POMEROY — Twenty-eight years ago this month, senior citizens and handicapped adults were moving into The Maples, a brand new 46-unit $1.7 million apartment complex built on a lot adjacent to the Meigs County Senior Citizens Center in Pomeroy.
The location was strategic in that it is but a short walk to the Center where seniors can take their meals, socialize and participate if they want to in a variety of recreational activities. Many have done just that over the past 28 years.
Building the housing complex was the dream of Eleanor Thomas, first executive director of the Meigs County Council on Aging. She recognized from her daily contact with seniors the dire need for improved housing for some older residents who lived alone or with an elderly spouse in less than comfortable surroundings, usually because that was all they could afford. It also allowed them to have social contact with others and to have a hot meal and activity option within walking distance.
Thomas, persistent in her efforts to see better and affordable housing for seniors in need, never let up, and her persistence paid off in time. She gained the support and cooperation of the Meigs County Commissioners who successfully sought funding grants. In time Thomas saw her dream come true.
It was in the winter of 1983 that ground was broken for the housing complex designed to include the adjacent old Children’s Home building which had earlier been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To incorporate it into the housing complex required that “the integrity of the original architecture be preserved.”
HUD funding was approved for the project and 30 years ago on a cold winter day like today, the late Richard Jones, a Meigs County Commissioner, stood before a large crowd gathered at the site for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Over the past 28 years, hundreds of elderly people have called The Maples “home.” Most who moved in spent the remainder of their lives there in a comfortable efficiency style apartment or a one bedroom unit.
Many enjoyed the hot meals and programs at the Center, just as they do today.