The first traffic light in the world was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. It had only two colors, red and green, and was manually operated by a police officer.
Gallia County, Ohio, located in the southeastern part of the state, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Adena and Hopewell cultures, who left behind earthworks and burial mounds. However, the county's recorded history begins with the arrival of European settlers in the late 18th century.

In 1790, the Ohio Company of Associates, led by Revolutionary War veterans, established the first permanent European settlement in Gallia County called Gallipolis. The settlers faced numerous challenges, including conflicts with Native American tribes and difficult living conditions. The county was named after the ancient Roman and French name for Gaul, as many of its early settlers were from France.

Throughout the 19th century, Gallia County experienced significant growth and development. The county became an important transportation hub with the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the arrival of railroads. Agriculture, including tobacco and corn, was a major industry, and the county also had iron furnaces and blast furnaces.

Gallia County played a role in the Civil War, with many of its residents serving in Union forces. The county was also an important stop on the Underground Railroad, providing assistance to escaped slaves seeking freedom. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, industry thrived in the county, including the production of coal, oil, and natural gas.

Today, Gallia County continues to be a rural area with a rich history and natural beauty. It is home to several historic sites and museums that provide insight into its past. The county remains an important agricultural region and showcases a blend of small-town charm and scenic landscapes.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Gallia County, Ohio.

  • 1803 - Gallia County was established on March 25th as one of the original counties in the state of Ohio.
  • 1809 - The first courthouse was built in Gallia County.
  • 1814 - Gallia Academy, the county's first high school, was established.
  • 1815 - Construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal began, which would later pass through Gallia County.
  • 1830 - The county seat was moved from Chillicothe to Gallipolis.
  • 1851 - The Gallipolis Suspension Bridge, the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world at the time, was completed.
  • 1861-1865 - Gallia County residents actively participated in the American Civil War.
  • 1893 - The Gallia County Courthouse, the county's current courthouse, was completed.
  • 1951 - The Gallipolis Locks and Dam on the Ohio River were completed, providing flood control and navigation improvements.
  • 1977 - The Silver Bridge, connecting Gallipolis and Point Pleasant, West Virginia, collapsed, resulting in 46 deaths.