tapcity (tapcity) wrote in shadowseekers,

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fire well

i'm from Youngstown; haven't been in many years; sometimes i think the whole area is cursed, it had one of the world's highest murder rates, highest alcoholism rates; and drugs: drug related deaths are more  proportionately than major cities' numbers. The area was never settled by indians. Its salt springs provided salt for the natives of many tribes in a large region, and so it was reckoned an area of peace. Whites started to come in the 1790s, but the salt springs remained open. in the 1840s at a little fresh water spring (aren't many of those about) at the edge of the spring area, a family of 6 was killed, slaughtered according to reports, with knives or tomahawks, their bodies burnt. The Indians were driven from the area- they had henceforth to buy their salt, but many were killed and burnt in the decade that followed before the lesson was learnt. The salt springs became a major 19th century commercial area, source for salt,  lye, lime & potash and other chemical  manufacturings, and salt glaze pottery firms; but such enterprises petered out a little after the turn of the century; to this day the area is basicly underdeveloped. Though curiously U.S. routes 11 & I-80 come through and have major truck stops very near. There is so much gas stored there it was feared that it might become a a terrorist target. I believe there was even some speculation it was an alternate target for 9/11 suiciders.  A church at the site of the original killings was burnt down in the 1970s mysteriously. That was what got me thinking on the number of fire related deaths within a few hundred yards of that well, and got me to do the historical research, too. Here's the toll as far as I know: Two boys sniffing gas; two families, one a gas leak fire(4 dead), one a tar roof shack where 6 died, a kids' tree house fire where four died. There was also a neighborhood boy who kept starting fires, twice being trapped in them. He ending up horribly scarred. All this just in the 10 years or so of my youth in the area. As kids we would sometimes see a light in the night sky on cloudy nights- this was later ascribed by our elders to swamp gas phenomena from the marshes around the salt springs. Before we were aware of the history or of even swamp gas we called this "the fire bird" just a light in the clouds that moved around and disappeared- could have been something or nothing- but it was part of our legacy, might have been a word of mouth thing for how long- hundreds of years? told boy to boy, seen mostly by boys out on summer nights too, I reckon. There have been UFO sightings recently just there too- by the way :
The well is behind the (rebuilt) four mile run christian church on four mile run road in Austintown., down in the hollow there just above the creek-
[there's a pioneer cemetery by the church too]
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