The imaginactory is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of the Sycamore Shadows Yearbook for 2011, a compilation of every post relating to the town and its citizens published in the past year. The book will be available free to all subscribers of imaginactory.com and for .99 to everyone else. If you’re cheap, subscribe. It will be published in formats compatible with the Nook, Kindle, iPad, and most other readers. (more…)
Although the Fredericktown trestle was dismantled quite a few years ago, many citizens remember having heard the story of Jessup Sanderling and what happened when she lost her balance.
Ohio has always been known for its abundant Sycamore Trees but the most famous example just happens to live in Sycamore Shadows.
From the Imaginactory Archives
This gas station, the first and only one in town, was owned by Ebenezer Keen (Nippy Keen’s grandfather) and located on Sycpen Rd., just before the Pennsylvania line. It has been in continuous operation since 1920 and is currently owned by Ed Hotchkiss, though it’s still known as Keen’s. Ebenezer Keen supposedly operated a still in the rear during prohibition. The Keen farm is on the same side of the road, just to the left of the photo.
The Imaginactory is proud to present the first comprehensive map of the town of Sycamore Shadows. Prints of the map suitable for framing will be available soon and prices will be announced at that time. The map will also be on permanent display on the main floor of this site and may be accessed by the link to your right. Many residents requested that their homes not be included in the map for privacy reasons, so I have respected their wishes and simply put more trees where the houses would have been.
I want to thank all the people involved in helping me produce the map, especially Sycamore Shadows’ own beautiful Abigail Padden, who was invaluable throughout the process, both in her research in the Imaginactory Archives and Sycamore Shadows’s museum, and for accompanying me through many jaunts in the woods, over hill and dale, etc.
Most of all, a heartfelt thank you goes out to Kristen Holler and her wonderful flying machine for the beautiful aerial photographs. It simply could not have been accomplished without her.
We are pleased to announce the upcoming “This Week in Sycamore Shadows History,” a weekly podcast beginning in October. Each Sunday evening at 8 pm we will present a short audio program highlighting some of the wonderful history, news, and folklore of our unusual town.
To learn more about the town where no one needs an address, the fish always bite, and buildings are never demolished, listen each week. All episodes will be available on the podcast page of this web site, or you may download / subscribe by clicking the Podbean logo. You will also be able to find us on iTunes. Thank you for your continued support.
This photo was taken in the 1920s from “Laughlin’s Bridge,” looking downstream on Little Beaver Creek, about a mile from the Ohio River. On the flat to the right was located the town of Little Beaver Bridge and just upstream was the original covered bridge built in 1806, reportedly the first in Ohio, for what it’s worth. Because dams have raised the level of the river, and by extension this part of the creek, the rocks in this photo are no longer visible.
I carry a camera with me wherever I go and though I am no photographer, I do snap an interesting photo on occasion. This sign is located at “the bend” just before the covered bridge and the town come into view. Outsiders will often stop and read the sign, then invariably look around and scratch their chins, wondering where the place is, eventually concluding it no longer exists. Two minutes later they round the bend and the town pops up, sort of like driving through the tunnel into Pittsburgh, except it’s prettier. I’m supposed to paint the sign, which isn’t as old as it looks, but don’t know when I’ll get to it. I keep telling people that sign painters might be artists, but not all artists are sign painters.
I enjoy looking through old newspapers, books, and periodicals, especially when they relate to the area in which I live, so I was delighted to find this article in an old Lisbon, Ohio newspaper. I was already familiar with John Bever,
Cramer’s Navigator was the GPS of the early 19th Century; the essential guide to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for travelers before the age of steam and continues to be a valuable source of information about the natural appearance of the Mississippi River & Ohio River drainage before the encroachment of civilization. (more…)
My triple-great grandfather William Sanderling was a sheep farmer in the mid-19th century. His stock was directly descended from Thomas Jefferson’s sheep, which he bought from George Washington, who had received them as a gift from the Marquis De Lafayette. So they were French sheep. William Sanderling gave up farming after becoming a successful songwriter, made a wagon load of money at it, and eventually built a whopping big music store where Hibb’s Dept. Store is now located. Known as Sanderling’s Wonderful Music Emporium, at one time it was one of the largest music stores in the country and sold instruments from violins to banjos as well as sheet music of his spirituals, which were shipped to all corners of the earth except for Islamic countries. Many of the church tunes you’ve had stuck in your head, if you go to church enough for them to stick, were written by William Sanderling. Find yourself singing a hymn one Sunday morning with a sheep metaphor in the lyrics? It‘s likely one if his, for he may have left the sheep but the sheep never left him. (more…)
My paternal waybacks settled the Ohio Valley in the tricorn days, when there was nothing but endless forests and shadows hiding half-naked Indians who plucked screaming children from cabins nearly as quick as pioneer maidens could reproduce them, but not quite as quick. In the eighteenth century life along the “dark and bloody river” was short, but passionate anyway. People worked hard and played hard and passion was needed with pain and parasites and dying so common. Not many folks passed away in their beds. They generally did their expiring with arrows in their eyeballs and their hair hanging on a stranger’s belt. And the ones who did die in their beds couldn’t, because they didn’t have furniture and so only passed away on a pallet or met their maker on a bed-roll lying on the same dirt they’d soon be buried in. People were tough because they had no other choice. They were independent but counted on each other, knowing by common consent there was safety in numbers, and ate squirrels for dinner without steak sauce. (more…)