During the 1800s, small towns sprang up along the banks of the Muskingum River.Commercial river traffic and the coal mining industry fueled
these growing populations.
The boom days of mining have passed and pleasure craft have replaced barges on the Muskingum. Some of the towns are deserted and others
are considerably smaller in size.
Life in an early river town can still be experienced in the Village of McConnelsville
Three distinctive museums are located in historic buildings on the Main Street.
Built in 1836 in the Federal style, the Button House Museum was once the home of scientist and
Civil War surgeon Hiram True and his daughter, Evelyn True Button. The great-granddaughter of
McConnelsville's founder, Evelyn, the great-granddaughter of McConnelsville's founder, lived in the
house until passing away at the age of 100. One of Ohio's first female school principals and a
strong advocate for women's rights, she was also a genealogist, writer and world traveler. Having no
heirs, Evelyn willed the house to the Historical Society.
Visitors can view 12 restored rooms with authentic furnishings including Dr. True's desk and medical
booklets and the summer kitchen with its 1880 stove. Other displays feature period clothing, dishes,
linens and keepsakes from Evelyn's trips overseas.
Dr. True's medical offices were located next door in the current Doll Museum. A second floor
apartment was utilized by his daughter Augusta, a Shakespearean actress.
The Twin City Opera House, constructed in 1889, was the first building in Morgan County to
have electricity. The Rev. Billy Sunday and William Jennings Bryan were among the prominent
lecturers who spoke at the Opera House.
Riverboats brought traveling shows to town. McConnelsville native, MacDonald Birch performed
his popular Disappearing Pony Act on the stage. The magician was a contemporary of Blackstone
and Houdini. The building's auditorium is named Birch Hall in his honor.
Today, visitors can view movies and concerts at the theater that has been in continual use since
Visitors can learn more about MacDonald Birch at the Morgan County Historical Society Museum. On display are
playbills, photographs, news items, stage props and costumes.
Visitors can also learn about another of the village's best known citizens. McConnelsville is the birthplace of Howard
Chandler Christy. The artist is famous for his World War I recruiting posters. Replicas of his posters are displayed in
the museum including an illustration of the popular poster of a young lady in nautical attire saying, "Gee!! I wish I were
a man. I'd join the Navy."
Along with honoring its native sons, the museum depicts life in the Muskingum River Valley region from the Stone Age
through World War II. Displays include Victorian furnishings, vintage clothing, antique household appliances and farm
The building now houses a collection of over 2,500 dolls. Along with a large assortment of dolls from around the world, visitors can also see antique
china dolls, rag dolls and Madame Alexander dolls. Favorites include a set of dolls made in 1934 to commemorate the birth of the Dionee quintuplets
and an 1867 doll made with a china head and leather arms and legs.
Two structures located behind the Button House can also be toured. Displays in the Carriage House include a horse-drawn fire engine, horse-drawn
hand-crafted tools. Visitors can also view an antique cupboard that once served as a hiding place on the Underground Railroad.
Visitors wishing to see more of the village's historic buildings, can enjoy McConnelsville self-guided historic walking tour
that includes 24 stops. Maps can be obtained at Twin City Opera House, Morgan County Historical Society Museum
and McConnelsville Visitors Center.
McConnelsville is located on the east bank of the Muskingum River in southeastern Ohio. The village is also easily
accessed by automobile. For travel from the east/west, take State Route 60 south from Interstate 70. Traveling
north/south, take State Route 78 west from Interstate 77.
The village was founded in 1817 by Revolutionary War General Robert McConnel who purchased the land for $1.75
per acre. When incorporated in 1836, there were over 100 families on the tax rolls.
|Village of McConnelsville
9 West Main Street
McConnelsville, Ohio 43756
This site owned and maintained by the Village of McConnelsville
|Village of McConnelsville
9 WEST MAIN STREET
MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00AM - 4:00PM
rating by the
State Board of
|To view some
documents you will need:
|In keeping transparency the |
village will be publishing
ordinances in the process of
Click on the ordinance below.
|Pictures courtesy of Terry Young