still stands as the grand ole lady of the Mohican State Forest.

She was one of 45 such towers built beginning in 1924 and, until 1978, operated as fire lookout towers in Ohio’s forests.

“It’s hard to imagine now, but these acres were very lightly forested in the early 1920s; a time when much of the state had been clear cut.” Her task in that time gone by was to provide a platform to look over public lands that were newly planted with trees and areas where state foresters were encouraging a natural regeneration of woodlands explains the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on it's web site.

Back then, during periods of high fire danger, the cabins atop these lofty structures were manned by observers alert to smoke and fire. As Mark Welty, president of the Mohican Trails Club, (above) demonstrates, fire observers could use a device like the replica of an Osborne Firefinder pictured—invented in 1911—to pinpoint the relative bearing and distance of visible smoke, and alert fire crews.

The towers have not been used by observers since 1978. Improved telephone service and the use of aircraft in wildfire detection made the lookout towers obsolete.

“Time, weather and vandals took their toll on the wood and metal structures, in most instances rendering them unsafe for public access. Today, only seven of these historic structures remain standing in Ohio’s 20 state forests.”

The renovated 80-foot lookout tower in Mohican reopened to visitors in 2005.

The trails club assists forestry officials with maintenance of the fire tower and hosts visitors in the tower cab throughout pleasant weather periods. Go to their web site listed below and click on “Activities” for a listing of days when the tower will be staffed.

One recent Sunday I joined Mark for the 106 step climb to the tower cabin. I saw nothing but the handrails and steps during that ascent. You must realize I regard any elevation much above ground level—without the benefit of an airplane—extremely perilous.

But, once safely enclosed by the cabin I was treated to a terrific panorama of this rolling forest.

Peak fall colors, usually in early to mid October would be a visual gift to anyone willing to brave the climb.


A platoon of visitors swarms the Mohican fire tower on a recent Sunday morning in the small photo above. A visitor from Lordstown, OH (below) photographs an attractive display on Forest Fire Management located directly under the tower structure.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At Mohican

She’s 80 feet of steel and more than a 100 step climb to her lofty cabin.

And she stands proudly in the state forest willing to accommodate those brave souls who make the ascent with a dramatic panorama of the forest’s 4,520 acres. Please stop by Saturday and join us for the story on our recent visit.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

of daddy longlegs

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bellevue, OH Style

Railroad fans have a real treat in store when they visit the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue, OH.

And, what a hoot when an Earth-pounding, modern freight train rolls past on the Norfolk and Southern line immediately adjacent to the museum as you are pondering the replica of the first locomotive ever to operate in Ohio (top, small photo).

In the lead photo top, lady friend Joetta Goodman visits Pennsylvania Railroad US Mail railway car #6570. This car was built around 1910 in the Altoona, PA (my hometown) RR shops and was used until 1972. It is 75 feet long and weighs 65,000 pounds.

There is a high probability I rode that very mail car on its last run. When I was with the local newspaper I caught a train in Canton late one evening and rode back to Mansfield doing a feature story on the final run of the railroad’s mail service.

Wandering through the passenger and Pullman cars at the museum rattled my nostalgic bones. I clearly recall many train rides as a youth from Mansfield to Altoona for our annual visits and a periodic, family funeral.

In the next small photo visitors wander through the exterior component of the museum where nearly 40 RR cars, depots, switchman and telephone shanties, semaphores and a gandy dancer “chariot” or two are on display.

I was particularly moved when pondering a Troop Sleeper Car and seeing row after row of three-high bunks used to transport our soldiers off to wars in times long past.

In the third lower photo a visitor eases out of the Wheeling and Lake Erie RR, Curtice, OH depot which once stood on their main line south of Toledo. It was built in 1822 and was typical of small, wooden stations of the time.

Next below is a view of a dining car as Ms. Goodman ponders an imaginary menu in Amtrak’s #8002 Seaboard Airline Diner. This 48 seat car was built in 1939 and was used on their New York to Florida “Streamliners”.

Finally, a pair of vintage, wooden cabooses is on display along with an antique, Mack, Railway Express truck. The caboose, long gone from modern trains, was used for crew accommodations.

Many of the buildings and rolling stock displays were chock full of railroad memorabilia; more than ample to leave the visitor and the scholar as well with a clear sense of RR history.

I leaned against the wall in the Pullman sleeper and could clearly remember the rhythmic clickity-clack of the train’s wheels rolling across the track joints while the car swayed to the alignment of the ballast.

I could smell the diesel aroma and cherished the fancy of a young boy’s sense of adventure from those rides long-ago.

Editor’s Note: If you hover your mouse over the small photos you should be able to left click and see an enlarged image. Also, see: http://madrivermuseum.org/.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Saturday, Fogeyisms visits the very remarkable Mad River & NKP RR Museum in Bellevue, OH where, in the above photo, lady friend Joetta Goodman enjoys the display of a telegrapher’s position from days long gone.

