CHESTER – Chester Courthouse will host the Eastern High School Bell Choir during their annual Open House and Christmas event on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Courthouse will be open to the public from 12 to 4 p.m.. Visitors are invited to tour the historic site, listen to the Choir at 1 p.m., and enjoy light refreshment following the performance.
Chester Shade Historical Association members have been busy preparing the Courthouse with holiday decorations for the open house, and will be on hand to guide visitors and answer questions.
Meigs County was formed in 1819 with Chester was chosen as the county seat. The Courthouse was completed in 1823 and is the oldest standing courthouse in the Northwest Territory, earning its placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
In 1841, the county seat was moved to Pomeroy and numerous groups used the building until its restoration in 1995 and designation as a museum.
Today the museum is filled with artifacts that reflect the founding and early years of the areas history. The Courthouse itself is a standing monument to Meigs County’s dedication to upholding the rights and safety of its residences in the extremely difficult years of wilderness settlement.
The Chester Courthouse, also referred to as the Old Meigs County Courthouse, has played a significant role in Meigs County’s Bicentennial Celebration. CSHA played host to the opening kickoff for the Bicentennial weekend celebration, and has continued their involvement with “Meigs County Township Tales and Tidbits” written by Lorna Hart and published in The Daily Sentinel and the CSHA newsletter. Many of the stories were taken from the evening’s program, others from events at the Courthouse and contributions from local residents.
A Meigs County Treasure Hunt was added to their annual Heritage Festival to encourage the exploration of the county’s history during the Bicentennial Celebration. This annual festival highlights the county’s history with fun and educational activities is the official site of the Ohio Harmonica Championship.
The Courthouse includes a courtroom and museum center of folklore, and new artifacts and displays continue to delight visitors. CSHA supports many educational programs on site and at local schools. A genealogy center is located in the adjacent Academy building that also houses a kitchen and dinning room available to the public to reserve for events.
The museum is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and visits can also be scheduled by calling 740-985-9822. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to check on museum hours especially during winter months. For more information visit their website chestercourthouse.com.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.