Crossing The River: African Americans in Southeastern Ohio Tour

August 8-9, 2016

Crossing The River Logo


Provocative stories of courage, creativity & accomplishment!

Guides who are intimate with the past & current story!

Excellent food, entertainment and accommodations!

Hidden in the steep hills and narrow valleys of southeastern Ohio are remarkable stories of men and women who bravely broke the color barrier after they and their families crossed the Ohio River into Ohio’s Hill Country throughout the 19th and 20th Century. The region’s relatively homogeneous population does not lead one to expect stories of state and national significance involving African Americans. However, to the contrary, abundant examples exist that still impact the region today.   Join a spirited group of guides, ranging from community organizers and descendants of early trailblazers, to scholars and contemporary leaders as this landmark experience will give consideration to events and sites dating back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Learn about Quakers and the Underground Railroad at Chesterhill, Ohio’s first public university and a black only academy at Albany in Athens County, the African American experience in Ohio’s second state capital at Zanesville, and an accidental social experiment during the coal boom era at Rendville where African Americans became pioneers in the nation’s labor union movement.   This guided bus tour includes lodging at the scenic Burr Oak State Park Lodge, a taste of regional foods and performance, and visits to African American churches, cemeteries and to the region’s pride and joy, Ohio University, where many early African American milestones were set.

The Details:

Location: Tour begins and ends at Burr Oak State Park Lodge, 10660 Burr Oak Lodge Road • Glouster, Ohio 45732.

Time: 9AM Monday, August 8 to 6PM, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cost: $195 per person (includes 4 meals: lunch-dinner August 8, breakfast-lunch August 9 and transportation).  Register by phone or e-mail by contacting us (see contact) or on-line at Event Brite. Fees apply to on-line registering.  Registration does not include lodging.

Lodging: $95/105 per room (single/double occupancy) @ Burr Oak Lodge.  To receive this rate, you must register directly through Ohio Hill Country or on-line at Event Brite.  Lodging option is at bottom of Even Brite registration page.

Contact: Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area; P O. Box 114; Shawnee, Ohio 43782; or call 740-707-1775 or 740-394-2852.

Note: This tour involves significant van/bus travel on winding roads and requires moderate amounts of walking with some uneven surfaces.

Click here for full details including a tentative itinerary!

2016 Winding Road Experiences Catalog

2016 Winding Road Catalog Cover.jpg

 The Winding Road

Ohio’s Rising Appalachia

The Winding Road is an emerging brand that represents a collaboration of social and business entrepreneurs who seek to develop a regional economy based on authentic assets surrounding the natural, cultural, historical, arts, local foods, well-being, education and geotourism business landscapes (sectors) in the Hocking and Muskingum Valleys of Ohio’s Hill Country in southeastern Ohio.

The brand aims to contribute to a quality of life that attracts and sustains creative young people as stewards of the economy and environment while respecting and building upon the region’s rich tradition of unique contributions to the greater culture.

In its initial stages, The Winding Road is represented by a SourceBook of guided experiences that share these assets with fellow citizens and geotourists, establishing commerce around this effort and stimulating entrepreneurial initiatives to build a critical mass of activity that sustains this collaboration and its desired outcomes.

The catalog takes the form of a periodic print publication, as well as a dynamic web site that offers a booking/purchasing feature for events, tours, experiences and products.   The catalog is a product of Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, a non-profit organization based in Shawnee, Ohio.

Emerging Key Concepts That Guide The Winding Road SourceBook

The Winding Road SourceBook is committed about promoting experiences and products that are…

educational and interpretive.

—presented by knowledgeable, trained guides and local experts.

—highlighting regional assets & a “Rising Appalachia”.

—integrated with stewardship of the environment, civic life, historic treasures

   and local economic systems

—inclusive of the arts, theater, music.

—engaged with locally sourced foods and products.

—supportive of “humanities consideration” of our provocative story and its

   impact on contemporary life.

—inclusive of youth, local schools and regional colleges.

—interwoven with local entrepreneurs & young professionals.

—generally small in scale, authentic and owned locally.

To receive a copy of the 2016 Winding Road Experiences SourceBook please send an
email request to


With the support of the Ohio Arts Council, the Yan Sun Art Museum and sponsors along Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road, the Appalachian Hills of Ohio Territory invites all Ohio ceramists ( includes anyone who was born in, lived in, worked in, attended school in or is submitting an Ohio- themed work to this competition)to enter one piece only in the inauguration of a new biennial competition with a $2500.00 first prize, $1000.00 second prize, $500 third prize, and two $250.00 honorable mention awards. In addition, a $500 prize will be awarded to the piece voted most popular.

