EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Former college football coach Lou Holtz grew up in East Liverpool. In his legacy, the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in East Liverpool was created. It was meant to honor those from the area for their legacies.
For a year now, it has been closed but now the facility is looking to reopen on Dec. 18.
Holtz’s name has been remembered in East Liverpool’s history but last December, he wanted the Hall of Fame closed.
“He just felt he was at the point in his life that he had to move on,” said Frank Dawson, with the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame.
So under his orders, the building closed last December.
Dawson says Holtz will continue to give money for vocational education through his family.
Over 190 pieces from Holtz’s collection were sent to an auction company but the Hall of Fame still has pieces from the 90 other inductees.
“Jerome Bettis, John Havlicek, Calvin Jones, Ben Feldman, that we were able to replace what was taken out from Coach Holtz’s collection,” Dawson said.
Other displays include the former fire wagon from the East Liverpool Fire Department, a train display and in the building’s former bank vault, the story of Pretty Boy Floyd — a bank robber from Oklahoma who was shot and killed by police near East Liverpool.
“As you know, I’m in the funeral business. My father embalmed Pretty Boy Floyd,” Dawson said.
They also have a death mask of Floyd, which was custom at the time, made from potter clay and one of very few known to exist.
“We’ll probably change the name to the Upper Ohio Valley Museum & Learning Center at the Lou Holtz Hall of Fame,” Dawson said.
With the museum changing names, Dawson is determined to keep it open.
“We have an obligation to so many people that have given us money, materials, fire trucks, band organs and we have an obligation to them,” Dawson said.
On Saturday, Dec. 18 from noon to 4 p.m., there will be a Christmas open house for the public.