Sue Rolli Kirtley resided in Goshen from 1959 to 1976. She lived with her parents Marge and Neil and brothers Kevin and Allan. Neil passed away in January of 1987 and Kevin in December of 2004. They had all resided along old Rt. 4 which is currently State Route 416 across from Rolli’s Tavern which was owned and operated by her parents. They also owned a gas station at one time.
Kirtley now lives in Dover and has two daughters Stacy Michelle and Blair Elizabeth, sons-in-law Dwyane and Sean and one granddaughter, Johanna Jane. Sue is currently working at Lauren Manufacturing, in New Philadelphia. Kirtley says she always felt there was something fun to do in the Goshen community.
“I played on the girls softball team for 5-6 years,” she noted. “I can remember Jim Scott, from Strasburg, was a coach at one point as well as Ed McPherson, of Tuscarawas. Jo Ann Davis (Guy), Bubbles (Catherine) McWilliams, Arleen and Leann (Liedke) McWilliams, Susie Kennedy (Burgess), Cheryl McPherson, Candy and Vicki Casebeer, Cindy (Krocker Davis) and Teri (Krocker Stein) were teammates as best I can remember. I think also Peggy Hobart, Debbie Shroyer and Susie Goss (Sherer) may have played at one time as well.”
Kirtley also loved sled riding and ice skating and enjoyed watching the baseball teams during the summer. The softball team played on the field once owned by Huck and Ellen Wilson and where the little league games were held.
In her spare time these days, Kirtley likes to spend time with her brother.
“Allan and I are very close,” she said. “We enjoy riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, attending drag racing events together, or just going for a ride.”
Kirtley remembers a lot of her family’s history as well as that of the community and is anxious to share it. Here is that history in her words:
“Mom and Dad moved to Goshen in 1954 and built what is now Gary Mangon’s house. There, they operated a Sinclair gas station.”, she explained. “My Grandma Helen Rolli, operated a general store next door in the house that Jimmy Carlisle did live in. I don’t know if he still lives there or not. Also, my Grandma Helen operated a rootbeer stand on the property where Gary Garabrandt’s mobile home is located. The root beer stand had the first “drive in” movie in the area. The movies would be shown on the side of the store and later she got a big movie screen. My Grandma Rolli purchased the tavern from a lady named Mary Johnson and operated it for many years until she had a stroke and died in 1967. The tavern was left to my dad, Neil Rolli and it was operated by him and my mom, Marge and George “Pappy” Szita. Pappy was my Grandma Rolli’s companion for many years. He had a sister, Agnes and a brother Louis. They lived in a house beside Kennedy’s.
I think the rebuilding of Route 4 into S.R. 416 happened in 1974-75. (In a later e-mail, Kirtley notes that on the back of a photo of the newly built tavern it says the plumbing was completed in 1973!) The new road caused several people to have to relocate their homes/businesses. Mom and Dad couldn’t have the tavern moved because it was such a large building, so they built a new tavern that is currently some type of “gaming” place. The old tavern was torn down because the new roads’ center line would basically go straight down through the middle of the building. I can remember the road crew hauled fill dirt off of mom and dad’s hill, behind our house, to make the base for the new road.
I can remember that Ralph Simmers moved (Bill and Betty) Kennedy’s house down over the hill to its current location. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson’s house was bought by Mom and Dad and also moved by Ralph Simmers and was eventually located right across the road from the new tavern. After some remodeling of the Anderson house, mom and dad sold the cement block house to Gary Mangon and we moved into the Anderson house. Agnes and Louis Szita’s house was also moved down the lane by the Welshenbaugh and Reynolds families. Also the gas station and store operated by Huck and Ellen Wilson was moved down the road. Actually, their house was moved and a new gas station and store were built and is now where Fox’s Horse Farm is located.
My dad raced stock cars for several years, say from 1954 until somewhere around 1959 or 1960. We always had a crowd of men in our garage. I can remember John Lieser, Jerry Coletti and Bob Condo. Ironically, Bob Condo is my neighbor now. I have several pictures of my dad and his stock car and these guys.”
Kirtley added that she has many photos of the community as well as some Goshen School “class photos” and would like to add those to the website in the near future. Marge Rolli is now living at the Schoenbrunn Healthcare Center, in New Philadelphia.