Our annual field trip to Ash Cave actually consists of many stops along the way to and from the cave.  Our first stop is to Hope Furnace, (originally called Big Sandy Furnace as was discovered just a few years ago) where students learn about the history of this particular furnace from an ODNR naturalist and about its contributions to the iron industry they have learned about in class.  Descriptions of a bustling little Pittsburgh are brought to mind!  Today all that remains of the furnace is the partial stack.  For more information about the Hanging Rock region, visit our site on Buckeye Furnace.
        Along the way to Ash Cave and Hope Furnace, students look for signs of history out the windows, such as evidence of old coal tipples, yellow boy, and name of towns such as Mineral and Ore.  Once at Ash Cave, our discussions turn toward geology and botany, as students recall their learning of erosion and how the caves of southeastern Ohio were formed.  Ash Cave was so named because huge mounds of ashes were discovered on the floor of the cave by early settlers are thought to have been left from the ancient campfires of early tribes of Indians.  Plant identification in a large part of our visit here as well.  In the next few weeks, look for pictures from some of our previous visits!

        Students also travel to Haydenville where they see the remains of a real company town.  We also stop at one of the original canal locks from the Hocking Canal, reviewing how the canal worked, as well as how the canals impacted the area.

        Our final stops include the Nelsonville Brick Park as we reflect on some of the major industries in the area and how they worked, as well as The Plains Indian Mounds and our previous studies of Mound Builders.

Look in the next few weeks for pictures of our previous visits to these places!