Almost eight years ago, I packed my car up and drove west, from Washington, DC, to Washington state. I had decided to move to Seattle. I took a week and a half to drive out, stopping to visit friends and relatives, and enjoy some adventures along the way. The only schedule I had to meet was arriving at my new apartment in time for the moving van.
Starting out in the spring from Virginia, I drove through Maryland, stopping for lunch at a friend’s house in the rural town of Cumberland. Then it was on to Ohio. I wasn’t sure where I would spend the night; I would stop wherever it looked interesting.
The name Zanesville stuck in my head and I decided to stop there. I knew the region was famous for pottery – Weller and Roseville were made there. It was known as the Pottery Capital of the World. It also made me think of the author Zane Grey and I wondered whether there was a connection. Turns out, there was. Grey was a descendent of the city’s founder, Ebenezer Zane, and he grew up in the city. The first thing I noticed was a startling number of really big churches. I had to learn more about Zanesville. The next morning I spent a few hours driving around. It was clearly an old blue collar town, established around a river, like so many, in this case at the confluence of the Muskingum and Licking rivers. It has a history of producing a variety of goods, including mosaics, tile, stoneware and brick. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad. I only spent a few hours there and wished I could stay and explore more.