REVEREND LOOMIS AND THE DYNAMITE
(excerpt from the source)
Reverend Ralph Loomis, who was the minister of the Dublin Community Church from 1927 through 1935, was a man gifted with unusual energy, leadership, and ability to motivate people.
Recognizing the urgent need for more space to house group meetings within the church, Reverend Loomis promoted the idea of excavating a full basement under the church.
The nature of the soil under the building, very hard dry clay, was such that the proposed work was safe from an engineering standpoint, so long as the excavation close to the old foundations was done by hand, with extreme care and each footing encased in reinforced concrete as quickly as possible.
Excavation was started on December 7, 1929. All work was done by volunteers, much of it by hand labor, pick and shovel, and wheelbarrow. Later as space for working room was opened, a belt loader was loaned by H.F. Belt of the Columbus Conveyor Corporation, and trucks with drivers were furnished by Mr. John M. Snouffer of J & L Snouffer Company. The excavated soil was hauled across West Bridge Street and spread in a field owned by Miss Ethel Artz. All hand picks were sharpened, as needed, by blacksmith W. M. Halpna, free of charge.
As the work progressed small amounts of dynamite were used at night to loosen a sufficient quantity of clay to permit hand loading on the conveyor belt the following day. Reverend Loomis took on the responsibility of driving to the quarry across the river each afternoon and bringing back only the small amount of dyamite needed for one night’s explosion. He drove a model-T Ford with high pressure rubber tires. One evening when he came back from the quarry, he was obviously quite shaken and was very nervous. Upon inquiry he said that on the way back from the quarry with the dynamite in the back seat of his car he blew out a rear tire. His first reaction, of course, was to think that the dynamite was exploding and that he was on his way to meet his maker.
Source: History of Dublin Churches, Emmett Karrer, 1985, published by Dublin Historical Society