WOODSFIELD - The village of Woodsfield owns and runs a cable TV company, has its own water and sewage facilities, and during a power outage, if necessary, has six generators to make electricity for its residents.
Having such assets is what makes the village self-sufficient, said police Chief Chuck Hamilton. And considering Woodsfield's location - about 30 minutes from Interstate 70 and 20 minutes from Ohio 7 - it is a good thing the village is so independent, he noted.
"It's a very tightly knit community. Everybody knows most everybody else," Hamilton said. "We have seen some of the same crime problems as anywhere else, but we don't have the same numbers."
Photos by Shelley Hanson
Above, Woodsfield’s downtown includes a few different eateries and businesses for its residents.
In the past, most everyone worked either in a local coal mine or at the aluminum plant, Ormet/Conalco. While Ormet still is in operation, Monroe County's unemployment rate lately has been among the highest in the region. But the recent natural gas and oil drilling boom has brought some new life to the Woodsfield area, he added.
Woodsfield is 4 square miles in size, is home to about 2,800 people and has about 40 village employees, Hamilton said. It is the county seat, and the courthouse is surrounded by an often-bustling downtown, referred to by the chief as "the square." The village also operates a public pool and park.
"This is a great community. I love living here," said Village Administrator Rick Schuerman. "During a time of need or disaster, everybody comes out."
Woodsfield Calendar Of Events
- Black Walnut Festival, October, Monroe County Fairgrounds, Ohio 26, Woodsfield
- Monroe County Fair, August, Monroe County Fairgrounds
Schuerman noted new Woodsfield Elementary and Monroe Central High schools are under construction and scheduled to open next school year.
Resident Steve Schafer said he was raised in Woodsfield and after being away for a few years, he believes community members have changed for the better.
"The town has come a long way with its attitude toward different people," he said.