Woodsfield light pole may return

A LANDMARK which stood in Woodsfield for nearly 65 years before its removal might be making a comeback.

Councilwoman Carol Hehr told village council this week that she and Light Plant Superintendent Floyd Longwell are checking about the proposed restoration of the Davey Crawford light pole and the cost. She indicated if the restoration is done, the pole would not be put back in the original spot in the center of the public square but would be placed in a visible area in the Monroe County seat.

The pole’s original place in the public square and in front of the Monroe County Courthouse stirred up controversy with some contending that it was creating a problem. Located on state highways – Ohio 800 and Ohio 78 – the pole reportedly was causing problems for truck drivers, and some considered it to be a traffic hazard.

Many Woodsfield residents, however, were surprised when they awakened the morning after village council’s first meeting of January in 2006, and the pole was no longer there.

Village council by a 4-2 vote on Jan. 3, 2006, approved a motion to remove the pole, have it inspected and redone and maybe placed in another location with a plaque.

A six-column headline in The Times Leader about that 2006 council meeting read: “Woodsfield landmark disappears overnight,” with the subhead being, “Historic Davey Crawford light pole removed after meeting.”

The light pole had been discussed in sessions prior to that meeting, and its possible fate has been mentioned several times over the years since its removal.

In September of 2007, the pole was discussed at a council meeting, and the Monroe County Beacon reported: “The historic yet controversial Crawford light pole was removed from the square about midnight Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2006.”

The light pole was taken to Woodsfield’s light plant.

Petitions seeking the pole’s return were presented to village council several years ago.

“Monroe County, Ohio: A History,” written by Theresa A. Maienknecht and Stanley B. Maienknecht, and published in the late 1980s, includes a picture of the Davey Crawford light pole and notes: “A well (water well) in the square was filled with dirt in 1942 prior to erecting the four-lamp light that was donated by D.G. Crawford, a prominent Woodsfield citizen. It is cherished today as a part of Woodsfield’s heritage.”

If the restoration is undertaken, the landmark’s light will shine again.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.