National Geographic : 1955 Apr
money subscribed by 20 Scio townspeople who be lieved in him saved Reese and kept his pottery going reads like a fairy tale. Within a few years the man who at first took no more than $150 a month for his own services de clined an offer of $3,000, 000 for the business. Then disaster struck again. A sudden fire on December 11, 1947, re duced the 7-acre plant to smoking ruins. It was un insured. Out of pure affection, Scio folk-men, women, and children-pitched in and helped Reese rebuild. The new plant, bigger and better by far than the old one, opened on February 13, 1948. Unskilled work ershadputitupintwo months. The faith and courage of a man who helped his neighbors had flowered into a miracle. With James Wells, as sistant director of the Ohio Department of Nat ural Resources, I went on a trip through southern Ohio, a region remarkable for geologic and economic diversity. Some parts of it produce abundant crops. Others, useless for farm ing, produce hardwood timber. Where glaciated and unglaciated lands met, our road often took us be tween well-equipped, pros perous farms on one side and submarginal places with run-down buildings on the other. "When the old ice sheets melted," Wells explained, "they deposited good soil over most of the valleys. South of the line of glacia tion the sandstone hills, often steep, have thin soils and are best adapted to 445 270-foot "Cat Cracker" (Left) Soars Above Cleveland Refinery This unit in the No. 1 plant of Standard Oil Company (Ohio) uses heat and a catalyst to break up, or crack, heavy oils into lighter products such as gasoline. Rising above the Cuyahoga River on the Cleveland flats, the refinery has operated continuously since 1870. Helmeted workers check safety valves on a gas plant.