Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Museum of Ceramics in East Liverpool, Ohio


This was once the post office for East Liverpool. It is, architecturally, beautiful. The new post office opened to the public on June 15, 1909. The post office remained in the building until 1969, when a new post office building was constructed on the other side of town. In 1970, the state of Ohio purchased the building in anticipation of developing a museum. The building was subsequently designated as The Museum of Ceramics in the spring of 1980.
I was down town today, looking for ghost stories about the area. I am doing a ghost tour of East Liverpool during the Pottery Festival which is running from June 18th-20th. I do not yet know when I will be scheduled to do the tour. When I find out, I will let you know. If you know any stories about the down town area, please email me. I learned a lot today and even met some fellow ghost hunters (Columbiana County Paranormal). Oh, and I talked to a man named Ian who owns the Diamond Building at the diamond. I will be learning more about that with a story coming in the future.
I drove past the museum and saw that it was open. It only costs $4 to go in and go through it. As far as I am concerned it is $4 well spent.
To the left above, the museum as it looks today. To the right, Sarah W. Vodrey, director of the Ceramic Museum. She has had this distinction for about five years and she loves her job. She genuinely cares about her museum and her city. She comes from a long line of Vodreys(6 generations) that came to this area from England in about 1847, and started their own pottery works. They operated until about 1928. Sarah's love for her family history and her city was evident as I spoke with her today.
She says that the museum lost its funding through the Ohio Historical Society last year, and they are struggling. They really need community support and any donations they can get to keep operating. They have a web site if you are interested. www.TheMuseumofCeramics.org



In the basement there are several scenes that use manikins to show you what it was like to work in a pottery. I honestly didn't know there was anything like this around here.




The ceiling in the museum is very beautiful and includes this painting of one of the first potteries in this area.





Many of the walls are covered with pictures from East Liverpool's past. Any history buff would greatly appreciate some of the moments captured and displayed here.








And of course the pottery on display is often breath taking and exquisite.





There are even examples of the equipment used to make the pottery through out the museum. Here is a diagram that explains a pottery wheel. And then.....








You actually get to see the pottery wheel described. It is huge.









Even a small cannon, used, I believe, for civil defense can be found on display inside. I spent about an hour and a half inside taking a walk into East Liverpool's past. And believe me, it was well worth a moment of my time.
The Museum of Ceramics is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 to 3:30. It is $4 for adults and $2 for students. If your family is looking for something fun to do, a visit here would be a great idea, followed by lunch or dinner at the Hot Dog Shoppe. I ate lunch there today and it fosters a great family atmosphere. I loved it. Also worth a moment of your time.









Carnegie Public Library-Is it haunted?


The East Liverpool Carnegie Public Library has been around since about 1902 (on the left). On the right is what the library looks like today.




It was erected on the old Bradshaw Farm property,199 E. 4th Street, East Liverpool. Above is a photograph of that home in 1895.
Construction of the building began in 1899 after a visit from Andrew Carnegie to the city. Designed by A. W. Scott of East Liverpool and constructed by Harvey McHenry the exterior of the building was complete in 1900. The Library was officially opened and dedicated on May 8, 1902.

The Library has seen many functions in its history. At times it has housed a museum, pottery exhibitions and the local Genealogical Society. It has served as a bomb shelter and was used by the Red Cross during World War I .

The Library building has seen several renovations in its 100 years. However, the exterior of the building has remained predominantly the same as in 1900.




On June 15, 1974, a man named H.B. Barth, a long time resident of East Liverpool, died in the library on these steps of a heart attack. He was 89 years old and was in the middle of taking a tour group up to the Ceramic Museum, which was housed on the second floor of the library at the time. Does his ghost inhabit the Library? He was born right where the library was on the Bradshaw Farm. He was raised there. He worked at the library his whole life. And finally, he died there. I would say there is a good possibility his spirit remains there to this day. The pic of the steps below has a beautiful orb in it in the railing at the top of the steps.












I have spent many hours here looking up the history of this area, or tracking down the story of an unsolved murder in this area. My friend Belinda and I went here last year to meet David Dunlap for an interview with him concerning the Tweeds/Morris murders for his documentary.

I met Joan Witt for the first time here to talk about the history of East Liverpool. Wonderful lady, Joan Witt. Loves her city and it's history.

If you have never been to the Carnegie Library in East Liverpool, it is definitely worth a moment of your time.