The Olde Forester
Emmett & Myrt
Pictured here with his bride, Myrtle Irene. 
On August 30, 2000 they celebrated their
60th Anniversary!

Known as THE OLDE FORESTER, which was his logo when writing a series of historical articles for the late The Vinton County Courier several years ago. EMMETT A. CONWAY, Sr. is also known as THE PATHFINDER by his preservation friends. This is because of his research on ANCIENT INDIAN TRAILS.

An adventuresome childhood, with a twin brother in Struthers, scouting experiences, waterfront instructor at camps and two years at Youngstown College, made the discovery of a potential and unheard of forestry career (instead of the local steel mills) a most welcome change for the twins.

His professional career began in 1939 after graduation from the University of Michigan with BSF and MS degrees in forestry and conservation . While for most of his professional life he has been stationed in Southeastern Ohio, he began his professional forestry career in Youngstown, Ohio. There he was the first park forester and assistant naturalist in the scenic 2,000 acre Mill Creek Park.

He started in Southeastern Ohio beginning in 1941 as Forest Ranger of Lake Hope Park and Zaleski State Forest. He had the whole enchilada before the creation of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources--the park and the state forest at Zaleski. From there he switched to forestry research in 1948 (avoiding the politicalization of ODNR). He worked on all the Ohio state forests methodically walking 500 miles over them to make a timber inventory and suggested management plans. This included the Hocking State Forest where he says he recommended a wide margin of modified timber harvest between scenic areas and non-park sites to avoid current situations like that at Conkle Hollow Nature Preserve.

In 1951 he went private and became manager of the McArthur Division of the D. B. Framption & Co., the first modern lumber company in Southeastern Ohio. In 1951 he helped start the Vinton Furnace Forest Experimental Station of the U.S. Forest Service, and in 1957 he was chairman of the first PAUL BUNYAN SHOW in McArthur.

He joined Ohio University in 1964 in an area development program. His work involved research in industrial and tourism planning. He remained until formal (not actual) retirement in 1976.

He owned Christmas tree farms beginning in 1947, using the extra income to send all of his six children to college. He was an active tree farmer for 50 years until age 84.

Ancient footpaths became his obsession when he learned that they could be found and the wisdom of their locations recognized. He also found from the world travels of him and his wife that ANCIENT FOOTPATHS are the same on every continent. Early nineteenth century charcoal iron furnaces became of interest as a boy since the first one in Ohio was only a mile away from home, the Heaton Furnace, 1803, near Poland. Almost all of his forestry work in Southeastern Ohio has been on former iron furnace company lands with plenty of ruins left behind to twitch the imagination. He is a member of The Society for Industrial Archeology and The Forest History Society.

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