MEIGS COUNTY — During Meigs County’s Bicentennial year, there is a new book with some historical tales of Meigs County.
Local historian and educator Jordan D. Pickens and his wife, Calee M. Pickens, recently released the book Historic Tales of Meigs County, Ohio. The couple held a book signing on Saturday at the Pomeroy Library, with a second book signing planned for this Saturday at the Chester Courthouse from 1-3 p.m.
Jordan Pickens explained that the book started from the columns he was researching and writing for The Daily Sentinel. He would be approached by readers who asked if he had considered putting the columns into a book. In time, Pickens compiled the works, along with others which were not published in the paper, putting them into a book.
Based on the As the old Ohio flows… columns, the book details the stories of Meigs County.
“Organized in 1819, Meigs County rests in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio along he beautiful Ohio River. The land’s deep reservoirs of coal and salt provided early residents work in mines and in shipping the goods via steamboat and railroad. Local communities also nurtured talented scholars like James McHenry Jones and poets and writers such as James Edwin Campbell and Ambrose Bierce, as well as Dr. Brewster Higley VI, whose poetry inspired the American classic “Home on the Range.” The county is home to Ohio’s oldest standing courthouse in Chester and to Pomeroy, the only town in American with no cross streets. Join historians Jordan and Calee Pickens as they recount times of prosperity and hardship that have been engrained on the timeline of Meigs County,” reads the summary of the book which is published by The History Press.
The book is broken down into 30 chapters of short stories. Chapters in the book include those on Meigs County’s townships, Nelson Story, the railroad of Meigs County, Meigs County and steamboats and much, much more.
Jordan Pickens previously released the book Images of America: Meigs County, which was coauthored by Dr. Ivan M. Tribe.
This time, it was his wife that Jordan decided to team up with for the book.
Jordan explained that Calee is his biggest critic and support, and that they do everything together so it made sense when it came to the book as well.
Calee said that Jordan is the one who found the initial information and conducted the research. She then would read the information as someone who is not a “history buff”. She would then point out the information that needs clarification or additional research. “She fine tunes it,” said Jordan.
Jordan and Calee commented that researching the history of the area makes them “proud to be here (Meigs County) and from here.”
The new book is available at the Meigs County Museum and the Chester Courthouse.
Married since 2013, Jordan and Calee Pickens are both lifelong residents of Meigs County. Jordan Pickens is a high school teacher at Southern High School, while Calee Pickens is a teacher at Meigs Middle School. They are parents to two young children, Andrew and Clara.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.