Midwestlost Site Blog

"Urban Exploration", "Haunted Cemeteries", and "Road Geekery"

Archive for the 'Road Geekery' Category

Two of my Favorite Things

Over this this long weekend, I’ve been working on two of my favorite things. That would be historical research and being a computer geek. Quite awhile back, I was given the url for some scans of turn of the 20th century
Topographic Maps. The catch about the maps is that each one was so large that when scanned, they were scanned as 4 parts.

For some time, I’ve been looking for a program that satisfied all of my requirements (good quality and free). I had tried out several programs, and wasn’t really happy with any of them. This weekend, I started playing with a program from Microsoft called ICE (Image Composite Editor). This program does a great job of stitching pictures together.

One of the cool things that can be done with the completed maps, is that they can be uploaded to a GPS unit and overlaid over modern maps. This means you can see your position in relation to the turn of the century maps.

After getting the hang of this program, I stitched afew maps together. Here are some that I’ve already done.

1905 Survey of St. Clairsville, Ohio
1901 Survey of Cadiz, Ohio
1901 Survey of Wheeling, WVa
All 3 maps are clickable for larger versions. I also have even larger versions that I am doing research from. For the sake of bandwidth, I have kept the images small.

The only problem is that some of the scans of the maps don’t completely line up. So this means that some maps are unable to be stitched back together.

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Too Cold for Exploring :-(

While, it’s been too cold to go exploring, I’ve been trying to make up with it by doing some research. Recently, I received an email from a lovely lady named Helen. She provided me with some great information about western Belmont County, Ohio.

Our conversation covered many topics about Belmont County. Below are a rough copy of my notes from a conversation we had on the phone. She has given me some insight and ideas about new topics of research and new locations to try to photograph.

  • What I have been calling the Belmont County Indigent Cemetery is the County Home Cemetery. The old County Home is down the road on the other side of the road. The last I heard, the OSU extension office was located there, among other county offices.
  • There is a barn that is sitting on the old US route 40 right of way (pre 1930’s WPA project to move/widen the road. This right of way is the original “Lady Bend Hill“. They were moving the barn and it felll or dropped and it was decided to leave the barn where it sat.
  • The Mediterranean sits on the site of a Baptistm church. A coal company cleared the top of the hill for the building and parking lot. Due to the way the hill drops off, it is possibly that part of the cemetery was destroyed.
  • There is an Indian Graveyard in Egypt Valley. This information was provided to her by a gentleman who says he knows exactly where it is.
  • According to the maps I’ve seen, Pasko rd in Blaine could be the old pre 1930’s WPA US Route 40 right of way.
  • Belmont county owns The Mediterranean, but the township trustee’s are in charge of it. Prisoners (possibly from the Belmont Correction Facality) tried cleaning up Moore Cemetery, but township trustee’s nixed it.

I can’t wait until it is warm enough to go exploring in Belmont County again.

Because of all of the new information I have, I’ve decided to start an update project on the site. I’ve updated that relate to the information I have. I’ve also written pages for Armstrong Mills Cemetery & the Belmont County Children’s Cemetery.

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Got out and did some exploring today

My girlfriend and I took advantage of the awesome weather in Columbus, Ohio today to do some exploring. We ended up visiting 3 cemeteries so I could photograph them. The cemeteries were Brown Pet Cemetery, Primitive Baptist Cemetery, and Silent Hill Cemetery.

My favorite was the pet cemetery. I was amazed at how expansive the cemetery was. I left a bit sad thinking of how many loved family members and friends were buried there.

I hope to get the HTML written in the next few days.

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Metal Detecting

This post will be cross posted between my personal blog and the Midwest Lost blog.

This last weekend, I went out with Ron (Carrie’s father) to go metal detecting. The event was put on by dfxonly.com metal detecting club, and was held at Camp Tuscazoar in North East Ohio.

