Tuesday, December 12, dozens of heritage enthusiasts gathered in the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to honor some shining examples of heritage preservation in Appalachian Ohio.

As attendees enjoyed a tasty catered lunch, host and director of the Southeast Ohio History Center Tom O’Grady discussed the origins of American heritage that trace their roots back to Ohio hill country. Early Native American mounds, the first organized settlement in Ohio, Marietta, and the first thoroughfare approved by the United States Congress, Zane’s Cross, which crosses the Muskingum and Hockhocking Rivers can all be found in Ohio’s hill country.

Tom OGrady
Tom O’Grady, President of Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area Board and emcee for the afternoon

He mentioned two of Ohio’s first libraries, the Belpre Library in Washington County, which was founded in 1795 and the Coonskin Library, which was founded when residents sold animal skins in order to pay for the books that filled the library’s shelves.

People and iron factories in Ohio’s hills were instrumental in many of America’s military battles and the coal mining in this region contributed to the growth of Ohio and the United States. Some people working to preserve the stories from this remarkable region were honored and told their success stories to visitors and several members of the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives.

For a full list of honorees view our earlier story about the Heritage Luncheon.

2017 Appalachian Luncheon Honorees

As a special treat, Southeast Ohio native, Randy Gleason, performed a song called Ohio, written specifically for the Heritage Luncheon by Jeremy Gibson with lyrics representing the heritage being preserved by this year’s honorees.

Randy Gleeson
Randy Gleason. Photo credits Devin Cain, Morgan County CVB

To learn more about how you can be involved in historic preservation, contact the organizations responsible for the planning of the Heritage Luncheon: Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage area or Heritage Ohio.

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