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Clubs hunt for missing signs

Three missing Ironton service club signs sent club members and sign caretakers sleuthing for the missing metal in recent weeks.

Thursday, September 23, 1999

Three missing Ironton service club signs sent club members and sign caretakers sleuthing for the missing metal in recent weeks.

"We climbed up the hill (Sept. 7) and looked all over the place and couldn’t find them at all," said Lou Pyles of the Ironton Business Association.

"I don’t know if kids took them home and put them on their walls or if a prankster took them from our sign and put them on someone else’s," Mrs. Pyles said.

The Ironton Area Kiwanis Club, Ironton Rotary Club and one of the Ironton Lions Club signs had been fastened to a billboard-sized placard above the old Semet-Solvay plant where they greeted U.S. 52 travelers driving by Ironton. The IBA serves as caretaker for the signpost.

Tim Gearhart, an IBA member who attends Kiwanis meetings, noticed in early September that the signs were gone and notified the IBA.

He also saw four new ones – for the Lawrence County Museum, United Way, American Cancer Society and a national music association.

But museum and United Way representatives did not request any signs be attached to the hillside placard, and could provide no clues, Gearhart said.

It’s likely the other agencies don’t know how their signs got up there either, he said.

"I don’t know what happened, but it’s not those organizations," Mrs. Pyles said. "It’s most likely vandalism, yet (the new signs) are professional signs. I just hate it because it’s a pretty cheap shot when you take down the Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary signs."

Gearhart agreed, adding that it’s hard to solve a mystery that doesn’t make sense.

"If someone had taken the service clubs’ signs and rearranged them so they would fit, that would be understandable," he said. "But they’re just gone."

Mrs. Pyles also guessed the new and old signs might have fallen victim to a prankster who switched them.

For Rotarians, the missing club sign brings an ironic twist.

The club just purchased that hillside sign last year and had been talking this year about boosting Rotary’s Ironton presence with more roadside signs, club president Dr. Dan Bentley said.

"Now, if someone doesn’t return it or we don’t find out its fate, we’ll probably have to buy another," he said.