New life has once again been breathed back into the historic Horace Ware Fence in the Columbiana City Cemetery. Back in 1982 the fence was restored by Columbiana Troop 560 Eagle Scouts Todd Nicholson, and Brandon Blankenship. Fast forward to 2016, and a new generation of scouts from Troop 560 has stepped forward to revive the local landmark.
Eagle Scout aspirant Ryan Harmon has led this recent renovation with the assistance of several local individuals and several other boy scouts.
“To help me decide what I should do for my Eagle Scout project I met with Dr. Handley, Mayor of Columbiana, to see if there was anything the city was in need of,” said Harmon. “He knew I had an interest in antiques and historic things and also that I had some experience with metal working, so he offered me the opportunity to restore the fence. I was honored that he chose me, that he trusted me with this project.”
Beginning in November 2015, Harmon began the process of cleaning the fence and removing the lichen and flaking paint that had accumulated over the years. With the assistance of Richard Harmon, Jerry Willis, Loyd Nicholson and Shawn Decker, Harmon was able to create a metal finial to replace a missing one.
A wooden replica of the finial was made from which a sand mold was then created. A casting was created by pouring molten metal into the mold, then machining the finial until the shape matched the other original finials.
The finial was then attached in its proper place, and the entire fence was painted black with accents of gold, which was the original color of the fence.
Along with family, friends and other boy scouts, they completed the project this March for a total cost of around $3500, with funds raised entirely by Harmon
The Horace Ware Fence was erected in 1864 by Horace Ware, who founded Shelby Ironworks in the 1840’s. The fence was a monument to his wife, Martha Ann Woodruff, and their infant daughter Roxana, both of whom are buried within the confines of the fence.
Harmon appreciates the importance of the fence to Shelby County’s history. In the restoration process he learned about fundraising, sand casting, proper priming and painting for ironwork. His hard work will be rewarded on April 10th at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony at the First Baptist Church of Columbiana.
Original article by columnist Jennifer Maier published in Shelby County Reporter on March 16, 2016