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Southern Ohio Tours

Southern Ohio River Driving Tour

Directions From Parkersburg to Ravenswood
Take I-77 South to the Silverton/Ravenswood Exit 146 (30.5 miles)
Turn right onto US 33 West (3 miles)
At stoplight turn right to Ravenswood (1.3 miles)
Stay straight (Through town on Walnut Street) (1.4 miles)
Turn left onto Washington Street (0.3 miles)
Washington's Lands Museum and Sayre Log House are on the right 

Jackson County
Formed in 1831 from Kanawha, Mason, and Wood Counties and named for General Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States.  Jesse Hughes, noted Indian fighter, spent his declining years in the county where he is buried. 

Ravenswood
1.  Washington's Lands Museum and Sayre Log House, WV 2 South of Ravenswood
Phone: (304) 273-2621 or (304) 372-5343
The Washington Western Lands Park Museum is located in the Power House of the old Army Corp of Engineers Ohio River Locks and Dam #22. The Locks and Dam property is owned by the City of Ravenswood.  Also located on the grounds is the Sayre Log House.  The Sayre Log House dates from the 1870s.  It was donated to the city by descendents of the original occupants. It is furnished in a manner fitting to the period between 1870 and 1900.  Collections represent the settlers of the area with tools, clothing, furniture, dishes, photographs, toys, with a few Indian artifacts and some WWI and WWII memorabilia.

Directions From Ravenswood to Point Pleasant
Turn right towards Point Pleasant (0.7 miles)
Turn right onto WV 2 and WV 62 South following signs (26.5 miles)
Turn right to Krodel Park and Fort Randolph 

Mason County
Formed in 1804 from Kanawha County.  Named for George Mason.  Here Virginia frontiersmen under Gen. Andrew Lewis cleared the way for American independence in 1774 by defeating federated western tribes under Chief Cornstalk.

Point Pleasant
2.  Fort Randolph, in Krodel Park on WV2 near Point Pleasant
Phone: (304) 675-3844
Experience early pioneer life at Fort Randolph through demonstrations and war reenactments. Visit the Fort Randolph General Store and take home a hand-crafted item reminiscent of the American Revolution. See the Fort Randolph Museum and get a close-up look at the many artifacts on display. Stroll outside the fort gates and visit original log homes.

Directions From Krodel Park to Tu-Endie-Wei State Park
Turn right onto WV 2 South towards Point Pleasant
Continue straight through town (1.2 miles)
Turn left onto Main Street (0.2 miles)
Parking lot on right 

3.  Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, 1 Main Street, Point Pleasant
Phone: (304) 675-0869
The four-acre state park commemorates the 1774 battle at Point Pleasant.  The park's centerpiece is an 84-foot granite obelisk that honors the Virginia militiamen who gave their lives during the battle, while the statue of a frontiersman stands at the base.  Smaller memorial tablets in the park are dedicated to other historic people.

4.  Mansion House, in Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, Point Pleasant
Phone: (304) 675-0869
Erected in 1796 by Walter Newman as a tavern, it is the oldest, hewn log house in the Kanawha Valley.  Preserved as a museum, it features displays of antiques and heirlooms of the era, including a large square piano believed to be one of the first brought over the Alleghenies.  Two bedrooms are furnished with authentic four-poster beds that are more than 150 years old.  Open daily May through October. 

Directions From Tu-Endie-Wei State Park to the Point Pleasant River Museum
The River Museum is located directly across from Tu-Endie-Wei State Park

5.  Point Pleasant River Museum, 28 Main Street, Point Pleasant
Phone: (304) 674-0144
The Point Pleasant River Museum is West Virginia's only river museum.  Browse the exhibits of the Silver Bridge Disaster and the Marietta Manufacturing Company and video demonstrations on flooding, boat construction, sternwheelers, tow boats and river disasters.  Then research river history and lore in the second floor library.  Open Tuesday through Sunday.  Admission. 

Directions From Tu-Endie-Wei State Park to the West Virginia State Farm Museum
From parking lot turn left onto Main Street
Turn right onto 3rd Strret (0.1 miles)

Turn left at stoplight onto WV 62 North (6.6 miles)
Turn right onto Fairground Road (0.7 miles)
Turn right through metal fence gates to the parking lot     

6.  West Virginia State Farm Museum, Off WV 62 on Fairgrounds Road
Phone: (304) 675-5737
The West Virginia State Farm Museum that rests on 120 acres offers a rare glimpse into a rapidly disappearing way of life. View thousands of farm items and artifacts that have been restored to working condition and can be seen in demonstrations on the museum grounds. Buildings of historical value have also been moved and rebuilt on the grounds such as log cabins, an early farmhouse, an operational 19th century blacksmith shop, turn-of-the-century doctor's and newspaper offices, the first Lutheran Church west of the Allegheny Mountains, and more.  Open Tuesday though Sunday.

