Ghost Towns and Graveyards
Scavenger Hunt Clue:
“Fire in the Hole” Danger, Danger!
A major nitroglycerin explosion left a deep hole in the ground near the current site of a metro-park named after a former Toledo Blade Reporter. Find the “watering hole” deep inside the woods of this park. Pose for a fun photo by the tree that has been made into a wood-carving with turtle, pelican, and frog on top.
Want to Know More?
Oil Refineries come to Oregon and Jerusalem Townships
Oil was discovered in Oregon and Jerusalem Townships in 1885. This brought a number of related industries and employment opportunities to the area. Oil Refineries were built to handle the storage and distribution of the oil and at one time Oregon had four oil refineries. Men, with and without families came to work the oil fields and the refineries. Some families opened up their homes to house the workers. Boarding houses were built to provide for the single men who just needed a place to sleep. Farmers benefitted financially for about 15 years when rigs were set on their land for drilling and pumping the wells. Once the drills hit oil rock it was necessary to “shoot the well.” That called for one or two men to lower nitroglycerin into the hole. On impact, an explosion would occur that enlarged the hole and helped pump the oil out of the well. It was a dangerous task and required great skill or the exploding nitroglycerin could resurface and blow things on land to pieces along with the men (called shooters) working at the site. The nitroglycerin was brought in by a truck and stored in a wooden shanty that was built in the middle of the woods between Jerusalem Road (Now known as Route 2 and Seaman Road), approximately where Pearson Park sits now. One day a shooter with his team of horses and wagon came to the shanty for a load of Nitroglycerin. No one knows just what happened, but in loading his wagon, something set off the entire truckload of stored Nitroglycerin and an explosion occurred that could be heard for miles. It tore a huge hole in the earth. A search party was formed to find the man, his horses, and wagon, and all that was ever found were a few small fragments of the man’s clothing and one horse head with an ear of corn still in its mouth. Obviously, the man was feeding his team of horses while loading his wagon.
History Fun Fact
By the 1920’s, most of the region’s trees had been cut down and refinery work and farming had become prominent income sources for families. Mr. George Pearson, who worked for the Toledo Blade and lived in east Toledo, saw the need to preserve a parcel of the dense tree landscape. He advocated for a park and eventually succeeded in the creation of Pearson Park, which is named after him.