Flushing marks 200th year

ON THE national scene in 1813, the United States received its nickname of Uncle Sam, and naval officer Oliver Hazard Perry became a hero off the coast of Ohio while in Belmont County, the village of Flushing was being established.

And now, Flushing is preparing to celebrate its 200th anniversary with events planned Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8. The theme in the village is “Looking at the Past – Working Towards the Future.”

Perry, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, is known for his words, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” but Jesse Foulke probably was known for his friends not enemies. Not only did Foulke lay out the village of Flushing in November of that year, he was Flushing’s first schoolteacher and operated the first store, according to a history compiled by Flushing resident Bob Howell.

Varied activities are planned June 7-8 to celebrate Foulke’s actions 200 years ago.

Among the highlights on June 7 will be the fireworks at dusk. “We’re going to have wonderful fireworks,” said Bill Ralston, anniversary committee member, who explained the village hasn’t had a fireworks display for quite a few years. “It’ll be a really nice fireworks, and we want everyone to come out.”

Nancy Warren Pogacich, anniversary committee chair, said the events are sponsored by the Flushing Business Association with the help from other organizations. She and Ralston both mentioned the work done by the Flushing Ruritan Club for the anniversary events.

The June 7 program at Schuler Park will begin with disc jockey Bob Dorris providing the music. Ralston said Dorris used to spin records years ago in the 1960s, and he’s now a Florida resident.

A classic car show also will be on opening day, beginning at 5, and musical entertainment is scheduled. One-A-Chord will perform at 6 p.m., followed by music by Hayley Watson. Food will be available throughout the opening day activities.

Donations helped to provide the fireworks display, and Pogacich said, “We’re just thrilled.”

Those attending activities at the park are advised to bring lawn chairs.

Scheduled for Saturday, June 8, will be the Area Ruritan-sponsored fishing derby at 10 a.m..

Special activities for viewing and learning more about the village as well as the nation are planned June 8 from 1-4 p.m. The Underground Railroad Museum with John Mattox as curator will be open during those hours, and also on the schedule is a Flushing photo and memorabilia display at the city building.

Ralston said in addition to old pictures of Flushing, there’ll be business signs from the village’s past. This exhibit is being arranged by the Flushing Business Association.

A book sale also will be under way at the Victoria Read Library, and former resident Victoria (Twarog) Read and her husband, Dr. Gerald Read, who had been a professor at Kent State University, contributed toward construction of that library. Previously, a storefront had served as the village’s library.

Another June 8 highlight will be the dedication of a wall and school bell at 4 p.m. in Schuler Park. This is a Ruritan project, and the club employed Joel Braido to do the engraving of names on the wall. Ralston explained the bell is from the school building which closed in 2000.

It originally had been the village’s high school but high school students were transferred to Union Local High School in 1968, and then it was the elementary school until 2000. That building was constructed in 1903, and the former elementary building and gym were built in 1927 and 1933, respectively.

A fee was charged for placement of names on the wall, and the list includes both deceased and alive individuals. They are being recognized as having an interest in Flushing or ties to the village.

The annual Flushing Alumni Dinner will be at the fire hall June 8, and reservations are required. The social hour will be at 5 p.m. with the banquet at 6.

Serving on the business association’s anniversary committee in addition to Pogacich and Ralston are Dave and Grace Jones, John Pogacich, Karen Johnson, Ken Huff, Connie Rinkes, Sandra Twarog and Mayor Barbara Bashline.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.