Preserving Heritage

WE BELIEVE a newly formed Eastern Ohio group is on the right track in its bid to promote a large part of Bellaire’s heritage.

The railroad has played a significant role in the All-American Town, dating as far back as pre-Civil War days. It is a legacy worth saving as well as enhancing.

Such is the goal of the Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society. The new organization is composed of local men and women of all walks of life, harboring one common thread — their passion for the railroad.

The Great Stone Viaduct features 43 stone arches and is Bellaire’s hallmark landmark. It has not only been integral in Bellaire’s past, but also many parts of Belmont County.

The new viaduct society was established with the intent to ensure the viaduct maintains its proper place in history. We fully appreciate the importance of the viaduct, past and present, and fully support the effort of the fledgling group.

The educational society’s board of trustees has embarked on bringing the public into the loop on the rich tradition of the viaduct and railroads in general.

To help attain that goal, the society is holding an educational forum on Aug. 18 at the Bellaire Public Library. As part of the event, many activities will be staged outside, under the arches of the Stone Bridge, which is only fitting.

Also, a special train for rides along Bellaire’s streets will be offered to children. Another impressive attraction at the forum will be the B&O Railroad Historical Society from Baltimore bringing its “Company Store” to the library, allowing those in attendance to make purchases.

The non-profit and non-partisan historical group is a nice breath fresh air, formed for worthwhile reason: to promote a local treasure. It is also a treasure which is showing renewed significance in the expanding business opportunities along the Ohio River as reflected by the development National Lime & Stone (Martins Ferry) and MPR (Bellaire) companies.

We commend as well as support the efforts of the Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society. We hope Eastern Ohioans also get on board.