Efforts pay off for Concerned Citizens

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BURLINGTON — It’s a sign that took a lot of coaxing, prodding and determination. And when it went up in all its glory last week, there was one special Burlington enthusiast who was cheering.

For several years the Concerned Citizens of Burlington worked to get signs along U.S. 52 denoting their community. It was an unusual request because such signs are not normally erected for unincorporated areas.

However, about a year ago two signs along the highway

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stating the town’s name went up.

But those who want to see Burlington turned into a viable tourist center wanted more. They wanted a sign that denoted that their hometown was the original site of the county seat of Lawrence County.

Ever vigilant, the organization lobbied State Rep. Clyde Evans.

“We were zeroing in on him, worrying him to death,” Harriette Ramsey of Concerned Citizens said. “A lot of people living here in Lawrence County don’t know that Burlington was the site of the first county seat.”

Among the community’s projects geared toward eventual tourism is restoring the county’s original jail on the site where the first courthouse stood. The goal is to turn the jail into a museum to

honor the area’s involvement with the Underground Railroad.

One of the routes by which runaway slaves sought their freedom was across the Ohio River to the Macedonia Church in Burlington, then into the northern part of the state.

Also a 19th century log cabin was donated to the community that is also a restoration project that Ramsey eyes with special interest.

“This is my dream that teachers will be able to come here and bring their classes. We will have things that go back to the day and we can teach a class,” she said.

The restoration project is almost complete and people around the county have already donated household and decorative items from that period. They will be placed inside the cabin to recreate the way of life of those times.

Also helping in getting the sign were Cecil Townsend, James Broushart and Darrell Armstrong, all from Ohio Department of Transportation, and Gov. Ted. Strickland.

“We have some things going for us and we are proud of it,” Ramsey said as she watched with delight the new sign going up.

“We want people to be proud as well.”