Bellaire Ohio is a beautiful small city on the upper Ohio. Bellaire's population peaked at 15,061 in 1920. Its' current population is 4,220 (2012). Bellaire was founded in 1834 and thrived as a center of glass and other manufacture in the late 1800s. Bellaire's 1880 population of 8,025 was almost twice what it is today. Many of the town's historic buildings have been demolished and replaced by more recent structures or surface parking lots, however enough of the historic core remains that Bellaire is still a very interesting town to walk around.
A central feature of Bellaire is a massive stone railroad viaduct which is no longer in use. The viaduct was built to suggest roman viaducts and was completed in 1871. Today it is still soot stained from the days when Bellaire was teeming with coal fueled factories. Vegetation grows from its top and drapes down its sides.
A four lane highway- Ohio 7 was routed through the center of town around the 1950s leading to the demolition of whatever historic riverfront buildings were in its' way. Very few of the many historic industrial structures that had been built in Bellaire survive. Bellaire is still one of the best preserved small industrial cities on the upper Ohio. Here's an interesting history of Bellaire written by a local history teacher in the 1950s : A History of Bellaire.
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