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Appreciating Carroll County

It is easy to gush about the natural beauty and down-home comfort of Carroll County.  Hopefully, the photos on this page will give you a glimpse into the quiet settings and rich heritage that have enticed many of us to put down roots in this tiny spot on the map.  This article is continued below the photo block . . .


To experience Carroll County, follow one of the many meandering country roads that lead over rolling hills, along miles of farmland, past historic sites, recreational facilities, Christmas tree farms, small streams and sparkling blue lakes.  Along the way you will see old barns with the names of the original owners lettered in the shingles on their roofs. Many of the accompanying farmhouses were built before the Civil War and have been passed down through several generations of homesteading families. Try to imagine “the stories those walls can tell.” 


You won’t find cities here, but you can enjoy a walk through our villages.  Visit a variety of retail, antique and consignment shops; dine at local restaurants; tour historic sights; view and purchase the work of local artisans; picnic, hike, bike and golf in recreational areas; listen to music at the Bluebird Amphitheater;  join the large crowds at high school sporting events; and much more.


The Carrollton Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from early spring to late fall and on Tuesdays at the height of the produce season. Some farmers continue to maintain seasonal roadside stands where you can purchase fresh produce, eggs, honey, firewood, straw and other items.  


Although the open spaces, natural surroundings, and slower pace of country life attracted many to this place, it is the intangible feelings of connectedness and sense of community that anchor us here.  It is an area ripe with commitment and community pride.  Volunteerism is contagious and there is a full schedule of community events like, pancake breakfasts, church dinners, civic club barbeques, parades and street festivals as well as walks, and runs to benefit nonprofit causes and help neighbors in need. 


Many of our best friends today were our classmates in the small, local schools we attended.  A simple trip to the grocery store or post office is almost always a chance to visit and exchange news with friends and neighbors. 


It’s obvious that change is on the way.  We can let “what happens happen,” or we can consciously take a role in holding onto what we love as we adjust to the inconveniences and congestion that are about to impact our lives. 


Let’s take a deep breath and consider the situation. As a friend pointed out to me recently, to be aware is the best way to prepare. 


If the oil and gas exploration in Carroll County plays out like it has in other parts of the country, a lot of hopes and dreams are about to be realized. Money is already flowing into the lives of many Carroll County landowners.  They will be able to pay their mortgages and other debts; have medical coverage; send their kids to college; better support churches, schools and charities; take vacations and much more. 


Those who don’t own land can benefit from the abundance of good paying jobs that will be created.  Many local business owners should be able to thrive and even expand their businesses, if they can find enough employees. Perhaps boarded up businesses will be reopened and the old buildings will receive a new coat of paint and needed structural repairs. Nice.


But, the other side of this coin will require a deeper breath to accept. Living in the midst of oil and gas production has been challenging for residents in North Dakota and Pennsylvania.  Their populations are doubling, hundreds of trucks per day move through their villages and down back roads.  There is construction everywhere.  Small businesses can’t find enough employees for their minimum wage jobs.  Traffic is congested and there are longer wait times for everything from fast food to medical care.


Much has been written about the environmental concerns with drilling.  Friends familiar with the first wells being drilled say they are very impressed by the strict protection measures they see at the well sites.  It is also comforting to learn the drilling companies are working on ways to clean and reuse fracking water, rather than dispose of it in other ways. 


It will take our best joint efforts to preserve all that we love about small town and country living; to protect our connectedness and sense of community.  It is said that knowledge is power and we hope the Carroll County Gusher can be one of the many sources you will use to stay aware and prepare for the developments that will affect all our lives.  We will use this space to report how others have learned to thrive in the midst of fast paced change.  We hope you will send us your ideas for how we can work together to meet our challenges while we also seize the new opportunities coming to Carroll CountyFor a more detailed list of Carroll County’s attractions, community events, accommodations, dining options, specialty stores, recreational sites, historical attractions, maps and much more, go to the Carroll County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Website by clicking on their Logo below.


Our Land Just Keeps Providing!

Oil and Gas Is Source of County’s

Third Economic Boom


Can you name the first two?


The discovery of gas and oil in Carroll County has grabbed recent headlines; but if we pause for a minute and take a look back, we can see a comforting history of how the natural resources here keep providing for the people of the county.


In the early 1800s pioneers migrated to Carroll County from eastern states and European countries. Most identified themselves as farmers, stock raisers, or craftsmen. They were attracted by the rich farmland and “nearly unbroken forests.” Their crops sustained them and the forests allowed them to build houses, barns, and businesses. The timber provided fuel and could be sold for a profit.


The early settlers of Carroll County had no way of knowing that the land they walked on had once been covered by the southern edge of the great glacier. The glacier had leveled the land and left behind rich deposits of gravel, sand, coal and clay.


Many farmers probably cursed the clay and coal they found in the exact places they wanted to plant corn and grain. But, a few of them, in their spare time, experimented in making bricks and using the coal to fire the bricks. 


In 1886, John Kratz, a Malvern resident, decided to make bricks as a business. The History of Carroll and Harrison Counties, published in 1921, reports that after he inspected a fire-clay plant in New Cumberland, West Virginia, he returned to Malvern and began prospecting for an adequate amount of clay and coal.


According to historical reports, “After numerous tests had been made by digging and drilling, fire-clay was found in great abundance on the farm of the late Col. David Roach.  At once, in a very primitive way, development was started.”


In the fall of 1886, Kratz partnered with Ross Rue of Alliance, Ohio to form Kratz & Rue.  Together they are credited with manufacturing and burning the first kiln of fire-clay bricks in the Sandy Valley.


The two of them had no way of knowing that over the next thirty years Carroll County clay product plants would produce enough paving bricks to build a road 20 feet wide from New York to San Francisco, and enough hollow building tile to construct a complete city for 500,000 people.  Click here to continue reading.

Diane Walker Evans

Financial Adviser


200 N Market Street

Minerva, OH 44657


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Land For Rent

Nine Acres - Great for Oil Well Use

500 feet from State Route 183

Malvern, Ohio


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