- Written by Stephanie Holstein
Although the park and its history as a glassmaking factory is significant, we have to wonder why its founders believed Mount Vernon to be uniquely important. In 1868, Peter Neff supervised the drilling of many natural gas wells near the county line of Coshocton and Knox, where the Kokosing and Mohican Rivers converge. Gas companies soon flocked to the area, hoping to develop this abundance of natural gas. Emitting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than traditional fuels such as coal and wood, natural gas served also as a cheap and consistent fuel for many activities, including the energy-intensive manufacture of glass. In addition to this plentiful resource, Knox County hosted an abundance of silica sand, an important component in glassmaking. Different from river sand found near the Kokosing, silica sand is harvested from local sandstone and contains fewer impurities, creating fewer defects in the glassmaking process.