By Rick Houser –
As I have said many times I was raised on a farm on Fruit Ridge Road three miles north of Moscow, Ohio. Moscow is a village that has peacefully existed on the banks of the Ohio River year after year, decade after decade and now century after century.
When the frontier was settled about the only route of travel was by the waterways. As many other villages and towns did, Moscow grew in the first century as a settlement where trading took place and by doing so, grew into a prosperous community that was considered by all as a place where a person knew they would be safe and treated fairly. The village earned a name as a good place to go to and to this day it maintains that reputation.
In its second century, the ways of transportation expanded around Moscow and the business transportation by river dwindled. The village continued to be that community that has cared for each other and has always found the way to continue to move forward as the years passed. When the A&P highway was built, today called U.S. 52, it was designed to pass by Moscow with the community between the highway and the Ohio River. In between lies a village where a weary traveler can pull in and stretch their legs and even rest in a peaceful stopping place where the calendar stands still momentarily.
I lived in Moscow with my parents, sister and brother. From my first recollections, I have always found the village in a restful mood. The first grocery stores I remember were Kremprin’s and Inez Logan’s. Going there was a treat for me and the proprietors seemed to be long-lost friends. I went to the school house with my Mom as she helped in the PTA and we all went to watch Peg cheer and Ben play basketball with me being their biggest fan. When school was mentioned, I was in the car and ready to go for it was for sure to be a fun time. I enjoyed school other than the homework and being quiet in the classroom.
I think my first visit into town was to the Moscow Church of Christ. I loved attending as the congregation was like a large family. I can still recall memorizing my Bible verse to stand up in front of the congregation and recite it loud and clear. The church held many in attendance but so did the other two churches in the village.
My Dad was a township trustee of Washington Township and had to make a lot of trips into Moscow on township business. Of course if Dad needed to go I needed to accompany him so I could see what and where he was going and doing.
I know in the early 1950’s a fire engine was acquired and the need for a firehouse arose. I can remember almost every citizen in town and many from the township gathering to build the building. Either on Fridays or Saturdays bingo and fish fries were held in that building to help pay on the fire engine and help to buy equipment for the firemen. By the way that building that everyone helped to build is still there, just a block up from the Ohio River. Just as that building stands along with the churches and the school and other landmarks, so do the standards of this community. Hard work and pride in what they have done stays steady just as it has for 200 years.
It almost sounds funny to say that Moscow has been there for 200 years but it has and it hasn’t been an easy task. Despite many large floods and winter blizzards the town continues. In 2012 a major tornado tried its hardest to remove Moscow from the maps. However, just as any adversity this village has been confronted with, the tornado failed.
On Saturday Sept. 24, Moscow is holding a Bicentennial Celebration like none that has ever been seen in the community before. The public is invited and from the opening ceremonies until the closing fireworks display that day, we will be dedicated to celebrating what will only happen once. To celebrate 200 years is to participate in history itself and it is hoped that all of you want to attend and see how much fun being a part of history can be.
My Mom was a lady who enjoyed helping in community events and I can still hear her singing an old song titled “Down on the Banks of the Ohio”. Down on those banks I began my journey through this life and I have enjoyed it immensely so far. So on Sept. 24 please join Moscow down on the banks of the Ohio. I am sure that you will not regret it.
Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County7 and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.