CHESTER — Meigs County Commissioners conducted their regular business meeting at the Chester Courthouse Thursday, to help promote the upcoming Ohio Chautaqua presentation on the Chester Commons.
Sitting at a antique wooden “bench” desk, original to Ohio’s oldest standing courthouse, President Michael Bartrum called to order one of the only public meetings to be held in the brick building since the county seat moved to Pomeroy.
The original courthouse cost $5,000 to build, and was abandoned when the county seat was moved to Pomeroy in the 1840’s. It has now been fully restored, and contains historical artifacts and resources. It is staffed by volunteers.
Pat Holter and Mary Powell were among those attending Thursday’s meeting, and they updated commissioners on activities at the courthouse museum and the Chester Academy next door. They noted the Chester-Shade Historical Association continues to raise funds and make plans for improvements at the old courthouse. A bell was recently added to the courthouse grounds.
The courthouse museum will be open during the evening events on the commons next week, as Ohio Chautauqua presentations commence.
Ohio Chautauqua’s 2011 theme is the Civil War. It is a five-day event that combines living history, music and entertainment, education, theater, and audience interaction in an exciting cultural event the entire community can enjoy.
Each evening, musical entertainment kicks off the program under the tent followed by a different living history program where a performer/scholar becomes a figure from the past. The audience has an opportunity to ask questions of the character and to later meet with and ask questions of the actor.
“It is a privilege and an honor to return to this courthouse to conduct today’s business,” Bartrum said.