Another Moraine Historical Marker dedicated was for the Laughead Log Cabin. It is located near the intersection of West Carrollton Soldiers Home Road and Pinnacle Road. I researched and wrote the language for the sign and the Moraine Street Division built and installed the sign.
This is the former site of a log cabin built in 1803 by former Revolutionary War soldier David Laughead. Laughead came to Ohio with an expedition led by Gen. George Rogers Clark and received the land as a grant from the act of Congress. David was the great-grandfather of William Laughead, author of the Paul Bunyan stories. The 1 ½ story log cabin, located on the east side of Possum Creek, featured a winding, narrow ladder stairway to the second floor. The 18 foot structure was made from 56 logs. Laughead later sold the cabin to David Davis who married Mary Noffsinger of Jefferson Twnsp. David walked 40 miles from Richmond, Ind. to court Mary. He was a farmer and blacksmith. All of their 10 children (see photo) were born in the log cabin. The blacksmith shop was across the street from the log cabin but was destroyed by fire around 1960.
When the Quillen family purchased the property in 1986, they discovered the log cabin beneath the outer siding of the structure. The siding was removed and the log cabin donated to the Kettering-Moraine Museum in 1987 where it was on display.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller Expedition Date: November 17, 2017
Considered one of the top ten mysteries in America, these giant stones were installed on a rural hillside in 1980. The man who built them is anonymous as is the real purpose of the monument.
HISTORY: In 1979, A man using the alias name “Mr. Christian” showed up to a Elberton granite company with detailed plans and $500,000 dollars. He ordered the rectangular stones, weighing 119 tons of solid granite, to be engraved in coded messages carved in the world’s eight most commonly spoken languages. The message was the same on each stone apparently intended for all of mankind.
Investigation: On a sunny day Rosie & I drove through the northeast corner of Georgia to the site. Elberton is the “Granite Capital of the World”. We could see the guidestones from the road set back on a grassy hill. Up close the pillars are huge and each contains the same carved, cryptic message in these languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic. On the top slab is Classical Greek and Egyptian Hieroglyphs. A female professor from Saudi Arabia (bottom photo) came by to help me interpret the Arabic slab. On close inspection we noticed the following.
The east and west corners of the monument track the sunrise and sunset. A slot cut in one of the slabs marks the winter & summer solstices. A shaft drilled through the center marks Polaris, the North star.
There are ten lines on each slab. Some lines talk about a moralistic call to higher thinking (such as seek harmony; protect people with fair laws; don’t be a cancer on the earth). One line seems to be a sign of the end days.
The precisely aligned stones are built to withstand an apocalypse.
In summary, no one knows who is behind this mysterious, sinister message bearing this persons philosophy for the world.
Investigation Team: Jim Hall, Jim Bucher (BuchTVguy), Dave Miller, Tammy Brackney (Upper Deck Bar Manager) Jeff Klaene, Mike Sopronyi, Jacque Kelly
Investigation Date: October 18, 2017
This is a follow-up investigation from six weeks ago due to recent paranormal reports. Special Guest TV Personality Jim Bucher and his crew filmed the investigation, interviewed investigators and made many posts on Facebook Live (go to Jim’s face book at BuchTVguy) to watch the posts. A couple of the posts are on my Facebook site). Buch joined us to investigate and obtain evidence of the possible Bugs Moran gangster ghost & other paranormal claims. Jim’s posts are all hilariously entertaining yet explain the history & nature of the investigation very well.
RECENT SIGHTINGS & CLAIMS: Two weeks ago on a Tuesday evening two bar patrons were playing pool just after the 12 midnight closing time. The front door was locked and everyone was gone but the two men and a female employee. The man playing pool saw someone walking across the room towards him in the low lighted room. The second man seated across the room yelled “there’s a man in here”. The female employee who was counting down the cash drawer ran into the room but saw no one. Seconds later she said the room became freezing cold and she froze in her tracks until the coldness passed. The three of them did a systematic search of the first floor and the basement but no one else was in the bar except them three.
