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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Questions from afar

Not every question asked comes from Newton Falls. This past few weeks the Newton Falls Public Library staff has had inquiries from outside the Mahoning Valley, including the Cleveland area, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona. One question came from the Cleveland area via email. “Where can I purchase the two covered bridge Christmas ornaments?” As many of the staff are local residents and familiar with the ornaments, it only took a couple of phone calls to determine that Art Effects may still has some of the older ones available. It turned out that those were not the ones the patron desired. Mrs. Traina was able to direct him to Nussle’s Florist where the Rotary ornaments are for sale.

Our covered bridge is a popular topic. The caller from Georgia was looking for a map of Newton Falls or Trumbull County which showed where the covered bridge is located. She had access to the Internet, so while speaking with her she was instructed to go to online to Google Maps [] and type in Bridge St. 44444. There she was able to see a map of the area around the bridge. When she selected ‘satellite’ she could actually see a photograph of the bridge. Her flight was coming into Akron Canton Airport, so she was also able to get directions from the airport to the Newton Falls Covered Bridge.

A visitor from Pennsylvania was seeking a map of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal. He was following the canal as it traveled from New Castle, Pennsylvania through Newton Falls to Akron, Ohio. The librarian was able to show him Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal: 160 years 1840 – 2000 and The Ohio Canals by Frank N. Wilcox. Each volume had historical information about it. The Ohio Canal Society [] has a map online which shows all the communities the P & O Canal ran through. By selecting ‘Local History and Tourist Information’ on our library’s website [], a detailed map can be found which shows where the canal went through Newton Falls. Lock 22 was located near Lock Street, and the canal also ran along part of Canal Street near the library.

The caller from Arizona was seeking information about his ancestors. His question was transferred to our Local History Room. While some of his family was from the Braceville area, others lived in Earlsville. “Earlsville was near Main Street. The boundary lines were from the bridge on Main Street, along the river behind EK Concrete to Division Street. Division Street was so named to refer to the dividing line between Earlsville and Newton Falls” [from Ruth Sharec oral history]. The Local History collection has an abundance of material about Newton Falls, Newton Township, and their residents. Photographs, local newspapers, street directories, and more are available as resources to discover more about your family or your neighborhood. A sampling of the material currently on display are arrowheads, tools, school related items, Police Department equipment, and souvenir dishware. The Local History Room hours are Monday – Wednesday noon – 8 p.m., Thursday & Friday 9 – 5 p.m. It is also open the first full weekend of each month. It is closed the Friday before that first weekend.

Remember September is LIBRARY CARD SIGN-UP MONTH. A library card will allow you to borrow a plethora of books, media, magazines, and more for free. For more information or to get the answers to your questions, visit the Newton Falls Public Library, 204 S. Canal Street, Newton Falls, phone 330-872-1282, or online at Sunday hours, noon to 5 p.m., will resume on September 7.

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