About This Place
Gallipolis is a chartered village in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Gallia County. The municipality is located in Southeast Ohio on the Ohio River. The population was 4,180 at the 2000 census, an 18% drop from the 1990 census level of 5,085. When the population dropped below 5,000, Gallipolis became a village, but continues to operate under its existing city charter. The accent goes on the last syllable when pronouncing the name: /ˌɡælɪpəliːs/, rhyming with "police".
Gallipolis is the second-largest community in the Point Pleasant Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Gallia County, Ohio and Mason County, West Virginia.
Gallipolis was settled in 1790 by French aristocrats known as the "French Five Hundred". Escaping punishment in post-Bastille Day, pre-revolutionary France, the promise of a new life in the boundless American frontier was tempting. However, the French were swindled. The Scioto Company encouraged investors in France to purchase lands in Ohio by describing a virtual Garden of Eden. However, the deeds that they had purchased proved worthless upon their arrival via riverboat. The Scioto Company did not actually own the land, which was not the land of milk and honey that they anticipated. So the disillusioned settlers petitioned Congress and President George Washington for aid, and as a result, the Ohio Company sent a group of woodsmen from Marietta to build a log cabin settlement on what is now the city park. In 1803 Gallia County (in honor of the Gauls), was established by the Ohio state legislature. The first U.S. census was conducted in 1820, and those accounted for at that time are known locally as the "first families." The early 19th Century also brought a large influx of Welsh people, who settled in Gallipolis and nearby Rio Grande. In the late 1960s, Gallipolis gained notoriety for the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River from Gallipolis to Point Pleasant, West Virginia.