Why it’s important to tell the Chillicothe story

I had another chance to tell Chillicothe’s story last week. And, I don’t mind telling it one bit.

Chamber President & CEO Mike Throne (left) describes the changes to the former Huntington Bank building to Treasurer of State Robert Sprague during Sprague’s Aug. 22, 2019 visit to Chillicothe. (Photo credit: Toria Barnhart/Chilli

State Treasurer Robert Sprague visited Chillicothe last Thursday, meeting and touring Adena Health System’s campus, visiting the Chillicothe Antique Emporium, and meeting with Toria Barnhart of the Chillicothe Gazette at our office before we took him on a quick tour of downtown Chillicothe.

His words at the end of our all-too-short, one-block trip: ” … Wow, you guys have so much going on down here!”

Yes, sir, we do. That’s why it’s important to tell the Chillicothe story.

You know the story, so I won’t bore you with it again (unless you ask …), but it’s also important to tell the story to others in our community, region, and state.

Why? We have a great story to tell – ten years ago, we struggled to find our footing, had an eyesore of a landmark in the middle of our downtown, and couldn’t seem to get out of our own way in trying to create a thriving community, nevertheless downtown.

We overcame all of that through diagnosing the problem, finding out who could and wanted to help, and working hard to turn our opportunities into successes. It wasn’t easy, but the hard work was truly worth the effort.

There are many aspects of our story that are worth telling to others. For example, we’re a testament to finding solutions locally to our biggest challenges. The HOPE Partnership Project, and its work to craft a local response to opiate abuse and related deaths, and the Carlisle Building, and how the community found a solution to repurpose a classic structure for a new use. We’re a great example of using tax credits, historic and otherwise, to renovate and revamp the look and feel of our buildings. We’ve got a new entrepreneurial small business spirit in our town that is full of risk, but reaping rewards.

I’m sure you can think of other aspects of the story that are worth telling to inspire others. Send them to me at mthrone@chillicotheohio.com and, if we get enough good ideas to add to the story, I’ll buy ice cream for some of the best (maybe all?).