Directions From the WV State Farm Museum to the John Gee Black Historical Center
Turn left onto Fairgrounds Road (0.7 miles)
Turn left onto WV 62 South (Over two bridges then crossing into Ohio) (7.2 miles)
Take the OH 7 ramp towards Chillicothe, Ohio
Turn right onto OH 7 South (3.3 miles)
Turn right onto Pine Street 

Gallipolis
7.  The John Gee Black Historical Center, 48 Pine Street Gallipolis, OH
Phone: (740) 446-6521
The center was established as cultural and educational center to insure the preservation of tradition, culture, crafts, music and art of the Black Americans in Southeastern Ohio. Built in 1818 and dedicated in 1868 and named for John Gee its first great benefactor and one of its principal founders. 

Directions From the John Gee Black Historical Center to the French Art Colony
Turn right onto Second Avenue (0.5 miles)
Turn left onto Locust Street
Turn left onto First Avenue (0.1 miles)

8.  The French Art Colony, 530 First Avenue, Gallipolis, OH
Phone: (740) 446-3834
A regional multi-arts center occupies the historic 1855 Greek Revival house, "Riverby," which serves as a focal point for the community. The French Art Colony hosts public events, entertains visiting dignitaries and welcomes visitors. Visitors to the site can tour the historic home and gardens, including a sculpture garden, and take in the current art exhibit.

The home of the French Art Colony is an 1855 Greek Revival building located in Gallipolis' Historic District, along the Ohio River, which is listed in the National Register of Historic places. The home gained the nickname "Riverby" from its third owners, the Holzer Family, from the book A Journey Down the River, by John Burroughs.

Directions From the French Art Colony to the Our House Museum
Our House Museum is on First Avenue between Locust and State Streets

9.  Our House Museum, 434 First Avenue, Gallipolis, OH
Phone: (740) 446-0586
Built in 1819 by Elizabeth and Henry Cushing, sister and brother, as a quality inn for river travelers. This three story tavern was the hub of the community’s social life and was the center of the community's social life for many years. General Lafayette was entertained here on May 22, 1825 while on his triumphant tour of America. Visitors can clearly see how the tavern appeared and was used by guests.  Admission.

Directions From Our House Museum to Bob Evans Farm
Turn right onto State Street
Stay straight to OH 588 West (10.8 miles)
Turn right onto Farmview Road 

Rio Grande
10.  Bob Evans Farm, 791 Farmview Drive, Bidwell, OH
Phone: (800) 994-3276
This farm is an educational and interactive experience that tells the story of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., its founder and his family, and the history of Gallia County and southeastern Ohio. Touring the museum is a great idea for families and schools, youth and chartered bus groups. The museum is open daily and reservations are not required.

The Bob Evans Farm Craft Barn is a reflection of the area's heritage and reputation for fine folk arts and skilled crafts. Featuring one-of-a-kind items from more than 60 crafters and artisans, the Craft Barn draws visitors from throughout the region.

Directions From Bob Evans Farm to Buffington Island State Memorial
Turn left onto OH 588 East (4 miles)
Stay Straight on Jackson Pike (4.5 miles)
Merge onto OH 35 East (4.6 miles)
Take Exit 36 to Pomeroy/Gallipolis and OH 7
Turn left onto OH 7 North (17.9 miles)
OH 7 turns into Route 33 East (15.5 miles)
Turn left onto OH 124 East (4.8 miles)
Turn left at Buffington Island State Memorial 

11.  Buffington Island State Memorial, 20 miles SE of Pomeroy on OH 124
A monument made of broken Ohio glacial boulders is set in a four-acre outdoor park where visitors can enjoy picnics and read the signs describing the history of the area. It is not on the island. On July 19, 1863, the Battle of Buffington Island was fought in Meigs County, Ohio, on the banks of the mighty Ohio River. In the big scheme of things, this fight, involving 13,000 to 15,000 men, was fairly minor. However, it was the only significant engagement fought in Ohio, and it is noteworthy for a number of reasons.  In addition, three future presidents of the United States, James Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley, were all present at the Battle of Buffington Island.

Directions From Buffington Island State Memorial to Ohio's Smallest Church
Turn left onto OH 124 East (17 miles)
Turn left onto OH 144 North (4.6 miles)
Turn right onto US 50 East and OH 7 North towards Belpre (2.1 miles)
Turn right onto County Rd 63
Church and parking lot are on the left       

12.  Ohio's Smallest Church, Off of US 50 on Country Road 63
"The Healing Chapel" is 10'x14' in size. Inside are 4 tiny pews and a pulpit.

Directions From Ohio's Smallest Church to Parkersburg, WV
Turn right onto US 50 East and OH 7 North towards Belpre, OH (11.8 miles)
Take the Belpre, OH exit and cross bridge into Parkersburg, WV