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Belmont County Attractions Participating in Ohio Open Doors

Belmont County Tourism Council announced today that three local attractions are participating in the 2022 Ohio Open Doors. The Great Western School in St. Clairsville, Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, and Watt Center for History & the Arts, in Barnesville will “open their doors” as part of the Ohio History Connection’s annual event, Ohio Open Doors.

“Ohio Open Doors shares stories of important landmarks and interesting sites right in our backyards, highlighting the history and unique nature of some of Ohio’s most treasured places,” said Amanda Schraner Terrell, Director of the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office.

“Belmont County is thrilled to have three of our local attractions participating in Ohio Open Doors this year. It’s an opportunity to explore these unique locations that showcase the historical significance in our county,” said Jackee Pugh, Executive Director of Belmont County Tourism Council.

Great Western School: Open House

Saturday, September 17 • 1-4 pm

Guests are invited to come ‘sit a spell’ to hear the history and stories of this authentic one-room school. They will also be informed about National Trail #348 of the International Questers’ Restoration projects and the hands-on educational program conducted in the building. Visitors will be encouraged to participate in period games.

Great Western School

45101 National Road

St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950

Underground Railroad Museum: Our Local Heroes & The Story of Dangerfield Newby

Saturday, September 17 • 11 am-3 pm.

Join us to view a new exhibit, Our Local Heroes, commemorating those who fought to end slavery in Belmont County at the Underground Railroad Museum beginning at 11 am, with a presentation by Jon-Erik Gilot on Dangerfield Newby, a riveting tale of a local freed Virginian slave who found himself on the Harper’s Ferry battleground.

Underground Railroad Museum

121 High Street

Flushing, Ohio 43977

Watt Center for History & the Arts: Open House

Sunday, September 18 • 1-3 pm

The Watt Center for History & the Arts is housed in a historic building that once served as the office for the Watt Car and Wheel Co., at one time the world’s largest manufacturer of mine cars and mining equipment. It now serves as a local history museum, and archive focused on Barnesville and the western half of Belmont County. Displays feature industrial, retail, and agricultural history. A unique display of Elisha Gray’s story (rival inventor of the telephone) is of particular interest. The three-story building features original wood paneling, pressed metal ceilings, and six unique vaults.

The Watt Center

511 Watt Ave.

Barnesville, Ohio 43713

The Ohio History Connection created Ohio Open Doors in 2016 to promote and inspire pride in Ohio’s heritage and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Oct. 15, 1966, the Act has proven instrumental in transforming communities from coast to coast, establishing the legal framework and incentives to preserve historic buildings, landscapes, and archaeological sites. It drives economic revitalization by attracting investment, supporting small businesses, stabilizing neighborhoods, and creating jobs.

Admission to all Ohio Open Doors events is free. A list of the statewide events and activities is available at ohiohistory.org/opendoors. Ohio Open Doors partner organizations include the Ohio Arts Council, TourismOhio, the Ohio Travel Association, and Heritage Ohio.

For more information about these and all upcoming Belmont County events, call 740-695-4359 or visit www.visitbelmontcounty.com.