By Theresa Russell
Posted On: Jun 25, 2017
Just steps from the modern highway, historic Roscoe Village is sheltered by trees, beyond which I entered into the canal boat era. The once bustling Ohio-Erie Canal passed through here, bringing goods and settlers to the area. Thanks to the efforts of Coshocton industrialist Edward E. Montgomery and his wife, Frances, who purchased the 1840 Toll House in 1961, visitors get a glimpse into the life and times of this era.
The picture-perfect village transports guests back to the 1830s when the first canal boat, Monticello, reached the village. Originally named Caldersburgh, the port of Roscoe was renamed after British historian and abolitionist, William Roscoe; it became the 4th largest wheat port on the Ohio-Erie Canal. Starting my visit in the Roscoe Village Visitor Center gave me the opportunity to learn more about the early days of the village and the canal.
Right outside of the the center is a lovely garden. Just a mile down a path from the center is the Monticello III, the canal boat that took me for a short float into the past. There is also a parking lot there for those who wish to drive to the boat landing. The Monticello III, is pulled by two Percheron horses to a turning basin on a 45-minute return tour. Our boatman explained the history of the canal with engaging commentary sprinkled with humor.
As I strolled along Whitewoman St., the main street of the town, I explored some of the many stately brick buildings lining the street. Some majestic, others small, still others stick built, they housed a variety of businesses or historically restored interiors. The Doctor Johnson House and the Craftsman's House illustrate two different ways of living in the era. Living History Tours give access to these and other buildings in the village where costumed interpreters share daily living in a previous time in Roscoe Village with visitors. The Craftsman's House has an excellent weaving area, complete with looms and a demonstration of the process. The Doctor's house has a diverse vegetable garden.
With multiple flags hanging on its headquarters, the Coshocton CVB is also a showroom for Annin Flagmakers. The staff here will explain the different types of flags available for sale. Annin, the oldest and largest flag manufacturer in the USA, produces flags in Coshocton.
With restaurants and many shops including a woman's clothing boutique, a leather store and a store selling only products made by Ohio artists, Roscoe Village is an ideal place for a family visit. Grab a flag and celebrate the Fourth of July!