Look back through the years and learn about many years of outstanding preservation work. The honorees each year give a snapshot of some of the bright spots in Ohio’s Appalachian region. Follow the links to watch a full video of the awards show and hear each honoree’s success story.

At the 2011 Awards, after opening remarks from the two sponsoring organizations, Heritage Ohio and Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, the first award was given to Athens County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, and Executive Director Paige Alost explained the success of the 30-mile meal. The next award went to the Colony Theater in Marietta, which saw extensive renovations leading up to the awards, as explained by the theater’s Director of Development, Hunt Brawley.

colony theater
The Colony Theater, now called the People’s Bank Theater following extensive renovations

Other 2011 awardees and success stories were the Morgan County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, the Muskingum County Community Center, Appalachian Center for Entrepreneurs (ACEnet), the Little Cities of Black Diamonds, the Hocking Hills Tourism Association, the Arc of Appalachia Nature Preserve.

The town of Somerset, and Mayor Tom Johnson were honored for the efforts to preserve the many historic buildings in the former county seat for Perry County.

In 2012, the Ohio Statehouse saw success stories from the Hocking College school of Natural Resources Dean Ken Bowald, who discussed the importance of interpretive guiding. Also sharing success stories were the Historic Fort Steuben, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, Zane State, the Main Street Downtown Revitalization Project, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the Zanesville Y Bridge Arts Festival and the Markay Cultural Arts Center.

Y-Bridge, Zanesville, Ohio
The famous Y- Bridge in Zanesville

The Ancient Ohio Trail, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Ohio’s breathtaking Native American earth works, like the famous Serpent Mound, was honored and Paw Paw Festival Founder Chris Chmiel explained the wonders of Southeast Ohio’s darling fruit, the Paw Paw. ACEnet was honored yet again and Leslie Schaller, their current director, told the success story of the Athens Farmer’s Market.

serpent mound aerial
An aerial view of Serpent Mound

Stick around until the end of the awards and success stories to hear Julie Zickefoose, a nature artist and writer from Wipple, Ohio, describe in beautiful, poetic terms, what Appalachian Ohio means to her.

The third annual award show in 2013 was moved into the larger Atrium space at the Ohio Statehouse. Attendees heard success stories from the Buckeye Hills Economic Development, the Marietta Main Street Project, Fairfield County Historical Parks, Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina, the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, the Perry County Historical Society.

The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum

Sunday Creek Watershed Group and Rural Action were honored and told the story of cleaning up acid mine drainage and their work to improve water quality. Ralph Alexander told the success story of the John T. Wilson Homestead, first giving a short summary of the incredible life of soldier, congressman, senator, and Adams County benefactor, John T. Wilson. His home has been beautifully preserved and functions as a bed & breakfast today.

Belmont Technical College’s preservation training program was also honored for producing preservation-trained graduates. Attendees also heard the success story of Georgetown, Ohio company, the Glass ReFactory, which uses recycled bottles to make sun catchers. Attendees also heard the success story of Rendville Artworks, located in Rendville, Ohio.

A sun catcher made form recycled bottles

Returning to the Statehouse atrium in 2014, attendees heard success stories from the Multicultural Genealogical Center, Millersburg Brewery, McClain High School, the Southeast Ohio Astronomical Society, and the John & Annie Glenn Museum Foundation. Attendees also heard about the heritage preservation that went into the beautiful Portsmouth murals on the 2,000 foot flood wall and in other parts of the city.

Deana and Marvin Clark, the owners of the Ohio Valley Opry, talked about their successes in their 14th year owning and operating the opry located in the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville. The Opry, which takes place on the third Saturday of every month, brings classic Appalachian music to Morgan County.

The Statehouse Atrium also heard the success story of Bird Watcher’s Digest, started by a husband and wife in Marietta in 1978. The owner of the Marietta-based artist collective, Resolve Studios, talked about the art that celebrated Appalachian heritage.

In 2015, Tecumseh Outdoor Drama, Columbus Washborad Company, Weasel Boy Brewing, Ludowici Tile, Crumbs Bakery, Snowville Creamery, and Stewart’s Opera House told their success stories. The Emancipation Proclamation Celebration in Gallia County celebrated its 152nd year and its president, Andrew Gilmore talked about the hard work that brought their success.

Stewart’s Opera House, in the heart of Nelsonville

Jackie Welker talked about the road to creating the Pomeroy Blues Fest. Artist Alan Cottrill, whose bronze sculptures grace the sidewalk on Zanesville as well as a park in Shawnee, Ohio, the Artists of the Winding Road exhibit at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster, and around the country, discussed his artistic journey and how his Appalachian heritage has shaped it. Anne Cornell also told the story of the Pomerene Center for the Arts‘ Coshocton Art Park, located across from the Coshocton County Courthouse.

Statue of Thomas Edison by Alan Cottrill. The statue sits in Washington D.C., in Congress’ Statuary Hall Collection.

Each year the Appalachian Heritage Awards celebrate the admirable efforts of people conserving heritage and relaying the history of Appalachian places and people. Keep up with Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area and Heritage Ohio to learn more about preservation and the next Appalachian Heritage Awards.

For more information about Heritage Ohio, visit their website. Become a member of Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area and receive discounted admission to next year’s Appalachian Heritage Awards as well as our newsletter.



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