GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — County employees from the Gallia County Courthouse, as well as personnel with the Gallia County Department of Job and Family Services, were recently invited to tour the John Gee Black Historical Center to learn about African American history in Gallia County.
During the tour, volunteers walked the employees through each exhibit of the Center located on Pine Street, sharing history and events from Gallia County.
Elaine Armstrong, volunteer, said it is a universal story that they are proud to share.
“We all have a story to tell, this is our’s and we’re proud of it,” Armstrong said.
Topics covered during the tour included, but were not limited to, the Underground Railroad, Pine Street Cemetery, school segregation, secret ways of communication and more.
The Center hosts a variety of artifacts including desks from the old schools, documents, uniforms and tools.
Robin Payne, president of the Gee organization, said the Center offers an educational experience for all visitors, including the county employees who came for the tour.
“The community and its leaders and employees [learned] about culture and diversity [and] local Black history [from the tour],” Payne said.
Payne encourages people of all ages to come visit the Historical Center, as there is something for all ages to learn.
Volunteers are also always searching new leads to discover more about the history in Gallia County.
“Every time I walk in here, I learn something new,” Payne said.
Lunch was provided by the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office, Jason Holdren and Jeremy Fisher. Gallia County Recorder Roger Walker provided dessert.
Find the Gee Center on Facebook and online for more information and ways to support its efforts.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.