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The O'Grady Articles

Meet Tom O'Grady

Tom O’Grady sailed as a deck worker on an ore carrier on the Great Lakes aboard a sister-ship of the fated Edmund Fitzgerald, surveyed for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, launched the first comprehensive curbside recycling program in the state of Ohio and has been promoting waste reduction and sustainable economy for thirty years. Tom has also been an instructor of Observational Astronomy in the evenings at Ohio University for thirty years. He has spent a good deal of the past twenty-five years as a student of Ohio history researching its geography and settlement, the moundbuilders, Ohio canals, and several of its interesting characters and their stories.

Tom’s interest in history was awakened by working to clean up roadways and streams and stumbled into the remnants of the Hocking Valley Canal while running the Athens County Recycling and Litter Control program. He also had the unique experience of living at the Athens Asylum during his college years which gives him a valuable perspective on one of the biggest historical sites in Southeastern Ohio.

Tom served as a board member for the History Center between 1999 and 2014. He served as Executive Director from 2014 to 2019, and he is looking forward to continuing to be a leading advocate for local history and the History Center.

O'Grady Article Archive

Wolf Creek Mill was the first mill in the Ohio country, constructed along Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Muskingum River 15 miles upstream from Marietta, the territory’s first settlement. Built in 1789, the Wolf Creek Mill was a combination of a saw mill and a grist mill, serving the pioneer farmers 15 years before Ohio became a state. Image: Historical Collections of Ohio by Henry Howe, 1886.
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Early Mills in Southeast Ohio

Mills were so important in early Ohio history that there were well over a thousand grist mills in the Ohio country in the 19th century. By 1860 there were more than 1200 or these grist mills. These massive structures were framed with giant timbers from Ohio’s primeval forest.

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Lake Tight and Pre Glacial SE Ohio

Prior to the onset of the glacial periods the Allegheny Plateau had been drained by the giant Teays River, the main stem of a pre-glacial river system in this region of North America. The headwaters of the Teays was near the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge, at the edge of the Piedmont Plateau in North Carolina and Virginia. The Teays River drained much of what became West Virginia flowing westward toward the Ohio country. 

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Hocking County’s Intricate & Complex History

How have the people who have resided within the boundaries of Hocking County, from thousands of years ago to present day, been impacted by the physical geography and geology around them? In what ways has the interconnectedness of different industrial eras within Logan and Hocking County built upon one other over time? And how have these eras have shaped the residents’ lives thus far?

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Army marches in formation down street in illustration
1800's

Squirrel Invasion

Invading Hordes of Squirrels? If it happened, it hasn’t happened recently. Nonetheless, many local county histories recall stories of hordes of squirrels swarming over farmland

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