Butternut Ridge Cemetery

Butternut Ridge Cemetery
Butternut Ridge Cemetery First Burial 1821

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Amazing "Pop" Adam W Wershing

Adam Wershing was born on Spencer Rd. (Now W 220th St) in what was then Rockport. He was born in 1875 and died in North Olmsted in 1968.  As a young boy he read a book on the art of dowsing or divining for water. He soon found he had this ability. From that time, until his death, he located many wells in this area.  His ability to find water had about a 90% accuracy rate. Many articles were written about his abilities. Most notably a front page article in the Wall Street Journal. He was also on a half-hour television program demonstrating his ability. Get a peach branch crotch and see if you can do it. 

My parents were friends of the  Roy A. Wershing family. My brother and Adam's grandson, Roy E. "Scotty" Wershing were friends. I use to see Pop driving around North Olmsted in his Model A Ford in the 1950 and 60"s. He was the building inspector for North Olmsted for about twelve years. Scotty was a well driller and his grandfather taught him the art of divining rod. As kids he would let us try our hands at it. We would walk across a known well with a peach crotch, we cut ourselves, held as he showed us. Never worked for me except when he placed his hands on mine and the pointer dropped, no matter how hard I tried to keep it from going down.        

This is Pop in 1961. 

Article about his 90th birthday

The birthday article is from the Post Herald 9 December 1965.  The article and picture are from Archives of the Olmsted Historical Society 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Quick Road Story

In 1816 David J Stearns and Calvin Greer built a road between their two houses It basically followed old Indian trails.  First from the Greer house it followed the river down to the first ridge that went west. At the same time Stearns started at his house in the top of that ridge toward the river. If you go by the oral history they met up with each other at end of that day.  That section on top of the ridge was called Butternut Ridge road it was later continued  on by other settlers all the way to Elyria. When Ashur Miller Coe Sr. came to settle in what was Dover Township at the time. He went to church that was on bend of Butternut Ridge road.  So Mr. Coe made a road from his house to the church.  That road was called Coe Ridge Rd. Understand that at this time the roads wide enough for a buggy or ox cart. Greer's road continued to follow the edge of the valley. It then turned south and went to Mr. Coe's House over the years it was called, on the south end, Coe Road or Bush Road at various times. At the intersection of Coe Ridge and Butternut was a path that went toward Dover This became Porter Rd as on the northern part of the road lived the Porter families,  Stearns and Fitch roads came about in the same way. In about he 1890's Lorain Road in Cleveland, which was the main road to the Central Market, became the Lorain Rd as we know it now. It replaced Coe Ridge Road and the western part of Butternut Ridge Rd in Cuyahoga County. In Lorain county it is still called Butternut Ridge Rd. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ox Cart Library did its Job

Here is a excerpt from Book II of the History of the Fitch Family Pages 183 -188 Proof that you can do it.

"GEORGE KENYON FITCH (1802 - 1869) second son of Sanford  Fitch, was born in Fredonia, Chatauqua County, New York, March 2, 1826 and spent his early years on his father's farm at Olmsted Ohio.  His schooling during this period of his life comprised of about three months each winter and summer, in the District School.  The Olmsted Library was a mine of wealth for young George, whose thought before he had reached the age of ten turned to books.  A considerable part of his education was thus gained from the Olmsted Library, and he often said that up to the age of seventeen, he had read more books than he ever found  time to read  in all of the subsequent years  of his busy life. the Library contained the Life of Benjamin Franklin , who became the ideal of the boy, who soon resolved to be a printer.   With the consent of his parents he was taken on as an apprentice in the office of the Ohio Atlas of Elyria, where he served for eighteen months, finishing his apprenticeship in the office of the Daily Herald of Cleveland.  in this office, under the guidance  of the editor, Josiah Harris, he laid the foundation of his future career as a journalist. "

This is the book display an the North Olmsted branch of CCPL It is really beautiful  display and mural. They have a handout with the list of books in it. This was an amazing collection of books to be in the wilds of Olmsted during the mid 1800's

After a couple of other moves and trips, including a  trip across the Isthmus of Panama, he arrived in San Francisco California in 1849 at the age of twenty-three. That was the start of a very notable journalistic carrier.  He built a very successful publishing carrier of 45 years before he retired.

" He was known as editor of the Bulletin in the columns of which he expressed himself on current topics for nearly thirty-five.  In politics, his support was always thrown to the side of good government, and as he never compromised his independence by personally participating in party affairs, in the course of time his counsel came to exercise powerful influence upon the action of all political organizations.  In San Francisco for many years no party could succeed if opposed by the Bulletin."

" Under Fitch's management, the Bulletin supported the Union and President Lincoln during the Rebellion, and on the eve of the war, was vigilant in discouraging any manifestation of Southern men favoring secession."

During these eventful years, two great monuments were erected to the fame of Mr. Fitch as a journalist.  It was chiefly through the Bulletin's influence that one thousand acres of Pueblo lands were set apart for the preserve known as the Golden Gate Park, and to the same paper, may be given the principal credit for the defeat of what was known about 1859 - 1860 as the "Bulkhead Scheme."   This was a proposition to grant by Legislative Charter, the control of the water front of San Francisco , to a private corporation."  He founded or bought over ten news publications.

All of this started with his visits to our Ox Cart Library. It is amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it.
This Information comes from the Archives of the Olmsted Historical Society and the NOPL

More pictures of the display: