The name of the town means “city of the Gauls.” It was founded by 500 French colonists in 1790.
We ate a picnic lunch in the town’s park, which fronts the river. The park was planned many years ago and is the site of where the original colonists camped when they first landed.
At the Visitors’ Center, we talked with a tourism official about the area and learned a little more the town and surrounding area. Nearby is Bob Evans’ Farms, the founder of the restaurant chain Bob Evans. The farm is open for tours and we’d like to go back to check it out one day.
The farm will host a Farm Festival Oct. 8-10, if you’re interested.
We also checked out the Elizabeth Evans Waterfowl and Bird Sanctuary in the town. We were surprised to see that the sanctuary was just a big, mowed field with benches along the perimeter. There was small creek with trees that ran along the far side of the field, but we were hoping to see a pond or wetlands area.
We were also hoping to find a trail to explore the park, but it appeared to only be a field. It seemed to be a nice park to have in town and I’m sure the park’s neighbors enjoy going there for a nice, peaceful afternoon, but it won’t do much for tourists.
Next was Our House Museum, an 1819 tavern located on First Avenue. It was an easy walk from the park.
The director gave us a 2 hour-long tour of the 3-floor (including the attic) home. The museum boasts collections that include General Lafayette’s jacket and mementos from Napoleon Bonaparte to a sweetheart, who married someone else rather than return to Europe to join the exiled French leader.
I really enjoyed looking at the various home furnishings (including hair art), clothing and kitchen utensils (in a kitchen separated from the rest of the house).
If we go back, I’d also like to check out the French Art Colony, a multi-arts center. I like going through galleries, especially if they showcase local and regional artisans. One of my favorites is Tamarack in Beckley, W. Va.
Here’s some other buildings and sights from Gallipolis:
Downtown shopping district. The park is right behind the photographer (Chris).
Another section of the small, downtown shopping district.
While Our House Tavern was for men and women, this tavern (across the street from Our House) was strictly for men.
This building, across the street from the park, is pretty large and beautiful. It’s located by the river. Wouldn’t you like to live in it?
If you’re interested in learning about more things to do in Gallipolis, visit this site. It includes hiking trails, shopping and lodging.
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