JACKSON TWP. – Roll down U.S. Highway 50 and you’ll catch a glimpse of something new looking old.
Dylan McWhorter – a 17-year-old Eagle Scout candidate from Milford High School – recently completed his service project for the Clermont Park District.
He constructed a historically accurate split-rail fence along the road fronting the Hartman Log Cabin on the southeast corner of 50 and Aber Road.
With 19 posts and 54 rails, the fence covers nearly 200 feet.
“The negotiations for this project go back to November,” McWhorter said. “I spent a few hours doing the research and then making a plan on how to build it. I was really fortunate because in school we were learning about that period – the 1830s – in my AP U.S. history class.”
He planned to build the fence in early spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw him a curve.
There were some challenges scheduling people to help. Fewer than would normally participate in an Eagle project volunteered because of state restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people. There were a few delays in having supplies delivered.
“You kind of have to expect that with the times we’re in,” McWhorter said. “I just had to be understanding.”
The build finally happened May 15 and 16.
“I inspected the new fence and Dylan and his crew did an excellent job,” said Park District Deputy Director Tim Carr, who coordinated the project with McWhorter. “The new fence looks great. We thank him for this beautiful project.”
McWhorter said now that the project is complete, his favorite part was the opportunity to work on a historical site. He visited the cemetery adjacent to the park and saw where several members of the Hartman family are interred.
“It’s just beautiful land,” he said. “I’m glad to contribute to it. In the future I’ll be able to walk down there and say I was able to add something to it. It just brought joy to me to work on it. I’ve been a big fan of historic America. It just felt like my kind of project.”
“I think preserving (the Hartman) land honors their legacy. Being some of the first Ohio settlers and preserving their cabin for this long is important to share.”
McWhorter recently completed his junior year at Milford High School, but will be jumping right to the University of Cincinnati Clermont College next school year. He’s considering a major in political science.
He began his scouting career as a Cub Scout in kindergarten and has enjoyed his 12-year affiliation with the scouting program, more than half of which were with Troop 128 – led by Peter Jofriet – out of the First Methodist Church in Milford. His favorite scouting memory is his first summer camp out at nearby Camp Freelander.
“You were deep in the wilderness and away from technology,” he said. “You can just appreciate nature. That’s import to be able to preserve and respect the land.”
Mark D. Motz is the Community Relations Manager for the Clermont County Park District. A native Cincinnatian, he has worked for more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. Away from work, he enjoys photography, theater and spending time with his nine godchildren.