CHESTER — Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) paid a visit to the Chester Courthouse on Thursday afternoon as part of a trip through the region.
Johnson toured the museum which is now at the historic courthouse as well as visiting with members of the Chester-Shade Historical Association. (Note: for more on some of the historical items displayed at the courthouse see a related story on page C1 of today’s edition.)
Johnson asked about the current uses of the courthouse and the work that had been done on the courthouse and the neighboring Chester Academy building.
Mary Powell, one of the driving forces behind the restoration of the courthouse and academy, told Johnson that third grade students routinely visit the courthouse to take in the history associated with it.
Johnson suggested that it would be neat for high school history classes to hold a class in the building, letting the students get a feel for what government was like in the 1800s. He also suggested reaching out to the University of Rio Grande to see if their government teacher may be interested in holding a class in the building for his students.
The courthouse has previously held mock trial events, something Powell said she is hoping will return as new Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley has expressed that he may want to restart a mock trial program in the schools.
Johnson also suggested that the courthouse may be an ideal location for a rural broadband meeting. Johnson said there are focus groups which are going to be held on the topic with the FCC and others and that he would suggest the courthouse for one of those meetings.
With the courthouse having been restored with grant funding, that is something that remains in the minds of board members and those involved with the historical association.
Johnson told the group that if they were to apply for funding through a federal program to let his office know and he would write a letter of support for the grant application which can sometimes help projects to be funded.
Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews.