Map of Coshocton and Roscoe
(Links to the Parts One through Five are at bottom of this post.)
Since my grandson had endured without too much complaint many, many hours stuck in the genealogy room of the Coshocton Public Library the day before, I told him that our last full day in Coshocton would be spent doing something fun. We headed in to Roscoe and before going on the tour, we went up the Hill so I could take photos of my great-parents’ home (William Henry and Mary Amore). My cousin Bill had confirmed on Tuesday that what I was correct on which house had been theirs.
The picture below is the reason I was 98% sure that this was correct.
See that little shed back there? That wasn’t just your ordinary run-of-the-mill-store-stuff-in shed. That was William Henry’s cobbler shop! Below is a cropped photo.
In a letter dated February 9, 2000 my Aunt Marie wrote: “When us kids were younger, we used to go over to Roscoe to visit my grandparents (Pop’s mother and father). Grandpa had a shoe shop in one end of the kitchen and then later he did have a little shop just down on the hill about one half block from their house.”
After I had gotten the photos I wanted, we went on back down Hill Street to where it intersected with Whitewoman Street toward the Historic Roscoe Village Visitor Center. (Whitewoman Street is named after Mary Harris who was living amidst the Native Americans in what would become the Coshocton area in the mid-1700s. You can read about her here.) I stopped mid-way at the photography studio as it hadn’t been opened when we had driven by it before. Portraits in Time Photography offers all types of photos – studio, location, family, individual, and more. They also have many costumes so you can get a photo in old period costume as a keepsake of your visit to Roscoe. I received permission from the photographer (Mary Cameron) to post the photo.
Copyright © Portraits in Time Photography (used with permission)
After we had fun doing that, we went to the Visitor Center to purchase our tickets for the walking self-guided tour. Please note that you can walk along the road in Historic Roscoe Village and enter any of the stores you want, but in order to go inside the historic buildings and have the docents give you the history, you must purchase a ticket.
Roscoe Village sprung up as a canal town in the 1830s and within the Center is a diorama of the Canal and lock system.
As we were looking at other items, we were told that the movie “Ditches of Destiny” was ready for viewing. This is a very brief history of the Canal system and those who worked it. My great-great-grandfather William Amore was a mule driver on the Erie Canal so I was excited to see the film. My grandson told me that he hoped he could stay awake because he thought it would be bo-ring – but he really enjoyed it! I learned exactly what role a mule driver played giving me a better understanding of William. We were informed that there were canal boat rides on the Monticello III but decided not to do that due to the time it would take to walk to where the boat was moored and wanting to make sure we saw everything in Roscoe Village on our last day. The ticket for the canal boat ride is extra. So we finished exploring the Visitor Center. I bought a coffee mug at the gift shop. We saw a Regina Style 25 music box. On the lower level I took a photo of my grandson next to the mural, and a photo of Ohio sandstone. As we left to begin our tour, we saw the Ohio Historical Marker about the Underground Railroad Agents.
There are still some privately owned residences on Whitewoman Street that are beautifully kept. The gardens outside the Visitor Center are lovely and peaceful. We stopped at Roscoe Village Sweets & Treats. They have candy that makes you feel nostalgic for your childhood – whatever era that might be! We stopped in at The Craftman’s House which was owned by Daniel Boyd. It was built in 1825 – the oldest home in Roscoe. Boyd was a weaver and a docent worked on the loom explaining how it worked.
We stopped in at another shop, Canal Cargo just to see what they had. There were candles, a wine cellar, soaps, scarves, and much more. At Dr. Maro Johnson’s office built in 1842, we were treated to a tour guide dressed in period clothing, and who enthusiastically explained some of the surgical/medical techniques the good doctor used in the 1800s. He used both floors of the building.
When we left the doctor’s office, we went next door to his home that was built in the 1830s. We quickly saw a difference between the wealthier doctor’s home and the working class craftman’s home.
A replica of a canal boat is at the end of one side of the street – the Caldersburg Pearl. We saw it on the previous trips down Whitewoman Street but were able to go aboard with our living history tour tickets. I was excited to see it up close and personal as I knew that almost 170 years ago, my great-great-grandfather saw real canal boats up close and personal. We saw the area where the captain’s family would be, the stove to keep the occupants warm, harnesses for the horses, and learned more about what was on a canal boat. I had my grandson take a photo of me on the replica.
We stopped at the River Ridge Leather Shop and watched the owner work on some leather goods. I purchased four leather coasters. Let me tell you – it smelled so good in there! Then we went to the Annin Flagmakers Showroom and saw tons of American flags in all sizes made right there. It is located in the Daniel Carroll house built around 1850-1860 and housed a grocery store at that time.
In the one room Roscoe School, we were given information about what school was like for the children who attended. There were display cases with several items and an 1872 Steinway piano used for music.
The Calderburg Trading Company is located in the only duplex on Whitewoman Street. It was built about 1887 and today – with the wall separating the two “homes” removed, it has two front doors and two staircases. The shop boasts an assortment of women’s clothing, antiques, gifts, jewelry and more! Oh to have a lot of time to shop there!
My grandson was excited to see the Village Smithy because he has been learning how to forge from a local blacksmith.
At the Hay Craft Learning Center, we saw how brooms were made and also saw an 1870s printing press. We received a fresh print and my grandson was able to make his own print on a smaller press. I used to work for a printing company in the early 1980s so I really enjoyed seeing all of the printer’s blocks, type and the presses.
After several hours of learning about the history of the town my ancestors had settled in to live, it was time to head back to the hotel. I had laundry to do so we could pack up. The laundromat was clean and kept cool with large fans. After I posted my location on Facebook, one of my daughter’s commented that it was right next to a cemetery too! Yes, it was close to South Lawn Cemetery where we had gone two days previous! Then it was time for dinner so we went back to Bob Evans next to the hotel. One last time, my grandson chose double chocolate hotcakes to eat. I was really going to miss Coshocton and Roscoe Village. I had crammed in as much genealogy and fun as possible in the four days we were there, but it was time to head to our next destination – my mother’s hometown.
Next: Anderson, Indiana and vicinity
(All photos copyright Wendy Littrell – except the one by Portraits in Time Photography)