MORE BIG ROCK STORIES
The story of Big Rock from the writings of former local school teacher, the late Ethel Weese, is as follows:
“After the Raglands settled in the Big Rock area, they worshiped at first in a small log church at the site of the old Sharon Schoolhouse. Later the church was moved to the wooded slope in the shadow of Big Rock. This church was called the Sharon Baptist Church and on the second day in August each year an all day meeting was held.
This particular meeting was referred to locally at “Big Rock Meeting Day”. It was the last in a series that began in July a church near Green’s Store on U.S. 35. Services were held each Sunday thereafter until the last one at Big Rock. “Big Rock Meeting Day” brought large crowds each year from all parts of Ohio and adjoining states.
This historical event was started in the ‘horse and buggy days.’ Folks during these times had to leave home early in order to attend. It was a day of reunion and homecoming as well as a great spiritual feast. There were preachers, singers and church people both black and white in attendance. Many came to see the Big Rock and climb to the top especially the young people while their elders attended the services.”
“Big Rock Meeting Day” was not always a joyous and happy occasion there were times of sadness and heartbreak also. This writer can remember personally an event of great sorrow around 40 years ago when a girl fell to her tragic death from the top of the 200 foot rock.
The late Ethel Weese goes on to say in her writings of years ago in regard to Big Rock: “
Big Rock: “In election years, this was a favorite time and place for candidates to show up and greet their friends.
Sometimes when there was too much liquor, there was a job for the local constable, the sheriff and his deputy. After the year of the ‘Big Fight’ around fifty years ago (sometime near the turn of the century) there was no Big Rock meetings. It was renewed the following year and met continuously since.
The crowds are not as large as they were years ago. The older people who were the power and inspiration of the church are dead and their descendants who live in the neighborhood try to carry on.
Big Rock also played a part in the patriotic life of the people. Each year for many years on the 22nd of September an Emancipation Day Program was held. A parade, songs and speeches made up the days activities. This was discontinued a few years ago. Thus the old institutions and ways of living are giving way to modern trends.
Today “Big Rock Meet’n Day” is just another memory of days gone by, but the Rock still stands alone in silence in all it’s majesty and splendor.