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Monday, July 13, 2009

Just a company town

Last week we enjoyed a family vacation in Ohio's hocking hills area. This is an area that Donna and I have visited a number of times in prior years, but not recently. On three occasions we enjoyed an anniversary romance get away at Glen Laurel, and had also attended the Nazarene Central Ohio Camp meeting at what is now known as the Logan Conference Center several times. I have also used the Church camp grounds as a base for hunting in the area.

I could recall that Donna and I had once found a nearby town with a church made of tiles but could not find any reference to it while reading literature about area sights. We were without Internet access during our five days at a cabin near Nelsonville so I was unable to do online research. Yes I really did spend most of Monday until late Friday with no web, no email, no google, no facebook, etc. I swear its true.

As we were starting home on Friday Donna could no longer resist her shopping compulsion so we stopped at the Rocky outlet to look for shoes. Of course she then had to explore the rest of the store. While sitting I found that there was an area information booth inside where I asked some not to intelligent questions about what I could recall of the town we had seen. Finally someone came up with Haydenville, a brick and tile company town located only a few miles away and along our pathway home.

We stopped and took pictures. I was amazed! It was even more unusual than I had remembered it. Haydenville, was the last of Ohio's "Company Towns". In the days prior to labor reform the mining, lumbering, and similar industries maintained these towns where they employed workers at minimum wage, housing them in company owned homes, and provided for their needs at company owned stores. The system was designed to keep the workers and their families in debt to the company trying to pay for food and housing.

In Haydenville the homes, offices, store, post office, church, train station, and etc. were made from company produced tile and brick, even plumbing tiles and pipes. These structures, especially the church (both inside and out), were in fact a display of the company's wares. Many of these buildings still stand giving the town a strange, surrealistic, nature.

I am glad we rediscovered Haydenville, but do not understand why it is not being promoted as a tourist attraction.

The Church An inside wall of the Church

An outside wall of the church.


Front corner of the church - Notice the drain tile corner

An inside wall of the church - four different tiles plus a pipe

Building which is now used as a museum

And I had to take one shot of the round building

2 comments:

Ellisa said...

beautiful pictures! Glad you found it. Next time we're out there, we'll have to stop and check it out!

Anonymous said...

Great pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love how you captured the texture of the buildings. Dot