The following Tuesday Jacque and I interviewed the female employee and one of the men. After related his experience he said that he had another paranormal encounter at the tavern. A couple of years ago he had too much to drink to safely drive home so he went up to the second floor and went to sleep. He was awakened around 3am due to footsteps coming up the stairs. Several times over the next hour he could hear footsteps coming up the stairs but as he peered down the hall the footsteps silenced at the top of the stairs and no person was visible.
INVESTIGATION & FINDINGS: The crew investigated the second floor, then first floor & lastly the basement from 12midnight to 2:00am. We had access to the second floor for the first time. Tammy said it is rented as a clubhouse for a local motorcycle club but it used to be a couple of rooms/apartments decades before. Cameras & tape recorders were placed in the rooms and stairs when the investigators went to other areas of Upper Deck. Jim Hall caught elevated EMF readings on several areas of the first floor but debunked them as excessive electrical wiring. No paranormal activity was noticed that night.
However, the following day when playing back a tape recorder that I placed at the top of the second floor stairs, I caught an unexplained slam around 1:10am and a second slam about a minute later. It sounded like doors slamming. All investigators were on the first floor at the time and nowhere near the second floor. We plan to interview many more John Bulls/Upper Deck patrons in the near future to hear their paranormal claims and then schedule a third investigation at some point.
EXTRA FINDINGS: Read Jim Bucher’s column “On the Beat” as he wrote two articles about Bugs Moran and the ghost hunt at Upper Deck Tavern. Go to DaytonCityPaper.com then click on Back Issues. Then click on the October 10 edition and go to page 10. Next click on the October 24-30 edition and go to page 9. I can’t stop laughing at the October 24th column. Great job Buch! (both articles are also on my Face book page).
This place is similar to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles that I visited in 1991 when I went out to run in the Los Angeles Marathon.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: In October 1803, while traveling down the Ohio River to meet William Clark for an expedition to the Pacific, Meriwether Lewis visited Big Bone Lick. He was to gather fossilized bones for President Thomas Jefferson. In September 1807, Clark supervised a three week dig for bones at President Jefferson’s request (over 300 bones and teeth were sent to him). Scientists consider William Clark’s dig at Big Bone Lick in 1807 as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology. Found here by Clark were prehistoric native American artifacts and bone from the mastodon, wooly mammoth and giant sloth. Big Bone Lick became the talk of the scientific world.
FINDINGS: The ice age mega-mammals listed above including herds of bison visited these bogs satisfying their natural taste for salt and minerals. The tremendous weight of these creatures made them vulnerable to sink in the unstable marshy ground surrounding the springs. Thousands were swallowed up, the salty ooze sealed their remains from air and preserved their bones. As climate warmed and the bogs dried up, bones were discovered. American and foreign museums have acquired tens of thousands of bones from this park.
Rosie and I hiked the park, observing that many of the springs and marches consist of brine: water mixed with salt (the smell reminded me of the sulfur pits at Yellowstone Park). In the 1800’s, Big Bone Lick was used for salt manufacturing (it took 500 to 1,000 gallons of brine to collect one bushel of salt) and was a fashionable tourist attraction for the southern wealthy as they bathed in the sulfur-salt spring water for medicinal purposes.
The park had a nice display showing sloth and wooly mammoths in a fake bog. However, the real gem of the park was a herd of American Bison, the largest land mammal in North America, re-introduced into the park a few years ago. Wild bison had last been seen in Kentucky in the early 1800’s
Investigation Team: Jimmy Hall, Carin Bell, Jeremy Bryant, Penny Tincher, Tim Sabin, Dave Miller
Investigation Date: October 26, 2016
Ellerton Cemetery, located near the corner of Route 4 and South Union Road, was established in 1815. It was a clear, pleasant evening as the team roved the large area located just behind the church buildings. The City of Moraine is in charge of maintaining the property. In the dark, the foreboding markers looked like a scene out of “Night of the Living Dead”.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The National Park Service lists the cemetery on the National List of Historic Places. Several Civil War soldiers are buried there along with many pioneer families from Moraine, West Carrollton and Jefferson Township.
