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The History of Friendship Park!

written by Park Board

Situated in the rolling farmlands of Wayne and Smithfield Townships of Jefferson County, Ohio the Park was built within the Little McIntyre Creek watershed (2000 Acre) during 1971-1972. The Park consists of an 85 acre lake and 5 small lakes, shelter houses, picnic areas, camp grounds, walking and bridle trails, drag strip (independently operated) and the county fairgrounds. Various additions and improvements have been made since 1972 and many outdoor activities are enjoyed.

What makes this park unique is the fact that it was constructed in a watershed which was previously surface and deep mined for coal and was conceived and preplanned before any earthmoving activities. The Park gained national attention in the mining industry because of this foresight during an era free of stringent surface mine reclamation laws. The project became a case study for reclamation preplanning in a booklet published by the U.S. Department of the Interior entitled, “Preplanning: Surface Mining for Outdoor Recreation”.

Friendship Park became a reality primarily through donation of the land by Hanna Coal Company of Cadiz, Ohio. With Hanna Coal Company’s initial premining plans to create such a Park and the county’s need for recreational facilities, it did not take much to get plans rolling. The Jefferson County Commissioners applied to and received financial assistance from the Appalachian Regional Commission and U.S. Bureau of Mines to develop the land into a much needed recreational area.


October, 1964  Consolidated Coal Company commits to donate 1100 acre to the County                                               
November, 1966  Consolidated Coal Company conveyed 368.6 acres to the County   
March, 1968  The County commits $270,162 and the Appalachian Regional 
Commission commits $810,487 for construction.
July, 1971  Construction on the earthen dam begins.   
August, 1972  Consolidated Coal Company donates 1100 acres to the County   
August, 1972  Completion of the earthen dam.   
October, 1972  Completion of the Air Strip (Now a Drag Strip)   
December, 1973     Formation of the Friendship Park District by Probate Judge John Spon, as provided under ORC Section 1545.01   
August, 1982  Completion of the ½ mile race track, livestock barns and restroom  facilities, the Jefferson County Fair is moved to Friendship Park.   
March, 2006          Pugliese Campground Opened.   
February, 2007  Received Clean Ohio Grant, used to purchase 1300 acres of park land from the County Commissioners and implement park improvements.   
July, 2007  New Pugliese Camp Grounds opened, 15 sites overlooking the
Friendship Park Lake.
January, 2008     Friendship Park Board expands from 3 to 5 Board Members.  
May, 2008  Began construction on a new 50 site campgrounds. When completed  the camp sites will consists of over sized lots with water, electric and direct  tap waste removal system.   
June, 2008  ODNR mandates engineering study and major repairs to the dam at Friendship Park Lake.   
February, 2009  Friendship Park secured funding for a half million dollar sewage 
treatment plant and collection system. Completion of this project
is  estimated to be in late 2010.
September, 2010  First year for the Friendship Wine and Food Festival at Rock Point in Friendship Park.   
July, 2012  Completion of all dam repairs at Friendship Park.   
August, 2012  Completion of the waste water treatment plant at Friendship Park.  







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