Just like our country was divided during the Civil War more than 150 years ago, Columbiana County has long been divided from north to south. Most say the imaginary "Mason-Dixon Line" lies along the southern border of Center Township, where the village of Lisbon is located.
Events being planned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of one of most significant moments in the history of this county - the capture of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan near West Point - show that the county divide still exists. Morgan's capture was significant because our county was the point of the northernmost invasion of Confederate troops and our local militia was involved in the surrender.
Many of our communities - Salineville, Wellsville, Lisbon and West Point - played a significant role in the capture back in 1863.
Events are being planned in Lisbon and Wellsville to commemorate this historic day in July, but instead of working together as Columbiana Countians should, Wellsville is coordinating its efforts with Jefferson County historical groups. Yes, Jefferson County was affected by Morgan's Raid back in 1863, but the raid ended right here in Columbiana County, when he surrendered to the local militia.
Lisbon Village Council has donated up to $4,000 to the village historical society to help finance the cost of the celebration planned for July 28 here.
The Wellsville Historical Society is planning commemorative events for July 27 and 28.
Over the two days, a host of events is planned, including a tour of the route Morgan and his raiders took to reach the point of surrender on what is today state Route 518 between Gavers and West Point.
Nearly a year ago we wrote about the events being planned to commemorate this historic day and asked that all of the local groups, in the north and south, coordinate their efforts to make this event successful.
From what we know, there has been little coordination within the county.
When 100th anniversary events were held in Lisbon and Wellsville in 1963, thousands attended. This will be an excellent opportunity to showcase our area and its historic offerings for tourism, and we can't help but believe that working together will make this bigger and better.
This is our chance to shine. Let's put aside parochial differences and shine together.