Tri-County Trail Association


Click here to edit subtitle

How Tri-County Trail Association came to be.........


In 1945, a group of horse riders came together and formed Hill top riders. As the years went by the club slowly closed it's doors but leaving a few still riding together. Among This original group were; Al Zaleski, Dusty, Rita, Linda, Gust & Audrey Malavite, Thelma Armstrong, Frank & Sue Ferren and a few others.


In 1966, These riders came together and rode to the Zoar Hotel and disscused forming a new trail riding club while they ate lunch. With a membership being $5 single, $10 family.


An ad was placed in the Canton Repository announcing the formation of the "Trail Riding Club". Had a great turn out! Meetings were then held at the Malavite Excavating garage on Ridge Rd.  Within 3 months, the group had grown with more and more riders. The enthusiasm was booming. The meeting place had to be changed to the old poultry market building on the Malavite farm. Many members pitched in working and scrounging up old theatre seat, drapes, paint etc. to fix up the new "Club House".


In 1967, The decision to name ourselves the "Tri-County Trail Association" came from the 3 counties (Stark, Tusc & Carroll), in which our members at the time resided.  We discovered it was to our benifit to renew the existing "Hill Top Riders" Charter and just change the name to our new name.


Our first members were; Al Zaleski, Gust & Audery Malavite, Jerry & Hank Fitch, Janet Halter, George VanPelt, Pinky Cooper and Harry McNutt.

Having Trail rides and meetings once a month seemed to be the answer and grew the membership to 49 in the first year.


In May 1967, We had our first endurence ride. George VanPelt and Gust Malavite won it out of 29 riders. We held these every year till 1982, when intrest just wasnt there anymore.


The trail system was gradually expanded and now included 45 miles of trails. Thus "45" was identifiable with the 45 revolver, so we crossed 2 45's to become our logo.


Malavites had just built a new barn and allowed us to use it for our meetings and activites.


In 1969, Audrey Malavite started our "TrailWays" newsletter.This was we could keep in touch with all our members, and is still very important to our club.


In 1970, we held our first fun show, 25 cents per entry! We event held shows monthly all winter long.


In 1971,we decided to hold "Annual Banquets" for members. Held in Pike township garage for many years. This was Tri-Cos way of saying thank you to all the members, and was at Tri-Co's expense. Lots of dancing and food always went on! This is also when we added the trail patches for the year, top riders of the year. This event became the best attended of the year and moved to the Bolivar FIre station.


There were of course many stormy years as we set up the rules and regulations. It was decided that Robers Rules of order would be used as the basic guide lines and a sergeant of arms was appoionted.  Lost tempers smoothed, and apologies were accepted and the meetings began to take a more orderly fashion.  The board members were chosen from each of the 3 counties, with several at large board members. Absentee ballots were tried and found to be very unsatisfactory.  Accusations were made, votes were burned and a new slate of officers and board members had to be elected that year, due to the uncertainty of the election.


In 1971, we were INVITED to the HOF Grande Parade. We dressed in blue jeans, white shirts and hats and a orange neck scarf which the idea came from our orange trail markers. 18 memberes rode that year. We had to place a 50 horse limit on this parade and there was a waiting list for many years.  You had to sign up at least 3 months in advance to ride in the parade. Due to people stepping on sepectators and riding through lawns we had to enforce no smoking or drinking in the parades, along with cleaned horse, tack and yourself.


Also in 1971, we joined the North American Trail Riders Conference. Also started Broom Polo Games held at Cricket Valley. As these games got rougher and a lady hit her hubby over the head with the broom, we decided to drop this game for awhile. We also did goat tying demos and cow night (winner got to keep the milk!)


Gust & Audrey Malavite offered Tri-Co the use of a campsite area as long as we stayed active as a club.  30 people showed to the work party. Gust did the excavating and road work, and over the years helped maintain the campground. We enjoyed this campground till 1987. Dick & Judy Boyd and Bill & Alva Lloyed did most of the camping and cleared a great deal of the brush. The Boyds put out the first lot sign, "The Boyd's Nest". This was the start of something big!


As intrest started to lag, we decided to have a chicken barbque which was a huge hit. 90+ people showed up. Jerry Cantrell started our Ox Roasts, which are still famous! Everyone loved enjoy the dinners but it was always hard to find help.


In 1974, Hank Fitch took over trail superviser, which later became a elected office. He and all after him have found it to be a full time job keeping the trails open.