This was my first adventure in metal detecting, although I had always wanted to try it. I have to say I greatly enjoyed it and cannot wait to be able to go out again. I met a lot of great guys (and ladies), and had a lot of fun. The stuff the group found was awesome. Personally, I found some old rifle shell casings (there were a lot of these just laying on the surface, as the camp had been used by the US military at some point for training), a silver plated spoon, this really neat twisted tent spike that I suspect may be wrought iron, and a 1944 Walking Liberty silver half dollar. I would have been very very happy with the other things I found. The Walking Liberty was just icing on the cake. Ofcourse I would have been equally happy with any coinage. Be it a wheat back penny, a buffalo nickel, or really anything. Being my first coin, I’m very very excited.

I’ve spoken with Ron, and we are discussing other sites to visit and explore. We are starting to discuss other places we can go and we may go out next weekend for afew hours.

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"S" Bridge in Blaine, Ohio

I’ve had these pictures of the “S” bridge in Blaine, Ohio online for atleast a year and realized lately that I never wrote any HTML for them. Today I took the chance to write up an HTML page for the “S” Bridge, and do some house cleaning on my Belmont County page.

I also visited the bridge the weekend before last. I just didn’t have my camera to get some shots. I plan a visit to Belmont County very soon and get pictures of the bridge along with afew other things.

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More Belmont County & WVa

Last weekend I did some more exploring with Beth (from Grave Addiction), and another friend I met from beth’s message board. I’ve been searching for a grave yard that is near the eastern end of US 40, and Justin (from the GA message board) stated that he knew of one that fit the description that I had. He had also heard that they had closed off the road to the Circle Cemetery, and we wanted to check that out. Beth, Justin, and myself agreed to meet and do some exploring.

I got to the meeting site (eastern end of US 40) early, and snapped some pictures while waiting. After meeting up with Beth & Justin, we headed to Moore Cemetery (on the property of The Med). This cemetery is one of the coolest. It’s so stereotypical of the old abandoned cemetery in the woods.
After taking pictures there, we decided that we needed to verify the rumor about the Circle Cemetery. The rumor was false. We parked at the bottom of the hill (incase the road was closed, and walked up. We walked up far enough to see where the road goes around the cemetery and that it was not blocked off.

Being as no visit to Egypt Valley is complete without a stop at Salem Cemetery, we decided to make a quick stop. At first, I didn’t really want to stop. But I am very very glad I did. While Beth & Justin were inside the cemetery, I took a walk across the road where the church had stood. While looking down over the hill, I saw what appear to be a gob pile (waste material from mining coal). It also appeared to be some small chunks of coal. I kicked one of the larger ones and realized that it was sandstone. The top surface appeared to be charred, while the rest of it seemed to have clean edges like pieces had been chipped off over time. I have no way of proviing it, but it’s *possible* that the chunk of sandstone I found was part of the foundation of the church.

When leaving Salem Cemetery, we decided to hit the Indigent Cemetery on SR-331 across the road from Belmont Technical College. I was not aware, but this still appears to be an active cemetery, with the newest marker (a wooden cross) being from earlier in 2006. While we were here, I took them to see the covered bridge near by.

After that, Justin wanted to hit Union Cemetery to check look around for some relatives of his and Beth wanted to check out the English Baron’s grave. While in St. Clairsville, I took Justin & Beth to visit the cemetery where Thomas Carr is buried.

At this point, it was getting late, and we decided to run to Wheeling, to check out some sites. When we got to Wheeling, we first stopped at Mt. Wood Overlook (the concrete castle). We then crossed the street and checked out the Jewish Cemetery and Mt. Wood Cemetery (which are adjacent).

By this time, we had been out in the rain all day and decided to call it a day. We plan to go back to Union Cemetery, and hit some more sites in Wheeling when the weather allows.

I hope to have the HTML done for those new pictures this weekend.

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Tombstone, Az & other sites

Some people I know just came back from a vacation in Az.  They were kind enough to bring me back some pictures.  I figured I’d share them.  They went to Tombstone, Az and visited Boot Hill Cemetery while there, visited Hoover Dam, and saw the London Bridge on Lake Havasu.

Enjoy the pictures.

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