Apple butter time is near

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, October 3, 2009

The kettles for apple butter have been found, many jars have been brought into the museum and President Pat Arrington is waiting for the apples to be ready to start peeling.

It will soon be apple butter, which will be on sale at the Lawrence County Historical Society Museum, located at the corner of Sixth and Adams streets. The museum is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

If you wish to attend the Christmas Tea, Nov. 14, call Virginia Bryant at 532-3514 and she will give you instructions concerning the tea. Reservations must be made in advance.

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Last Sunday, in The Tribune, you saw the Miller brothers, sons of Joan Null and Bob Miller. You can also see information about them in the “Bridges” magazine, which is in the library at the museum, which is at the top of the front steps. Also there is the new “Ohio” magazine, which includes information about our part of Ohio.

We are sorry the Vesuvius Festival was rained out. Many people had worked to entertain the public at this festival.

You have asked for information about the “pest house” that was here in Lawrence County in the turn of the past century. You will find the information that we received below.

Historical Fact: Old Pest House

The land is described as just up the hill from the Big Boy drive-in on Campbell Drive, the Old Ox Road (Route 141).

The land and building there were purchased by the city for a pest house during a smallpox epidemic before the turn of the century.

The place was off-limits for everybody except the health office and male nurses and guards who were stationed in sentry box huts, just large enough for a man, a bunk and a coal stove to keep warm.

Relatives of the guards carried their meals and set the basket down near the hut and talked from a distance.

It was a horrible place where many people died and were not given a funeral service. The kids were warned to never go near which became the site of the city incinerator.

Everyone who took ill with small pox was not taken to the pest house. They were usually hauled there in a one-horse wagon, with a man on horseback ringing a bell for others on the street to keep away from the wagon.

The bed clothing was burned and the wagon fumigated. If the family could afford to stay in quarantine for three weeks and miss work, the patient remained at home with a big yellow small pox sign on the front and back of the house and a health department stationed a guard in the streets to keep people from entering or leaving the home.

A political-minded health officer could discover a few cases of the illness.

No matter how light the case, he could order a quarantine and employ a few guards, giving employment to men.

Anyway, the old pest house site sold last week (May 1964) for over ten thousand dollars and its memory will soon pass on.

(Taken from an article from Ironton Soliloquy by Charles Collett.)