Union Township

Carroll County Historical Society

Historical Places

Union Township The big draw to Petersburg was the Algonquin Mill which was named for the Indian Camp that was in the area. The first mill, built in 1815, was a saw mill and was fed by hand; but as time went by more and more improvements were added. A great dam was constructed about a quarter mile above the mill and a millrace was added to better regulate the water power. A grist mill was built in 1818 with burrs purchased by three men of the community who went to Pennsylvania for their purchase. This was done since local sandstone was not suitable for this purpose. After many years, a change was made from the burr-stone process of grinding to the patent roller and steam power.      
Mill before Restoration
George Tope operated the mill until his death in 1845. His family continued to operate the mill until 1865 when they sold to Alexander Riley. Mr. Riley continued its operation until 1879 when he sold it to Dr. Jasper Tope. Dr. Tope held ownership until 1890 with partial interest being held by James Rutledge, William Rutledge, David Brooks, Thomas Rutledge and Melancthon Wagner. It was purchased next by William N. Cory who installed boilers and converted from water to steam power. Prior to that time the meal or flour came from the burrs which were operated by a roller to remove the coarser particles and produce a finer flour. Since this required extra work, the conversion from water to steam was a great improvement. Mr. Cory also bought the old swell-body band wagon used by the Leavittsville Band and had a canvas made for it to use as a source of hauling grain. This helped promote the grain sales from Tope’s Mill at Algonquin.
Union Township

The Algonquin Mill --- 2010
Around 1900, Marion Hardesty sold his mill in Carrollton and bought the Algonquin Mill from Mr. Cory. His son Clair assisted in operations. In 1917 Clair sold out to John H. Miller of Basil (now Baltimore) who installed the second set of boilers. Mr. Miller operated the Mill until his death in 1936 when it passed to his daughter, Mae who married Arlie Chambers. Mr. and Mrs. Chambers  continued its operation until 1939 when it was closed for the first time in 120 years. When scrap metal was needed to help in the war effort of World War II, Mr. Chambers sold the boiler for that purpose. In 1969 the Chambers made the Mill available to the Carroll County Historical Society. They had to purchase a new boiler which was overhauled and installed by Ellis A. Wiley of Mechanicstown. Mr. Wiley was a retired engineer from Cleveland and he was assisted by his wife, Rhea. During its peak production the Mill produced 25 barrels in 24 hours, grinding wheat, corn and buckwheat. The building still stands as a monument of pioneer days.                                   
Union Township Every fall during the second weekend in October, the Carroll County Historical Society runs the Mill for a three day festival. In 1973, the Historical Society purchased the Stanley Ebling farm called Whispering Winds next door and added it to the Mill complex. This allowed them to expand the 3 day festival grounds. With that addition they were able to add more attractions such as three log homes that were reconstructed from various parts of the county. A summer kitchen from across the valley on the Donald Kennedy property was relocated to the Mill in 1977 and was made into a China painter’s house and an arboretum, were also added at that time.   
The two-story log house and
daffodil cross

In 1979 a 2 story log home which was originally on Trump road in Carrollton was added. The old train station from Wathey’s is now  part of the grounds as well. During the three day festival, participants may tour the buildings, purchase hand crafted items and see first hand how the grain is ground in the Mill.

More at www.carrollcountyohio.com/history/mill/millcomp.htm

 Leesville Lake

Leesville Lake is a fisherman’s paradise, with record size “muskies” and a population of channel catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and bluegill. The lake has two marinas which offer boat sales and service, boat rental, docking, bait and licenses and food service. Over 200 recreational vehicle campsites are also available. Hunting and trapping is regulated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and is permitted in designated areas during state seasons. Petersburg Marina is located at the end of the North Fork in this township.

This lake is here today because of a March 1913 flood in the Ohio Valley caused by 2 storms that passed over the watershed between March 23 and March 27 taking a toll of nearly 500 lives, in Ohio.  The cost in property destroyed and resulting economic losses exceeded $300 million. In Ohio the damages were especially severe in the watersheds of the Miami, the Scioto and the Muskingum Rivers. The cities most affected were Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville.

On February 17, 1914 Governor, James M. Cox signed the Ohio Conservancy Act that provided for groups of counties to join together to plan and implement flood control measurers in specific watersheds.

Union Township

Leesville Lake is one of ten “wet” lakes and four “dry” dams that comprise the flood control program of eighteen counties in eastern Ohio, operated by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District headquartered at 1319 Third St NW in New Philadelphia.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is dedicated to conservation and recreation conducted in harmony with flood control in the area drained by the Muskingum River and its tributaries. Funded from income generated by the stewardship of its lands and waters, the District strives to “enhance the quality of life in the Muskingum Lakes Region and beyond”. (Mission Statement)

Union Township

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District owns the lake (1000 acres) and surrounding land (2709 acres), and is responsible for managing conservation and recreational activities.  The lake has 28 miles of shoreline, a maximum depth of 47’ and has a 10 horsepower limit on all boating activities.

The Leesville Dam was constructed in 1937 on McGuire Fork Creek for the purpose of flood control. The dam is owned and operated by the U. S Army Corps of Engineers and located in Orange Township near Leesville.

 Pine Trees planted around Leesville Lake  
Union Township  

Leesville Dam     Depth 40’      Earthen Dam     3-8’ gates

Union Township 
 View of Leesville Lake as it was filling in the late 1930’s 
Union Township

 Tree Planting on the Bare Hillsides Dramatically Extended the Life of the Lake