Monday, September 10, 2018

200 Miles for Supper Conclusion

Hey Gang,

When Annette the librarian mentioned she was from Shawnee and it was the next town over I was excited. I first came upon Shawnee back in 1990 with Janet and Denise after a camping trip in Hocking Hills. It was always on my list of places to return.

Since then I have been on countless trips, crisscrossed Ohio many many times but I never returned to Shawnee until this year, only 28 years later. Though some things have stayed the same, I would just not venture into buildings like I did back then.

Shawnee in a way has more life today but sadly also more rundown. It does have a newly built furniture store, a pizza place and two or three other businesses plus some residents but a few of the buildings are no longer there and others look beyond repair.

Comparing it today to 1990 it was definitely more spooky 30 years ago which is a good way to describe it. None of the structures were torn down or fallen down, there were no new stores and many of the doors to the buildings were open. It had seemed like the residents just vanished. I still have a few old tin toys that were left in one of the buildings that we went into.

What chased us out back then I still remember vividly. I opened the door to one structure, started to enter, then I noticed an old man sitting on a couch watching TV. It unnerved us so bad we flew out of there. We didn’t know what we stumbled upon, if we were stealing or what.

Today there is one building/residence with a sign on the door that reads: DO NOT ENTER – SOMEONE LIVES HERE.  So maybe it still goes on today, people driving through thinking everything is abandoned.

I stayed about 20 minutes walking around Main Street and nowhere else. I don’t remember back in 1990 if we strayed off Main. The photos I have don’t help because I only have four from that trip. At that time you were limited to how many photos you could take because film rolls only had 24 or 36 shots. Digital cameras were still light years away.

After my walk about town in Shawnee I continued on Rt. 93 to Zainesville, Ohio which was on my way to my last destination Dillon State Park where I planned to grill supper then head home.

Close to the entrance of Dillon I spotted a car and on an impulse I bought it. I couldn’t help it. The car is a station wagon, has roll up windows with NO bells and whistles. How could I pass it up? So what make is it? That’s for another blogging or you may see me before then in your driveway in my lil’ red wagon.

video of my walk down Main in Shawnee.
Gotta Go-Go!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

200 Miles for Supper - part 2

Hey Gang,
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.
Gotta Go-Go!