My Live Thoughts in Real Time

What makes Steubenville, Ohio, a town decimated by the collapse of the steel industry decades before so beautiful?

Many who’ve left the area ask me this, but those of us who’ve remained somewhat close can attribute many following positives.

1. Steubenville and its surrounding areas possess breathtaking landscapes. Think Hogwarts meets Narnia and take the greatest qualities of each. I mean, the surrounding countryside falls into rolling hills, which can be seen miles in every direction; it’s one reason I’ve nicknamed the area the Lost Horizons. One can see beyond the horizon, as if they’re literally on a mountaintop, and some of those hills sure feel like mountains.

2. Every single old, abandoned building in town has a story to tell. It’s true, whether you’re peeking into the now-abandoned sections of all the crumbling steel mills, take a trip downtown, or visiting some of the old farmhouses out in the boonies, ghosts of the old mill area thrives with history. Any history buff would have a field day exploring some of the old buildings and murals, which Steubenville is known for, starting with the Old Fort Steuben.

3. You can’t get a better view of the sunrise or sunset. I’m going to tell you right now, go on top of the tallest hill in the area, there are plenty to choose from, and look west. No, better yet, the area’s so open that the water towers are the tallest structures in every little town. The mid-afternoon sun gleams off the tops of the towers, gleaming ever more like an artificial alpenglow, turning the white tops orange as the sun begins its descent, and sinks over the hills and far away.

4. Tired of paying a fortune for rent or mortgage. The area boasts some of the lowest housing rates in the nation. Heck, you can get a three-bedroom house for a hair under $80,000 with a 30+ year loan. Further, you’re going to find that other than the occasional flash flood, which might happen twice a year, you won’t see any natural disasters. A tornado might touch down once every few years, a blizzard might blanket the area once a year, if that, and I’ve yet to see a wildfire. It’s a low-risk area, especially if you own an online business or are a travel blogger.

5. Many stay because of the memories. Those who possess powerful memories such as I have vivid photographs in our minds. We can point to an awesome cookout from 1997, remember the names of everyone we went to school with in 2nd grade, and even remember how our grade school smelled and what the cafeteria food tasted like. We remember the sights and sounds, the names of all our teachers, and the thrill of being let outside for recess. When you have a powerful grasp on the five senses plus a sixth sense in photographic memory, that alone finds you solace.

6. The place is a writer’s dream. Like the old buildings, it seems everyone has an interesting story. The stories behind those old buildings rest with the older ladies and gentlemen of the area, passed on to younger generations. For those who love to talk with others and use such information to craft stories, I think the area would serve you well.

7. Remember when I said this would be a great place to start an online business? Well, if you’re employed somewhere and you hate your gig, or are stuck in a dead-end one, it’s the place to begin, because you wouldn’t be able to find a better place to downgrade in terms of cost-cutting. If you want to save on rent, fuel (Ohio’s fuel is lower than national average), utilities, and anything else requiring bills, the Steubenville area may be a great place to look.

8. If you’re a workout warrior, both the Steubenville and Weirton area have come on strong over the past few years from a fitness standpoint and I’m proud to say during my training heyday I was a pioneer in such a movement. These days, the fitness scene is hot. In fact, back when I trained in Weirton, our training department could’ve rivaled California’s!