About Monroe County
IN 1770, when George Washington first journeyed through the Northwest Territory to survey and assess the worth of this unsettled wilderness in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the "Long Reach" of the Ohio River, he might have imagined what it could become, but he would not have believed how insulated Monroe County, Ohio, would remain from the fast-paced wheels of progress. The river town of Clarington was first settled in 1798 and became a bustling point of commerce and "stopping-off point" for many Swiss and German immigrants who were attracted to the landscapes that reminded them so much of home. Here they established the generational farms and agricultural that sustain descendants and residents today. It was not until 1803 that Ohio would become a state, and not until 1815 that Monroe County would be established with Woodsfield being designated as the county seat.
Visitors to this area will notice the beautiful vistas, the serenity of nature, and the echoes of those who came before us and worked the land in pursuit of an American Dream. Monroe county remains relatively unspoiled, and the people are content to be "a little behind the times." Here, life moves in time with the winding roads, rolling hills, lush pastures, rippling creeks, and flowing rivers. According to the 2010 census, Monroe County had a population of only 14,642, making it the second least populous county in the state of Ohio; that means lots of beautiful land and not a lot of people. (Sounds like just the right balance for a vacation destination for people trying to escape fast-paced daily lives. Right?)
Our roads and scenic byways have also caught the attention of several travel publications, such as Car & Driver and Road Runner, and many travel clubs.
If sight-seeing or fast curves are your idea of a day well-spent, Monroe County's state routes and township roads are among the most sought out roadways in this part of the country. State Route 7 along the county's southeastern boundary has been designated as part of the "Ohio River Scenic Byway." State Route 78 and State Route 26 in Monroe County have been acclaimed as two of the top ten roads named by Car and Driver Magazine and are frequently enjoyed by Corvette clubs, Miata clubs and motorcycle riders from all over the United States. The Wayne National Forest Covered Bridge Scenic Byway follows State Route 26 from Marietta to Woodsfield, Ohio. In addition, State Route 26 and State Route 7 have been designated as National Scenic Byways. If speed on two wheels is what you prefer, Monroe County boasts one of the most enjoyable (some say challenging) motorcycle routes in the country; the Demon's Triangle, by all opinions, is second only to the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, Tennessee.
Sight-seers and history enthusiasts will appreciate the county's efforts to preserve its heritage and history. Monroe County has 19 Patchwork Jewel Quilt Barns, all of which were painted by local "Barn Artist" Scott Hagan. And just last year, the Ohio Humanities Council funded and produced a driving CD tour that directs visitors along the roads to see most of these beautiful barns while also providing some historical narrative and personal interviews with residents closely involved in this project. Visitors can also enjoy the Knowlton Covered Bridge and the Foraker Covered Bridge, two of the oldest covered bridges still standing in the state of Ohio, 10 National Register Properties, several original Mail Pouch Barns, and the Sistersville Ferry at Fly, Ohio. There has been a ferry in service at this same location on the Ohio River since 1817. Both Ohio and West Virginia will be holding their annual combined festival celebrating 200 years of continuous service in July of 2017--- a fact not overlooked by the Ohio Heritage Foundation, which recently selected the festival to be recognized at the Columbus Statehouse on December 14, 2016.
We invite you to "Discover more Secrets."