DOVER, Ohio (WJW)– Earnest “Mooney” Warther was born in the city of Dover in 1885 in an old log school house. Today, his family home has been transformed into the Warther Museum and Gardens.
At the age of 5, Warther and his siblings were forced to work because of the death of their father. He worked herding cows for a penny a day. One day, he found a pocket knife in the dirt and that began his lifelong love of carving.
When he was 14, he got a job at the local steel mill, where he spent 24 years. But carving remained his passion and he created a replica of the mill. It took him 9 months.
“The Passion Carvers from Oberammergau Germany came to view his carvings back in the 1930s. They declared him the world’s master carver as it was the best carving they had ever seen in the world. It’s really not carving, it is more of a work of art,” said Carol Moreland, granddaughter.
Warther loves mechanics, especially steam engines. Using old railroad repair manuals as a guide, he carved the Empire State Express five times and paid tribute to President Abraham Lincoln by carving his funeral train.
And best of all, the Warther Museum is just a One Tank Trip.