Our first lady President was in 1974, Jerry Fitch will her team of all girl officers: Phillis Miller, Janet Halter, Pat Hoffman and Carol Mason.


Finally signed up for a post office mail box.


As horror struck the Malavite farm, a disastrous fire consumed the Malavite barn and all of its contents; 36 head of cattle and 19 horses were lost.  Along with this all of our records were lost as well.  This made us decide to get a safety deposit box at charter one.


1974, the first meeting was cancled due to 18inchs of snow!!


In 1975 we voted on a new logo. Jim & Janet Halter came up with our current logo with the horse in Ohio and the 3 counties.


Dick Baus organized a bus trip to the rodeo at the colesium, which was an annual event.  He handled this for many years and was famous for it.


Celebrating 1976, the bicentenial year, Col. Peter Langstaff and Margo Atwood rode through this area on their way to oregon on horseback. They stayed and visited with us awhile. Althouh they did not make it that year, they finally did reach their destination.


Hank started a year calender, sponsers made this possible to print.


Mary Hill & Darlene were in charge of selling Apple cider one year.


We joined the charter Ohio Horse Council. We were put into there book of maps and campgrounds.


We rode in the HOF parade with the dress of 1876 era. Huge hit! We were also riding in the East Sparta, Magnolia and Massillion christmas parades.


A showcase of all our trophies was place into the Bear Creek Steak House, then when to crowded, moved to the Big Indian Tack Shop.


After 10 years, Audrey Malavite finally decided to let someone else wright the Trailways.


A new event was inthe making of the ride and tie. Ask Randy Brown about how much fun it was chasin gthe run away horse, particuarly when he was swiming down the middle of the river! One horse ran all the way home once the rider dismounted!. This event was held at the bolivar dam. As more "runners" turned up, we decided to put this event to rest.


In 1977, we held a ride-a-thon for united way. Riders rode door to door asking for donations. They raised $297.


We started a photo album.

The Pavillion collapsed under the weight of the snow, so the men rebuilt it while the women cooked, so fun was had by all.

Gust and Hank installed tile for water to camp.

We made an area off Duber & Seeman for parking and riding. When it becae more of an area for dumping, we closed it off.

We held haunted hay rides, costume parties.


In 1981, a 25 mile ride was incorporated into our regular inddurence rides. A clinic at the cricket valley was also held. We build a bridge on the towpath as well for our use.


In 1983, After 10 years of trail master, Hank turned it over to DIck Baus. (This was not a voted in position yet).

We rented a storage unit to store all of our things.

They voted to raise the membeship to $10 single and $20 family a year.


In 1984, It was voted to make the editor a voted position, was made that any member in good standing could be vote into a position.


In 1986, the route to Zoar was closed to horsemen.

We voted to send money on our behalf to the "hay for horses" campaign. Because the drought condtions in the southern states, train cars were sending hay to the needy farmers.


In1987, the liability waiver was added to our membership application.

We helped make the trails and horse camp area at Salt Fork State Park, Jerri Fitch headed this along with many others.


In 1988, the members of the club came together to buy the property we now call our campground.  We had to come up with $10,000 for the downpayment. Many were personal loans from all the members in about $1000 amounts. Some were also donations that Tri-Co didn't have to pay back. Even other organizations sent donations to us. On April 8, 1988, Hank Fitch and Dick Baus represented a check of $12,000 for the downpayment of our campgrounds. Voted as Tri-Co's Horsemens Center, was now well on it's way.


Dense logging to clear the camp area.Tons of sweat and endless nights to get this area a campground. Everyone helped out on the new adventure. Even nonmembers helping.

Dick Baus put up the sign "Contributions at work-Not Tax Dollars!"


We then started leasing the outer edge for lots. At only $100 a lot, it was still cheap!


April 1989, exactly 1 year later, we had the property paid off! The Deed was ours! Within 2 years, all of the 7 members that loaned money were all paid back!


Cricket Valley held their first rodeo, and we decided we should help them every way we could for them helping us have a place for so many years.


Weput the shelter from the old camp to the new camp. It has since been upgraded and walls. (This is our current kitchen area).

We added the pavillion on and cemented it for our memberes to come in out of the weather.

Dick Baus Started the Annual Ox Roast.


In1990, we had several memberes held their wedding here.


We have also added the Spring Ride, Fall Ride and Halloween ride.