• Community Profiles

    The Great Athens Rebuild

    In 2010, a tornado ripped through The Plains and tore apart everything in its wake.   Not even one year later, Athens High School had rebuilt its entire athletic facility as a result, and the finished product is stunning.   https://www.thinglink.com/video/1172961748404142083 The Great Athens RebuildInfogram

  • Community Profiles

    The Heart of Nelsonville

    Nelsonville was originally settled in 1814 in what would become the Hocking Hills region. Now, Nelsonville is known for the one-star brick, Rocky Boots and their historic town square. From an opera house to coffee shops the historic square has a place for everyone. The square has always been a hub for local commerce, and as the businesses have changed the members of the community value it all the same. Kids today and yesterday have used the square for a place of gathering and are now beginning to be a part of the local economy. Click the video below to experience a virtual tour of the Nelsonville square or click…

  • Community Profiles,  VR

    Albany, Ohio: Virtual Reality Community Profile

    Albany, Ohio, is a place of food, football and family, and one stoplight. Located 11 miles southwest of Athens, Albany’s population is just 907 people. It is the Alexander School District home to the Spartans and the most educated school in southeastern Ohio. For this virtual reality project, we focused on local sites that give the village much of its charm. Albany Cafe is a staple for after-church lunch and a place to just gather with friends, located in the old Alexander Consolidated School on Washington Road. Deputy’s Pizza is claimed to be the “best pizza on earth” as described by our interviewees, and the Spartans’ football field is where…

  • Community Profiles

    Nelsonville, Ohio: Virtual Reality Community Profile

    The city of Nelsonville was settled in 1814 by Daniel Nelson and was officially incorporated in 1838. The city has always been known for its mining exports in the 19th and 20th century but the city has recently tried to re-frame their narrative. It is currently going through a revival with its efforts in the Arts. They have redone the art district of the city and have completely reinvented their downtown area in order to become a gem of the Appalachian community. We chose to cover this city for this reason and the great strides the city has taken to turn from a small mining town to a center of…

  • Community Profiles

    The Plains, Ohio: Virtual Reality Community Profile

    The Plains is a hidden gem located in Southeast Ohio full of great food, culture, and history. The Plains has a population of 3,080. The Plains was originally referred to as the local region where mound builders lived and built their signature Indian mounds. The Plains has a total area of 2.3 square miles. It is home to several popular restaurants, a public community library, 2 schools, and a nature preserve. Click on the numbered tabs above for an interactive experience and 360 degree virtual reality tour of The Plains.

  • Community Profiles

    Small Town, Smaller Church

    The best gems of Southeast Ohio are the hidden ones. One of these is Coolville, Ohio. About 30 minutes outside Athens, the nearest city, Coolville holds a population of only 496 people as of the 2010 U.S. Census. However, don’t be fooled by its size. A drive down the main street reveals that this small town is full of surprises. Coolville boasts its a public library separate from its elementary school, a rarity in small towns. It’s also home to Corey Vales, the 2008 state high jump champion in Division III track and field. And just down Route 50 is the Healing Chapel, Ohio’s smallest church. Join us as we…

  • Community Profiles

    Wacky West Virginia’s Delicious Hidden Gem

    When you think of culinary cuisine, most would imagine foods commonly not found on a backyard grill. While hotdogs, hamburgers, and fried foods may be mouthwatering American staples, they typically don’t give you that same perception of opulence or exclusive delicacy. But the thing is that no one said that culinary cuisine needed to be fancy, which is exactly why Hillbilly Hot Dogs is a resounding success. Settled in Lesage, West Virginia on Ohio Valley Road, you’ll come across what some may think of as an old abandoned junkyard. However, all you have to do is pull in to see this property come alive. Graffitied school busses, knick knacks, wooden…

  • Community Profiles

    Dirt Track Dynasty

    Ron Mayle has led the pack in countless races throughout the years. Throughout multiple division championships and breathtaking wins, he’s built his life around his love for dirt track racing. Many others like him have made the sport popular throughout Appalachia, where it’s more than just a spectacle. For Mayle, it’s a tradition, and one that he hopes to pass on. The history of past wins and the heroes that have come before him are alive on the walls of his garage, which are almost entirely covered in memories. Twisted metal from wrecks hang proudly beside jubilant photos from the winner’s circle. It’s the same garage where he works on his…

  • Community Profiles

    The Natural Wonders of Pomeroy, Ohio

    NOTE: Please click on the images below to link to VR 360 videos Appalachia, known for its deep valleys and high hills, is one of the nation’s best kept secrets. Abundant in natural resources, those who first inhabited the land took use of it. Over the years, however, the misuse of the land, from coal mining to improper disposal of waste, has left its mark on towns in the area. At the brink of depletion, local companies such as the ones in Pomeroy, Ohio hope to reclaim and cultivate what was lost. Herbal Sage Tea Company, Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary and Maple Lawn Brewery are a few of the prominent businesses…