In 1796, Col. Ebenezer Zane received funds to blaze a road suitable for travel by horse through the Ohio wilderness. For some unknown reason he named the first settlements in honor of Cambridge, Maryland.
Where this road, known as Zane’s Trace, crossed Wills Creek, a ferry was established in 1798. The land on which Cambridge stands was granted to Zaccheus Biggs and Zaccheus Beatty by the government in 1801. (What are the odds that both men had the same unique first name?) A settlement grew up at the creek crossing. A bridge was built here in 1803, and the town of Cambridge was platted in 1806.
Like many old towns we have visited, Cambridge had its share of old buildings, like this eye catching odd building built in 1896.
Built in 1881 the Guernsey County Courthouse is an impressive. building.
Interesting though is the civil war monument to Northern soldiers. There is an engraved inscription on one side, but you cannot read it because they put a soldier in front.
William Lawrence Boyd was born June 5, 1895 in Hendrysburg, Ohio, but reared in Cambridge, Ohio. A six-foot-tall, prematurely white-haired, handsome, rugged young man who easily attracted women, he decided to go to Hollywood in 1919 to be an actor. In Hollywood he accepted bit parts and became a favorite of Cecil B. DeMille. Boyd starred in 1918 in Old Wives for New, possibly a prophetic movie, for he married and divorced actresses Ruth Miller, Elinor Fair, and Dorothy Sebastian. Let’s face it, it is hard to find a good woman. In 1938 he wed singer-dancer Grace Bradley; the marriage lasted thirty-five years, until his death.
Although Boyd starred in many movies, he is best known to you as Hopalong Cassidy.
In 1935 he was offered the lead role in Hop-a-Long Cassidy (named because of a limp caused by an earlier bullet wound). That Western hero had been created by Clarence Mulford, a Brooklyn, New York clerk. Mulford’s Cassidy was a rough, red-haired cowboy who limped from a bullet wound, drank, cursed, smoked, and gambled but had strong ethics and values. The studio officials conceded that Mulford’s Cassidy could not be portrayed to young people as a hero. Boyd supported that belief and developed the role of a cowboy who epitomized clean living. With this philosophy adopted in Boyd’s personal life, he lost his old identity and became Hopalong Cassidy.
From 1935 to 1943 he and his horse Topper made fifty-four Hopalong Cassidy movies for Sherman; he then produced twelve more on his own, for a total of sixty-six. In the late 1940s as television became popular, Hopalong Cassidy became its first cowboy hero series. Boyd made 106 television shows and 104 radio shows.
To honor Boyd, the Hopalong Cassidy trail meanders through Cambridge.