Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project  


PRESS RELEASE                           JUNE  25,  2003


       Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project

       Blaine, OH


Saturday, June 28, the Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project will hold its 2nd annual Homecoming Festival. All festivities will take place along the Historic National Road in Blaine, with the focus on the site of the 1828 Blaine Bridge, Ohio’s Official Bicentennial Bridge.  

The goal of the Festival is to encourage visitors “ to come home again” and enjoy reconnecting with family and friends, while meeting and making new friends, too. The Blaine community invites people to join in the celebration of an American treasure, the 1828 Blaine Bridge, and enjoy the flavor of a home grown event in a  small-town. With the added emphasis on Ohio’s Bicentennial year, the strategic location of the town and its artifacts highlight its historical significance in the development of Ohio and the US movement west. Though the centerpiece of the event is the historic 1828 “S” Blaine Bridge, the structure is in serious need of repair and the festival will emphasize the efforts to save the Bridge for future generations.  

“ We are showcasing  a true American treasure”, states Sue Douglass, chief officer of the project. “ It is not simply the object itself  we are noting. While it is an outstanding remaining artifact of our American story, its most important significance is that it provides us with a touchstone, literally and figuratively, for all people. Its physical beauty and strength radiate the power and energy of the human spirit, the endurance of our hopes and dreams,  reminding us of where we have been and where we are going.” 

In following that theme, the festivities will focus on historical displays, a family-style chicken dinner, hometown heroes and lots of time and space to visit among the guests. The Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church, the host of the Blaine Bridge group’s regular meetings, will be the location of the dinner, student art/essay contest displays, a bake sale, and tours of the historic structure itself. Tents along the Historic National Road, an All American Highway  National Scenic By-Way, will hold information, sales of crafts and special Blaine Bridge items. Following a theme of the American heartland, there will be a parade at 12:30 and a car show by the Ohio Valley  Street Survivors from noon-5:00pm. The Sons of the American Revolution, Ebenezer Zane Chapter, the Elisha Gray Early Communications Mobile Unit, and furrier Mark Armbrecht will have displays. Lansing native, Jean Craig will be portraying Molly Scott, American heroine of the Revolutionary War. The Kid’s Safety House will be manned by the Wolfhurst Volunteer Fire Department. Kirke’s Ice Cream and DeFelice Pizza will add to the all-American food theme. 

Blaine’s own Bobby Douglas, champion wrestler and Olympian, will be on site to sign copies of his wrestling book, TAKEDOWN II, from 2:30-4:00pm. Pro baseball’s  Joe Niekro, who played with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and Minnesota Twins among other teams, will be in the parade with Douglas. 

Special guest speaker will be Ohio Sen.Jim Carnes, whose legislation was passed in 2001 to designate the 1828 Blaine Bridge as Ohio’s Official  Bicentennial Bridge. He will speak at the 1:30pm program which will begin with the ringing of the Bicentennial Bell by Eugene “Doc” Householder, director of the Belmont County Tourism Office. Student essay winner,  Sarah Hilton, is expected to read her composition. Other winning art/essay entries will be on display.  

The festival coincides with the Bridgeport Schools Alumni Weekend activities, and the events planned by the Bridgeport Revitalization Project. “ A critical aspect of our Blaine effort is the involvement of our neighboring towns as we all strive to keep our cultural heritage alive and appreciated in the Ohio Valley and beyond the limits of our own borders”, repeats  Sue Douglass.

The event begins at noon on Saturday and goes until 5:00pm.There are no fees and  it is open to the public. Blaine is located  6 miles west of Wheeling, WV, and I mile east  of the Ohio Valley Mall in St.Clairsville. Exit 220 off I-70 brings you quickly to Blaine. The website contains additional information and pictures. 

Copyright © 2006 Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project