Guernsey County Historic Museum
Guernsey County Historic Museum
Dining Room
Martha Sayres’  grave was found far away from the original grave, which is lost.
   Guernsey Country wasn’t named after the cow. Rather, the cow was named after the place where it was first bred, the Island of Guernsey. This Channel island has a long and convoluted history. During the Napoleonic Wars, the British used it as a staging area for its troops, forcing the island’s population to give them provisions. Here, too, the Royal Navy had a habit of impressing men into service. Having had enough of this and being opposed to the war besides, in May 1806 Thomas Sachet along with his brother, Peter, and a brother-in-law, Daniel Ferbrache, gathered their family members up and boarded a fishing smack bound for the island of Jersey (the source of the name for yet another type of cow). The pernicious Royal Navy stopped the smack during her voyage and boarded to impress anyone worth taking. Two passengers bound for America but not part of Sachet’s party, the Simmons, were pressed. Upon landing on Jersey, Thomas went to the island’s governor and secured their release.
   From Jersey the budding pioneers sailed to America on a ship commanded by a Captain McCrandal. During the crossing a French cruiser began pursuing them. Ready for something like this, a canvas was lowered to cover up the ship’s name with “The Eliza of Boston.” The French fell for the ruse and the ship made it safely to Norfolk, Virginia. From here the Sachet party headed to Baltimore. Upon departing from that city on June 16, there was a total solar eclipse, which had no bearing on anything but might well have been seen as an omen. The party made a long and difficult journey to Cincinnati and from there to the newly established town of Cambridge, Ohio, where the Guernsey County Historic Museum is located.
  It is in a house that was built by William McCraken Clark in 1827 and later moved by the McFarland family to its present location at which point it was turned ninety degrees from its previous orientation. The house has no closets because when it and its addition were built, property taxes were assessed by the number of rooms you had, and closets counted as rooms. So instead the family used wardrobes, a poor substitute that lack the capacity of a big closet.
  The museum’s oldest artifact is a baby cradle bought from the Island of Guernsey. Other items of interest are the chair President William McKinley sat in during his time in the State House of Representatives of Ohio, photos signed by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, a nurse’s uniform used during World War II from nearby Fletcher Hospital, a room filled with historic women’s dresses including a manikin with a partially caved in head and one with a broken neck, a hammer used in the making of the National Road, and an original Mitchell Map, the one used by the British and Americans to set the border between the United States and Canada during the peace negotiations in Paris after the Americans won the Revolution.