I left off with telling you I was going to take you on a walk through New Straitesville and Shawnee but before we do I like to say hope you had a terrific ending to the summer travel season. For me this holiday weekend was a bust. I had two sets of plans fall through so I ended up working on Labor Day. And like this summer if I had to label it it would be called the nonexistent holiday.
Thank goodness I got out and about last weekend.
OK let’s check out New Straitesville. After Logan I stayed on Rt. 93 through Wayne National Forest which took me to New Straitesville the home of the Moonshine Festival, the largest mine fire, and the birthplace of the miners’ union. New Straitesville like Shawnee and hundreds of other towns across America seen its heyday abruptly end once industry closed, in this case coal. The people left in search of work and never looked back.
It was about 2 pm when I entered New Straitesville. It was so quiet.
I took a leisurely walk through town. On some of the empty buildings there was a photo taped to the window of what the building looked like years ago. People properly dressed, crowding stores but today it’s mostly abandoned. While walking I saw a man on a riding lawn mower putsing through town on his way to the newly opened Dollar General. And he didn’t even look out of place.
The one store that really got my curiosity up was a local drug store/convenience store/burger joint, not sure what to call it. The place is abandoned but it seems with a turn of the key it could be opened tomorrow. The old Coke signs are still on the wall, the counter and stools still look good. I wonder what those shakes and burgers tasted like?
I then went for a walk to see the museum which was closed so instead I took a short hike to see Robinson’s Cave where the miners secretly organized.
From there I spotted the library so I stopped to check on business emails. Their library is tiny but it did have computers. After reading emails I had a nice conversation with Annette one of the head librarians.
She explained that New Straitesville at one time was the moonshine capital of the world. That explains why they have a festival dedicated to moonshining. I found that fascinating as I always thought it would be in Kentucky or Tennessee. Above their book cases is a collection of souvenir plates from their Moonshine Festivals through the years.
In another room of the library is a section devoted to the local history with many enlarged photos of years ago.
If you are ever in the area stop by and say hi to Annette, but don't look for a lady wearing an orange shirt I am sure she has changed it. She will definitely give you the rundown on the local history. She now lives in Shawnee which is the next town I would pass through.
Here are some videos of New Straitesville. The video inside the library you will never see Annette, she did not want to be on camera.Also I had some issues with editing the YouTube videos so I am posting them as it. Seems that YouTube has gotten rid of some of their easy editing tools. I was hoping to combine all of them into one video. If you can help me shoot me an email and let me know how.
Next posting Shawnee.