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Beaver's Bait Shop


 

Date is hand-written as Sept. 3 & 4, 1988; source of the following newspaper article is not shown.

Photo is of Beaver’s Bait Shop

            “I learned on Coony Danver.  He never had any money so I cut his hair for free.”

            Beavertown was named after Michael Beaver in the late 1790s.  A post office named after Civil War Gen. Rufus R. Dawes opened in 1882. Devol explained that the post office couldn’t use the name Beavertown because there were similar names elsewhere in Ohio.  Postal authorities wanted to avoid confusion.  

            The post office closed in 1911 after a rural free delivery started out of Matamoras, Devol said.

            Today, main focus of Beavertown is the twice-monthly catfish tournaments organized by Danny Beaver, co-owner of Beaver’s Bait Shop. 

            Beaver, 29, proudly displays a bulletin board full of snapshots of fish pulled from the Ohio River which flows just behind his shop. 

            “There have been some nice fish turned inthis year,” Beaver said, pointing to the photographs. 

            One showed Sam Butler with the 26- and 30-pound catfish he caught May 29.  Another shows Ron Felter with an 11-pound, 9-ounce catfish caught during the contest. 

            Danny Beaver said it is important to develop the area’s tourism potential to replace a decline in industrial jobs. 

            “When my dad worked at Ormet, I thought I would work there,” he said, sitting in his small shop. “That’s all changed.”

            Beaver works the night maintenance shift at McDonald’s in Marietta for most of his income.  The bait shop is primarily a hobby, he said.

            “If the shop is closed and you need bait, please come next door and I will help you!” said a sign on the door.  “Both owners work full-time jobs and it’s hard to stay open for everyone’s convenience.”

            Besides the United Methodist Church, another gathering place is Whitey’s, owned by Mary Dowler.

            “If I have somebody in here who is hungry, I’ll fix ’em something,” Dowler said. 

            She and her husband, Raymond, fixed up and ran the tavern until his death last year.  Now, she lives upstairs but spends most of her time downstairs taking care of customers. 

            “This was his empire,” she said as she gazed over a fishing dock out back and her

two-story building.  “He put an awful lot into it, bless his heart.”