Hope, Ohio and the Hope Furnace

Hope, OH still stands but under the waters of Lake Hope. Hope, OH was flooded up the side of cliff as part of a flood control project. Other Ohio ghost towns met a similar fate. Lake Hope is now part of a state park and recreation area.

Two structures from Hope remain. The one-room schoolhouse isn’t far from the park inside the state forest. It has been renovated and is now used as a community meeting place. Inside the park itself the Hope Furnace still stands which was once used to smelt iron ore that was mined in the hills nearby.

There is a third structure, south of the schoolhouse on Wheelabout Road is an abandonded church which is in very poor condition and it is not recommended people go inside it.

Along with these structures there was once a post office named Hope Furnace which was built in 1865 and ran until 1890.

The Hope Furnace is an important historical marker for the region. Located northeast of Zaleski Village along SR 278 it is one of two extant iron furnaces in Vinton County. It ran for 20 years between 1854 and 1874 to smelt iron ore. It ran on coal or charcoal for fuel. It somewhat resembles a skinny pyramid and is made out of sandstone.

Like other iron furnaces of the time in region, Hope Furnace was once surrounded by a community of hundreds of residents as the production of iron and supplying of goods and services for the area required many workers and small business owners. Now no structures of the community remain; however, many artifacts can still be found in the area.

Restored Schoenbrunn Village, Home of Historic Ohio Firsts

The Schoenbrunn Village is the site of many historic Ohio events and many firsts. The first settlement, church, schoolhouse and code of laws were all created in Schoenbrunn. The village has been restored to resemble what it looked like two centuries ago. This includes the original cemetery along with sixteen rebuilt log buildings along with a church and gardens. Non-historical buildings include a visitor center and museum.

Schoenbrunn Village was first founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission among the Delaware Native Americans. It was the first Christian settlement in all of Ohio. The villagers were successful in living there for a few years however encroaching settlers and natives aligned with the British forced the settlers to abandon their village in 1777.

David Zeisberger established the village. He had found a unique pocket of neutral land in a part high tense part of North America as the American Revolution geared up.

Five Native American families and Zeisberger traveled to the Tuscarawas River and found a suitable place for the mission in the Ohio countryside. It was here villagers established a school and a civil code—both the first in Ohio. Toward the end of its short history villagers were hassled by British loyal natives and the frontier folk pushing further west into North America.

By 1777 the villagers could no longer deal with the opposing forces and abandoned their village and ruined their meetinghouse upon leaving so that no harassers could use it in their absence.

The Schoenbrunn Village is currently run by the local organization, Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.



The Premiere Bird Sanctuary of Ohio

Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a private non-profit organization that was founded in 1988. The Sanctuary was originally run from the private farm of Chris & Gail Laux.

It started off as just three small enclosures, but over the next 10 years four flight cages were designed and built to condition recovering raptors for release and additional enclosures were constructed to house the growing educational collection.

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a safe space for all Ohio’s native birds. It is also a nature preserve and a “living museum”. The dedicated team cares for and rehabilitates Ohio native birds and protect the natural habitat.

They also are creating opportunities to explore nature. The achieve this through educating the public and by providing family-friendly and school-based programs. They also do this by managing a 90 acre preserve and caring for sick and injured birds.

The sanctuary is open Saturdays at 1PM for Bird Encounters. Get a chance to meet an owl up close; watch hawks soar over their handles and land safely on the handler’s arm. The programs vary each week according to the season, however, there is always a chance to meet the birds up close

Yearly Quaker Meeting House, Mt. Pleasant, OH

The Friends Meetinghouse is a historic Quaker meeting house. It resides near OH 150 in Mount Pleasant, OH.

Mount Pleasant was named a National Historic Landmark District because of its involvement with the antislavery movement before the Civil War and because it is hoe to five documented Underground Railroad stations.

The village celebrated a 200 year anniversary in 2014.

Built in 1814, the Mount Pleasant Quaker Yearly Meeting House was the first Quaker yearly meeting house west of the Alleghenies and is now part of the Mount Pleasant Historic District for its association with the Quakers and the antislavery movement and Underground Railroad.

The Meeting House has recently been restored to preserve it for future generations and to help illustrate the rich heritage of Mount Pleasant Ohio and its role in both regional and national history.


Lake Erie: A Profile

Lake Erie has a great many islands, including Catawba, Kelleys, Middle Bass, and South Bass. The islands were formed during the glacial period when massive ice sheets entered Ohio. Glaciers gouged and scoured the bedrock; their tremendous weight left deep depressions which filled with meltwater, forming the Great Lakes.

Lake Erie, the smallest of the Great Lakes, is shallow – where the violent storms with huge waves come from. The lake is divided into three basins. The western basin has an average depth of 25 to 30 feet; the central basin averages 61 feet; and the eastern basin shows an average depth of 120 feet.

Lake Erie has high nutrient levels and warm temperatures which produce greater numbers and varieties of fish than any other Great Lake. Annual catches nearly equal the combined catch of all other Great Lakes. Yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, channel catfish and walleye are dominant species.

The islands are composed of limestone bedrock. Small scratches in the rock surface, known as glacial striations, are common, while major grooves, such as those found at Kelleys Island, are rare but awesome.

Vast stands of red cedar and the presence of underground caverns, both associated with limestone, are found here. The islands and shoreline support a variety of reptiles including the state’s highest concentration of the harmless fox snake. The timber rattlesnake was, at one time, quite prevalent on the islands but is now gone from the area. Rattlesnake Island was so named due to the presence of this reptile, years ago.

Migrating songbirds rest here before winging across the lake. Hundreds of different species have been identified, making this one of the best birdwatching areas in the country. Also, several nesting pairs of the magnificent bald eagle are located in this area – one pair is close to our home and has several viable chicks which we and local and state naturalists have been watching. Another great part of living on the Bay!