The Mad River and Lake Erie RR was the first chartered railroad in Ohio and ran between Sandusky and Dayton. Their first train arrived in Bellevue in 1838. The museum site also was once the home of Henry M. Flagler who, in partnership with John D. Rockefeller, formed the Standard Oil Co.

Flagler used his wealth to develop the state of Florida by building his East Coast Railroad from Jacksonville to Key West.

Please stop by for an interesting peek at this marvelous facility.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Shortly after our first camping outing chronicled yesterday I had my local RV dealer take a peek at some over-winter evidence of water damage. What he found was there had been a leak for quite some time, the magnitude of which was not obvious.

But the consequences were severe. The roof will need replaced and, since water runs downhill, it is hard to estimate what additional damage could be found during the repair project.

These expenses could quickly and likely exceed the retail value of the camper, so, it is now on his lot, for sale, as-is.

He believes it could be a nice bargain for a handy-man with the skills to restore it to good health.

I hope it someday brings its new owner the pleasure it brought me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


On a recent weekend Fogeyisms launched itself on the inaugural camping expedition of the season. We joined Troy and Amy Adkins, my lady friend Joetta’s son-in-law and daughter, for an overnight frolic at the Mohican Adventures campground south of Loudonville.

We were received like VIPs by their hospitable staff and enjoyed an overnight stay in this, both well established and diamond-in-the-rough facility. They have about 120 newly constructed, full hook-up sites some 30 of which are in the buddy-camper design. You and your friends in another camper can park headed opposite directions with your awnings facing each other thus making for a cozy sharing of picnic tables, campfires, etc.

They have a 4.5 acre stocked lake and 300 tent camper spaces adjacent to the Mohican State Forest immediately south with access to the challenging mountain bike trail in the forest.

We were chauffeured to our campsite and soon discovered we had no electrical service. A phone call to the desk brought a near-immediate response, a newly installed breaker and an apology for our inconvenience.

At $30 a night for full hook-ups for two people, a boatload of amenities in the campground and a competent staff, we’ll go back--and recommend it without hesitation.

That’s my lady friend in the top photo striding briskly between our campers to assemble what turned out to be a pleasant bicycle ride on a newly constructed, mostly paved trail which, when completed, will run from the state park campground into downtown Loudonville. That trail passes directly in front of Mohican Adventures. It is an enjoyable ride now and will be even better when an under-construction bridge is completed this fall.

In the small photo, Troy and Amy pose for Amy’s birthday photo beside one of several pleasing waterfalls along a stream that bisects the facility.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Translation: The flowers (cones) of an Eastern White Pine tree. These magnificent trees grow to the towering height of near 100 feet in my mixed woods and, this time of year, their strobili (pictured above) produce pollen that often appears as a yellow cloud dancing on the breeze.

In our colonial period England claimed all white pines 24 inches in diameter and larger for ship masts of their naval fleet. They often achieve a diameter up to three feet at maturity. It is the state tree of Maine and Michigan.

Both male and female strobili occur on the same tree. Pollen generated by the staminate (male) cones fertilizes the pistillate (female) cones in which the seeds of mature pine cones will grow.

Historically this pine has been one of the most valuable lumber trees. It is easy to propagate and has been a major species for reforestation in the northeastern US and Canada.

It also has seen popular use in folk medicine. Colonists used the inner bark as an ingredient in cough remedies and early Native Americans used it as food.

The tree also is a great food and shelter source for a variety of wildlife species. In fact, no other conifer provides as much shelter and food. Turkeys like to browse on its sap. Cavity nesting birds such as owls like it for nest sites.

And, it is very common for me to find little piles of pine cone remnants where a squirrel has enjoyed its recent meal of seeds.

The folks at The Chattooga Quarterly put it thusly; “This tree is deeply rooted in its ecological niche, serving generously both human and wildlife needs.”

It surely makes the nuisance of a little yellow, springtime pollen pale in comparison to the good it creates.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


A walk in the woods at sunrise one recent morning produced the "Dew In The Woods" photo published Tuesday plus the above peek at the enchantment we enjoy on a daily basis. Saturday we will take a look at the towering Eastern White Pine trees that grace our woods; particularly their pollen generators which are acting in overdrive this time of year. We hope you will stop by for a visit.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I encountered this snapping turtle just after dark June 8th while she was laying her eggs on the face of my pond's dam. Please look at the blog of May 3, 2008 for some information on reproduction by these turtles. That story also contains links for additional reference material.

For you photo enthusiasts I did the picture with my Canon Rebel XTi, Digital SLR and a Canon EFS 17-85mm, image stabilized lens. Light was provided by a 3 D-cell Mag-Lite flashlight. The turtle's head is lower right and its carapace (upper left) fades into darkness. The granular looking green material on the head and shell is watermeal; a pond surface weed that clung to her as she climbed out of the water.