INVESTIGATION: The team split up into pairs or by themselves. Jim and Penny both received high spikes on their mel meters (EMF detectors) near several tombstones of the Michael family. There were no electrical power lines or underground lines to debunk their findings. Two small lights glowed in the distance but were debunked as they turned out to be a solar angel and solar cross. Carin was reading a marker and commented how young the mother and daughter was. Immediately, Jeremy & Carin’s EMF meter spiked for a long period of time. Jim did several live updates that night on Facebook live.
In the summer of 1972 when not attending Fairmont West High School, John Spears, Dennis Griffith and I would hike the wooded area, sand & gravel pits and ridge line in the northeast part of Moraine between the railroad tracks and Carillon Park/Calvary Cemetery. Often we would climb and ride the trains short distances (once the train did not stop and we rode it clear to Cincinnati which was a scary adventure). On one hike while following a deer trail on the ridgeline we noticed a gravestone off by itself in the woods. It read Bernard Gansford, 1820-1876.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Well, maybe none. But Dayton was founded in 1805. Bernard had to be an early pioneer. If he (and maybe his family) lived near his burial site it was a prime time spot in the woods and near the clean Miami River for hunting and fishing. I spoke to staff at Dayton History (Carillon Park) while researching a different project and they wanted to know if I could find and confirm the name, date and location of the gravestone and they would research this pioneer being that the grave is relatively close to their park.
THE HIKE: Being 44 years later things have changed. The gravel/sand company is gone as is the former County Incinerator replaced by the County Solid Waste Transfer & Recycling Station and businesses like Compunet and Weiler Welding on Sandridge Drive. The deep wooded Calvary Ridge area we had to search is behind these buildings with Calvary Cemetery over the hill on the east side.
The hike began at 10:30am. Temperature was 86 degrees and very humid. There was no discernible trail. As we ascended we walked through some grass land but mainly knee to waist high weeds, grass and thistle bushes. We had many dead ends due to tree and weed thickets. We retraced our steps many times and came upon a sandy limestone cliff face pockmarked with holes. This otherworldly sight turned out to be hundreds of swallow houses as the birds swooped in and out of the holes. A quarter mile later behind the transfer station I found something white and round buried in the ground in the weeds. Then another. Rosie and I ended up finding 25 golf balls out in the weedy middle of nowhere. I am sure there are more. I finally found a small trail with few weeds that headed up a steep hillside to a grassy area. At the summit where the grass was it was clear and the tree line near the ridge top was only 75 yards away. I was very spent from the climb and the recent chemotherapy, hot and dizzy. It was now 88 degrees. I sipped water, took photos and rested. I returned downhill to where Rosie waited. I spotted a deer but it turned out to be a joke on me – a plastic deer standing in the woods. So soon I will return and hike and explore further up the hill seeking the old trail and the gravestone.
Expedition Team: Jacqueline Miller, Holly Miller, Dave Miller, Javier Riesco Gonzalez, Shane Miller, Justin Eller, Kei Haguchi
Expedition Dates: 2006 & 2012
Mammoth Cave is the longest recorded cave system in the world with more than 348 miles mapped and explored. It is three times longer than any other known cave and geologists estimate there could be 600 miles of undiscovered passageways. Two guides led our group each time on a 7 hour, 5 ½ mile exploration to little explored areas that regular walking tours do not go on.
THE EXPLORATION: Our group was supplied thick coveralls, hard hats, head light, gloves, knee pads and a small pack for our lunch. We supplied ankle high hiking boots. Due to a cave fungus that kills bats, the National Park Service collect and wash the gear after usage to prevent the fungus from spreading. We descended 300 to 350 feet below the surface and spent the day walking, crawling, climbing, rolling or wiggling acrobatically through seemingly impossible openings or challenging climbs. We saw cave crickets, cave beetles and bats. On many rocks we saw charcoal autographs from the 1800’s and early 1900’s from early cave guides. There is a reason a person with a chest size of over 42 inches is not allowed to participate. You can get stuck. My hips barely made it through several tight holes. Many times the squeeze was so tight that you had to lay on your back, relax and control your breathing so that your chest sank enough to wiggle across long stretches. This trip is not for anyone who is claustrophobic. The exploration was starkly beautiful but physically demanding as everyone was pooped by the end. We all ate very well that evening around the campground campfire. Since photos were difficult to take, I included photos from previous trips in which we took our foreign exchange students, Javi from Spain and Kei from Japan.