Entries must be created in 2015 or 2016. They may be functional or sculptural and fit upon a 20” by 20” pedestal top. All works are to be delivered from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Friday, October 7th, to the Yan Sun Art Museum at 604 Main Street in Zanesville. All artists are invited to attend the First Friday Art Walk from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. that evening in in the District. To compete in the Show, please register by September 15th at An entry fee of $15 is due with the delivery of the work.

All works will be offered for sale on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday with 30% of each sale to be retained as commission. Purchasers of works and ceramists may choose to take their unsold work with them any time after the free artist reception and awards ceremony at 6:00 P.M. on Saturday at Weasel Boy Brewery until the close of Show at 5 P.M. on Sunday.

The Show will be the center-piece for the following activities that engage the Arts, Music, Local Foods, Craft beer, Wineries and Heritage and Outdoor Recreation in the Athens, Perry, Morgan and Muskingum County region on Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road A-Z.

The Zanesville Ohio Ceramic Arts (ZOCA) Center located on Pioneer Hill at the head of Main Street in downtown Zanesville will feature its wood-fired kiln and host tours of studios and artist residences conducted by Executive Director Arthur Kettner and the ZOCA Board on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.

The Zanesville Museum of Art at 620 Military Road will have a special display of art pottery. The museum is open during the event on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Artist Colony of Zanesville and the Zanesville Appalachian Art Project (ZAAP) will host First Friday, a monthly event with dozens of studios and galleries open to the public from 5P.M. to 8 P.M. throughout downtown Zanesville. The First Friday activities include music and a comedy club event.

The National Road/Zane Grey Museum, east of Zanesville, houses a significant pottery collection as well as exhibits featuring the first interstate highway and Zanesville native and author Zane Grey.

The Welcome Center (off I-70 from the west at the Fifth Street exit) has information and brochures on places of interest and events in the region. These include the Alan Cottrill Studio at 110 South Sixth Street, which features the world’s largest collection of bronze sculpture by a living artist. Alan’s work “Thomas Alva Edison” was selected for installation in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda this year.

Seilers’ Studio and Gallery at 129 South Seventh Street will welcome visitors on Saturday morning for coffee and a tour of available downtown properties in the Arts and Culture District.

Tree House restaurant, in the former site of Fioriware’s retail store at Market and Fourth Streets, is a breakfast and lunch favorite of local artists. Next door, Four Turns has incredible croissants Saturday morning at 8 until sold out.

The Clay Center of Ohio will be hosting ‘The Theme is Pottery’ annual show that features a variety of pottery -inspired works from the region including writing, painting, mixed media and children’s works.

Maddy Fraioli will host visitors to her Rosehill Design studio in Roseville featuring art pottery, hookcraft rugs and Fioriware. Stunning works of art by Howard Peller Basket Farmer will also be for sale at Howard’s and Maddy’s Farm.

Attendees may tour other sites of significance along Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road including Ludowici Tile, Burley Clay, Coopermill Bronze Works, Nelsonville galleries, and opera houses in McConnelsville and in Nelsonville.

Lodging will be available at Zanesville’s many motels and B&Bs with camping available at the nearby 60-acre Clay Center of Ohio preserve. The Wilds is a 10,000-acre endangered species facility that features yurts and small group lodge accommodations.

The Ohio Contemporary Ceramic Competition and Show is dedicated this inaugural year to celebrate 50 years of public funding for the arts through the Ohio Arts Council.










Publishing and Marketing Steps for All Authors

Saturday April 16th at Somerset Library Annex, 117 W. Main

A Workshop conducted by Brad Pauquette in Somerset Ohio

10am-2pm Free and Open to Southeastern Ohio Writers

With thanks to the Ohio Arts Council and Appalachian Hills of Ohio Territory (AHOOT) for sponsorship and a light luncheon


The Three Paths of the Modern Author

The Five Key Steps to Publishing an Exceptional Book

Free and Easy Marketing Steps for All Authors

Brad Pauquette is the CEO of Columbus Publishing Lab, the owner of Columbus Press and the Founder of Columbus Creative Cooperative. His clients include New York Times best-selling authors and work-from-home moms and dads.

