WEST PORTSMOUTH- Alexandria may be gone, but it is not forgotten.
The original city on the banks of the Ohio and Scioto rivers has disappeared into the winds of history, but locals keep its spirit—and that of so many local historical spots—alive through education and sharing stories of the past.
One such endeavor is the Scioto Scenic Heritage Trail’s idea to post signs at the Eckert Walking Trail, which circles Earl Thomas Conley Riverside Park in West Portsmouth. The field next to the park is the former location of Alexandria, the precursor to what would become the city of Portsmouth, moved due to the flooding that happens every year.
Thursday, Scioto County Commissioners approved the request of the trail committee to post educational signs about the area’s history on the Eckert trail, which measures in at just over a mile. Originally, it was to celebrate the history of Alexandria, but the project expanded to highlight the dozens of sites that are part of the Scioto Scenic Heritage Trail.
“It’s very history-driven and people as they walk along will get a history lesson of the area,” said Scioto Scenic Heritage Trail Committee Member Larry Mullins.
All the legal permissions have been received. For the design of the Alexandria sign, there was only one concept that would do: the portrayal of Alexandria by muralist Robert Dafford that adorns Portsmouth’s floodwall murals.
“We wanted to erect a sign basically talking about Alexandria and we thought what better picture for the sign than what’s on the murals,” Mullins said.
Approval was received, the commissioners OK’d the project, and now the trail committee will work with the parks manager to make it happen. They are also working to add QR codes to the signs that walkers can simply aim their phone toward and be directed to a site online giving more detail about the site.