How Pot Roast Settled the West


It goes like this:

     After the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the American Revolution (1775-1783), and the War of 1812 (1812-1815) the original 13 colonies found themselves broke. 
     Without the means to repay the farmers, and clerks, and boys, and widows, that had won these conflicts the state of Connecticut came up with an idea.
     It owned a large tract of land in what was (then) thought of as the ‘West’ (but was actually the top third of the state of Ohio) so in 1795 Connecticut sold it’s land rights to a group of venture capitalists. They formed the Connecticut Land Company, and (as was part of the agreement between the state and the company), sold parcels at ‘undervalue’ to citizens of the state (or their heirs) who had served.
     In 1810, one enterprising young man ( the son of a veteran of the French and Indian War), who was ‘down-on-his-luck’ bought 500 acres for $1,200.
     Connecticut was overly crowded, too expensive, and the winter’s were harsh. Northeast Ohio was being touted as the “New West’, full of fertile land, clear water and hearty wild game- perfect for a growing family and a man desiring to stake his claim in the world.

     So he moved them, sight unseen, to Bath, Ohio- no questions asked (sure).
     He grew his family and farm with crops, livestock, children, and wives (he had two).
     Three generations lived on this parcel- until 1956, when Jonathan Hale‘s great-granddaughter donated the main house, farm, ancillary buildings, and remaining 170 acres to the Western Reserve Historical Society.
   Today, this place is known as Hale Farm and Village and it is charming. Docent’s are weaving from lamb’s wool carded on site, throwing pottery in an ancient kiln, and cooking from the gardens. 
   It didn’t hurt that I was in the company of my mother and daughter and we were anticipating the savory delights of my mother’s famous pot roast upon our return.
   So grab some family, put on a sweater, and go visit a Living History property near you…

just remember to put a roast
 in the oven 
before you leave.
The original
Homestead of Jonathan Hale
Completed 1825
2686 Oak Hill Road
Bath, Ohio


The Meetinghouse
Moved from Streetsboro, Ohio to the ‘Village’ site across the road,
this building was used for public gatherings as well as worship.


A long view across a field to the back of
The Homestead


A view of the autumn garden.


The Herrick House,
built 1845, moved from
Twinsburg, Ohio
to the ‘Village’


The Goldsmith/Robinson House
Built 1830.
Moved from Willoughby, Ohio


Thistle still blooming


Wool (from sheep on the property)
that has been carded and spun into threads and yarn.
It is dyed using all organic material.
So beautiful and soft.


  • Carol Cassara - Screw the living history, i want your mom’s POT ROAST! Only kidding. I love stuff like that. But I do like pot roast. If it’s a good one.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I hear ya. I will post her Pot Roast recipe soon. It will NOT disappoint.ReplyCancel

  • Elin Stebbins Waldal - Love the images at the end of your post, makes my hankering for fall to hurry up and arrive in California grow stronger! Your post inspired me to seek a living history farm here and I discovered there is one two hours from my house, it looks gorgeous too. Thanks for the great tip!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Good for you! They really are all around us-Living History opportunities. I just LOVE them. I recently heard of a new plantation that has opened to the public and will be scouting it out soon. Stay tuned!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - Love history and this was so interesting. Love to feel those yarns. I should really seek out these places in my own back yard. We are rich in history as well! It’s not all Soprano’s and Housewives of NJ!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - New Jersey has such a rich history I bet they are and if you do- I’d love to hear about them!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Loved this. Everything about it. History is so freaking interesting. And everything has it. We forget that. Every old building, every old table with rings on it has history. If only the walls could talk.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I know!!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting in a place and started asking too many questions about it’s history. LOVE IT!ReplyCancel

  • Myke Todd - Fascinating display of Americana… Both interesting and informative… Love your pictures!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Myke! Glad you stopped by!!ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn - Ok, so when ever you put food in the title, I’ve grown to expect an amazing recipe to accompany the story you tell. I was sad when I reached the end of the story, and no recipe for pot roast 🙁ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh boy. You caught me! I WILL be posting that darn recipe soon!!!ReplyCancel

  • Anne Louise Bannon - Love open air/living history museums like this. What fun. But I don’t get how pot roast won the West, unless you mean women bringing families in and… Or is it just a joke and I’m not getting it. Sigh. Wouldn’t be the first time.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Even I don’t know what I meant- really, but yes, the idea that w/o women and their good cookin’ all would have been lost. Or something that that. Wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t make sense. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Kraft - Sounds like a perfect day – topped off by a yummy home-cooked meal, of course!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - Love to go to places like this. Our last road trip we went to Springfield, ILL so I could get my Abe Lincoln freak on. They preserved the whole street his house is on. Even got to see the triple seater outhouse. The family that…together…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We stopped by what was supposed to be his log cabin in Kentucky once. Problem was/is that THAT cabin is long gone and the park services put up a pretend cabin near what they THINK was where his father settled for a bit- once. *head shaking* At least you got to see the TRUE three-seater!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Hill - Oh, I love the stories of western expansion (except the part where the people who already lived there were “resettled.”) Was this before they drained the Black Swamp, aka Ohio? I love personal, and often that means feminine, takes on history – and small house and village museums play a critical role in preserving and conveying that history. Oh, and by the way, you have my vote for “best blog post title!”ReplyCancel

  • Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - Your history lessons are dished out in such pleasingly humorous bits and bites. If history in high school had been as fun as yours, I believe I’d be far more educated in that way. Love this! (And pot roast!)ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I’ve got a million of them. Have you heard the TRUE story about how the Oxford Dictionary came to be???? AMAZING!!!!!! I really should write about that….. thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • K. Lee Banks - Thanks for sharing the great pictures and some of the history behind them. I especially like the spun wool!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - The wool was gorgeous and soooo soft. The colors so rich. They sold skeens in the gift shop. I bought a few- of course. HehehheeeeeReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - People down on their luck cannot afford $1,200 payment and build such a stately manner. I love visiting a place like that. You are right about potroasts. Even used that in my one story.ReplyCancel

  • Abby - Cheryl the Historian- I love your new profession! I could sit by the fire place all day with you and listen to your stories:) Plus you make me hungry with this stuff!
    xx AbbyReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - You’re so sweet! I LOVE history. These are a few posts from a few years ago that no one read. I’m re-posting because I have a FULL calendar this month and with the autumn upon us I think people like to read a good yarn. Hahahaa Thanks Abby. XXOOOReplyCancel

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