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Birds of a Feather
by Tom Thomson

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The hill walker

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To earn a living, Charles Goslin was the co-owner of the E. C, Mattox Men's Clothing Store in Lancaster, Ohio. He worked there for forty years, as manager and then as vice-president, until the store closed in 1968, when he retired.

Charlie had a penchant for long-distance walking which manifested itself early on when he walked across country from Ohio to the west coast to attend Washington State University.

In later years, he was to gain a measure of local fame by walking extensively though the hills of Fairfield, Hocking, and Perry counties and taking notes on what he saw. It is said he walked the entire Fairfield County line, and where it crosses part of Buckeye Lake, he walked that, too, one year when there was a drought and the lake bed was exposed.

From the time he was a young man, he was interested in natural history and his observations of birds and plants and things historical were duly published in the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. Between 1923 and 1983, he estimated 1,700 of these columns were printed, the best of which were republished in two volumes titled Crossroads and Fence Corners: Historical Lore of Fairfield County. He also wrote several other books and contributed articles to other papers and periodicals.

Charlie was a great naturalist. He knew the birds. He had a good grasp of geology. But his greatest love and talent was for plants. During his lifetime he contributed specimens to the herbaria of Ohio University and The Ohio State University.

A few months after he died, family and friends gathered at a park on the outskirts of Lancaster for the dedication of a plaque and a Kentucky Coffee tree that was planted in his honor.

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