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Congratulations to all History Fund grant recipients!

The History Fund grants are announced at the annual Statehood Day event (Ohio Statehood Day is officially March 1).

2015 Recipients

Mahoning Valley Historical Society (Youngstown) received $4,526 to digitize microfilm copies of records from Republic Steel from the 1880s – 1960s, and scrapbooks compiled by former Youngstown mayor Charles P. Henderson, who cracked down on organized crime in the city in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This project will make these materials more accessible to the public, and better ensure the preservation of the original records.         
Wyandot County Historical Society (Upper Sandusky) received $2,945 to create a traveling exhibit about the history of the Wyandot tribe in Ohio, from the formation of the Wendat Confederacy in the 1650s, through the tribe’s time on reservations in Ohio in the early 19th century, to the four Wyandot nations today.  The organization will form partnerships with Wyandot tribes in several states and Canada to tell the tribe’s story and create the exhibit. 
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Kent State University (Cleveland) received $9,000 to produce a user-friendly, how-to guide for the rehabilitation of historic and traditional housing stock in areas of Cleveland and northeast Ohio that have experienced disinvestment and decline.  The guide will describe and advocate for low-cost and high-quality solutions that are based on the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.  The guide will promote historic preservation by helping property owners rehabilitate a neighborhood’s historic fabric to encourage community investment and preservation.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (Cleveland) received $14,500 to make available the papers and notes of Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Jane Scott.  Scott’s beat was rock and roll. She covered the scene and its musicians from the mid-1950s to the early 2000s.  She witnessed music history as it was made at a time when few others were documenting the rise of artists that are now household names, including Bruce Springsteen. This project will allow researchers to study the development of rock and roll artists and the music industry through her nearly 50 years of reporting. 
Junior League of Columbus / Kelton House Museum & Garden (Columbus) received $3,000 to share the house’s history with more visitors at one time. The grant will allow the Kelton House to purchase 10 additional hand-held, recorded audio tour units.  More units means the house will be better able to meet the demand for its popular tours, including stories of the Underground Railroad and high Victorian-era living in Columbus.    
Southington Township Board of Trustees (Southington) received $11,000 to stabilize a section of National Register-listed school building.  Completion of the project will enable this small Trumbull county community to continue its plan to rehabilitate the much-loved and history-filled building, turning it into a community center.  The school building serves as another example of how small communities “recycle” their historic buildings and preserve what makes their places special.     
Union Literary Institute Preservation Society (Dayton) received $17,900 continue stabilization of the James and Sophia Clemens Farmhouse.  The Clemens’ farm is located in Longtown in Darke County.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the farm is one of the oldest and last remaining agricultural resources in one of the state’s earliest African American settlements, one of at least 70 in pre-Civil War Ohio.  Because of its condition, the house is not open to the public.  The successful completion of this project will bring that goal closer, making it possible for Ohioans to learn more about the state’s African American pioneer heritage.     
Massillon Heritage Foundation (Massillon) received $17,900 to begin interior restoration of Five Oaks. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Five Oaks is an 1890s Gothic, Tudor and French Renaissance-style mansion. It’s one of the few remaining examples of the work of Cleveland architect Charles Schweinfurth, who designed many of the houses along Cleveland’s “Millionaire’s Row,” Euclid Avenue.  The grant will repair plaster in Five Oak’s music room, library and parlor.
Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education (Cincinnati) received $17,500 to share and preserve the experiences of Cincinnati-area Holocaust survivors with local schools and adult groups.  The grant will establish formal speakers’ bureau of survivors and eyewitnesses, and create multi-media portfolios for area educators with maps, reproductions of artifacts and documents and videotaped testimonials.  An element of the project will share stories of how survivors rebuilt their lives and thrived after settling in the Cincinnati area.    
The City of Olmsted Falls received $5,000 to raise awareness about the Olmsted Falls National Register Historic District and instill pride in the city’s history.  The grant will lead to creation of signage throughout to district to highlight its location in the city.  The grant and the project will also increase awareness of how a commitment to historic preservation and to National Register Historic Districts can also improve a community’s overall quality of life.
Faytte County Historical Society (Washington Court House) received $14,000 to complete the repair of windows in the county’s history museum.  Repair of the windows, following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, will allow for better control of temperature and humidity levels in the museum and enable the organization to better preserve and share the history entrusted to their care. 
Dairy Barn Arts Center (Athens) received $10,000 to repair the gable ends of the barn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular venue for cultural and arts events in southeast Ohio.  Repairs to these hard-to-reach sections of the barn will enable it to continue achieving is popular mission and stimulate further fundraising efforts for the facility.     
Belpre Historical Society received $2,730 upgrade and provide training in the use of PastPerfect.  PastPerfect is the standard in software used for the inventory and cataloging of history museum collections.  By using PastPerfect, the Belpre Historical Society will be better able to manage and preserve its collections of artifacts and improve accessibility for the public.

