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michael gallagher
07-26-2008, 7:56 PM
Here is a cigar pen I made from a 150 year old sycamore blank I got a while back from Jon Lanier. I am sending this off for a pen exchange I am participating in on another website. The photography sucks, so please overlook it but I would like your comments. I also think this is the first time I've posted a picture of my work.

The blank is from a 150 year-old quarter-sawn Sycamore that came from an old barn in Xenia, Ohio, which served later as the first established Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans’ home in Xenia, Ohio.

The Home, located in Xenia, Ohio, was founded in 1869 by veterans of the Civil War. The barn served the Orphans’ Home through the Osso family. Later, the farm became a place of learning for the children as well as a source of income and food. The Home officially closed its doors in 1995. The history of this place was quite significant to orphans of military personnel for almost 100 years.

I think it’s always good to have a story behind each pen – I also like to think of the craftsmen, such as this one over 150 years ago, who originally used this cut plank to build the barn: I’ll bet they never thought the wood being used way back when would be nothing but a barn!

Thanks for looking-

Michael

Steve Schlumpf
07-26-2008, 8:36 PM
Michael - very nice pen made even more appealing by it's rich history! Thanks for posting! Hope this means you are going to start sharing more of your work!

Jeff Hounshell
07-26-2008, 8:47 PM
Hey Michael,

Just wondering where you are from. I grew up in Jamestown, OH, just a few miles from Xenia. My grandmother lived off route 68, just a few miles from the Home. I remember the Home well, I played a jv football game against them once back in the late 80's.

Great story, and I love the pen.

Jeff

Bernie Weishapl
07-26-2008, 11:32 PM
Great looking pen with some great history. Well done.

Jerry Gerard
07-27-2008, 12:10 AM
Beauty of a pen , the band sets it off nicely . I hope your including that rich history behind the tree and where it came from .

michael gallagher
07-27-2008, 1:52 AM
Hey Michael,

Just wondering where you are from. I grew up in Jamestown, OH, just a few miles from Xenia. My grandmother lived off route 68, just a few miles from the Home. I remember the Home well, I played a jv football game against them once back in the late 80's.

Great story, and I love the pen.

Jeff

Jeff-

Jon (who I got the wood from), is the one from Ohio: who knows, maybe you two beat each other up for 4 quarters!

Keith Outten
07-27-2008, 7:26 AM
Michael,

Please ask Jon if he would share one of those blanks or a completed pen that we could send to a Soldier in Iraq. It would make an interesting gift for someone a long way from home.

.

michael gallagher
07-27-2008, 10:27 AM
Michael,

Please ask Jon if he would share one of those blanks or a completed pen that we could send to a Soldier in Iraq. It would make an interesting gift for someone a long way from home.

.

Keith-

I have a few more of these, and I will send a completed pen from this old sycamore with the next batch of Freedom Pens to Jackie.

Speaking of Freedom Pens, they are out of pens and need your help to send a 6,000 pen batch to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. How about everyone make just three from some of your old scraps or pen blanks? You can beat those out pretty fast! Check out the thread here:

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=88411

Keith Outten
07-27-2008, 12:13 PM
Thanks Michael,

I appreciate your donating the special material for one of our Soldiers.

Concerning the Abraham Lincoln we will try to provide them with pens for each and everyone but preference is generally given to Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Coasties and Sailors who are on the ground in a combat zone. We certainly don't mean to place one person's service above another's but it is a bit tougher in the trenches...generally speaking. I served in the Navy and I remember sleeping between clean sheets and eating in the galley three times a day when some of my friends were pounding the jungle and eating K-Rats. Even so i didn't have it near as good as the lucky ones who serve on a nuclear aircraft carrier but it was a lot better then the poor submariners, God Bless them every one.

BTW I just received two WWI Enfield rifle stocks that have been donated by a generous individual who wants them cut up into pen blanks. I know that the stocks have value to collectors so I am pleased that he thinks so much of our Service Members to make such a donation. Pictures of the stocks and the resulting pen blanks will follow. Any school shop teachers that would like to have a couple of these blanks for your students to turn a pen from please contact me. I will provide a pen kit with each set of blanks and a certification letter for the material.

.

Jon Lanier
07-27-2008, 11:33 PM
Keith,

I sold all those pen blanks I had gotten from the barn. There is no more publicly to get. I'm sure there is more 'wood' out there somewhere but I've not seen anyone giving it up.

I do have access of getting fallen trees from the old orphanage grounds. In fact all my spalted Maple bowls I've put up on site here come the there. They just had to fell another big Maple about 2 months ago that I have access to.

But as to that Old barn wood... its gone. They are always renovating the old building and I'll keep an eye out for floor boards.... If I can get some, I'll donate it to the Freedom Pens... to make pens out of... same history... just not the old barn.

-Jon

Mike Null
07-28-2008, 8:11 AM
I'm also from Greene County Ohio and participated in many sports activities in competition with the kids from OS&SO Home. (Ohio Soldiers & Sailors Orphans Home) (I graduated 53 years ago)

It was a 12 grade school as well as being the residence for the orphans and they fielded competitive teams in all sports.

For many of us in the area it was our first exposure to competing with black athletes (about half were black) but one of our traditions was that the host school provided dinner for both teams after the events. We loved to go there because we also got to swim in their indoor pool--something we didn't have, nor an outdoor pool for that matter. We were both small schools but only about 12 miles apart.

I still remember their football and track coach. He was a little guy by the name of Mousy Eisenhut. He was the kind of guy and teacher they make movies about.

I hope this isn't too far off topic but it brought back some nice memories for me.