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Victoria Woodhull

as told by Bette Lou Higgins, Artistic Director


The 1978 “day list” included:

A day in 1820 when the idea of the canal in the state of Ohio is being discussed
July 4, 1825 – the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ohio-Erie Canal
1828: A celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the state of Ohio
A day in 1830 – When interesting characters enter the village and “disrupt the calm”
1833: The impact of the Leonid Meteor Shower in the Western Reserve

Now you might wonder what that day in 1830 was all about.

Though the story lines of that particular “day” tend to change a bit more regularly. Basically, it was pay day on the canal! All the workers would come to town to spend their money and this would occasionally bring in unscrupulous people to try to relieve the workers of their cash.

One of the favorite storylines for this day involved some con artists coming to town. It was based on a real life incident that happened in the Coshocton/Roscoe Village section of the canal. It was called The Skyfoggle story. Basically, what would happen is that a “showman” would come in announcing that he had captured a monster and would be showing it in the town hall later that day. While he was drumming up business this way, his schill would wander into town asking if anyone had heard about the showing of the “monster” -- thus creating more excitement. At the appointed time, the showman would gather everyone in the middle of town and to collect the admission price to see the monster. (Yes, we gave out Johnnycake Coins to audience members when they arrived that day!) The whole time he would emphasize the fact that the monster was in chains, so it was safe to see him -- especially since the monster ATE PEOPLE!!! After everyone had paid their money, they would gather in the hall where the showman tell a fascinating story of the huge monster, The Skyfoggle, that he had caught and was going to know show to everyone. He would end reminding everyone that if the monster got away they should run for their lives! Then he would go backstage to get the monster. Suddenly there would be all sorts of racket and screaming and the showman would come running out looking disheveled screaming “Run for your lives! The Skyfoggle’s loose!” Everyone would go running out of the meeting house, while the Showman and the Schill would run out of town the opposite direction, thus relieving the citizens of their cash!

We’ll have another mischievous story in next week’s installment. Stay tuned!


the con is on!
The Con Is On as the villagers gather to hear about the skyfoggle.
A Canaler (Kem Schneider) and Mrs. Goodson (Debra Gemind) ham it up during payday while Thomas Goodson (Derek Schnieder) looks on.
What's going on?


To be continued ...

Go to Part 1 Go to Part 2
Go to Part 3 Go to Part 4
Go to Part 5 Go to Part 6
Go to Part 7 Go to Part 8

Go to Part 9

Go to Part 10
Go to Part 12
Go to Part 14
Go to Part 15 Go To Part 16
Go to Part 17 § § §



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