Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Moment in Canton,Ohio

Not planning can sometimes be the best plan. Don’t you think?  Often that seems to be the case on our travels. It happened again to us the other day. On our way across Ohio, with our destination as Niagara Falls, our mileage put us at Canton, Ohio, overnight.  Just for fun, I plugged our location into an app on the iPad called History Here that pinpoints historical locations in the area.  There we were…parked about four miles from the President Wm. McKinley Tomb and Museum.  Why not investigate before we hit the road again?

After coffee in the morning, we unhooked ole Yeller and made the short trip to the memorial.  We were immediately impressed.  William McKinley Tomb When you drive into the grounds along the entry road, the tomb of President McKinley, assassinated in 1901, is perched on a towering hill. We learned later that this is the largest presidential memorial in the country, including the 26 acres surrounding it.  The grounds include a 1/4-mile, tree-lined walkway along the road leading to the tomb.  People were using the huge stairway and the walking path for exercising, giving the memorial a warm feeling.   

Then, there was the museum located next to the memorial. We noticed very quickly that there was more there than we expected.  Instead of McKinley exhibits, we first found a planetarium, a science center and several rooms of displaysNancy Hurley in Stark County Ohio museum. centered on the people, the industry and other history of the area, Starke County.  As we browsed we found several fun, interactive exhibits. For instance, the Hoover vacuum display demonstrated the vacuum power by lifting you in this chair that you see me in at the right.  A separate section of the museum is a Street of Shops that depicts the late 1800s, including a fire station of the era complete with an engine. And, did you know that the Diebold Safe Company originates from this area also?  We found Mr. Diebold’s invention story, along with those of local watchmakers, bearing manufacturers, etc. Interspersed with interesting objects were details of the people involved that captured our attention.  

We enjoyed perusing the McKinley memorabilia and were reminded of this president’s popularity and international policy influences.  But besides the presidential reminder, the bonus was  our  acquaintance with Starke County, Ohio. You’ll have to stop in to see if you agree with our impressions.

Oh, by the way, do you know what a Betty lamp is? There was one displayed in this museum. Here it is:Exhibit of a Betty lamp.

Betty lamp is a type of oil burning lamp that was used primarily by American colonists during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its name comes from the German word besser , translated to mean “to make better.” The lamp was made with a covered, shallow bowl containing an inner spout that holds a wick. The bowl holds the oil or fat used to fuel the lamp. Betty lamps often had chains or hooks so the light could be elevated.  (Information from

Thanks for visiting Hurley Travels.  Stay safe.  See you down the road.

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