- 39 miles (62 km)
When the cattle farmers in the beginning of the 19th Century wanted to move, or drive, their cattle eastward to the market in Baltimore, Maryland, they usually chose the "Grade Road." Not only cattle, but sheep, pigs, horses, mules, and even turkeys drove their way eastward along this road. Because of its popularity, the "Grade Road" became known as the "Drove Road" and the animal traffic flourished until the railroads became competitive in about 1875. Look closely as you drive along the portion of the byway named State Route 147; here you can see deep trenches where the animals' hooves caused depressions as hundreds of thousands of them came through the drove road, a modern remnant of days gone by.
A legacy of those days, today Belmont County boasts a very prestigious cattle ranch, the Dickinson Cattle Company. Take a tour bus around the ranch to see how the company manages its stock of over 1,100 cattle. The ranch raises Texas Longhorns, aptly named because of their massive horns; Buelingos, which resemble an Oreo cookie; and the spotted Watusi cattle. These herders have the luxury of moving their cattle from the back of Honda 4x4s.
After enjoying the rough and tumble of the cattle ranch, stop by the award-winning Barnesville Gay 90s Museum for an unparalleled taste of elegance. This immaculately refinished, 26-room Victorian mansion will make you feel as if you have stepped into a world of evening soir'es and debutantes. See for yourself the exquisite furnishings, including nine fireplaces with hand- carved mantles and a powder room with 22k gold decorations and ruby marble.
Make sure to schedule your visit around the annual Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, held the last full weekend of September in downtown Barnesville. In between the lively parades and the boisterous pie-eating contest, make sure to check out the prize-winning pumpkins -- some weigh over 500 pounds! After a fun-filled day at the festival, pick up a few pumpkins to take home with you, a piece of this byway you can bake into a pie or put on your porch.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Barkcamp State Park (OH)
Belmont County's rugged hills provide the backdrop for picturesque Barkcamp State Park. In addition to fine recreational facilities, visitors will enjoy the mature woodlands, open meadows, scenic lake, and abundant wildlife of this secluded park. While here, discover the history of these ancient woods and the people that lived here.
Watt Center for History and The Arts (OH)
The Center features exhibits on Barnesvilleâ€™s business, industrial, and agricultural history. As an artisan center it fosters local talent and offers classes on many artistic subjects.