Register at Info at




On March 14, a Community Visioning Session was held in Nelsonville, located in Athens

County.  The session was organized by Grant Sector Leader Ohio Hill Country Heritage

Area.  Led by Crooked Road Expert Todd Christensen, the approximately 60 attendees

included the President of Hocking College, an owner of global business Rocky Brands

(Mike Brooks), representatives from local arts galleries and other businesses, the

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and local officials.   Mr. Christensen led the group

through various visioning exercises, and the following themes emerged:


Hocking Hills Region

Lake Hope and Burr Oak

Winding Roads Motorcycles

Fur Peace Ranch

Higher Education

AEP Recreation Lands

Weasel Boys Brewery

The Wilds

Lake Snowden

Strouds Run

The Buckeye Trail

Ace Net

Wildcat Hallow

Wayne National HQ

Old Man’s Cave

Zip Line

Somerset, Ohio

Chester Hill



Zane Gray Museum

Y Bridge

Shawnee Buildings


Covered Bridges

Round Barns

Jackie ‘O’s



Wayne National Forest

Arts Community

Music Festival

Betty’s Cross

The People are Spark Plugs

Hocking River

Stuart’s Opera House

Hocking College

Scenic Railroad

Final Fridays

Rocky Boots

Ed Map

Brick Kilns

Farmer’s Market

Bike Path

Robbin’s Crossing

Quilt Shop



Public Support

Connect ‘Friday’ Arts Events

Wineries and Breweries Network

Connect Restaurants- 30 Mile Meal Locally Sourced


Lodging- Boutique Hotels

Tour Businesses


Corporate Retreats

Hunting Guides

Boating Outfitters







Next Steps:


Regional Calendar-Winding Road

Links between Organizations and Websites

Regional Commitment

Visiting Local Communities as Tourists- Learn Region

Sector Based Learning Opportunities

Signage: Find ways to connect Nelsonville to the rest of the Winding Road: wayfinding signs, marketing, etc.

Workforce Development: Hocking College, Ohio University and other area schools can network and collaborate on Workforce Development and training to supply Winding Road businesses with trained employees

Business Development: Create strategy and master plan




The Ohio House and Senate are currently working with the Governor’s office to review and select community development capital projects for funding.  The Buckeye Hills Regional Development District and OMEGA submitted a list of projects from across Ohio’s Appalachian region highlighting projects that had a regional impact.  The capital bill is expected to be introduced into the Ohio Senate with expected passage by the end of April.


The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced $46.2 million available specifically to diversify the economies of Appalachian communities which have traditionally relied on the coal economy for economic stability. These funds can be used for:


  • Developing projects that diversify local and regional economies, create jobs in new and/or existing industries, attract new sources of job-creating investment and provide a range of workforce services and skills training;
  • Building partnerships to attract and invest in the economic future of coal-impacted communities;
  • Increasing capacity and other technical assistance fostering longterm business development and growth


The ARC is looking for projects that have collaborative partnerships and cover multiple communities.  There are a number of initiatives that are being developed across our region and we’re looking to submit a project that will include the Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road initiative.  More information can be found on the Appalachian Regional Commission website or by contacting your local development district.


Shawnee in Winter 2009 1

On March 12, a Community Visioning Session was held in Shawnee.  The session was

organized by Grant Sector Leader Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area and Shawnee Mayor

Renee Brunton. Led by Crooked Road Expert Todd Christensen, the group worked through

various visioning exercises, and the following themes emerged:

Assets of Shawnee:

 Beautiful downtown buildings and structures on Main Street

 Outdoor recreation (Wayne National Forest)

 Appalachian culture, including coal heritage (real history)

 Arts and Music

 Friendly, welcoming, genuine people

 Park and Gazebo

 Restored train car

 The B & C Carryout: offers food and groceries; should be expanded

 Desperado’s Bar & Restaurant also provides food options

Desired Businesses for Shawnee’s Downtown Empty Buildings:

 Local foods

 Local crafts

Connections to rest of Winding Road: Buckeye Trail, opera house trail, for

theater festivals, Robinsons Cave, Mine Fire, Watershed clean-up sites, ATV

trails, motorcycle routes, antique shop trail, CSX Rail Bed Trail, historic mining

communities trail

Next Steps:

 Plan process to get community buy-in

 Inventory available properties

 Plan connections to Winding Road

 Inventory sources of funding

 Provide technical assistance to business owners

 Seek guidance from branding experts

 Build state and public awareness

The Winding Road team will provide assistance to the Village of Shawnee to seek funding

for a fully developed community led revitalization master plan.




