GALLIPOLIS — Our House Museum in Gallipolis will be holding a Founder’s Day celebration Saturday in its backyard on First Avenue in honor of Gallipolis’ 226th birthday.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., lunch will be served in the museum courtyard and consist of cornbread and beans. Tours of the home will be given from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free.
“Original Founder’s Day is Oct. 17,” museum volunteer Pam Riley said. “Because it falls on a Monday, we’ll be doing this on Saturday.”
The museum is a brick Federal-style tavern which dates to the 1819. It was originally owned by Henry Cushing and was known to cater to the community’s elite. It was considered a center of the town’s social life. The Our House Museum has become a center for Gallia County and Gallipolis history.
“A (Joel) Barlow was sent over (to France) representing Scioto Company,” said site manager Becky Pasquale. “He was sent there to bring people over here to open up a settlement. (Gallipolis) City Park is where they ended up. The (French) paid for all their property, but there was a gentleman over there. He was an Englishman, his name was (William) Playfair. He’s the one who stole (the French) money before Barlow could bring it back and give it to the Scioto Company so they could give it to the government, so they could actually sell the property. The French 500 paid twice for the same property.”
Pasquale said the French thought they were getting property when they arrived in what is now Gallia County, but legally at the time had no right to it as the Scioto Company had not yet purchased the land from the Ohio Company. The French who stayed in Gallipolis would have to buy land a second time.
Thus, Gallipolis’ name means “City of the Gauls” as it was traditionally settled by the French 500, aristocrats who sought to escape the stirrings of the French Revolutionary War.
The Our House Museum will also be open Nov. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. with live Christmas carols presented by the Gallia Academy High School Madrigals and tours given by Our House volunteers around the same time as Gallipolis in Lights opening ceremonies. Our House volunteers encourage residents to visit and learn about Gallipolis’ history as part of celebrating area traditions.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.