RIDGELEY – “We're all here to celebrate Ridgeley's homecoming,” said mayor Mark Jones as he welcomed guests Saturday to the Ridgeley Community Center operated by Sharing Life Ministries.
By Ronda Wertman
RIDGELEY – “We’re all here to celebrate Ridgeley’s homecoming,” said mayor Mark Jones as he welcomed guests Saturday to the Ridgeley Community Center operated by Sharing Life Ministries.
While Ridgeley got its name in 1914, the town actually can trace its origins to the 1750s when the Ohio Company built Fort Ohio.
“Our name may have changed, but we all have the same goal,” said Jones. “We’re still moving forward. It’s always a challenge in a small town.
Commissioner Nick Imes noted that the upcoming demolition of the Ridgeley School has been an ongoing effort for more than 10 years.
“It will make this end of the town a lot nicer,” he said of the proposed construction of a new fire station and new town hall and police department.
Jones added that the existing town hall is 100 years old and was originally an ice house.
“The one thing about Ridgeley is that we can’t expand. Our borders are locked. The land is very tight,” Jones said.
Imes noted that efforts are also underway on a new trail connecting from the Knobley Tunnel through Ridgeley to Cumberland.
Commissioner Tanya Ryan, who has worked on homecoming celebrations in the past, told those assembled that “homecoming was kind of thrown at us.”
“We’re hoping to start working now for next year. Our goal is to get back to the large homecoming we used to have,” Ryan said, noting a parade, vendors and displays at the football field and more.
The Ridgeley Alumni Association hold homecoming every three years, but it is hoped that this can be an annual event in the town and that alumni will participate.
The opening ceremonies closed out as visitors broke into groups for a scavenger hunt.
Lincoln Shook, of Sharing Life Ministries Life Center, told participants to find the requested items and to take a picture and send it to him.
He urged everyone to “be creative” adding that there will be awards for a variety of topics.