Dennison, Ohio 2012


Here is a post from our Correspondent, Bill Donegan:

Dennison, Ohio was named for Ohio Governor Dennison, whom President Lincoln had appointed to be Postmaster General. Located 100 miles west of Pittsburg, Pa and 100 miles east of Cleveland Ohio, Dennison Depot was a stopping point for steam locomotives, which only had a range of 100 miles before taking on water and coal.

During World War Two the United States troops who were traveling to their training or debarkation points used to get off the train to stretch their legs. The town folks of Dennison noted how forlorn the troops looked so they did something about it. They fed them. They made sandwiches from whatever they had on hand and gave it to the men in brown paper bags. Some of the teenage girls in town also gave the men magazines to read (inside of which were their name and addresses: and the men wrote letters to them!). Some became friends and were later married, I met their grandchildren!

The last time we were at the “Soldier’s Home coming” was in 2008. I had gone as FDR and took second prize in a look-a-like contest. Linda accompanied me as Rosy the Riveter.

When I contacted Wendy, the event coordinator about this years’ homecoming, she discovered that I did an FDR impersonation. Well you know what happened. I arrived as FDR and remained him until Abraham Lincoln showed up, the next day (Sat. night I donned a GI impression for the USO Dance). Saturday was WW2 day and Sunday was Civil war day. So if you do both impressions this is a good event to show off your dual personality. Linda portrayed Missy Lehand my personal secretary.

As FDR I met many of the descendants of the original canteen workers. One of them, Helen, told me that sometimes the train didn’t stop. It only slowed down, so the volunteers would run along side of the train and hand food through the windows to the soldiers.

The town has partnered up with the railroad and there is a splendid train museum at the depot. You enter through the station into a train and then pass through time as each train car is filled with period displays starting with Civil War, WW1 and ending with WW2.

All weekend long I met WW2 Veterans, active Military Members,WW2 Canteen Volunteers, ate at the Trax Diner, saw Ticker Tape Parade, Old Cars, Music at the Gazebo, Book signings, Movie, Contests, Shopping at Wilkerson’s Tent, Big Band Dance, Train Rides, USO Shows, etc. If you are interested in attending next year call 877-278-8020, and tell them that FDR sent you.

As usual I didn’t take any pictures but managed to acquire these, see attached.

Thanks for reading.

Bill Donegan



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