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Wednesday, August 3, 2005
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Alden Library exhibit features Athens County's land and people

ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 3, 2005) -- "Athens County's Land and People: A Bicentennial Exhibit" is the subject of the current exhibit in Alden Library's Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center at Ohio University. The exhibit celebrates the founding of Athens County in 1805.

The display, which opened in July, can be viewed in the foyer area and inside the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections on the fifth floor of Alden Library. It will be in place until mid-September.

The exhibit explores continuities and changes in life and living over two centuries and more in Athens County. It emphasizes the land and people who have made the county community their home. By seeing government records, books, diaries, photographs, maps and more, viewers can learn about the county's land and people from both earlier times and more recent times. Featured items include:

  • A map showing the original county boundaries compared to the present boundaries
  • Early journal records of the Athens County Commissioners
  • A scrapbook of news articles on Depression-era relief efforts in the county
  • A master's thesis showing changes in the Gillett family farm on Strouds Run Road
  • A photograph of Sharpsburg in 1940 with very few trees in the background
  • County highway maps from 1935 and 2001
  • Articles from Athens Messenger columnists Charles Harris and C.H. Bartlett and commentaries by broadcaster Fred Palmer
  • A poem on bricks in Athens by poet Hollis Summers
  • Information on local manufacturing in 1972 when the newest Athens National Bank, now Bank One, opened
  • An account plus pictures of earlier Richland Avenue bridges over the Hocking River
  • An assessment by diarist Wesley Young of Confederate raider John Morgan's visit to Nelsonville in 1863.

"The magnitude of the changes in our lives happens in a subtle fashion," said George Bain, head of the Mahn Center. "Grandmother Maria Foster Brown rode horses in the 1800s while Alvin Adams grew up riding in his mother's Model A Ford in the 1900s. Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Nelsonville is now Doctor's Hospital, and local volunteers in Athens have planted flowers at major street intersections for nearly 20 years. This exhibit has many stories to tell."

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Media Contact: George Bain, (740) 593-2713, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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