LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – “Johnny Appleseed” is ready for this weekend’s festival in Lisbon, held in his honor.
Wearing boots, jeans, an over-the-shoulder bag and a pot on his head, Jerry Tyson plays the part well.
“The pot, I found at Rogers sale. Actually walked around Rogers sale, picking up pots and trying them on my head. You should have seen the looks on their faces then,” he said.
It’s Tyson’s second year as Johnny Appleseed, after taking it over for Sonny Reynolds. He takes the historic role seriously.
“Well, for Lisbon, you know, Johnny Appleseed goes way back, you know, this is not some guy we just made up. The real pioneer Johnny Appleseed traveled right through this exact location,” he said.
Johnny Appleseed planted orchards, and one of those was in Lisbon during the 1800s.
Tyson will live in a homemade cabin for the festival. It’s 9 feet by 9 feet and includes a bed, Bible and a stove inside. It took an hour to put up Thursday in the village square.
The wooden beams of the cabin were meticulously put together. All of the wood came from last year’s Christmas trees.
“My goal is to just give the kids something authentic,” Tyson said. “To see something like this, you know, you’re going to inspire someone to in the future, to want to do something like this themselves, to plant a seed, you could say.”
The real Johnny Appleseed would appreciate that his legend lives on. Tyson wants children to ask questions. He feels that this is important history for Lisbon and the region.
“For me, just putting my whole heart into something and just giving the children the people something really authentic to look forward to, and that’s it. That’s ultimate for me,” he said.
Tyson lived in a tent last year and got wet. He said he is looking forward to the cabin.
Tyson also carries a stick he found in Potter County, Pennsylvania, which was where Johnny Appleseed planted his first orchard.
The Johnny Appleseed Festival takes place in downtown Lisbon, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.