Thank you to Shawn Wood of Studio7 for this spectacular image of the McKinley National Memorial receiving the love it deserves. You thought your work was a challenge…. Mr. Wood’s photograph gives us an amazingly rare look at the festoons of ivy that ring the top of the monument. To the artist the ivy symbolizes McKinley’s character-constancy according to a September 29, 1907 Repository article that appears one day before the dedication of the McKinley National Memorial. In Architect Magonigle’s plans it calls for the festoons of ivy. Each ivy leaf has a bronze post to lift it up and away from the granite surface to create an added dimension.
Thank you to Gary Brown for his very interesting Monday After article: Remembering 1976 and the Bicentennial in Stark County! The article that appears in today’s Repository features longtime volunteer at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Tom Haas when he was the Director of the Canton American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. He went on to take the position of Education Director at the Stark County History Center before later going on to a longtime career at WHBC Studios. Tom is in his 7th year of being a volunteer researcher in the Ramsayer Research Library. Thank you Tom for your hard work and dedication to our community.
While scanning an archive of some 1400 negatives I found an interesting image of a switch tower.
A switch tower is a building where railroad personnel monitor track switches. Towers were placed near switch locations into order for the railroad personnel to manually “throw” the switch to direct trains to a different track. A switchman possessed keys to unlock/lock a switch so that someone just walking along could not “throw” the switch and cause an accident. These towers also served as a communication points along the rails passing along information to trains as to the status of the tracks ahead.
The MN switch tower in this collection was near a passing siding. Passing sidings utilized switches in order to allow two trains on the same track to pass one another. As these opposing trains approach one another, one train is switched from the main line onto a passing siding to wait for the other train to pass. Once the train with the right of way has passed, the train waiting can move back onto the main line and go on its way. The average freight train can be one to one and a quarter miles in length or 90 to 120 rail cars and therefore this passing siding must be long enough to accommodate these large trains.
The photographs in this large archive were shot by amateur photographer William Ward Lowery in the early twentieth century. Mr. Lowery worked for the Canton City Water Department where he retired in 1955 having served the City of Canton for forty-two years.
While cleaning the history galleries in our museum last Friday I noticed a tower in the model train set up we have in our Street of Shops. This tower looked like the switch tower in Mr. Lowey’s photographs. As I walked around the set up I noticed more towers in more cities in Stark County.
The two towers we feature today are the MN Tower, and the Wandle Tower. We have found evidence that the MN Tower was East of Massillon, Ohio. The Wandle Tower in the model represents a tower that once stood in Canton, Ohio. The word Wandle is an amalgamation of the initials of the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Company W. and L.E. Wandle.
Check out what is happening in our Library this Winter. Our museum is partnered with Walsh University to immerse you into the story of President McKinley and his wife Ida Saxton McKinley and how they fit into the Stark County Story. The Walk with the President is getting a major facelift. Our team is just getting started and this is what we did this morning.
The Walsh University Team on A Walk With The President Tour # 1
With heavy hearts, our team at the McKinley Presidential Library say goodbye to one of our interns, Sarah Dickes.
Sarah has been an intern here since August 2018 and has been a real pleasure to get to know. She has been a huge help with many of our ongoing projects and helping wherever she can. We are so fortunate to have had her in our library and the opportunity to get to know her during her time here. Sarah has a blog where she has posted about some of the projects she has worked on here. You can see some screenshots of her blog below by scrolling through the slideshow.
She has just completed her last year at Malone University as a History major and Communications minor and is moving on to Syracuse, New York to pursue her career in Museum Studies and Library Sciences for graduate school.
We want to congratulate her on her journey and wish her all the best as she moves forward!