GALLIPOLIS — Many may know Mary Lee (Davis) Marchi from her post as the Director of the Gallia County Historical and Genealogical Society, and others may simply know her as they pass her in the grocery store or on the street near her Fourth Avenue home. Still, more and more people are starting to see Marchi in a new light, as her photography featuring the beauty of Gallia County continues to gain popularity on Facebook and other social media websites.
As of Thursday evening, Marchi’s Facebook page, simply named ‘Gallipolis Pictures’, had 1,664 ‘likes’. What that means for those readers not familiar with social media is that 1,664 people have opened her page, viewed her photos and enjoyed them enough to say so. It’s no small feat for a page that has only been around since Christmas.
Marchi said that she started the page as her “self-proclaimed therapy” to help her cope with the Christmas season after her husband, Robert L. ‘Bob’ Marchi, died last August.
“I cried for the first four months, and then, on December 22, I knew that I had to do something productive,” said Marchi. “So I posted a few pictures on my [personal] Facebook page. I got quite a few comments, so I decided I would start another page and feature pictures of ‘my’ Gallipolis and ‘my’ Gallia County. It turned into something that I never expected.”
Marchi is an eighth generation Gallia Countian, a local professional, a mother and a grandmother — with a fierce love and a certain sense of protection toward Gallia County. She said it was important to her that others take a moment to recognize the immense beauty of the area despite facing the same problems that other small town areas are battling all over the world.
“I wanted people to see [this area] through my eyes. With all the negative things going on, I hoped that people would see the beauty and the goodness that was in Gallipolis and the surrounding area,” said Marchi. “I am totally amazed that people like my hometown through my eyes, but I am extremely proud of Gallipolis and Gallia County, and I want to shout its beauty and history to the world.”