National forest returns plaque to Ohio family

Memorial Plaque

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Three decades after the building it once graced changed hands, a plaque honoring a USDA Forest Service employee has been given to the daughters of the man it honored.

During a ceremony June 20 at the Wayne National Forest headquarters, the forest service gifted the bronze plaque to Vicky Norman and Sandra Carnahan of Columbus, Ohio.

Both are daughters of the late Edgar Hollis Norman, who was born in Nelsonville, in Athens County.

He was employed by the forest service in the 1960s, as a work leader at the former Vesuvius Job Corps Conservation Center, located on the Ironton Ranger District.

The plaque is believed to have been displayed at the center’s gymnasium in memory of Norman, who died March 20, 1967.

It is thought that the plaque was removed from that location after the forest service transferred the property to new owners in 1987.

The plaque states that Norman was vitally interested in natural resources, along with our country’s welfare and the nation’s youth. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Records indicate the Job Corps workers constructed the amphitheater near the former Interpretive Center located in the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area.

They also built the Big Bend Beach area, and reconstructed much of the trail system on the Ironton Ranger District.

Finding family

If it had not been for the persistence of Forest Service Fire Engine Captain Camden Bumpus, the plaque may have never been found and reunited with Norman’s family.

“I found the plaque last October in one of our warehouses. It weighs about 50-pounds and measures 18 inches wide by 27-inches tall,” said Bumpus.

“To help locate the family, I sifted through genealogical records at libraries in Ironton, Ohio and Ashland, Kentucky. I even sought help from a detective. With something of this size and nature, we felt it was appropriate to return it to the family.”


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