Winding Road – Creative Communities A-Z Revolving Micro Loan Fund

Loan Fund Will Support Entrepreneurs Along The Winding Road

Small businesses drive our economy and make up the vast percentage of businesses in Ohio.  A major goal of the USDA Rural Business Development Grant project administered by the Perry County CIC is to help entrepreneurs establish and grow their small businesses along Ohio’s Winding Road.   Funding is usually needed for growth, so part of the grant funds will be used to establish a $50,000.00 Microloan Program.  Entrepreneurs will be linked to local organizations to help them develop or refine their business plans.  If those business plans identify a need for equipment, website development or similar assets to help with growth, the entrepreneurs will be encouraged to apply for a microloan.  Loans will be available in the next few months in the $5-10,000 range at market rates for terms of up to 5 years.  We hope that the region’s entrepreneurs will participate in this next phase of the Winding Road.  While this fund is being administered through Perry County, it is open to those in the Winding Road Region.  Contact Perry County Community Improvement Corporation Director, Tom Johnson for more information.  740-621-3580 or


National Association for Interpretation – Certified Interpreters Guide Training

National Association for Interpretation – Certified Interpretive Guide Training to take place in March 18, 19 and 20, 2016

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never regains its original dimensions.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Tuition available!

Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area will host it’s second National Association for Interpretation certification course taught by Ken Bowald. Participants will earn certification as an interpretive guide.

Engaging story telling is one way share our interesting history and heritage. This group will learn how to develop guided tour opportunities that embody the art of interpretation and will offer visitors a unique and memorable experience to some of Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road treasurers.

Contact Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area at or 740-394-2852 for more information and to sign-up.  Click Here to go to NAI Site for more information.

Hey, Neighbor!

“People coming together as a community can make things happen.”

– Jacob Rees Mogg

These words couldn’t be more true….. And our recent trip to Southwest Virginia to learn about their community development showed us the truth of Jacob Rees Mogg’s words.


Cleveland, VA council members share the past and future of their town with OHCHA members 


Ohio’s Rising Appalachia packed up and hit the road to visit 7 prominent communities in Southwest Virginia whose revitalization efforts proved that a community’s vision and efforts do make a difference and do pay off.


Viriginia Tourism Director, Todd Christensen, provides tour of Heartwood Artisan Gateway in Abingdon, VA

Cleveland, VA – a town who once thrived as a coal, livestock, and lumber community – now with a population of 190  was where we began our journey. The passion and determination this town has to revitalize their town and create more resources and opportunities was inspiring to anyone who hears their voice. This is one community whose hospitality was enough to make me want to stay. The Cleveland locals have taken action into their own hands- installing their own walking trails and cleaning debris from the river that passes through the old coal town. The drive for a better and more sustainable community was obvious. But the open arms they welcomed us with was the most significant part of the town. The election of a new mayor and new council has provided a whole new perspective for growth within the community instead of consistent road blocks the town has run into previously.

Other communities such as St. Paul, whose greatest regional asset is the Clinch River – one of the most bio-diverse rivers in North America, has drawn in recreational tourism opportunities because of  the work of revitalization programs and directors who have pinpointed the region’s opportunities for a sustainable economy. A new vision of the community has inspired other entrepreneurs to create new business opportunities thus creating more jobs and tourism outlets. This community focused on watershed levels with local partnerships and collaborative efforts that connects downtown revitalization, outdoor recreation, water quality, entrepreneurship, and environmental education.


Main Street programs in towns such as Marion and Gaylax have granted entrepreneurial opportunities to locals by assisting them with business plans – which is what many new entrepreneurs fear the most. Free business workshops are provided to anyone who is interested in starting their own business. Grant funding helps with some of the initial start up costs and the community’s support is what plants the seed for the success of these businesses.


Beautiful Damascus, VA – an eclectic and friendly town along the Appalachia Trail, was a great learning experience for our group. Current projects are helping to boost sustainable tourism by identifying the town as an outdoor recreation mecca due to immediate access to the Appalachian Trail, Virginia Creeper Bike Path, some of the best fishing sites, camping, and more.  Prominent local spark plugs are leveraging property acquisitions to help develop an outdoor community amphitheater and expand lodging which in time will link main street corridor to river access just two blocks away.

Although we visited several vibrant places, there were a few commonalities that these communities shared – a common goal of creating a better place for the people who live there and having strong relationship on the local, state, and federal level for collaborative efforts. Each community also had a spark-plug…. a person or two who were engaged in making a change at the local level for the communities in which they live.

This trip was a wonderful way for The Winding Road to further expand on our branding effort to help develop and promote regional tours, events, sites, and products utilizing existing and newly identified assets. We were also able to gain a new perspective in order to provide opportunities for enhanced learning around entrepreneurial needs.

Many thanks to the wonderful people who opened their arms to our group and showed us the power of passion and love for your community. We all took something away from our trip and are eager to stir things up in Ohio’s Rising Appalachia!