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History comes to life at Mt. Oval


Rose K. Vargo McFarland

The sound and smoke of muskets belonging to Ogle’s Company of the Virginia Militia exploded at Mt. Oval here in Pickaway County on September 13, 2015. Marie Smith’s lilting voice and mandolin set the background while guests enjoyed a picnic lunch of fried chicken, pulled pork, roasted potatoes, beans, fruit salad, and dessert. After, the attendees saluted the American flag and watched as Ogle’s Company went into military drill while dressed in period wear. Welcoming the crowd to 1774-1832, Gary Montgomery served as Master of Ceremonies on a beautiful day which hinted of fall.

While Rick Hartinger, James River, and Tony Robinson represented the Sons of the American Revolution, Tony Holbrook demonstrated surveying instruments to young and old. Gary Montgomery taught about flint and steel fire making and detailed what it was like to be camping in the military during the time period. Thomas Zwayer rounded out the demonstrations with his utilitarian and simply beautiful leatherworking.

Not to be outdone, Rick Hartinger and Wally Higgins spoke about Chief Logan’s Lament and the controversy surrounding the famous speech. Hartinger gave details about the Camp Charlotte Treaty to an interested crowd. Bonnie Calderwood portrayed “Mad Anne” leaving the crowd smiling and laughing at her portrayal of her stolen horse and the revenge she extracted upon the natives. Rounding out the day was the Taylor Family who had toes tapping to the period music, stories, and instrumental pieces.

Attendees enjoyed house tours of Mt. Oval, a local architectural and culture gem that was the bequest of Mary Ruth Tolbert.

Presented by the Pickaway County Community Foundation and the Pickaway County Historical Society, the day would not have been possible without the constant generosity of The Savings Bank. Other sponsors included Stephen and Judith Gary, Leist Mercantile, the Jerry and Sue Leist Family, Rose and Louis McFarland, Steely Law Office, and Marge and Don Wolford.

The partnership between the PCCF and the Mt. Oval Committee of the Historical Society permitted ticket prices to be tax deductible to the purchasers. This is the second year for such a partnership, which demonstrates the contribution to the agricultural, architectural, artistic, historic, and musical cultural influences in our community.

PCCF is the largest 501C3 in our community and is working to enhance our County through philanthropy. It serves as a vehicle through which gifts, current and deferred, may be given to benefit the community. Donors get prudent fund management and the generous tax advantages associated with giving through a community foundation. For more information, please call 740.477.6207 or email [email protected].

The Pickaway County Historical Society, Mt. Oval Committee is dedicated to the maintenance and enhancement of the grounds and buildings at Mt. Oval. Their efforts to bring community awareness to this gift from the Mary Ruth Tolbert Estate have enhanced our community in countless ways. For more information, please call 740-474-1495 or email [email protected].

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal