FLUSHING when celebrating its 200th anniversary Saturday and Sunday emphasizes both the past and the future.
The village has important ties to the past such as the Underground Railroad Museum, founded and operated by John Mattox. The Flushing area was one of the places in which the Underground Railroad operated, helping slaves to gain their freedom.
Help on the Underground Railroad once was provided by the Quakers, which were "at one time the strongest denomination in the Flushing area," according to a history compiled by resident Robert Howell.
Another railroad also had an impact on the village, according to Howell. He noted, "Around the early 1900s, Flushing was a "Boom Town," because the Cleveland, Lorain and Wheeling Railway entrance into the southwest end of town made the small coal mines that dotted the area into commercial ventures with the railway shipping out their coal."
J.A. Caldwell in his "History of Belmont and Jefferson Counties" also mentioned the railroad before it was in operation. He wrote, "Flushing ... sees wisdom in the fable of the fox and tortoise. What she may do when the iron horse goes neighing through her tunnel in her southern borders remains to be seen."
The town with the help of the "iron horse" and coal mines grew, and today has more than 875 residents.
JESSE Foulke, who laid out the town in 1813, must have been a busy man. Not only was he responsible for that effort, but he also was the town's first schoolteacher and kept the first store.
According to "A Study of the Origin of Place Names of Belmont County" by Emma Laughlin, Foulke also named the village with the name being the English form of the Dutch Vlissingen, and it's the name of a town on the west coast of Holland.
LIKE Foulke, today's residents are energetic as they planned a variety of activities such as musical entertainment, a classic car show, food and fireworks Friday night as well as Saturday's activities such as a fishing derby, displays at the Underground Railroad Museum, exhibits of photos and memorabilia at the city building, and dedication of a wall and school bell at Schuler Park.
Congratulations to Flushing for reaching this milestone.