MEIGS COUNTY — If you are looking for something to do this Saturday, Meigs County is the place to be.
From the west end of the county in Salem Center to the east end at Portland, there is no shortage of activities to fill the day.
In Salem Township, the volunteer fire department will be hosting its 39th annual Ice Cream Social from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the firehouse on State Route 124 in Salem Center.
The menu for the event includes 10 flavors of homemade ice cream, and several food items.
In Chester, the Meigs Heritage Festival will be making its return to the Chester Courthouse and Chester Commons with events scheduled throughout the day.
The Heritage Festival is a fun Saturday of family activities at Ohio’s oldest standing courthouse. The day begins with breakfast at 8 a.m., a Classic Car Show at 9 a.m., food, homemade ice cream, games, raffles, vendors, and exhibitors until 4 p.m.
After using Eastern High/Elementary School as a venue for several years, Chester Shade Historical Association (CSHA) decided to move the Festival back to it’s original location, according to the news release announcing the event.
CSHA’s mission is to educate and preserve the Ohio’s oldest courthouse and the adjacent academy, and the move was designed to raise awareness of the historical buildings..
Meigs Heritage Festival Schedule of Events
- Breakfast — 8-10 a.m.
- Car Show — 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with registration beginning at 9 a.m. and winners announced at 2:30 p.m.
- Pie Contest — Registration, 9-11 a.m.; judging, 11:30 a.m.; auction, 3:30 p.m.
- Vendors, Exhibitors, Games — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Meigs Finest — Registration from 10-11 a.m.; Crowning, 11:30 a.m.
- Lunch — Serving begins at 11 a.m.
- State of Ohio Harmonica Contest — Registration, 3-3:30 p.m.; contest begins at 4 p.m.
As a reminder, Scout Camp Road will be closed from Route 248 to Mill Street, and Mill Street will be closed from Scout Camp Road to Allen Street, around the Chester Commons during the event.
Venturing on across the county, a memorial ceremony will take place to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Buffington Island, the only Civil War battle to be fought in Ohio.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Portland with the introduction of Kerry Langdon, Senior Vice Commander of the Ohio Department Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) by James Oiler and Scott Britton of the Cadot-Blessing and Gen. Benjamin Fearing Camps of the SUVCW.
The ceremony will consist of wreath laying by various veterans organizations with a firing salute rendered by members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the playing of TAPS.
The featured speaker will be Stephen Sam Hood author of The Rise, Fall and the Resurrection of a Confederate General and The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood.
The Battle of Buffington Island was the most significant engagement in what is referred to as Morgan’s Raid. General John Hunt Morgan began his famous ride by hand picking nearly 2,500 Confederate cavalrymen and artillerymen and set off from Sparta, Tennessee.
On July 18, 1863, after a long day of fighting with various Meigs County Militias and citizens Morgan arrived at Buffington Island with intention of using the ford back to friendlier territory. Worn out from a hard day of riding and fighting Morgan decided to rest and take on the Militia the next morning which allow Gen. Judah’s pursuing forces to catch up to Morgan and the battle began at approximately 6 a.m. on July 19, 1863.
Fighting raged across the fields along the river for most of the day, but as Morgan began to cross the river, the Union gunboats Moose and Alleghany Belle shelled the Confederates and prevented their crossing. As more Union forces arrived, Morgan was finally surrounded and ordered to surrender. At about 3 p.m., Gen. Shackleford granted Morgan one hour to surrender, but they used that time to fortify their position instead. The battle continued until night fall when, Morgan, along with about 400 men, escaped while the rest of his force surrendered.
He again tried to cross the river up between Reedsville and Hockingport, around Belleville but was again turned away by the Union gunboats and cavalry. While some of his men did reach the southern shore, others drown and Morgan was forced to turn north. Union forces continued to pursue Morgan until finally on July 26, he and his men were captured just north of East Liverpool in Columbiana County. During this battle two future U.S. Presidents participated — Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley.
From best estimates, approximately 3,000 Union forces and 1,800 Confederate were engaged and this ended the only battle of the Civil War to take place in Ohio.
Looking to venture out of the county, there is plenty to do around the region as well.
Gallipolis will host the Hoop Project, a three-on-three basketball tournament, on July 15 and 16. With a proposed 15 courts to be placed predominantly alongside First Avenue by City Park, event organizer Robbie Pugh estimates around 200 teams of up to eight players each to take part in the tournament. Roughly 1,500 players are expected to attend.
While registration for the event has concluded, there is still plenty of opportunity to watch the games and events.
In Crooksville, the Hull Pottery Association 24th annual National Show and Sale will be July 14-15 at the Crooksville High School, which is located one mile south of Crooksville on Ohio State Route 93.
Hours for the show are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 15. The first hour each day is for members only.
The company may no longer exist, but enthusiasm hasn’t waned, and the Hull Pottery Association National Show will display the largest collection of Hull pottery in the world.
The company began production in 1905 and their early lines consisted of common utilitarian stoneware.
Like many other American pottery and glass companies, Hull closed in the 1980s due primarily to foreign competition.
So many people still appreciate the beauty and workmanship of this pottery, and the Hull Pottery Association (HPA) was founded in 1993. The mission of this a non-profit organization is to “preserve, educate, and promote Hull Pottery, its collectors, and its heritage.”
The Association sponsors the National Show each year in Crooksville, giving attendees and club members an opportunity to see thousands of pieces of not only Hull Pottery, but also pottery made by other American manufacturers like McCoy.
Hundreds of authentic, rare and one-of-a-kind pieces of Hull Pottery, and many other favorite pottery pieces, will be on display. The public is invited to join members, dealers and collectors from all over the United States for the 24th annual show and sale in the pottery capitol of the world.