In 1998, Mr. Paul LaRue started the Research History class at Washington Senior High School. The goal of the class is to give students hands on, personal experience preserving local history. Over the years the class has worked on documenting Fayette County's part in the Underground Railroad. They have preserved the Post Minutes of an African American G.A.R. Post. The class has set more than 75 government Headstones for veterans around Fayette County.
A continuing project the class has taken on is transcribing WWII veteran's stories of war. They have talked with more than 50 veterans. The finished transcripts are sent to the Library of Congress. Mr. LaRue and his class have been recognized for their continuing efforts to preserve the history of Fayette County. In 1998, the class was awarded with the Conductor of the Year award by Friends of Freedom. Research History was awarded the 2001 Ohio Public History Award. In 2004, they were recognized with Ohio Preservation Award. Most recently, the class was one of 17 national finalists for History Channel's Save Our History award in 2005.