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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Final Volume of Scrapbooks

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, July 31, 2005

The final volume of scrapbooks for the administration of former Steubenville Mayor Andrew Miller have been completed and added to the library collection. The four volumes provide an historical view of Steubenville in the 1960s and are a great addition to the library's Local History and Genealogy Collection.

The scrapbooks were dismantled, and reduced to a manageable size; the clippings were remounted, and digitized for the purpose of preservation. Hardbound copies were then produced for the library collection, and the digitized version added to the Digital Shoebox database of local history information. Looking at 1968-1971, there were many interesting local developments.

A seven-story Statler-Hilton Motor Lodge was proposed for the urban renewal area at 3rd and Market Streets.  Of course, the project never developed and the area is today the site of Fort Steuben.

The new city parking lot was constructed between the city buildings in 1968 to improve parking in the downtown area.

Illegal gambling operations were raided, and owners cited into Federal Court in Columbus that year.

The Gill Hospital closed its doors to admissions on May 15, 1968 and operations were consolidated at St. John Hospital, which had opened in 1960. According to the article, Gill Hospital was named for J.J. Gill, a Congressman who donated the property for the hospital in 1901.

The 64th anniversary of The Hub Department Store was celebrated in 1968 with a dinner in the social hall of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Public hearings for the new U.S. 22 By-Pass continued for three years in the late 1960s.  Various routes were discussed and debated.

The Jefferson County Technical Institute, now Jefferson Community College, opened its doors on September 23, 1968.

Ohio Attorney General William B. Saxbe made several visits to Steubenville promoting his office and candidacy for U.S. Senator from Ohio.

Dean Martin Boulevard was named on December 6, 1968.  Route 7 through Steubenville had been known as the "High Street Thoroughfare" since its construction. When contacted at the Beverly Hills Country Club, Martin stated, "Nothing has ever been named for me, it is a real thrill."

Angle parking was tried briefly on Washington Street between 3rd and 5th Streets as a way of increasing available parking.  At that time, Market Street carried thru-traffic on State Route 43.

The Steubenville Bus Lines closed in 1968, replaced by a non-profit corporation in 1969 called, "The Steubenville Area Transit Corp."

The Washington Street underpass construction was well underway by the summer of 1969 at a cost of $ 2.5 million.

The Goodman Company announced plans in August 1969 for the construction of a shopping Mall off John Scott Highway.

A new four-lane Route 7 from Alikanna to Toronto was completed and opened to traffic in October 1969.  The new U.S. 22 four-lane highway near Bloomingdale opened at the same time.

Passenger train service ended in Steubenville in 1970, when the nearly bankrupt Penn Central Railroad filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission to end all passenger rail service west of Harrisburg.

With the route of the U.S. 22 By-Pass selected by 1970, attention moved to the new Ohio River Bridge placement and design.

The "Grimiest Town in America" article that appeared in the August 7, 1970 issue of the "Wall Street Journal" was placed in the Miller scrapbooks for future reference.  The National Air Pollution Control Administration named Steubenville, Ohio as one of the most polluted cites in the nation.

In February 1970, Mayor Miller announced that it would be "very doubtful" that he would seek re-election, but would instead open a law office in Cadiz.