Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project  
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE                                                      MARCH 25, 2003

RE: Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project

CONTACT: Sue Douglass    

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project was recently awarded a grant of $1500 from the Belmont County Tourism Council.  Eugene “Doc” Householder presented the check to Sue Douglass, project chief officer.  The grant is to be used to continue developing attention to the 1828 Blaine Bridge, and attract visitors to events at the site.  The 1828 Blaine “S” Bridge is the Official Bicentennial Bridge of Ohio. It is the oldest documented bridge in the state.

This is the second time the BCTC has granted the money to the Blaine Bridge.  In 2002, it was the first time grant money for the Project was received.  The young community project continues to be very thankful to the tourism council.  “Having that amount of money come to us in the early, fragile days of the organization was an enormous boost to our energy as a group”, said Douglass.”  It was a tremendous vote of confidence from the BCTC which in turn inspired us to stay the course and persevere in developing our Project”.  The entire amount was allocated to the production of a tourism/informational brochure.  It was produced by Douglass, working with Joe Krehlik of Express Graphics, who did the final design and printing.  That tourism card is being widely distributed across Ohio and the tri-state area by Householder and BCTC.  The Bridge site is a significant part of the Historic National Road All-American National Scenic By-Way system, spanning 6 states.  Householder and Douglass agree the amount of visitors to the site will continue to increase.  “There is a huge interest in visiting artifacts of cultural heritage to experience history personally.  The value and benefits of tourism are integral parts of historic preservation”, states Douglass.  

With the help of this year’s BCTC grant, information about the project will continue without interruption.  “  Keeping our Blaine Bridge Project, front and center in the attention of as many people as possible, is vital to our current ability to compete successful for the substantial monies we need urgently for the preservation of the structure”, emphasizes Douglass.  “Using the BCTC dollars enables us to do that on a scale we could not otherwise afford to do”.  The Project is in the process of an intense search for nearly $1.5 million to have the Bridge repaired.  The serious structural deterioration requires immediate work.

In celebration of the Ohio Bicentennial, there will be 3 events at the Blaine site.  The wagon trail will stop for lunch on June 21.  The Homecoming Festival will be June 28th.  On July 9, there will be the dedication of the official Ohio Historical marker.  All of these events are open to the public.  Pictures and information are available at www.blainebridge.org .  The next public meeting of the Blaine Bridge Project will be Wednesday, April 9, at 7:00pm, in the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church, Blaine, Ohio.

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