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Mark’s Musings – September 4, 2019

| September 4, 2019

Mark Fortune

As we wrap up the summer with pools drained, the Labor Day holiday concluded and the final batch of homemade ice cream made for the summer (yeh, I know there are some diehards out there that will take this into the late fall and maybe even winter months) you have to start thinking about the colors of fall, football and the county fair.

By the time you read this edition of The Beacon the Buckeyes should have easily notched their first win of the season and the Browns will be preparing for the season opener against the Lions. That should be a win and the 3-1 pre-season record has only helped build the expectations for the season. (This is Friday prior to Labor Day) The city on the lake could see a resurgence of the Browns fervor of old – although I am not sure it ever really went away in Cleveland. Sure, there were some lean years but it is highly possible that could all be forgotten with a winning season and a trip to the playoffs. Oh, make it so.

Let’s return to the Labor Day holiday for a moment and reflect on all those that work hard to make our lives on this earth more fulfilling. Thank you for making our lives better. I am currently reading a book titled “The Pioneers” by noted historian David McCullough. The book takes a deep dive into the pioneers that made Ohio – and particularly Marietta – their home following the signing of the Northwest Ordinance by Congress that resulted in the creation of the Northwest Territory.

I am about two thirds of the way through the book and just ran across the name of Dresden as a town on the canal. That is cool. The early settlers to Ohio made their way across Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Mountains – somehow – and then down the Ohio to Marietta and started building a settlement at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers. I have not run across Coshocton yet, but it is possible that I will at some point in the remaining pages of the book.

And yes, this book is available at our very own Coshocton Public Library – well, once I turn it back in. I have enjoyed other books by McCullough over the years – who uses research, old diaries, letters, books and other sources to write in a style that is easy and entertaining to follow, especially considering that some of this material would be considered dull and dry if presented in more of a scholarly approach.

If you enjoy learning more about the early days of Ohio – especially the eastern part of the state – I encourage you to pick this book up and give it a read. My interest is somewhat personal – wanting to know more about the early generations of our family and how and when they arrived in Coshocton County. I did learn that the majority of the early settlers made their way here using the Ohio River, landing at Marietta, Belpre or continuing on to Cincinnati. At some point many of the settlers headed into the interior of Ohio, blazing the trails that would become our modern day routes across the state.

Take a moment this week to reflect on the pioneer families that bravely set out from the New England states to settle in Ohio, clearing the forests – by hand – tilling the soil – by hand – planting the corn and other crops that would soon make Ohio a key exporter of agricultural products to the eastern states and even across the Atlantic. That is, until President Jefferson placed an embargo on farm products. We can review all of that in a later column but needless to say, the early settlers were not pleased.

Category: Mark's Musings, Opinion

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