Earlier this year, our parent newspaper in Cambridge headline reported a barn fire on Putney Road. I reached out to editor Ray Booth suggesting that was a typo.
Nope. The county road located between Quaker City and Old Washington is indeed no Putney, not the historic spelling of Pultney as recorded in Wm. G. Wolf’s classic 1943 Stories of Guernsey County.
It appears that when rural house numbering was instituted in Guernsey County, the official name was changed to the phonetic pronunciation of Putney. This sounds reasonable except the name in our county remains Pultney, according to employees of the Barnesville Post Office where both Pultney Ridge and Pultney Avenue are officials addresses for folks living along those roads.
Although I have been unable to ascertain the origin of the name, we know it is drawn from the community of Pultney that straddled today’s Pultney and Mead townships near Dilles Bottom. Pultney was the seat of government for a few years after Belmont County was established in 1801.
And, Pultney was the end of an alternate road called the Drover’s Road or Clay Pike that paralleled the National Road branching off east of Washington, now Old Washington, and traveling eastward along Pultney Ridge through Barnesville, Belmont and Centerville. Many herds of cattle, sheep and hogs were driven along this road towards the lucrative eastern markets.
Today, the Drovers’ Trail Scenic Byway, part of the statewide scenic byways program, follows that route from Barnesville to the Ohio River.