Posts Tagged ‘Roscoe Village’

(Links for the first four parts are at the end of this blog post.)

My grandson and I got an early start on Wednesday, July 13, and headed to get breakfast. By the way, did I mention that beginning the very first night we checked in to our hotel, we had flushing issues with the toilet? They left a plunger with us but it was still not flushing correctly so when we left the hotel to begin our day on Wednesday, I more or less gave the hotel an ultimatum – fix it or move us. (The maintenance man finally fixed it during the day while we were out!)

There were many things I had wanted to cram in to our day, and the first item on the agenda was finding and taking photos of the houses my ancestors had lived. Luckily, with a borrowed GPS, it made my job easier to find the homes. I had five addresses – one home looked pretty trashed (a lot of junk piled around outside) and another one had been torn down.


This was the home my grandparents, Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore lived in during the 1930s and 40s. In fact my Uncle Bervil Amore’s son, Bill, was born upstairs.


I believe the house above is the last home my grandfather, Lloyd, resided before his death in 1955. This is the house my sister remembers visiting him.


This house was the home of my great-grandparents – James and Frances (Ogan) House – in the early 1900s. After Lloyd and Ella moved to the farm owned by her parents, James and Frances bought the new home in 1915 just prior to Frances’ death. The 1,228 square foot home has three bedrooms and one bath. The total lot size is 6,300 square feet (home details from Trulia.com). James and youngest son, Lester, continued to live in the home until James went to the Sandusky Soldier’s and Sailor’s home in the early 1920s – where he lived on and off until his death on October 1, 1924. This was the home where Lester’s second wife, Pearl Davidson, took her own life on the morning of April 5, 1945 via a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.


I took this photo of the Church of the Nazarene after I drove by and remembered my cousins telling me that my grandmother Ella had attended this church. I turned around and parked across the street to take this shot.

Following our morning criss-crossing Coshocton, we headed toward Historic Roscoe Village. We wanted to visit the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum. The name comes from the union of Mary Susan Humrickhouse and Joseph Johnson. Their sons – John and David Johnson – collected many items and artifacts from their many trips around the world. They left all the items to the village of Roscoe. (Sources: Wikipedia: Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum and J-H Museum brochure)


Outside the museum is the cut-out (shown above in photo) so I had to take a photo of it with my grandson! The other photos (above) were taken in the Historic Ohio gallery and consist of the village shoemakers tools (which I had to get a picture because my great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather were both shoemakers and one was located in Roscoe Village!), furnishings from a log house, and 18th & 19th century firearms.


The American Indian gallery exhibits included the Zuni Turquoise and Squash bracelet and necklace and Coral Squash necklace (top right), the Chippewa cradleboard (center right), Native American coiled baskets. and the Sioux Elk Hide Dress (left).


Other items displayed included the early Ohio typewriter (top right), Italian accordian decorated with mother-of-pearl (center right), early Ohio spinning wheel (bottom right), a walrus tusk with Inuit Scrimshaw artwork (bottom left), and the Newark Holy Stones (top left). The stones were reported to be found in 1860 among the ancient Indian burial mounds in Newark, Ohio. For more information, you can read about the stones here.


Along with the Newark Holy Stones exhibit on the second floor, is also the Golden Gallery. Items in the “Victorian Nook” include a 1930s silk wedding dress and 19th century men’s suit (left), a white lawn dress, and a studio camera.


Sharing space in the Golden Gallery, are many printers tools and objects. A separate room on the second floor is used for Special Exhibits. During the time of our visit, the exhibit was “Grafted to the Past” – art that was inspired by objects in the museum to commemorate its 85th anniversary. The photo on the above left is Rounce mixed media artwork done by Curt Derby. Besides printers blocks, quoins, and tools on the right hand side above, there is a Washington press and a model of the Gutenberg press. These exhibits appealed to the graphic artist side of me! I absolutely adored them.


Two exhibits included in the Asian Gallery were the Japanese Samurai and Buddha. Located in the Historic Ohio Gallery was the Stock tray (center bottom) first made in Coshocton. The 1850s square grand piano at the top right was used in the first Roscoe Hotel during the Civil War. Below that is a photo of a page from a 1570 Bible. The Boston Parlor Organ was manufactured in Coshocton in the 19th century. Lastly, on the bottom right corner, is Lord Baltimore’s prayer book dated 1632.

