Ohio was a center of manufacturing for the U.S. in the 19th and especially the 20th century because of our rich resources. You can learn about the steel industry that was such a part of our culture, especially in Youngstown, Ohio. Additionally, you can check out the so-called “last heats” or final batches of steel poured at each of the mills before their closings. Experience all this and more at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor.
One feature of the museum is its photography collection—the varied subject matter of the photographs detail the culture of labor, immigration and urban history. Artifacts include workers clothing and tools. Other photographs are life size and recreate scenes from urban life, such as a mill locker room, a company-built house and the work floor of a blooming mill. All of this is intended to help visitors understand the lives of steel workers and their profession.
The Historical Center also offers educational programs and there is access to the archives and library. The archives are a node in the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers and includes government records, manuscripts authored by workers, companies and labor organizations.
The historical center is managed by Youngstown State University.
At the Buckeye Furnace in southeastern Ohio you can see how pig iron was made during the Civil War era. The furnace is a recreated, charcoal fired blast furnace. This is just one of many that once operated in southeastern Ohio in the Hanging Rock Iron Region. Visitors will learn how these so-called iron making towns helped win the Civil War for the Union.
This 270-acre site contains lots of things to explore. The furnace is the main attraction. It was originally built in 1852 and went cold in 1894. There are other reconstructed buildings and a museum to visit. And if you’ve still got the energy the site has beautiful nature trails to explore.
After the down slide of salt0making in the area (from about 1795-1826) the local economy defaulted to agriculture. Despite the fact that natural resources were abundant in the area no one was taking advantage of them. Specifically, there were isolated parts of southeastern Ohio with iron deposits. This of course led to a limited production period of iron. Between the 1830s and 1840s a total of sixteen furnaces were built to take advantage of these resources.
While several of these original furnaces still stand, Buckeye’s is the only one that remains as it was during its operation.
Ohio’s flag, adopted in 1902, is often known as the Ohio Burgee for its swallow tail design—which has most often been employed in the design of maritime signal flags. The Ohio Burgee is the only non-rectangular flag in the United States.
John Eisenmann, a Cleveland architect, was selected to design the Ohio State exhibition hall for the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York in 1901. Eisenmann also designed what would become the Ohio Burgee only a year later, as a flag to represent the Ohio Pan-American Exposition Commission, not the entire state. But in 1902, after the Governor, George K. Nash, had visited the exposition and been presented with one of the flags, State Representative William McKinnon introduced House Bill 213 creating Eisenmann’s design the official state flag.
Eisenmann’s design was so literally so “outside the box”, not being of the standard state-seal-on-a-sheet design the press actually went overseas to find precedents for the design – the layout being compared to Cuba’s flag or the flag of the Philippines, while the red and white annulus was chastised for its easy comparison to the Japanese flag.
Though still sometimes considered unpopular and not often flown by Ohioans, the Burgee remains one of the most unique flags in the Union.
An Ohio Spring means so many things to so many different people, but one thing that means a lot to Ohioans whether veteran bird watchers or casual nature lovers is the returning of the sights and sounds of our bird populations. Across our great state a multitudinous variety of birds will be found celebrating, nesting and hatching as the warm weather graces our state. Others, however, just make a pit stop in there spring journey north.
“Ohio Memory” has in its archives a one of a kind item that chronicles one years’ worth of bird watching, it is known as “Pal Book” and was kept by Opal Ashcraft who lived in Mercer County. She kept the birding memoir for her birding pal, Arlene Keunkel in Knox County (hence the title “Pal Book”). The “Pal Book” dates from December to December 1949-50. It appears as black three-ring binder, but inside reveals itself to be a treasure box of love—love of birds and friendship. The pages contain not only journal entries, but color pencil drawings, photographic snap shots, news paper and various clippings, pressed flowers and even bird feathers.
Opal collects all of this to chronicle the birds she hears and sees in Fort Recovery, her rural home, in addition to what she observers in her travels to the surrounding communities.
Opal’s reporting on April rub-crowned kinglets, nuthatches, juncos, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, starlings, herons, meadowlarks, field sparrows, and flickers—to name a few. Opal also writes often of a friend “Pete”. He is a woodpecker who made a home of a garden post in Opal’s yards and she writes fondly of his life and loves throughout the seasons.
The “Pal Book” chronicles with the same depth of devotion and love the stories of her farm, family the community and her friends. She speaks of books she is reading and makes beautiful observations and sketches of nature in general.