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  • Friends of White Clay Creek State Park: Motorcycle Hill Climbs
    Mountain on the east side of the White Clay Creek a short distance up the creek from the second dam Racers came from surrounding states and local clubs to challenge the 118 foot steep incline Some climbs had as many as 25 contestants and were sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Club Prize money though still not very large was now established before the races The three timed heats were divided among different sized cycles with a timer stationed at both the top and bottom of the hill A long time White Clay Creek Valley resident Eugene Dick Robinson was often among the 2 000 spectators and remembers the climbs vividly He recalled that after the cyclist raced up the hill he had to walk the bike back down on a series of steep switchbacks to the creek s edge for another heat Often inexperienced riders would be going too fast down the path and momentum would carry them right into the deep water of the creek Blub blub blub was all one heard until the rider surfaced The bike would be at the murky bottom Eventually the hill climb organizers paid four people with ropes to stand along the creek and serve as rescuers Obviously there were also thrills and spills for the spectators As riders raced up the hill that was considered one of the most difficult and challenging in the racing circuit bikes flipped throwing bikes and riders into the air There was always the danger that the bikes would come down on the fallen racers A concluding highlight of these contests was the spectacular headlong rush of a cycle and rider crashing through a flaming fence As described by Dick Robinson about half way up Blood Root Mountain there was a flat area At one end a

    Original URL path: http://whiteclayfriends.org/motorcycle_hill_climbs.php (2016-04-26)
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  • Friends of White Clay Creek State Park: Dutch Billy
    name was born in Germany in February of 1858 and immigrated to America in 1882 Long time area resident Eugene Dick Robinson said that though Dutch Billy did not go into Newark much he did see him once He described him as heavyset with a full beard Dutch Billy lived alone with his hunting dogs in a small cabin in the woods on the south side of Pleasant Hill Road Evidence of the lane that went by his cabin is barely visible today Long time resident Norman Dempsey remembered that Dutch Billy s cabin was where several farms Harkness Niven Hopkins and Lamborn farms came together near the Nine Foot Road and Lovers Lane Every few years local men would move his small cabin to an adjacent property so he would not have to pay rent Besides growing some vegetables in a small garden keeping chickens and hunting Dutch Billy was a respected handyman and butcher for area farmers His renown as a hunter was widespread He used his 2 or 3 hounds for hunting small game such as raccoons squirrels and rabbits Dick Robinson said that at night one could hear his coon dogs running up and down the valley The dogs had harmony and were wonderful to hear They had different ways of barking depending on what was happening They had one sound when they were trailing an animal and another when they treed it It was a long bray then a yap yap yap Billy would follow the sounds to get his quarry In late February 1927 the residents near Pleasant Hill Road did not hear the sounds of the dogs for several days so they went checking on Dutch Billy He had shot his dogs and then himself He had been ill and people assumed that

    Original URL path: http://whiteclayfriends.org/dutch_billy.php (2016-04-26)
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