Monroe County


The state legislature formed Monroe County on Jan. 29, 1813, from parts of Washington, Guernsey and Belmont counties. Settlers had established the county's first permanent community in 1791 and in 1804 a ferry had begun crossing the Ohio River from that settlement to Sistersville, Virginia (now West Virginia).

Many German and Swiss immigrants came to Monroe County to establish communities on government land. The first two such settlements were in Switzerland and Ohio townships. The soil was poor, but the German and Swiss farmers toiled the land diligently.

Monroe County's oil boom holds an important place in its history and economic development. Entrepreneurs dug a well in 1891 that opened one of the largest pools in the nation. At the turn of the century, the principal pools in Monroe County were Sistersville (on both sides of the Ohio River), Jackson Ridge, Graysville and Moose Ridge. According to the Buckeye Pipe Line Company, 300 producing wells in the area yielded 55,000 barrels of oil per month during the summer of 1901.

Monroe County has been called "The Switzerland of Ohio" because of its rugged terrain and the cultural influences of its early Swiss immigrants. The county seat is Woodsfield.

Business Opportunities

Business Growth and Potential
Located south of 1-70 and east of 1-77, Monroe County is situated within 500 miles of almost half the population in the United States. The county provides excellent proximity to major cities such as Pittsburgh (90 miles northeast) Columbus (120 miles west) and Cleveland (150 miles north). Its eastern boundary is the Ohio River, which provides economical transport of bulk commodities. The 85-acre Monroe County Commerce Park, located in an enterprise zone, offers an ideal setting for a wide variety of light manufacturing and business uses.

Major Employers
Industrial Paint and Strip, Inc.
Monroe County Government
Ormet Corporation
Riesbecks Food Markets
Safe Auto Insurance Co.
Slay Industries
Switzerland of Ohio Local Board of Education
Woodsfield Nursing Center
Extendicare / Woodsfield Nursing Home

Natural Resources
Natural gas is readily available throughout the area, either from the two major interstate gas pipelines that cross the county or from natural gas wells. Another asset in the heavily forested county is wood, which long has been a factor in the local economy. Both sawmills and manufacturers of value-added wood products are well-suited for Monroe County.

Business Support Organizations
Monroe County Office of Economic Development & Tourism
100 Home Avenue
Woodsfield OH 43793
(740) 472-3202

Monroe County Chamber of Commerce
117 N. Main Street
Woodsfield OH 43793
(740) 472-5499

Monroe County Community Improvement Corporation
47084 Black Walnut Parkway
Woodsfield, Ohio 43793
(740) 472-2188

Eastern Ohio Development Alliance
326 Highland Avenue
Cambridge OH 43725
(740) 432-7902

Educational Opportunities

Monroe County offers a variety of educational opportunities related to workforce development. For example, the Eastern Ohio Quality Forum headquartered at Ohio University Eastern in St. Clairsville works with companies in the upper Ohio Valley to develop certified quality procedures for smaller manufacturers in the region. Vocational and technical schools include: Swiss Hills Career Center, Belmont Technical College, Washington State Community College and West Virginia Northern Community College. County residents also are served by institutions of higher learning such as Marietta College, Wheeling Jesuit, West Liberty, Bethany College and the main campus of Ohio University in Athens.

Tourism and Lifestyle

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. In addition, State Route 26 and State Route 7 have been designated as National Scenic Byways.
Recreation and Attractions
Hannibal Pool & Tennis Complex
Kiedaisch Point Park
Lamping Homestead
4-H Park Kids "R" Kids
Monroe Lake and Wildlife Area
Monroe Park & Marina
Piatt Park
Shadow Lake Campground & Resort
Stafford Park
Veteran's Memorial Community Park
Wayne National Forest

Attractions and Points of Interest
The Bowen Family Farm
Fly / Sisterville Ferry
Foraker Covered Bridge
George Washington Marker
Kindelberger Stone House and Barn
Knowlton Covered Bridge
Matchstick Jack Memorial Museum
Monroe County, Ohio Bicentennial Barn
Parry Museum, One Room Schoolhouse, and Dairy Barn
Raven Rocks
Ring Mill
River's Edge Activities Center
Straightfork Farm Alpacas

Entertainment and Festivals
Bethel Community Center's Annual Harvest Fest
Black Walnut Festival
Monroe County Fair, Woodsfield

Visitor Information

Convention & Visitors Bureaus:
Monroe County Office of Economic Development & Tourism
100 Home Avenue
Woodsfield OH 43793
(740) 472-3202

Monroe County Airport is located near Woodsfield. The facility has a paved runway extending for 3806 feet.

Health Services
Ohio Hills Health Services
Woodsfield - (740) 472-0757
Barnesville - (740) 425-5165
Freeport - (740) 658-3329

County Features
Economic Development
Visitors Bureau
Chamber of Commerce
Related Links
Ring Mill
Parry Museum
Fly/Sisterville Ferry
Lamping Homestead (Wayne National Forest)
Little Muskingum River
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Monroe County Area Weather
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Explore MonroeOhio
County Tourism Map
Calendar of Events
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Tours & Day Trips
Things To Do
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