Tuesday, October 11, 2011

East Liverpool, Ohio: Lou Holtz Hall of Fame

When it comes to the area around East Liverpool, Lou Holtz is definitely "the man." He coached Notre Dame to a national championship in college football, had a long coaching career in the sport, and is still working as a commentator on ESPN.

Around 1996, East Liverpool decided that some sort of museum to honor Holtz was a bright idea. Holtz said he'd only go along with it if others were honored as well. Within a few years, the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame was created.

Here's a view from the balcony. You can guess that it used to be a bank building in downtown East Liverpool; I believe the purchase price was a dollar. It opened in 1999. I'd say more than half of the main room is dedicated to Holtz. There is a display for other local products who have made good over the years. They also honor a national figure once a year now. Recent selections are John Boehner and Jerome Bettis, two people rarely seen in the same sentence. Lou is a little conservative politically -- OK, a lot conservative.

The building also holds the death mask of gangster Pretty Boy Floyd, as he was shot and killed in East Liverpool. Downstairs there is a nifty train set with a replica of the area. We had a very nice visit from a helpful tour guide. It's pretty obvious that East Liverpool is thrilled about Lou's success, and that he didn't forget his roots.

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