Annual celebration for Cutler heritage, history

By Michael Kelly

The Marietta Times

mkelly@mariettatimes.com

People who attend the annual Cutler Heritage and Legacy Day are being asked to give as much as they get.

The event, in its 10th year, offers speakers on the area’s history and encourages those who come to bring documents and photos that might be added to the historical record being assembled by some of the community’s citizens and long-time residents.

Each year includes surprises for the Heritage and Legacy Society.

“I’ve learned a lot about families that lived here before I was born,” event organizer Kay Harris said.

Cutler, like many of the small communities around Washington County, is now a shade of its former self. The town at one time had a passenger railway station, two hotels, a druggist, two doctors and a general store, according to resident Bruce Kelbaugh.

“We’ll have speakers, and of course there will be food,” Harris said. “We’ll have tables set up, and people can bring in the legacies and history of their families.”

Although several multi-generation families live in the area, she said, many have moved away and new families have settled over the years.

“I was born and raised in Cutler. The people I knew as a kid, hardly any of them are around any more. When I finished high school I married and we moved to Charleston, W.Va., for 30 years. We moved back after my husband retired,” she said.

Her grandfather, Esau Harris, was a lifelong school teacher in Cutler, she said.

Kelbaugh said he’s lived in Cutler 40 years, making him a relative newcomer.

“They’ve sort of adopted me here,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in history, of Ohio, West Virginia, the Civil War. We started this society because there’s just so much history in Cutler. There was the underground railroad, the Marietta and Cincinnati Railway, every time you find something, you find that there’s something more.”

Kelbaugh said he’s found old coke ovens on properties around the area, and quarries that were used for grindstones. The countryside is dotted with the neglected remnants of orchards, an indication of times when the area produced fruit that was shipped out by rail all over the nation, he said.The society last year purchased the old Root Covered Bridge, which has a historic marker. The bridge was built in 1878 across the west branch of the Little Hocking River off Burnett Road near Cutler. Each year, he said, the society published a calendar using historic photos, and several years ago published a book on Cutler history.

“I could drive you around all day looking at historic sites here,” he said.

Every year people attend the Heritage and Legacy Day, bringing in new glimpses of the area’s history.

“Documents or old photos, old newspapers and magazines, family Bibles with birth records,” he said.

The Heritage and Legacy Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Cutler Community Center, 4550 Two Mile Run Road. The Cutler Heritage and Legacy Society is holding the event in conjunction with the Multicultural Geneological Center of Chesterhill. Admission is free, and food will be available for purchase.

Harris can be contacted at 740-989-2127.

If you go

¯What: Cutler 10th annual Heritage and Legacy Day.

¯Where: Cutler Community Center, 4550 Two Mile Run Road.

¯When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

¯Highlights: Speakers, food, society members available to talk.