The Welsh American Heritage Museum is housed in the old Welsh Congregational Church in the Village of Oak Hill, Ohio
We are a 501c3 charitable organization. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote Welsh history and culture. We are also proud to have preserved the beautiful old brick Welsh Congregational Church built in 1868 as the second home of the congregation.
The Welsh-American Heritage Museum was chartered in 1972, after a group of concerned local Welsh-Americans bought the building that had once been the Welsh Congregational Church in Oak Hill. The first curator was Mildred Jenkins Bangert, who spent the next forty years collecting books, artifacts and memorabilia on the Welsh settlement of this area of Jackson and Gallia Counties.
The Welsh-American Heritage Museum has had a long and storied history. You can read more about it here!
For a building that is over 150 years old, the stately brick structure that now houses the Welsh-American Heritage Museum would naturally be filled with many stories and memories. It has a story of its’ own, and all you have to do is walk up the high stone steps into the building to experience it. It began in the mid-1800’s, during the “Great Welsh Tide” that brought thousands of Welsh from Cardiganshire to settle in Gallia and Jackson Counties in Ohio. Seeking religious freedom, the Congregationalists organized a small church in Oak Hill under Rev. John A. Davies, who served as pastor until 1859.
As the area grew, the congregation wanted to build a bigger church near the center of town, so the brick church was completed in 1868. It became the center of activities as the Welsh Congregationalists held church services along with gymanfas, eisteddfods, weddings, funerals and noson lawens. Membership was strong until the early 1900’s, but the church continued until closing in1962. The Baptists used the building until outgrowing it in 1971. That’s when a group of Welsh-Americans bought the church with the intention of opening the first Welsh-American Heritage Museum in the country. After its’ charter in 1973, the museum has been preserving Welsh history and culture and relating the stories of the brave pioneers who left Wales for a new world.
We look forward to your visit!
The Welsh Museum is now open summer 2022 hours Fridays and Saturdays from 10-3PM until Labor Day.
*Madog Center for Welsh Studies-open M-F during business house.