August 20, 2013


So much for the August challenge. All sorts of life in the way. I've been pulling this one together for awhile now, another in what will hopefully be a more consistent string that catches the blog back up to realtime or at least close to it.
Way back in April my Dad and his sister came to visit us in Ohio before we packed up and headed out. We took a day trip down to Adams County about two hours due south of Columbus bordering the Ohio River. My paternal ancestors came to Adams County about a century and three quarters ago by way of the river from the east, and we'd all thought for a long time it would be neat to see the area, which my three greats grandfather and grandmother eventually left behind for the Illinois prairie. 
We stopped at the County Heritage Center, but unfortunately they weren't open that day. We had a look around at their buildings and what not before continuing on.

By the way, I forgot to swap out my macro lens for my regular lens before we left. Not so great for shooting the scenery. :(
Next up was a drive down Gift Ridge Road. The family lived somewhere on Gift Ridge.
The Ohio River is somewhere down there, possibly even visible from the Ridge if it hadn't been for all these pesky, scrubby trees in the way.

I don't think this one probably dated back quite far enough to be the ancestral manse, but it was still a nice slightly dilapidated old house to let my imagination run away with.
Thanks to slipping in a little genealogical investigation while working at the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, I knew from their mapping system that this cemetery, called Reed now, had historically been known as the Naylor Cemetery, the family name, and had noted it's location, right at the end of Cemetery Road, just down the hill a little from Gift Ridge Road.
And sure enough within was the final resting place of my four greats grandfather and grandmother. His name was Samuel and it's abbreviated on both stones as SAML with the L being smaller and underscored. I wonder if this was just a common thing to do or perhaps the carver charged by the letter?

Probably the most legible was the stone of an infant son of my three greats grandparents, who was born and died in Ohio before they moved to Illinois.
Another likely Naylor. Curious why this one was only marked with initials. I would say likely an infant, but Francis above got a full-fledged stone. Maybe (cringe) a baby girl? Or perhaps different financial circumstances at the time necessitated a small marker. Suppose we'll never know.
Though not family, I thought this one was interesting as instead of "wife" "consort" was used. A little research and it seems consort implied the wife departed before the husband. 
We grabbed some lunch and then decided to see some prehistory while we were at it and headed to Serpent Mound, a snake shaped earthen effigy also in Adams County.

The viewing tower so you can take it all in.
Of course being a large earthwork, it didn't exactly fit in the macro frame, but these are it's main coils. 
And a helpful schematic left behind at the top of the tower by a previous visitor. And here is an aerial shot.

I believe this is the tail.
The mound is thought to have astronomical significance as so many ancient monuments seem to. 

After that we packed it in and headed north to civilization (said tongue in cheek). Southern Ohio is terribly beautiful, but it was a little disheartening on the brief visits I paid to the region to see how economically depressed it is, especially evident in the towns. I regret we did not visit more often. So go visit if you have the chance. There is so much on offer for those who take the time, Serpent Mound, Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, further east the Hocking Hills. I'm sure the tourism dollars would not go unappreciated.

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