Alumni Events

March 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

Wealth and Poverty | Field Trip to Appalachian Communities, March 12

The Wealth and Poverty theme holds its annual field trip to Appalachian communities on Saturday, March 12, from  9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (estimate).

The meeting place is the GoBus stop outside the first floor entrance of Baker Center. Participants should arrive 8:50 a.m.

Leaders are Dr. Barry Tadlock, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Rachel Terman, Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Wealth & Poverty theme logoOhio Sense of Place theme logoThe field trip is co-sponsored with the Ohio: Sense of Place theme and open to OHIO students and faculty members. Contact Dr. Yeong Kim at by Tuesday, March 8, if you are interested in participating.

The coal industry has been a distinctive feature of Central Appalachia since the late 1800s. After a couple of boom-and-bust cycles in Appalachian Ohio’s coal industry, the industry shrank in scale and left behind an assortment of so-called company towns. Today residents of these small towns continue to deal with the impacts of the decline of coal mining as they work to maintain their communities and remember their history.

Students and faculty on this field trip will visit New Straitsville and Rendville, both in Perry County, to obtain firsthand exposure to company towns.  The third stop of the trip consists of an exploration of economic development efforts in the region. Participants will visit the Nelsonville and/or Athens campuses of ACEnet (Appalachian Center for Economic Networks), meeting with an ACEnet tenant in order to understand how the organization has helped in terms of business incubation, venture loans, and specialty food production. This field trip is sponsored by Wealth and Poverty and Ohio: Sense of Place themes.

Field Trip Stops

New Straitsville, OH (Perry County): New Straitsville features a nationally significant labor meeting site and is the headquarters of the Monday Creek Watershed project. Every Memorial Day weekend it hosts a Moonshine Festival. The host and guest speaker will be Cheryl Blosser, President, New Straitsville History Group. She will share information about the significant role southeastern Ohio played in U.S. labor history.

Rendville, OH (Perry County): The smallest incorporated community in Ohio, Rendville was once a thriving, mostly African American coal mining town. Participants will visit the Rendville Art Works housed in the old First Baptist Church (built in 1861), where artists with mental and/or physical disabilities create individual works of art including painting, drawing, sculpting, and other media. The trip is during their spring open house, so they will have the artists’ work for sale. Another visit is to the Rendville Town Hall, with Mayor Bryan Bailey (depending on availability) speaking about the town’s history and current activity.

Nelsonville, OH (Athens County): Nelsonville owes its existence to the coal mining industry. Today it is the home for Rocky Brands, Hocking College, the Nelsonville Music Festival, and one of two campuses for ACEnet (The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks). ACEnet’s Nelsonville campus—known as the Business Center and Food Hub—is located in the former Rocky Shoes & Boots warehouse. The host and guest speaker will be Ohio University alum Jonathan Milo Leal, Owner, Vino de Milo (an ACEnet tenant), who will discuss ACEnet’s assistance with business planning, marketing, regional brand access, financial management, and its Food Ventures Center. Due to uncertainty regarding our host’s availability, this stop may be replaced with a stop at the ACEnet’s Athens campus at 94-C Columbus Road.


Field Trip Stops

Appalachia field trip map

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