The Welsh Scenic Byway
Welsh immigrants first came to this area from western Wales is 1818, and during the Great Welsh Tide of the 1830’s-40’s, Jackson and Gallia counties had an estimated 3000 people of Welsh descent. They organized their communities around chapel life and farming and both legacies remain on the cultural landscape. The Welsh Scenic Byway was proposed in 1996 as part of the Ohio Scenic Byways Program to preserve that cultural and historical imprint on the landscape of Jackson and Gallia Counties. The WSB winds through these two counties, connecting settlements where Welsh culture abounds in the pastoral farms, wildlife areas, Welsh churches, ty capels and cemeteries.
The 64-mile Welsh Scenic Byway originates at Gallipolis on the Ohio River, home of Our House Tavern and the Silver Bridge Memorial, and runs northwest along U.S. Rt. 35 to Jackson. At Rio Grande, travelers can visit Bob Evans Farms, with the Homestead Museum and Log Cabin Village, Raccoon Creek where Daniel Boone hunted, and the Madog Center for Welsh Studies. There the byway route follows a sub loop down SR 325 south, meandering through the rolling countryside and townships that formed the core of the Welsh settlement to this area in the 1800’s. Along with the Welsh churches and cemeteries, several old charcoal iron furnace remains can be seen along this part of the byway that is located in the center of the Hanging Rock Iron Region. As the byway turns west along SR 233, many Amish farms appear, and the route passes through the village of Oak Hill, home of the Welsh-American Heritage Museum before turning north on Rt. 93 N back to Jackson. The Welsh Scenic Byway includes twelve Welsh churches and cemeteries, three museums, three charcoal furnaces and several historic sites in downtown Jackson.
The Welsh Scenic Byway covers over 60 miles through Jackson and Gallia counties!