Wooden Wonders


By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

Messenger photo by Andrea Cordle
Ted Scherer carves a flying eagle into a 200-year-old ash tree in Tanglebrook Park in Jackson Township. This was one of four designs that the wood carver created.

What can you do with a few 200-year-old ash trees that have been the victims of the emerald ash borer?

Many municipalities would simply cut the trees down. Officials in Jackson Township had something else in mind.

The township reached out to Ted Scherer, a Galloway man known for his wood carvings.

“We could have just cut the trees down, but it made more sense to turn them into something people would appreciate,” said Mike Lilly, Jackson Township administrator.

Scherer carved four distinct designs on two large ash trees in Tanglebrook Park, behind the township’s fire station on Grove City Road. He carved a wizard, a bison face, a flying eagle and buffalo nickel into the tree trunks. The buffalo nickel has the year 1815 carved into the design to signify the year Jackson Township was founded.

Lilly said the other designs tie into what would have been in the area 200 years ago, when the trees were planted.

“We were just keeping with history,” he said.

Scherer has been carving wood for the last 40 years. He does it for fun and he makes some money off of it.

“I’ve just always liked messing with tools,” said Scherer. “I’m usually tinkering with something every day.”

Scherer started off making things like rocking chairs and carousels. Then the ideas just kept coming.

The wood carver has made all sorts of items like any animal you could think of, including an octopus, to just about every cartoon character.

“I made all of the seven dwarfs,” said Scherer. “I didn’t really want to sell them, but someone offered me $2,500 for all of them. Then I started getting requests.”

His favorite piece is the one he made of Right turn Clyde, an orangutan from the Clint Eastwood movie “Every Which Way But Loose.”

“That one took me a few days,” Scherer said.

Scherer has also carved the Illibuck for The Ohio State University. He made one wooden turtle that went into use in the 2007 football season. That turtle was passed to the winner of the Ohio State/Illinois game until 2014. Scherer also made the new wooden turtle in 2015, which will be used next year when the two teams meet again.

“Wood carving is very unique,” said Scherer. “There are maybe 100 people in the United States that do this.”

Now visitors to Tanglebrook Park will get to view this work for many years to come.

“People will go out of their way to see these unique trees,” said Lilly.

The township paid $4,000 for the wood carvings.



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