BELPRE, Oh.-(WTAP) It has been more than 230 years since Belpre was founded, but only 20 years since the museum of its history began.
Since then, however, it has accumulated items not only from Belpre, but from the surrounding communities of Little Hocking, Porterfield, Cutler and Barlow as well.
The Belpre Historical Society's Farmers Museum first opened in 2000 on Ridge Street. An addition opened in 2013. It has received enough donations of local historic artifacts to fill both buildings.
And it has an entire room devoted to genealogical information.
"We have a lot of family history, a lot of census books, and a lot of information on families that were here in the area," says Charlotte Powell, President, Belpre Historical Society. "And we do answer a lot of calls from people from out of town whose ancestors are from here in Belpre, and they're looking for information."
Its artifacts include shoes donated by a local resident once worn by Olympic hero Jesse Owens, an authentic brass bed, and an 1840's horse-drawn carriage once owned by the local Dana family.
"It was found and restored by the Thomas family and put here for safekeeping," Powell says. "If you come in and look at it, it was wonderfully restored from the shape they found it in. But it actually and supposedly ran on the streets of Belpre, so it belongs here."
While the museum has lots of donated items, it can always use more. And moreover, Powell says, could use volunteers.
"The younger generation is not that interested in history, or preserving things, and we don't know what will happen in the future. We're getting by, but it's not easy."
To volunteer-or if you have items to donate-you can contact the museum at 740-423-7588. If you get a voice mail, leave a message.