Category Archives: Local History

The Charity Newsies?

I’ve been cleaning junk drawers and came across three envelopes, each containing a money folder and a crisp new “Christmas Dollar.” Apparently, they were a money making project of a newspaper related charity out of Columbus called, Charity Newsies.  It seems that the Big Bear chain of groceries, which I think is now defunct, had something to do with sponsorship.

It appears the deal was to take a factory fresh dollar bill and paste the face of Santa over George’s. Wrap it all in a nice bundle and sell it for more than a dollar.

We have no recollection of when or where we acquired these but maybe some of you can shed light on it.


August West, Alexander Beatty, & Abolition Lane

There are some great stories regarding African American History in and around Greenfield. When I first returned to teach in South Salem I began to learn about the area’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. I drove a school bus route and there were several homes along the route that were reported to have once been so-called stations on the road. Same thing in Greenfield. My cousin lived in a home on Jefferson St that had been a stopping point for slaves escaping the South. Books have been written and the Greenfield Historical Association has substantial files regarding the village’s role in the movement. The area had been, maybe because of a sizable Quaker population, a hotbed of abolitionist activity.

Continue reading August West, Alexander Beatty, & Abolition Lane

Patterson v. Board of Education of Greenfield, 1886

I originally published this as part of Black History Month in February 2009. I’ve since forgotten the source but thought it interesting enough to reprise for the 2019 event. While many may know of the Patterson family’s association with early transportation they may not be aware of their helping to change the laws regarding education in Ohio.

State of Ohio on relation of C. R. Patterson vs. The Board of Education of the Incorporated Village of Greenfield, Ohio, and W. G. Moler as Superintendent

Much has been written about the Patterson family and their work in the carriage and automobile business. Here is little-known information about the Pattersons. It shows the importance that C. R. placed on education and how Frederick came to be the businessman that he was.

Continue reading Patterson v. Board of Education of Greenfield, 1886

The Marching Mothers of Hillsboro

Click photo for info about The Hillsboro Story.

Several years ago we went to Southern State Community College for a performance of Susan Banyas’ play, The Hillsboro Story. It was about a protest by Hillsboro, Ohio’s black community regarding segregation of the town’s schools. In going through my records I came upon a series of photos I took and among them was one of two ladies who I think played some part in what became known as the Marching Mothers. Can anyone tell me more about this and the two women? I believe one’s name is Goodrich and the other Young.


Highland’s Bicentennial

The village of Highland will be marking its bicentennial in September of this year. Since many of us have connections to there it’s important that we share with them in their celebration. Here’s a flyer with all the details. I’m sure more will be made known as the date nears.

highland celebration poster

Wanna’ learn some local history?

The Arc of Appalachia is holding a series of programs regarding the ancient peoples who once inhabited much of our area. The Mound Builders who constructed such places as Seip Mound, Fort Ancient, Fort Hill, and the Great Serpent Mound.

Complete information may be found at their website:

arc of appalachia logo

The Melungeons of Carmel

Larry 'n NassauA few days ago there was a Facebook discussion between two individuals whose ancestors lived in the area around Carmel, Ohio. Back in 2002 I did a little research on that area, specifically about the Melungeon or Carmelite population that once were so common there. The result was published as a column in the Times-Gazette newspaper and raised a little stink because several Melungeons descendants, having never heard the term, thought I was calling them a name. In fact, I unknowingly was calling them a name by using the term Carmelite, which they perceived as being a derogatory term. Anyway, I decided to reprise the article which was based on a statistical study of these people and interviews with primary sources. Here’s the column as it was published eleven years ago.

“It would have been difficult growing up in this area and not heard of the Carmelite Indians who lived in and around the Highland County village of Carmel. I had always heard of these peoples but like many others, never knew much about them.

Continue reading The Melungeons of Carmel

Life in Lynchburg, Parts 1, 2, & 3

I got to looking around for information about a theater in Lynchburg and came across three YouTube videos of life in that fair village during what I’d guess to be the late 1930s. Even though I don’t recognize anyone it is a great flashback to a time and way of life long gone. Something any up and coming geezer could Continue reading Life in Lynchburg, Parts 1, 2, & 3

Jeff’s Corner, Where Everybody Knew Your Name

The walls were covered with carpet remnants donated by Dave Cokonougher, and the floor covered with peanut shells. It was a dark little room, formerly a barbershop operated by “Red” Barr. But it was a little lighter when the nail keg-covered lights were turned on, as well as a couple of beer signs and the small TV.

Table tops were old wooden spool ends placed atop single-leg, four-footed table bottoms that never held the tops level, and the L-shaped bar accommodated only seven tall bar stools purchased on Water Street in Chillicothe. Under the bar was a three-tap keg cooler purchased from Marian Wise, and one of the taps spewed “dark” beer mandated by Larry Chapman and a few other beer connoisseurs. Continue reading Jeff’s Corner, Where Everybody Knew Your Name

Dave Miley’s Greenfield

Dave Miley

A former Greenfield resident, Terri Bergen Robledo, recently began a group page on Facebook called Greenfield Ohio Friends Forever (GOFF). It has become very popular and much of the discussion focuses on remembrances of days gone by in our version of small-town America.

Several years ago long-time Greenfield resident, Dave Miley, penned a series of stories about his days growing up in our fair village. They were originally published on the now deactivated site where they remained archived.

With the interest shown by the GOFF group in reminiscing about the past I thought this might be a good time to reprise Miley’s stories. Hopefully they will bring a smile to anyone’s lips who ever grew up in a small, close, community.

Click HERE to read Dave’s stories.

Lynchburg a Tough Gig for the Pickers!

Dave Shaffer with pickers Mike & Frank

Many of you watched our Highland County neighbor, Lynchburg, be featured on last week’s episode of American Pickers. The pickers toured Lynchburg resident, David Shaffer’s, collection of all-things dusty but failed to pry Dave’s fingers from any of his prized possessions. One item in Shaffer’s collection is a Vincent motorcycle from the 1940s. He was offered $30k but decided it couldn’t be replaced and apparently didn’t need the cash. If you’ve ever been in Lynchburg, Dave’s store, more of a warehouse, is a downtown storefront with large glass windows. It is a kick just to press your nose against the glass and relive your transportation past. I’ve done it a couple of times and Continue reading Lynchburg a Tough Gig for the Pickers!

Physical Education Classes, circa 1918 McClain HS

Nate Cockerill tipped me off to these photos taken in the gymnasium at McClain High School, Greenfield, OH, in 1918. The physical education instructor in the boys photo was L.C. Bundgaard. If you attended McClain into the 1970s you’ll recall the various pieces of equipment seen in these photos. They were taken in what is now called the “old” gym and none of the exercise equipment seen here remains. Look closely and notice the absence of any obese students.



Colored News!

I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide just how far we’ve come but, while doing some research in the Hillsboro Press Gazette archives, I discovered their social news section, as recently as 1942, contained a regular column titled Colored News. Certainly a part of the “good ole’ days” we don’t need to revisit.

Colored News from 1939 Hillsboro Press Gazette.