Hendrysburg is a small community that in its hay-day was on the main travel artery called the National Road.
It carried the distinction of being the birthplace of William "Hop-Along Cassidy" Boyd, of vintage Western Movie and television fame and the home of one of the few remaining S-Bridges (although it is buried under a state route and now delegated to culvert status.)
Many other historical events and structures that have made this community unique have been lost to time and history.
Now Hendrysburg is a community on the edge of Interstate 70, the edge of SR 8000, the edge of western Belmont County and some think the edge of extinction.
The lack of potable water and what seems to be the lack of interest by county, state and federal elected officials in getting water to this small community, may well result in its final demise.
Over the past few years the Kirkwood Township Trustees have been working towards trying to get improvements done to Hendrysburg and the township in general.
The trustees have continued to fight hard to get water to their area and feel they will be successful soon if elected officials at all levels would increase and re-new their efforts.
Knowing the water issue will be a continual up-hill fight, Trustee Tim Lara decided that while the battle for water continues, a second front needed to be opened to improve and clean-up the township at the grassroots level.
In his quest to seek out ways to improve the township, Lara was instrumental in securing a Nature Works Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to develop a small community park in Hendrysburg. Once the grant project was approved by ODNR, the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation who wrote the grant, managed the purchase of the playground equipment and other items for the park at no cost.
The on-site management details were left in the capable hands of Lara, who was joined by fellow trustee Ron Temple. Construction, although slow at times, moved along and was done mostly by the two trustees and a crew from the Guernsey County CDC.
The construction was accomplished in this manner so that the required in kind match for the grant was met. All the labor was donated towards the match in order to get the grant funds to purchase the items for the park. This allowed more items to be purchased with the funds available.
The basic items for the park were in place, yet at one point the paving of the parking area and basketball court seemed to be out of reach because of the increased price of asphalt.
A casual conversation between Lara and Richland Township Road Supervisor Steve Conley, resulted in approval from the Richland Township trustees to assist Kirkwood Township in the paving effort. Once the effort was joined by Richland Township, Supervisor Steve Conley and members of the township road crew including George Hickenbottom, John Williams, Wayne Clark, Steve Swallie and Keith Henderson, made quick work of asphalting the area.
Although minor landscaping work will soon be done, the basics of the park are completed due to the grassroots efforts and partnership of Kirkwood and Richland townships and the Guernsey County CDC.
Lara said donated grass seed will be planted and the playground area will be mulched. A new backboard for the second basketball hoop will also be purchased.
The park includes picnic tables and benches.
"It's nothing fancy. Just a little park for a little town," Lara said.
He said a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new park may be held soon. Future plans also include the restoration of the old Hendrysburg school building where the park is located.
"The playground is there for the future kids of the village," Lara said. "It will help with the fitness of village children and get them more active."
Lara is also looking toward the future of Hendrysburg -- a future he thinks will be tied to the village's past.
"One of these days the history will bring visitors back," Lara said.