Blink twice and Zaleski, Ohio is gone; it’s a blip on a map surrounded with curving trails colored by changing leaves of Zaleski State Forest. Its population, less than 300 people, is slowly declining. The people are aging and the youth rarely plan on staying. Everything moves slowly. People speak of events that happened ten years ago as if they happened yesterday. The biggest news is the sewer system currently being installed.
For older generations, Zaleski has been a lifelong commitment. Many of the residents are descended from immigrants looking for work in mines or supporting sawmills during the mid 1800’s. Their families never left when the industry declined. They are part of the land.