Woodsfield landmark coming out of storage

THE NEAR-MIDNIGHT removal and storage of a Woodsfield landmark in 2006 appears to be coming to an end with the sometimes-cherished object to be part of the village’s Bicentennial this year.

The Davey Crawford light pole installed on the village square during World War II was removed after a village council session Jan. 3, 2006, after officials voted 4-2 to remove the pole, have it inspected and redone before possibly being placed in another location with a plaque.

A headline in The Times Leader after that 2006 council meeting read: “Woodsfield landmark disappears overnight,” with a minor headline being, “Historic Davey Crawford light pole removed after meeting.”

In other words, residents went to bed Jan. 3 probably while the light pole was still standing, and it was gone when they woke up the next morning.

Councilwoman Carol Hehr, however, reported to council this week that she had good news about the light pole being placed back on the town square. Hehr and Floyd Longwell, light plant superintendent, have been cooperating in an effort to having the pole restored to a place of honor in Woodsfield.

The councilwoman explained that they looked into putting up the pole, and the costs of repairs and replacing parts would be costly as it would require sandblasting, welding, painting and other changes. They attempted to find someone to do this type of work locally but were unsuccessful.

It was suggested to Hehr that she contact Pioneer Pipe Inc. of Marietta. She told council that the Marietta company would be glad to do the work at no cost to the village. Longwell and Andy Copley, street supervisor, will obtain the parts and information needed for Pioneer Pipe.

Longwell said new globes would be needed, and it would be necessary to restore some of the fixtures. He is to be in charge of this project in regard to the restoration and related matters,.

The work is being done to coincide with the village’s Bicentennial, which will be celebrated in early July.

Tentative plans are for the light pole to be placed on one of the two islands in the square, probably on the south one. It previously had been located in the center of the square between the two islands.

Officials are considering the possibility of purchasing a clock for the other island.

“Monroe County, Ohio: A History,” written by Theresa A. Maienknecht and Stanley B. Maienknecht and published in the late 1980s, notes that a 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.”

The pole’s location in front of the courthouse stirred up controversy a few years ago with some contending that it was creating a problem. Its location on state highways reportedly was causing a problem for truck drivers, and some regarded it as a traffic hazard. That led to council’s action on its removal.

Efforts were made in the ensuing years to have the light returned to the square, and petitions in favor of the return were presented to village council several years ago.

It now appears the historic light may send its beams over the square as the village’s 200 years of existence are celebrated.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.