Dr. Roger Anderson, Assistant Professor of International Languages & Cultures, Central State University
In the 18th century, French aristocrats fleeing the violence of the French Revolution were lured to the Ohio River Valley by scammers, who succeeded in swindling them.
Subsequently, a French community sprung up around the present-day Gallipolis, in the southeast part of Ohio.
A 2021 article to The Cardinal highlighted this history as well. Click here to read.
“Our House Tavern” was opened as lodging for river travelers. Today, this building serves as a museum to the “French 500” – the 500 original French immigrants who departed France for the American wilderness – and to the history of the French community. This includes having hosted General Lafayette, who made a stop at “Our House” during his 1825 tour of the infant United States of America.
On Saturday, May 28th, 2022, from 2-4 p.m., Our House Tavern will celebrate the 203rd anniversary of its opening. For Ohio Francophiles, this museum is a unique treasure trove of French culture in Ohio. Attendees may even interact with living descendants of the French 500!
(Added bonus: Southeast Ohio in May is gorgeous.)