By Barbara Shrodes.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT .....TOM THOMAS
Fall is here and the Sedgwick Museum is closed for another winter. I have a chance to look back at the year we experienced and at the same time to look into the future. Thanks to Betty Douglas and the Martins Ferry Rotary, we were able to open the museum on weekends throughout the summer. Attendance was rather disappointing, especially concerning residents of Martins Ferry and the surrounding area. Interest in our city’s heritage just doesn’t seem important. We also sponsored several special programs with guest artists, but those were not well supported, either. We do thank George Carey and Roger and Court Micker for their help. The Sedgwick Museum and the Walnut Grove Cemetery were stops on the Belmont County Rubberneck Tour on October 9. The expected large turnout was not realized, due to the poor weather, high gasoline prices, and apparent apathy among the people.
The highlight of the summer was the completion of our window preservation project. All twenty-five windows are sealed, not only helping to preserve the original windows in the museum, but also helping to lower utility expenses we will be paying. We are already beginning to plan on various projects we will become involved in next year. Special thanks go to Barbara Shrodes, Joyce Roy, Dorothy Roy, and Phyllis Kane for all of their hard work in the museum. Also, I appreciate the time that Larry Roy and Bruce Shrodes spent helping around the building, inside and out.
You must visit the Walnut Grove Cemetery if you can. The cemetery is looking better than it has in many years. Several of the visitors on the Rubberneck Tour expressed their admiration concerning the condition of the cemetery grounds. As you know, the Martins Ferry Rotary has sponsored a project to replace the interior wall surrounding the Martin and Zane plot. It will be finished next spring, but congratulations to the Rotary and all of their hard work to help maintain the history of the community. A well done also to Bob Krajnyak and to Mike Moyer and his students from the Martins Ferry High School Jr. ROTC program. They spent many hours keeping the cemetery trimmed and looking good.
Once again, we ask for your support. Please renew your membership to the MFAHS, recommend us to other Ferry natives, and help us at the museum if you can.
A wrought iron fence with brick columns now encloses the graves of the
Zane and Martin families at Walnut Grove Cemetery.
[Photos by Bruce Shrodes.]
With landscaping work now underway, the Martins Ferry Rotary Club’s project to renovate Walnut Grove Cemetery, which dates to 1795, is 80 per cent complete.
A wrought iron fence has been put up around the portion of the cemetery that holds the graves of members of the Zane and Martin families. Two columns have been constructed from the original hand made bricks that made up the wall built by Joel Hobensack more than 170 years ago.
Donald R. Myers of the club’s cemetery renovation committee said that plaques and a bench will be added next spring. Mr. Myers has estimated the total cost of the project to be about $35,000. “We are the last service club in Martins Ferry, and there are some people in this club that have deep feelings about Martins Ferry and wish to improve the quality of life,” said Myers. “This is a historical site. The club has limited finances but always tries to have a primary project, working for the benefit of the community and area. This project was chosen...We’ll continue to take care of it, helping the city.”
Mr. Myers said the club is indebted to the assistance and cooperation of many groups, such as the city administration, Belmont County Tourism Council, and East Ohio Regional Hospital. The initial contribution to start the project came from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Work regarding the old brick wall was done by the city and the Junior ROTC program from Martins Ferry High School. The wrought iron fence and gate were designed by Jim Knellinger of Talflan Steel Fabricators Inc.
Donations are still being accepted by the Rotary Club. Members of the cemetery renovation committee in addition to Donald Myers are Rotary Club president John Assenza, Greg Blazy, Kathi Conner, and Gary Clark.
Dubbed “The Purple Riders” during the past season by reason of their proclivity to ride rough shod up and down the field, regardless of opposition, Ferry high school officials have adopted the name for athletic teams of the future.
The first team to officially sail under the “unofficial name” will be the basketball team of 1929. On the front of the jerseys purchased for the cage squad will appear the figure of a horse in full stride topped by a rider, done in purple. Hence the cognomen, “The Purple Riders.”
These new uniforms have been ordered for some time but have not arrived as yet and in the event of failure to arrive prior to Saturday night the old unies will be pressed into service.
Jay Campbell, Class of 1929, is pictured wearing the new Purple Riders Basketball Uniform.
The jerseys are white with a purple collar and purple numbers on the back. The purple riders emblem will appear on the front. The trunks will be white with purple stripes down the side and around the bottom with a purple “M” inside a triangle on either leg.
New jerseys have been ordered for the girls squad, but these will be of the same type as that used last season.
The Martins Ferry Area Historical Society meets the fourth Thursday of each month except December at 7:00 p.m. at the Sedgwick House Museum. Members and those wishing to join the MFAHS are welcome to attend.
Because of the upcoming holidays, the meeting time for November/December has been changed to Thursday, December 8, 2005 at 1:00 p.m.