Tavern tours offered Oct. 21


By Polly Horn - Special to The Sunbury News

Tim and Amy Welsh are opening their home and yard as a fund raiser for the Big Walnut Area Historical Society from 1 to 4 on Saturday, October 21.

Gilbert Van Dorn opened an Inn in a log cabin when he settled in Trenton township on 1000 acres in 1817. He soon added extra log rooms, put out a gilded sun on a sign and opened his Center Inn which continued to serve travelers along Portage Indian Trail which became St. Rt. 37. Later he made brick on the property to build onto his house. His daughter and son-in law, John and Caroline Armstrong and later their son Charles V. Armstrong continued to operate the business until Charles sold it to Herman Zieschange in 1935.

Center Inn also known as the Van Dorn Tavern was the original meeting place for the Condit Presbyterian Church. Members alternated meeting there and in the Ogden school while they built a church on the west side of 605. Van Dorm became the local Justice of the Peace and held court in his Inn as well as ran a small convenience store and postoffice to serve Trenton Township. He collected taxes from his neighbors and took them to Delaware to pay them.

At the event on Saturday, guided tours of the home are $5 for everyone age 8 and older. Younger children will have to be controlled or carried by their parents. The tour is not handicapped accessible.

On the west yard demonstrations and exhibits are set up for your enjoyment. Old time hands-on crafts for the young include dipping candles, making corn-cob dolls or making Tussy Mussies. All ages may try their hand at the tavern games or watch women hooking rugs. Or you may schedule a 15 minute reading with Lisa Noland-Shalosky for $25. (Her fee goes to the historical Society).

50/50 tickets will be sold for a $1 each, 6 for $5 or 12 for $10. Be sure your name and phone number is on each of the tickets when you put them in the jar. The winner will be drawn at 4:00.

A Silent Auction with an original oil painting of General Rosecrans’ Statue in front of the Town Hall, an overnight stay in Hocking Hills Get Away, two Half Hour private readings by Columbus, Ohio’s very own Psychic Medium, Trance Channel and Certified Spiritual Hypnotist Lisa Noland-Shalosky as well as many other items which will make great gifts. Check it out at www.ThroughTheDecades.org. On the day of the event Silent Auction items will be under the canopies along the east side of the driveway.

Homemade cookies, cider, lemon-aid, snacks and a birthday cake will be served in the food court throughout the event. Be sure to buy a password for $10 to get into the Speak Easy for adult beverages.

Special $25 VIP Pass includes a house tour, one 50/50 ticket and two adult drinks. VIP Passes are sold online at www.ThrughTheDecades.org using credit cards or Paypal or for cash at the Myers Inn Museum Gift Shop. All advance sales completed before day of event will have buyer’s name entered in a drawing for a basket of Sunbury Goodies. VIP Pass will also be sold at the entry table.

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes from any decade 1817 to the present. At 3:30 all costumed attendees are invited to meet on the front steps for the Costume Contest. A prize will be awarded for the costume best representing the decade it is portraying.

Once again the Center Inn, as Gilbert Van Dorn called it, will be the hub of community activity in Trenton Township. Need more information, call 740-965-3582.


By Polly Horn

Special to The Sunbury News