I recommend a visit to this museum if you are ever in the Coshocton area. It won’t take up all of your day but it is well worth the small admission cost. There is also a gift shop on the first floor. I made a purchase of a book about Ohio’s Canals and my grandson – after seeing many, many arrowheads in the American Indian Gallery, bought some arrowheads!

After we left the museum, we headed to the Coshocton Public Library. I wanted to do some in-depth research in their genealogy room. Had I realized that most everything I thought I would be able to find was already digitized or my cousin had sent it to me, I would not have spent as many hours (6+) there. I also would have urged my grandson to find a nice cozy chair in the main part of the library – where there was an electrical outlet for his phone and hand held gaming system – so he wouldn’t have been as bored as he was. Lesson learned.

I pored over many books and items from the vertical files. Unfortunately, the very limited amount of microfilm readers were being used most of the time I was there – at least the one with the copier attached. Finally, the user left and I was able to delve in to the wills and probates microfilm. Bingo! I found my great-grandparents’ (James and Frances House) wills. That is something I need if I ever decide to apply for the Daughters of Union Veterans Lineage Society as it proves that my grandmother is James’ daughter.

Next – Historic Roscoe Village Tour

Links to the first few parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

(All photos copyright Wendy Littrell, address for private use.)

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If you need to catch up on Part One and Part Two, I’ll wait . . .

So now the time had come for the next leg of my journey – my dad’s hometown of Coshocton, Ohio. Coshocton is located in west central Ohio near the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and just under 3 hours from where we were outside of Dayton. Knowing the horrible traffic and road construction of I-71 and I-70 through Columbus, I chose to spend most of the drive via the country. We headed toward Xenia and then north to Columbus on 70 but went around the city eastward. Before reaching Zanesville, we headed north and then east on 16. As we drove through Newark, I pointed out the Longaberger Basket Building to my grandson. He just had to get a picture as we passed by!

I had left my cousin’s house earlier than planned so we arrived at our hotel before noon. Even though the hotel check in was later in the day, they had our room ready for us so we got our luggage and settled in. Then we set out to explore a bit. We headed toward the courthouse square and passed the Presbyterian church where my grandparents – Lloyd Amore and Ella House – were married in 1903.

presbyterian-church-coshocton-collagePresbyterian Church (left) and Chapel (right)

We walked around the square while we were there. The Coal Miner’s Memorial is dedicated to all those men who worked in the mines and those who lost their lives. It was very important for me to see as not only did some of my dad’s cousins work in the coal mines but so did my grandpa Lloyd Amore. The Bicentennial Time Capsule is special to me because a letter was placed in it from my Great-Uncle, Rev. Isaiah H (“Zade”) Amore. The front page of the November 21, 1976 edition of the Coshocton Tribune reports: In his letter he states that Coshocton has been good to him and has taught him how much people need one another. Rev. Amore strikes a humorous note in his letter, as he often did in the sermons that made his ministry so successful, when he concludes with “I have had my share of weddings and funerals.” Uncle Zade had just celebrated his 100th birthday and due to health reasons, he was unable to be present at the ceremony that day. I am thrilled that in the fall of 2076 someone will open that time capsule and read his letter! The Coshocton County War Memorial is a part of other memorial markers in front of the courthouse. (Photo of the square below.)


Bob Evans restaurant was right next door to our hotel, so we went there for a late lunch. My grandson was excited that they had double chocolate hotcakes on the menu (wait a minute, I thought we were there for lunch?)!


After lunch, we headed just around the corner from our hotel to Historic Roscoe Village. I wanted to do a quick check on things just in case we weren’t able to do the tour later in the week. Many years ago, my dad sent me some photos from his last visit to Coshocton. On the back of one, he wrote “Coshocton General Store, some of my brothers and sisters were born upstairs.” That picture has been posted here on the blog quite awhile ago. When we walked in the store, I told the lady at the counter that my grandparents had lived in the upstairs room in the early 1900s and some of my dad’s siblings were born there. She was very excited and told me there were antiques for sale in the upstairs room so I could go up the steps and stand in that same room. After we came back down, we did a bit of shopping and my grandson bought a ball cap before leaving. I stood across the street and took photos of the store. However, and this made me feel sad later – the photo my dad had sent to me and labeled the General Store was not, in fact, correct. I did take a picture of the correct building later – even though I never went in and upstairs – mainly because I was still under the impression that it was the General Store where my grandparents’ home had been.


