The Columbus Washboard Company has been making washboards since 1895. In 1999 they moved 50 miles out of town to Logan, where they remain to this day where British native James Martin now owns the company. To give back to the community they sponsor an annual washboard music festival.
We have been to Logan a number of times to visit the Hocking Hills, but this was our first time we actually went into town. Logan is fairly typical for an old Appalachian town, one that has seen it’s better days. We arrived just in time for the lawn mower tractor pull, basically your standard lawn mower tweaked to pull large amount of weight and make a hell of a lot of noise, a perfect redneck experience. We watched the pulls for a while, but our ear drums hurt so we went into the washboard factory.
James greeted us as we entered, gave us a brief tour around the front room, and encouraged us to take the self guided tour of the factory floor. The floor had some live demonstrations of the assembly process as well as a couple of entertainers. The ladies doing the assembly were passionate about what they do, and were very informative, definitely the highlight of the day.
We left the factory and walked the two blocks to the main event area, which consisted of the typical festival heart attack food, a display of old tractors and booths for about 8 different churches (apparently you pray you don’t have the aforementioned heart attack while eating fried twinkies.).
There was a stage where a band was on, although to be fair we were there fairly early in the afternoon, but the ‘crowd’ of about 20 people were unenthusiastic. I would expect had we been there later in the day it would’ve been a better experience but ours was mediocre at best, other than the factory tour.