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  • Cathryn Stanley

New Museum Exhibit Celebrates Country Music in Belmont County


ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OH (June 22, 2022) – The Belmont County Heritage Museum is reliving over 40 years of country music and memories with a special exhibit, “The History of Jamboree in the Hills.” The display features decades of photographs by Reed Tychonski that tell the story of the beloved Belmont County tradition.


Tychonski photographed performers and spectators at Jamboree for four decades, which resulted in thousands of published photographs at a local and national level. Country Music magazine featured many of his images, including a full-page photo of Tim McGraw and a two-page spread of Grammy Award-winning duo Sugarland. His photographs document performances and candid moments of country music’s biggest stars, the colorful fans in attendance, and the massive crowds that came to Belmont County.


“When the Belmont County Tourism office approached me about this exhibit idea, I was happy to provide photos from all the years I documented Jamboree in the Hills,” said Tychonski. “There are stories to tell behind most of these photos; I looked forward to capturing these memories at Jamboree every year,” Tychonski said.


The exhibit also includes Jamboree in the Hills programs, t-shirts, banners, and other items related to the Superbowl of Country Music.


“Belmont County has a rich history with county music,” said Jackee Pugh, Executive Director, Belmont County Tourism Council. “Jamboree was a tradition in the valley that started in 1977, and when that ended in 2018, we were so blessed that the Dutton family decided to keep the idea alive with the creation of Blame My Roots Fest.”

Blame My Roots co-founder Chris Dutton, photographer Reed Tychonski, and Belmont County Tourism Director Jackee Pugh.

Blame My Roots Fest is a weekend-long country music event slated for July 14 - 16 at Valley View Campgrounds in Belmont, Ohio. Since its inception in 2019, Blame My Roots has seen much growth, with even more expected for 2022. Museum visitors can register to win two Saturday general admission tickets to Blame My Roots Fest. The winner will be announced at the beginning of July.


The Belmont County Heritage Museum is located in the historic former sheriff’s residence at 101 E. Main St. in St. Clairsville. In addition to “The History of Jamboree in the Hills” exhibit, you will find displays about the county’s sheriffs, artifacts from Belmont County communities representing their industries, landmarks, and significant historical figures. The collections bring the spirit and history of each area together under one roof. From the designer of the USS Constitution to a substantial role in the glass industry, people can discover hidden gems Belmont County is proud to hold in its history.


The Belmont County Heritage Museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free.


The “The History of Jamboree in the Hills” exhibit will be on display through July. For more information about this exhibit and the Belmont County Heritage Museum, visit www.belmontcountyheritagemuseum.org or contact Cathryn Stanley, Museum Curator, at 740-298-7020.

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