Adena preps for Heritage Days

ADENA – In the early days of the village named Adena, settled in 1801, there were Indians living and hunting the lands. But there will unlikely be Indians in the parade that will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in celebration of the 14th-annual Adena Heritage Days.

The event starts Friday with polka bands from Cheswick, Pa., at the community center. The doors open at 6 p.m. at the center, according to Lynn McConnell, president of the heritage festival.

As tradition goes, there is a grand parade each year and two of the village’s well known elders are selected to reign over the event.

Mary Agnes Roski, 83, will serve as the heritage queen and ride in a horse-drawn carriage belonging to the Kirk farm. George Young Jr., 87. is the parade grand marshal.

As a lifelong resident, Roski attended school in Adena and graduated in 1948. She was an active participant in 4-H, attended 4-H Club Congress and served on the junior fair board. In school she was a member of the Future Homemakers of America and was state vice president of the organization.

Her husband of 45 years was Bill Roski and they had seven children. There are nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, with another due soon.

Even with seven children, she found time for community activities and would take emergency calls in their home as her husband was the Adena Volunteer Fire Company chief of police.

After the last of the children entered school, Roski began working as a cook for the Adena Elementary School/Buckeye West Elementary School. She worked there for 25 years. After retiring, she couldn’t stay out of the kitchen and volunteered her skills at the Adena Head Start for five years.

Roski is a member of St. Casimir Catholic Church, an active member of the Catholic Women’s Club, served as its president for six years and was in charge of the kitchen in the final years of the St. Casimir’s festivals.

Young was born in Hagan’s Addition, according to his daughter, Barbara, so tiny he could fit inside a shoe box. George was cared for by his grandparents, as they had a cow that could provide milk for his nourishment on their premises, his daughter said.

He graduated from Adena High School in 1943, and was drafted into the U.S. Navy by that December.

Young married Helen Battilochi in 1945 and they were married 63 years until her death.

During World War II, he served on the battleship Wisconsin, Seventh Fleet, with Admiral Hastings, according to his daughter. They invaded the Phillipines and the ship was sunk in Manilla Bay. Young was in the water many hours before being rescued.

He worked at Dye Coal Co. and then was a heavy equipment operator for Wheeling Steel in Steubenville. During the time at the mill, he purchased a standard bred race horse, with his son, Bob.

In 1968, he went to work at R&F Coal Co. as heavy equipment operator and still continued to race horses, using a stable at the Harrison County Fairgrounds. He retired from R&F Coal in 1989 and continued with his love for the horse business.

“He could not get away from his love of racing,” Barbara Young said.

This year’s festival will include a dance and food at the community center from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. The cost is $5 per person. And the Adena American Legion Post 525 will serve breakfast at the post home from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. Other events that day will be the parade at 1 p.m., and the opening ceremonies will be held at the village green, where the new gazebo is located, at 1:30 p.m.

Abby Dodds will sing from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Matt Van Fossen will perform from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. And the Deuces Wild Band, comprised of Harrison County musicians, will perform from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There will be softball games at the old football field starting at 2 p.m., along with an inflatable playground at the gazebo area from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Bingo will be played at a stand on Main Street starting at 4 p.m., a new event at the festival; and corn hole registration is at 6 p.m., with games at 6:30 p.m. on Main Street as well.

There will be craft stands, food concessions and all types of games for kids.