She quietly went about her task while I busied myself with the photography--with my apologies to her, of course.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Saturday, June 6, 2009


Source: Mansfield Semi-Weekly News; 22 November 1898, Vol. 14, No. 96

Submitted by Amy

“There are traditions that are not historically correct. For years past, it has been generally believed in these parts Lyon’s Falls were named for the old Indian chieftain Capt. Tom Lyons.

It may seem like uncalled for iconoclasm...to rob Lyon’s Falls of Indian traditions. But, history should be accurately given, and its correct narration is more instructive and can be as entertainingly told as though its warp were woven with the woof of fiction.

Lyon’s Falls are situated about 15 miles southeast of Mansfield. There are two falls, and the place, which has been a noted picnic resort for many years, is wild in its primitive forest and grand in its rugged picturesqueness.

During the past summer a party...whose names are conspicuous on the list of Mansfield’s “400”, took a day’s outing at these falls....A grave was pointed out to them as that of “the noted Lyons”, and like many others they inferred the Lyons buried there was the celebrated Indian chieftain of that name.

Upon their return to Mansfield they told entertainingly of the wooded hills and sylvan dells, of the over-hanging rocks and of the 80-foot leap of the waters from the edge of the precipice to the basin at the bottom of the chasm, casting its sprays into the cool grottos which the hand of nature chiseled out of the everlasting rocks.

And, the further fact the party had seen the grave of the great warrior lent additional interest to the story and to the locality.

With such allurements it was not long until another detachment of the “400” also visited these noted falls, and the gentlemen of the party fired volleys over the grave, danced a war-dance and gave Indian funeral whoops and came home satisfied they had held suitable commemorative ceremony over the earthly resting place of the body of an Indian chieftain.

(In fact) Tom Lyons, the Indian...was a noted character in the early history of Richland County and was killed by a young man named Joe Haynes to avenge the murder of a kinsman. He buried the old chief in Leedy’s swamp in the southern part of Jefferson Township (not at the falls).

The Lyons buried at the falls was Paul Lyons, a white man. He was not a hermit, as one tradition states; for he took to himself a wife, who bore him a son, and he did not particularly shun his neighbors, although he did not admit them into his confidence....

In about 1856 (Paul) Lyons, while assisting in hauling logs, met with an accident which resulted in his death and he was buried upon the hill, between the two water-falls....

A headboard, painted and lettered was put up at the grave but visitors shot marks at the board until it was riddled into slivers by bullets.... Later the body was exhumed and the skeleton mounted by a physician. A slight depression in the ground is now the only sign showing where that body had been interred.”

Contemporary Neanderthals continue defacing the falls area as shown in the small photo by grinding their initials into the sandstone formation. One of this ilk no doubt impressed his companions with his remarkable display of constructing a survival structure under the falls’ overhanging rock.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

...to Big Lyon’s Falls

The hike from the covered bridge in Mohican State Park to Big Lyon’s Falls is about a mile and encounters a sign proclaiming “The Stagecoach Trail” just before it reaches the falls. If I imagine the total absence of trees in the above photo I still cannot imagine a stagecoach ever negotiating the rugged rock formations to reach the falls.

Regardless of this curiosity the hike along the river and up through the hemlock studded rock formations is beautiful. Please join us Saturday for a peek at this popular, natural formation. You can even take a rest on the convenient bench (small photo) while you ponder the sounds of the river and the forest.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

This book advertised itself as “...an exploration of the Puritans and their journey to America....” I forced myself through this liberal bimbette’s drivel until she said, “But dig deeper into its (America’s) communitarian ethos and it reads more like an America that might have been....” She continued, “Of course, this America does exist. It’s called Canada.” whereupon I tossed this, ah, publication in the pile of pathetic rejects.

Strong Medicine by Arthur Hailey

Another in Hailey’s strong series which included Airport, Hotel, Overload, etc., this offering takes a compelling peek at the pharmaceutical industry. The lead character is Celia Jordan whose storied rise to the top of the business world is portrayed in page-turning fashion as Hailey always does. This is an old title of his but well deserving of a read if you have not had that pleasure yet.

With Wings Like Eagles by Michael Korda

Sub-titled “A History of the Battle of Britain”, Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson described the book thusly, “A gripping tale, brilliantly told of—as Korda so rightly puts it—the greatest battle of the twentieth century, and possibly, given the stakes, of all history.” He is, of course, referring to the great battle of WW II and what might have happened if Nazi Germany had prevailed. I agree. A good read.

No Angel by Jay Dobyns

Dobyns, a 20 year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, is the first Federal agent to infiltrate the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Black Biscuit is a 21 month operation that almost cost him his family and his life. This book takes a chilling peek at the lifestyle of this mostly outlaw crowd of cyclists.