GALLIPOLIS — “Southeast Ohio history is American history, and in many cases, world history” said Tom O’Grady, director of Development and Outreach and Director Emeritus of the Southeast Ohio History Center.
O’Grady spoke at the French Art Colony in Gallipolis earlier this month during the Southeast Ohio History Center’s annual meeting. Attendees had been invited to “explore the beautiful, historic town of Gallipolis”, and prior to the meeting. Our House Tavern, the French Art Colony, and Ariel Opera House were open for tours.
The History Center is located in Athens, Ohio, and their focus is “to collect, preserve and share Southeast Ohio’s unique cultural and natural heritage,” with a belief that next to the people , this is the areas greatest asset.
This includes working with other historical societies, heritage groups, businesses, and individuals to create a larger voice for historic preservation in the region, and to champion the natural and cultural heritage of Southeast Ohio.
In addition to electing new members to its Board of Directors, the History Center took the opportunity to recognize organizations in Gallia County for their efforts in the protection and preservation of heritage resources.
“It is gratifying to see so much effort being made in Gallia County to preserve the buildings, and stories, and sites that make up the important history of the region and of the state of Ohio,” O’Grady said.
Groups and organizations recognized at the event were Our House Tavern Museum, Ariel Opera House, Gallia County Historical Society, John Gee Black History Center, Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum, University of Rio Grande and the University’s Archives, Madog Center for Welsh Studies, Gallia County Genealogical Society, Emancipation Proclamation Day Celebration, Ohio Tattoo Museum, French Art Colony, Bossard Memorial Library, and Ohio Valley Bank.
At the conclusion of the meeting, guest were invited a on a walking tour of City Park and a look inside the newly restored Ohio Valley Bank, one of the 2021 honorees.
“Ohio Valley Bank is humbled to be included among this group of Gallia County’s foremost museums and organizations working to preserve local history and culture,” said Bryna Butler, senior vice president, corporate communications, Ohio Valley Bank.
Referring to the Southeast Ohio region, O’Grady said, “This is where Ohio began.” The Southeast Ohio History Center is located at 24 West State Street, Athens, Ohio 45701, and can be reached at athenshistory.org or by phone at 740-592-2280.
Information provided by Tom O’Grady, Southeast Ohio History Center, and Cheryl Enyart, Gallia County Historical Society.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.