In the photos above, you will see the picture my dad sent to me, then the one I took of the General Store, and finally of the Roscoe Village Suites – the correct building. (I am not sure why I didn’t look at the picture on the blog before deciding I had the right building – let that be a lesson learned.) I can take comfort knowing that my grandparents and great-grandparents probably did shop at the General Store even though I now know that they didn’t live there.


I captured more photos while on our walk down Whitewoman Street through Historic Roscoe Village. After we left, we went up the hill in Roscoe and passed the home I believed to be where my great-grandparents, William H and Mary Angelina (Werts) Amore lived. Up from their house was the Roscoe Cemetery. I drove through but didn’t see their graves. It would be the next day when I would spend more time at the cemeteries in the area.

Our late dinner was spent at McDonalds – grandson’s choice. Then we went back to the hotel to just rest and relax. The next day – Tuesday – was going to be one filled with tons of walking up and down hills.

Next – meeting new cousins and visiting ancestral graves.



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     Most people outside of East Central Ohio probably have never heard of Roscoe Village.  Located in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton City, Coshocton County, Ohio, it sits off of the Ohio and Erie Canal.  Coshocton County was formed from the Muskingum and Tuscarawas counties in December 1810 and takes its name from the Delaware Indian word meaning “black bear town” (cush-og-wenk) or “union of waters” (“coshoc-gung”)[Source: Wikipedia].  The first canal boat docked at Roscoe Village in 1830 bringing people and goods into this area of Ohio.

     Today Roscoe Village has become a part of living history with guided historical tours and festivals annually to celebrate its significance.

     My great-great-grandfather, William Amore, born in the Albany area of New York in 1828, found his way to Coshocton County by 1848.  His grandson (my great-uncle), Isaiah “Zade” Henderson Amore recounted in a letter to the editor of the Coshocton Tribune in 1971, “Inasmuch as my grandfather, William Amore, was a mule-driver on the Erie Canal prior to 1850 . . .” 

     I believe, though I haven’t any documented proof, that William, wanting to leave New York to find land of his own, migrated toward Ohio via the Erie Canal around the age of 16-18 years old.  Perhaps his own father or both of his parents had died or were facing difficult economic times, and William wanted to strike out on his own.  Upon reaching the state of Ohio, he more than likely traveled down river until he reached Roscoe Village and Coshocton County.  Sometime before 1850 he became a mule driver on the Erie Canal to earn a wage in order to live.  It is known that he married in 1848 to Frances Price who only lived two years more.

     In the 1850 Census William is found living in Oxford Township, Coshocton County, with the Thomas Buck family and gave his occupation as Shoemaker (a trade he would pass down to his oldest son, William Henry Amore).  William married a second time to Charlotte (Reed of Imons – depending on what document is to be believed) who gave him five sons of which three died very young.  With is third wife, Elizabeth Spencer, the family increased by seven more children – three sons also dying as children or infants.  Elizabeth lived many years after William, who passed away on February 9, 1896.  He had spent his life as a mule driver and then shoemaker.

     William’s oldest son, William Henry (or “Henry” as he was known), also took up the cobbler trade.  He and his wife, Mary Angelina Werts (“Annie”) lived in Roscoe for many years.  His granddaughter reflected, “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.” 

    Cobbler Shop in Roscoe Henry & Annie Amore\'s house in Roscoe 

     Cobbler Shop & Henry Amore Home

     The first family reunion was held at William and Annie’s home in Roscoe on May 25, 1924.  Subsequent reunions were held at the Grange Hall at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds.

Henry’s son, Lloyd William Amore, the fourth of seven children, and his wife, Ella Marie (House), lived above the Roscoe General Store in the early 1900s shortly after they were married.  In one of those rooms some of my aunts and uncles were born! 


Roscoe General Store

     My paternal side has a long and endearing connection to Roscoe Village and Coshocton County, Ohio.  I was fortunate to feel some of that connection as a child when we would visit relatives who lived there or attend one of the many family reunions.  I wish that today as an adult who has discovered so much more than I thought I could about my family history, that I could visit that historic town again.  To stand on the banks of the canals and rivers and picture William Amore driving the mule.  To sit on the porch of Henry and Annie’s home in Roscoe and picture the 100+ family members gathered together over 80 years ago at the first reunion.  To visit the Roscoe General Store and hear in my mind the cries of the newborn babies – my father’s older siblings.  To visit Coshocton High School where my dad graduated and to visit the graves of ancestors I never got a chance to meet.  Those opportunities are waiting for me – just as my ancestors are waiting through their wills, graves, birth records and more, for me to find them. 

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