Below are a few pictures of Expedition #1 to find the original South Dixie Highway. It was built in sections, some dirt and some brick in the 1840’s and originally called the Cincinnati-Dayton Pike, Great Miami Turnpike and old State Route 25. Through written reports and through old photo’s (like the 1918 photo #3 below showing the area before Frisch’s Restaurant was built), I determined that the original highway still may exist in sections underground. Using old maps, I guessed that it ran parallel to the existing overpass (where Dryden Road dead ends to Central/Dixie). On my 14th ground probe about twenty yards north of the railroad underpass, I hit more than dirt and small rocks. It was solid. I dug down about three inches, found a brick and then cleared out a section. Like magic, there it was. The original road was a ground crossing over the Big 4 Railroad (no bridge then) although there was bridges just south of here crossing over the Miami-Erie Canal and the old interurban ROV transit/trolley line.
As we pulled up, I saw what looked like two oblong silver saucers joined by a big metal duct (walkway). This sort of alien duplex, is an iconic piece of architecture and a Carlisle landmark. Investigator Holly said of the UFO looking house “I thought Fox Mulder was going to walk out any minute.”
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Designed in 1968 at the height of the space craze by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, his intent was to create a prefabricated portable ski chalet/cabin. It was called a Futuro House. Each house was made of only 16 pieces and consisted of 16 to 20 windows, one bedroom, one bathroom and a 25 foot padded bench that curved around one room. You had to climb retractable stairs to enter. Only 96 Futuro Houses were made.
FINDINGS: What makes this unique is it is the only Twin Futuro House on record. Originally, one of the Carlisle Futuro houses was installed at the Wright Brothers Airport in Springboro in the 1970’s and was there for several years. The second house was rumored to have been a donut shop, original location unknown. Both were eventually moved to the Carlisle location and were used as a residence. Today, the outer curved shell appears to have some deterioration but overall, the twin UFO’s look quite eerie at night.
The UFO House is located at 9961 Central Ave. (corner of Carlisle Pike 123 and Chamberlain Road) just southeast of Twin Creek Metropark.
Dive Team: Matt Miller, Austin Whitt, Holly Miller, Dave Miller
Dive Date: August 15, 2016
This was an environmental cleanup dive to promote safe fish habitat and remove harmful plastic from Deer Meadow Park’s nine acre pond. We concentrated our cleanup around disc golf course water holes #2 & #3. We removed six plastic bottles, 31 discs and one golf ball. We also saved the life of a turtle who had swallowed bait and a hook. After the dive we took the turtle home and Dr. Matt & Dr. Austin surgically removed the hook and fishing line and Nurse Dave drove the turtle back and released him in the pond.
Visibility was only 1 to 4 feet. Dive lights had no effect. We did see some bass, crappie and bluegill. We wore swimming trunks & dive gear but no wetsuits. The water was warm but in deeper water we hit many thermoclines (a layer of colder water between the warmer surface zone and the colder deep water zone). My max depth was around 12 feet but brave scuba divers Matt & Austin went deeper. They finally abandoned their descent at 18 feet due to a freezing thermocline and zero visibility. A thunderstorm ended our 70 minutes of diving.
The next afternoon Holly and Dave used the final two tanks of air diving a large pond beside the Moraine Miami River Boat Dock off of East River Road. Once again dodging rain showers we dove 50 minutes with 10 foot visibility. Aquatic plants near shore gave way to grass slopes and dirt bottom with many shells. Barren pockets in the grass held bluegill and small fish. Saw a few large catfish. Hit very cold thermo clines at 20 feet. Did not go beyond 24 feet in the dark depths. This was a surprisingly clear, safe and warm water dive for the first 10 feet. Can’t wait to go back.