Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don Adds a Chapter to Our Family History on the Ohio

Captain Don helps lock the Jennie Wade through the Meldahl Dam lock on her way to Cincinnati.

I know it's been a good six months since I've added anything to this blog. I always seem to want to add things in chronological order, but my brother, Don Jones, gave me a good reason to go "out of order."

On April 1, 2013, Don ended his term as "President" of Champion Window, a company he had worked for and developed for twenty years. The company was purchased from the original owners by a group of out-of-state investors. The writing was pretty much on the wall. But not for Don ...

Don was able to become the owner of the Rivertowne Marina on Kellogg Avenue. This is the "right" move on so many levels. Don has always had a love of the river, working on the Delta Queen just out of high school, and purchasing increasingly larger boats over time. His current boat, the Fleur de Lis, was docked at Four Seasons Marina and provided the larger Jones family with countless memories, especially of trips to view the fireworks on Labor Day.

This second career has enabled Don to combine a love of the river with his business skills. He immediately made changes to the marina, cutting down overgrown weeds, identifying abandoned boats for removal, etc. But that's not enough for Don.

Rivertowne Marina actually includes 42 acres (including water) and has a lot of empty space that could be developed. Long-time customers were thrilled to discover that the new owner actually has a Captain's license and a love of boating at all levels -- well, maybe sailboats are an exception.

He has so much vision. He recently made the decision to purchase the Jennie Wade, a 54' sternwheeler with an interesting history. Lacking an engine, the boat was pushed down the river by a towboat yesterday to make its new home at Rivertowne Marina. Don has an incredible vision for the future of this boat. It may serve as a concession enabling Rivertowne boaters to purchase ice, soft drinks and snacks without having to leave the facility. It will also add quite a bit of ambiance to a somewhat sterile environment. He has many other ideas, but I would be remiss to reveal them at this time.

I think all of the Joneses couldn't help but believe that Dad looked down on us with approval as we moved the Jennie Wade from Chilo to Cincinnati in beautiful weather. The marina is not very far from the East End location where four generations of Joneses lived and worked as far back as 1840 in Cincinnati. I feel like we have come full circle and that all of us are rejoicing in Don's newest project. If you want to know more, "like" the Rivertowne Marina facebook page and follow a new blog on the Jennie Wade located at Jennie Wade Sternwheeler.

Welcome aboard!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Proud Man - Charles Fred Jones aka "Butch"

I've written about my grandfather and his pride in his work before. I'm grateful that the Cincinnati Transit Company published a bimonthly news magazine called The News. I thought I had pretty much gleaned what I could from their publication until I found out that the Cincinnati History Library and Archives had some copies I may not have reviewed. A trip to the library uncovered some gems I had not previously discovered. What joy! And so I share them with you -- my fellow Joneses.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's Done with Ropes

From The News, May-June 1946, p. 17.
The News was a bi-monthly publication of the Cincinnati Transit Company, aka "the bus company." My Dad, John Thomas Jones, worked in the "car barn" where his father was the foreman. This picture was taken one year after Dad served in England during World War II. Eventually he would become a mechanic, and later, an electrician. The picture in the magazine had more detail that the one I was able to reproduce, but you get the idea. I love it when someone comes up with a simple solution to a problem they face -- as this one was. Dad would have been 25 at the time of this picture.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Unexpected Find Thanks to Google Books

In the evening when I am half-watching TV, I often search for the names of family members on google books. (Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE google books)? Last night I was searching on my grandfather, Charles F. Jones. Up came a reference to The News published by the Cincinnati Transit Company where both my grandfather and father were employed. Thanks to our wonderful Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co., I was able to "Ask A Librarian" to find this article on microfilm and email me a digital image free! So here is today's piece of gold.

In truth, The News labeled the picture incorrectly. From left to right it should read Pfc. Charles F. Jones, Jr., Sgt. Robt. L. Jones, and Cpl. John T. Jones.The article refers to two of the sons meeting in England, and I have a picture of that. It also references a separate article in The News and a picture in the Enquirer -- so I guess I have more hunting to do.

John and Bob in England
Update: Here is the same picture as it appeared in The News, periodical published by the Cincinnati Street Railway, July/Aug.1945, p.7.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dad's House in the 1937 Flood

2424 Eastern Ave. (now Riverside) from the 1937 Flood
Yesterday, Bryan Phillips, owner of the East End facebook page, texted me that there was a video on you tube that had a picture of my Dad's house 2 minutes and 30 seconds in.  I couldn't wait to check it out.

Brian Gordon posted this video on facebook in April, 2010. Here is how he described it.

I contacted Brian Gordon for permission to embed the video and a "snip" of Dad's house on this blog. He graciously agreed. Although we have a picture of Dad's house in the flood, I don't think it does justice to just how bad the flood was for the Jones family. I'm also grateful for Brian Gordon's description of everything on this video.

I guess it gives a whole new meaning to "A River Runs Through Us."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's the End of an Era

Today marks the demise of one of the most prominent landmarks in the East End -- Highland School. This school has gone through many changes during the past 15 years or so.  After no longer being used as an elementary school, the school became home to one program after another including an Inland Waterways Program, a Montessori School and later the East End Heritage School. My Dad lived directly across the street from the school and attended it during his elementary years.

Despite several attempts to repurpose the building, none of these efforts came to pass.  Located in the flood plain of the Ohio River, it was difficult to obtain financing. I'm told there were restrictions about how big the footprint of the building could be and deed restrictions from a large underground pipe behind the building.  Empty and abandoned for several years, the last coup de gras (deathblow) came from vandals who removed gutters and downspouts allowing the building to be overtaken with mold. It only took a little over a week. Pictured is the transition . . .

The Beginning of the End
Photo Credit:  Bryan Phillips

Earlier Today (8-30-2012)
Photo Credit:  Bryan Phillips

Later Today
I spoke to the man from O'Rourke, and he told me that it will be another month before everything is cleared away.  They are recycling rebar, concrete, and everything that can be salvaged. If you look carefully at the picture in the bottom right, you can see the roof-line of my Dad's former home. I can't help but wonder if it will be next.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paddlefest 2012

Paddlefest 2012
This past Sunday in Cincinnati, over 2200 people took to their canoe, kayak or other non-powered mode of transportation and paddled down the Ohio River from Coney Island to the Public Landing -- a trip of eight miles.  Unfortunately, no matter what I did, I couldn't capture it as I would have liked because I needed a telephoto lens.  Just take my word for it -- it was fantastic. One of the stated purposes is to celebrate the resource that the Ohio River is to our community.