New monument to go up in Ceredo, honors community history

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CEREDO, WV (WOWK) — In Ceredo, one man has taken the lead on preserving the history of the community in a big way.

“This is one of those projects where, in some ways, it’s just a bunch of volunteers, well-intended, and we’re making it up as we go!” 

Ric Griffith, originator of the monument idea

On the corner of 8th Street and Route 60, an interesting new project is beginning to take shape.

The ‘footer’ of what will be an 11 to 13 foot tall wall.

“We’re currently standing on the footer for what will be an 11 to 13 feet tall wall that will have elements of the architecture from Ceredo-Kenova High School and Ceredo Elementary.” 

Ric Griffith, originator of the monument idea

When Ric Griffith says it will have elements of those buildings, he means it literally.

“I saved those [bricks] when the buildings were torn down, and what we’re trying to do is to incorporate them into a wall that will not only identify the football stadium, which is Ward-Craycraft stadium, but Ceredo-Kenova Elementary, and talk about this in the sense of the history of this community.” 

Ric Griffith, originator of the monument idea
Ric Griffith explains, he wanted to preserve the history of Ceredo with something people could come and visit.

The history is a storied one: the elementary school and high school in Ceredo were the first in Wayne County—dating back to the 1870s. A new campus was built in the 1920s where the current Ceredo-Kenova Elementary School stands, but it was torn down in the late 1990s—a moment, Griffith says, in which some of the community’s legacy was lost.

Now, he says he hopes to get the community involved once the monument is actually erected.

Rick Griffith shows the plans for the monument.

“The initial next step will be to actually build the structure, but as we do that I want to begin to accumulate stories, information, and photographs that people in our community might have that tells the history we hope to display.” 

Ric Griffith, originator of the monument idea

Deidre Farley, the principal of the elementary school in Ceredo, says she and the community she’s a part of are looking forward to seeing this work actually completed.

“I think everyone in the community gets excited when anything’s going on at this site because it’s the focal point of the community.” 

Deidre Farley, principal of Ceredo-Kenova Elementary School

They hope to complete the actual physical structure within the next two to three weeks, and from there begin collecting people’s memories of Ceredo-Kenova High School.

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