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The Avondale book can be purchased at Amazon.com, Muskingum County Children Services, Avondale Youth Center, Papa Chuck's Restaurant and Imlay's Flowers.
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Send your photos and memories to email@example.com or mail us a letter (attention Gary King) and we'll post them on this page!
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Pictured above is western film star ,Tim Holt, during a personal appearance at Avondale Youth Center on June 3rd, 1954. Mr. Holt also made an appearance at the Sky-Way Drive-in on Maysville Pike and other theatres in the area. Tim Holt was one of the most popular cowboy film stars from the 1930's to the 1950's, and was featured in a comic book series. Thanks go out to www.b-westerns.com for help in identifying this film legend. If you were there for this visit, we would love to hear your recollections!
Above 'lobby cards' courtesy of Chuck Anderson at
Avondale Memories Blog
Where do I start!? I am 88 and my sister, Freda, is 93. My brother, Kenneth, is gone but he was there also. We had special dresses to go to First Baptist Church every Sunday. All boys and girls rode together on a large city bus. This was a special thing for us. I didn't have to work, but you were considered one of the bigger kids if you did. I volunteered to wax the long hall that wen through the center of the building, about 50 to 60 feet, on my hands and knees because Mrs. Billingsly, the head Matron wanted it done. There was a large dining room with long tables with chairs. Boys sat at one side of the room and girls on the other side of the room. The young teenage girls washed the dishes. Each of us had 1 large table to wash & dry and sweep teh floor under it. There were about 40 kids at each table. We all took turns for 1 week. We would try to be the first one done. Usually there were 50-60 children living there at that time. During the Great Depression there were as many as 82-84. They put beds in the hall, washrooms and setting rooms. The dormatory was packed full of beds with children sleeping two to a bed.
I remember one day a new kid came in. He was a nice kid, very friendly and all that good stuff. He walked up to my friend who we called Turkey-Egg. About everybody had a nickname back then. He says, "Glad to meet you Turkey-Egg, My goodness that's a good looking wristwatch!" Turkey Egg's Dad had just visited and gave him this nice watch. This boy went around friendly to everybody, observing to see what everybody had. I knew better and thought the kid was too friendly, so I didn't show him anything I had. The next morning all the belongings were gone. He bundled everything up that first night in a pillow case and went out the window! I don't think they ever got him. If they did, they sent him to Lancaster Boys Industrial School and we never saw him again. As a side note, Years later I saw Turkey-Egg again on the battleship Missouri when we were both in the Navy. (Transcribed from conversation by Gary King)
I just want to thank you for everything you did for me as a kid. You & the staff there saved me from going down a very bad path. I have a wonderfullife now with 2 wonderful kids & without you guys I don't think it would be what is now. You & Scott especially were always more to me than just astaffs member & theres not a day goes by I don't think of you, my time there & the values & lessons I learned to become a morally upstanding member of society & not lost to the streets of Zanesville. Not a day goes by that I don't apply lessons learned at Avondale & I thank you from the very bottomof my heart for that.
My brother and I became part of the Avondale Youth Center (AYC) "family" in November of 1990. We were there for one year and eight months and left in June of 1992 when we were placed with family in Florida. We were place in AYC because there was no one who could or would take care of us. It was in AYC were the chain of violence was broken in my family through the counseling and guidance of caring "House Parents". It was an important time in my life. My memories of AYC are filled with first time events. The first time I had a role in a video play, recieved a slip with my bad actions recorded on it, assisted in a comedy skit, ate hamberger gravy, felt important, and played ping pong all happened at Avondale. I do not want to even try to think of how my life might have been without AYC.
I became a resident of the Avondale Children's Home in December of 1956. My parents divorced a couple of years before that and my mom was forced to go to work to help make ends meet. At that time, I became a domestic engineer at the age of 12. I was cleaning the house, doing the laundry on a wringing washer and hanging the clothes on the outside clothesline, cooking meals and if that wasn't enough, I took care of my four siblings. Click for more...
I was first placed at Avondale as a baby. Then I went to live with my aunt and returned again as a young girl. I remember doing chores in the kitchen at Avondale. I would sometimes swipe cookies and hide them down my pant leg. Then me and some of the other girls would sneak down by the road and sit and eat cookies, because we only got to eat at meal time. Sometimes we would also steal oranges and eat them at night. We would throw the orange peels out the window so the matron wouldn't find out. (As transcribed by Gary King)