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Well, Great Grandpa, Willis Ridgway made a valiant attempt to keep the new sanitarium going, but after a few years things weren’t looking real promising.

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In the mid to upper 1800s, Hydetown was quite a busy little town. There were plenty of businesses besides the mills up and down Little Oil Creek.

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Last week we started talking about how much fun it was to live in Hydetown in the 1800’s. People were busy moving timber and barrels by barge down Little Oil Creek, Oil Creek and down the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh.

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As I stand on the bridge in Hydetown, I look up and down Thompson Run. I stand there and try to imagine what it must have been like with traffic on the creek — Barges!

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I was watching the young lady that mows my lawn and it got me to thinking way, way back. I’ll never forget when I asked my Dad when I was going to be big enough to start mowing the lawn.

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I’ve always tried to keep my column as lighthearted as I possibly can and I really try not to talk politics. But, I look around and see the big mess this world is. It’s not only our country!

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Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! Cousin Ralph and I couldn’t wait for summer, so we could put the super shine on our cars. There was nothing like sunshine and warm weather to inspire a fella!

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Here we are in June 2021. It doesn’t seem possible as another graduating class gets ready to walk through the sacred halls of good old Titusville High School for the last time.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s almost June already. It seems like we just had snow a couple of weeks ago! What crazy, crazy weather patterns over the past year. Then on top of that, we see violence in our country and around the world and we have people crying out, “The end is near!”

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Last week I talked about baseball cards and television and it got me thinking about Grandma Sterling.

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After the tragic accident on Thanksgiving Day 1939, Gramps couldn’t stand being away from his family to go to work. So, Gramps made a big decision and quit his job at the Oil City Derrick. He decided that he would take over the operation of Junior’s Esso Station and that way he would be righ…

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After World War I was over, Grandpa Sterling and my grandmother moved to Mercer for a while. They eventually moved back to good old Hydetown and their family.

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Samuel Ridgway is dead and buried in the cemetary in Hydetown. His son-in-law, S.E. Nason, continued running the Ridgway Sanitarium until the summer of 1903, when he leased it to a couple from Cleveland, Ohio.

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Don’t forget tomorrow the Hydetown Volunteer Fire Department will be having a scalloped potatoes and ham drive thru. This event will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Those who are going to be in church had better hope that your pastor doesn’t have one of those long boring sermons like I have pla…

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For two days I have been racking my brains trying to find something to write about. There’s really not much going on in Hydetown.

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Well, here we are moving into “Septober” already and it won’t be long before Hydetown transforms into a reddish-orange leaf factory. It’s a beautiful time of the year with all the fall colors and I love pumpkin candles and pumpkin coffee!

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My wife asked me the other night, “Do people even know why you call this column “The Bridge?” Well, I did explain in one of my first columns how I wanted it to be a bridge to the past. To be honest with you I was hoping for more participation from some of the Hydetowners who have some good s…

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I try so hard every week to keep my column lighthearted, especially with all the stuff that’s been going on. I will admit sometimes it’s hard with all the negativity, but we can change that!

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It used to be such a wonderful sight as you drove into Hydetown at night. Lights! The softball field would be all lit up and packed with people as you drove through Hydetown It was an awesome sight!

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“I hear the train a comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend.” The Orange Blossom Special, Wabash Canonball, Ridin’ the Rails, This Train is Bound for Glory. Stop! Stop! Please Stop! When I was a kid growing up in Hydetown I didn’t think I could take one more country train son! Now don’t get me w…

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I know many of you never even heard of the old McCurdy School. If you stay on State Route 408 out of Hydetown going toward Townville, that’s west. When you get to the top of the hill take the first dirt road to the right and the McCurdy School was about a quarter to a half mile out the Newto…

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One of the old landmarks missing from Hydetown is the old Union Church. Now there is just an empty lot across from the Baptist Church in our little village. It was torn down in the early 1940’s and all of the materials were taken to Union City and it was rebuilt as a Church of the Nazarene.

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Last week I talked about the second Ridgway Sanitarium. I mentioned that the first sanitarium burned down in September of 1903. They figured the financial loss between $12,000 and $15,000, $6,500 of which was covered by insurance. Now that doesn’t sound like much money, but back in 1903 that…

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I always start getting excited in February every year because I know it’s time for spring training. I love baseball! The Pittsburgh Pirates have always been my favorite team, win or lose. I have always liked the Cleveland Indians too, but the Pirates are my number one. My big dream has alway…

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Its hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is coming up this coming Friday. It seems as though it was just Christmas and New Year. I am now finding that my Grandparents were right, time does go by faster, the older you get!

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I believe Howard Bennett was telling me that his father was the lamplighter in Hydetown back in the early 1900’s. You see, that was before we had electric street lights in Hydetown. They had oil lights on the poles along the streets of the community of Hydetown.

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Back in the good old days. Man, I seem to use that opening line an awful lot anymore! About 20 years ago I read a book. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it was called, “The Good Old Days, They Were Terrible!” The book got into how much better medicine and travel is now than what it used to…

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I had a young man ask me what was it like back in the old days, and it’s hard to believe, but I went speechless. The old days! I wasn’t alive then.

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When I look at old pictures of Hydetown it almost makes me wish I could time travel. When cousin Ralph and I were young, Hydetown seemed to be such a busy community.

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We have a tendency to complain when we get snow this early in November. My birthday is Nov. 9 and when I was a kid, it seemed like there was always snow on my birthday.

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I love the fall colors, but here it is November and everything is all over the ground. Now we have a situation. We have yucky, wet, soggy leaves all over the place. They used to be so easy to get rid of when we just raked them out to the street and burned them. But, in the name of progress, …

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I was thinking about all the hunting my dad and I used to do when I was growing up. I got in my car and took a ride one evening to check out our old hunting spots and I couldn’t believe it! Just about every place we used to hunt has a house built on it now.

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It was an unusually warm, balmy evening for trick-or-treat. I liked it when it was like this because we didn’t get all wet hiding in the bushes. It was going to be a fun evening. Perfect Halloween weather! Clear skies, a big bright moon and good friends.

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I love these fall days when the leaves are gaining their beautiful colors. That was one of the things I liked about living next to the old Hydetown school. There were two oak trees, one on each side of the school. There were also three or four maple trees lining the front sidewalk with anoth…