ST. CLAIRSVILLE, which is known as “Paradise on the Hilltop,” has been the Belmont County seat since 1804.
David Newell was founder of the town, which originally was known as Newellstown. According to reports, Newell later named the town in honor of his cousin, Arthur St. Clair, who was territorial governor for the Northwest Territory at that time.
Founded in 1796 in an elevated section of Belmont County, St. Clairsville had 400 residents when it was incorporated in 1807.
The name, “Paradise on the Hilltop,” originated in the early 1920s when developers wanted a logo for the town’s first substantial subdivision. It was in an area east of the main part of town and now is known as East Lawn.
Other expansions have occurred over the years in the St. Clairsville area with one of the biggest additions being the nearby Ohio Valley Mall, located along Interstate 70, east of the town. Later, the Ohio Valley Plaza was constructed.
Sporting events and recreational activities are among the features of the community. Tim Spencer, a 1979 graduate of St. Clairsville High School, serves as running backs coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. He formerly was a player for the San Diego Chargers, a National Football League team.
In addition to St. Clairsville Memorial Park which includes Allen Pool, the city also features the J.B. Martin Recreation and Senior Center, which was dedicated in September of 1984. A more recent addition involved the construction of the National Road Bikeway.
Also located in the city is the Belmont County Fairgrounds, site for the annual county fair in September. Construction of a new fairgrounds is under way near the city.
During the 1990s, a $1.2 million renovation project was completed in the downtown area along Main Street from Marietta Street east to Sugar Street and also including portions of North and South Market streets.
The city’s downtown area also has gained historical recognition, partially due to the Belmont County Courthouse as well as the former jail and former sheriff’s residence. These are dominant features in the business district.
A major industrial step in the St. Clairsville area occurred in September of 2000 when a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Belmont County’s Fox Commerce Industrial Park, whose estimated cost is $3 million. The 125-acre facility is located along Belmont 80 near St. Clairsville, and it is expected to create varied job opportunities.
Voters in 2001 approved a 12-year levy, which is leading to steps for the construction of an $8.25 million middle school/high school addition.
Quick facts about St. Clairsville
Median Age: 46
Housing units: 2,430
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