The most famous person living in Meigs County is a legendary
musician who found this location the perfect site to build a
“ranch that grows guitar players”.
Guitarist and songwriter Jorma Kaukonen is best known for his
work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. A Grammy-nominated
artist and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Jorma is
celebrated for his fingerstyle guitar playing.
In 1989, Jorma selected a scenic place near Pomeroy to be the
home of the Fur Peace Ranch, a rustic guitar camp for
practitioners of all skill levels.
“There’s nothing like life in a small American community where
people wave to you whether they know you or not,” said Jorma in
a recent interview with the Pomeroy Sentinel. “Southeast Ohio is
so beautiful. It cannot but help to affect the people."
Initially, Jorma’s wife Vanessa admits she had a hard time
imagining herself making a home in the rural hills. But, she was
quickly won over by the warmth of the neighbors and the beauty
of the land.
“The land had set a stage and created the tone for this
inspirational environment . . . we were being inspired every
day,” Vanessa explained. “It was impossible to imagine just what
the Ranch would become.”
The Ranch opened in 1998 and over the past fifteen years the
enterprise has grown to become a world-renowned teaching and
“I believe that living in a small community puts you back in
touch with the mindset that made America the great country that
it is,” Jorma said. “The helpfulness of neighbors, the friendly
smiles you see almost everywhere you go.”
In 2006, the Ranch added a 200-seat concert hall, the Fur Peace
Station, making it possible to share the music with a wider
audience. During camp season from March to November, the Station
is home to a live weekly radio broadcast featuring the world’s
finest musicians. Today, courtesy of a website and a YouTube
channel, performances from the Fur Peace Ranch are enjoyed by
people all over the world.
Thousands of musicians have found the Fur Peace Ranch to be a
melodious haven. Jorma believes his vision and enthusiasm for
Meigs County has broad appeal.
“I could see our area as a tourist mecca in the same way that I
find North Carolina and Tennessee,” Jorma said. “We live in a
sportsman’s paradise – all seasons of the year. The roads are
magnificent to drive, the scenery breathtaking.”