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History and Mystery of Zanesville Multi-Cache

This cache has been archived.

Backwoods Reviewer: As the owner has not responded to my prior note, I am archiving this listing.

Backwoods Reviewer Community Volunteer Reviewer

Hidden : 06/01/2021
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Welcome to Secrest Auditorium, your starting point on this 10 stop multi-cache.  The Zanesville Muskingum County Convention & Visitors Bureau is conveniently located just a block away, so be sure to stop in for information on other gems in the area not included for this cache!

This stop features a mural of Mosaic Tile depicting Zanesville’s history! Secrest Auditorium was dedicated in 1940 and re-dedicated in 1987, named after the late State Representative Robert T. Secrest. The auditorium hosts musicals, concerts, theatrical performances, dances, comedic presentations, as well as other various events including local entertainment.

Mr. Secrest is said to haunt the auditorium. He is often seen in the balcony, on the stairs, and occasionally carrying a ladder.  However, it is rumored that the auditorium was haunted before he died. 

Second Stop:  After a heated battle between John McIntire, son-in-law to the founder of Zanesville, and Dr. Increase Mathews, the city’s first medical doctor, this location served as Ohio’s statehouse from 1810-1812.  Here you will find a memorial dedicated to the 297 Muskingum County residents who died in WWII and the Korean War.

Third Stop:  The owner of this location boasts arguably the largest body of work of bronze statues by any living sculptor.  His monuments have been commissioned throughout the United States, including the Thomas Alva Edison statue that is part of the Congress' Statuary Hall collection in Washington, DC.

"We are a state of inventors and pioneers, of dreamers and creators, always reaching for the next frontier.” - Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown

Fourth Stop:  A look back in time. This working tandem lock is still manually operated by a lock tender just like when it was built.  Additionally, the lock still utilizes the same operating mechanism design engineered by the Corps during the late nineteenth-century re-construction. 

The Zanesville lock tender’s house was likely built circa 1915 shortly after the 1913 Flood.  Be on the lookout for a place to compare your height to the flood line at a later stop!  The house formerly served as the headquarters for the Muskingum River Parkway. In 1978, the Zanesville Lock and Dam #10 and lock tender’s house were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Zanesville Lock and Dam #10, the lock tender’s house, and towpath island are now part of the Muskingum River State Park. 

Fifth Stop:  The original owner of this home was introduced to you in a previous stop.  Now a museum, it is the oldest building in the area.  The house was bequeathed to the Pioneer and Historical Society in 1970.  Today, visitors can tour the museum May through 2 0.3XX

You are officially half way! 

Sixth Stop:  This location is the only public building from the early 1800's still standing in Ohio.  Constructed in 1809 by Dr. Increase Mathews, Levi Whipple, and Ebenezer Buckingham, it was designed to serve as the new state capitol building. Across the river in Zanesville, then a separate and rival community, John McIntire and others constructed a building of their own with the same goal, and won.

The location functioned as a school and a public building until it was converted to a private residence in 1840. The building also served as a station on the Underground Railroad.  It is now part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

This location is also said to be haunted, and around Halloween tours are given of the building.  

Seventh Stop:  This was the home of a former slave who became a self-made millionaire!  After being freed upon his owner’s death, he purchased his wife and settled in Zanesville.  Although he worked off the fee for her purchase, her owner refused to free her, which led to a court hearing.  As a result, slave marriage was recognized as a legal union for the first time in U.S. history.  

Eighth Stop:  Nicknamed Vase Henge, this stop covers a different aspect of the rich history of the city.  Zanesville was once the pottery capital of the United States. The “Clay City” was home of many prized pottery companies, including Weller Pottery, which employed 1,500 workers, making it Zanesville’s largest employer. Many Weller Pottery works are valuable collectibles today.

Ninth Stop:  The original sternwheeler was launched on the Muskingum River in 1895 and was named for a love song, “Lorena”, written during the Civil War era by a Zanesville minister.  It carried freight and passengers from Zanesville to Pittsburgh and back.  No one seems to be certain of what happened to the original.

In 1972, Zanesville decided to search for a paddle wheeler to bring to the Zane’s Trace Commemoration. Their search led them to the Bryce M. located in Arkansas, where it had been used as a tugboat on the Arkansas River.  It was renovated to look as close as possible like those boats that traveled the Muskingum in the early 1900s.

Final Stop:  The park you are in now has the only eternal flame memorial dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients.  Plaques placed alongside these sculptures honor those from Muskingum County who died during the Iraqi Conflict and in the Republic of Vietnam.  In front of these plaques and the eternal flame are the POW/MIA flag, the United States of America’s flag, and the Ohio flag.

Ghostly figures are often seen wandering the riverfront around this area, so be on the lookout as you search for the final cache! 

Congratulations to michelle566 on the FTF! 😁

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Sbe lbhe svefg fgbc, ‘ZREVPN!

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)