2014 Recipients 

Cuyahoga County Planning Commission (Cleveland) received $16,500 to undertake an architectural and historical survey of dwellings, mostly single-family, constructed from 1945-1969 to identify districts eligible for listing on the National Register and to assist the county’s communities in their local preservation efforts.

Dayton History received $18,000 to preserve, digitize, and make available the majority of the William Preston/Marvin Christian Photograph and Negative Collection. This locally and nationally significant collection includes some of the world’s first aerial photographs, taken from early Wright Flyers, as well as scenes of Dayton life.

Dayton Society of Natural History received $16,000 to reconstruct the thatched roof of Big House, the central exhibit of SunWatch Indian Village/Archeological Park, a National Historic Landmark. The project will enable SunWatch to again use the Big House for school and public programs and will be conducted while SunWatch is open to the public, allowing visitors to watch the construction process.

Historic New Richmond received $7,000 for a historic preservation project undertaken by a volunteer-operated local historical society.This project, the third and final phase of a ten year effort, will repair the Ross-Gowdy House Museum’s windows and replace its box gutters. The success of the first two phases of the project and Historic New Richmond’s adherence to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are especially notable.

McKinley Presidential Library & Museum (Canton) received $3,700 to conserve two dresses that belonged to First Lady Ida McKinley. Once repaired, it will be possible to display the dresses and provide a superior case when not on display. The project is part of a long-range plan to preserve 20 dresses that once belonged to First Lady McKinley in the museum’s collection.

Ross County Historical Society (Chillicothe) received $10,000 for the purchase of textile storage cabinets for the Society’s new collection facility. The cabinets and new facility will make it possible to store a historic clothing collection under optimal conditions that will both meet best practices for textile care and make the collection more accessible for exhibition and study.

Slavic Village Development (Cleveland) received $18,000 to install a new roof on the Viola Building, which is the first phase of an effort to stabilize and rehabilitate the structure in an emerging, affordable, and diverse neighborhood. The Viola Building serves as an anchor of the National Register-listed Broadway Historic District and the Slavic Village neighborhood. A new roof, conforming to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, will enable Slavic Village to return the building to commercial and residential uses.

Summit County Historical Society (Akron) received $8,500 to assist the Society in its long-term effort to renew its collection management capabilities prior to Akron’s Bicentennial in 2025. The grant will fund the purchase of updated collections management software, the cataloging of collections in the Society’s new facility, and new shelving for the maintenance of collections. The project will increase the Society’s ability to draw on its rich collections for exhibits and public programs as well as enlarge its capacity to accept new donations of collections.

Williams County Records Center (Bryan) received $3,800 to hire a consultant to conduct an assessment of Williams County’s local government archives. The consultant will offer the Center guidance in the stewardship of the county’s archives and address topics such as digitization, preservation planning, and disaster planning. With the consultant’s report in place, the county will be able to insure that its records, useful to a variety of citizens, will continue to be safe and accessible.

Worthington Historical Society received $8,500 to replace deteriorated roof sections of the Society’s circa 1812 Orange Johnson House, a listed National Register building. The repaired roof, rehabilitated in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, will enable the Society to continue to preserve and share the community of Worthington’s history and to interpret life in early nineteenth-century central Ohio.

2013 Recipients 

Clark County Historical Society (Springfield) received $15,000 for a project that will enable the society to update and improve the care of its collection of historical artifacts and make them accessible through a digital catalog.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History received $12,873 to pilot on a wider scale a proven and highly innovative means to quickly and inexpensively document prehistoric Native American archeological sites in the eastern Lake Erie basin, which, if widely adopted, could lessen the need for full scale excavations of sites across Ohio and the Midwest.

Cleveland Restoration Society received $15,000 for the “Know Our Heritage Educational Program,” which will document and raise awareness of endangered historic sites in Cleveland’s African American community.

Dennison Railroad Depot received $15,000, for a project that will enable the Depot, a WWII era icon and National Historic Landmark, to alleviate crowded artifact storage conditions at two of its museums and enable both to move to a facility, which will insure the long-term preservation of the historical collections.

Eden Valley Enterprises (Elyria) received $15,000 for support of a PBS documentary about Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, an ordinary Ohioan who overcame adversity and became extraordinary through her hikes of the Appalachian Trail in the 1950s and ‘60s. Gatewood’s inspiring story will broaden our understanding of what the Women’s Movement, fitness, and successful aging means.

Friends of Whitewater Shaker Village (Cincinnati) received $15,000 to build ADA-compliant restrooms at this National Register of Historic Places-listed site, the last intact Society of Friends (Shaker) site in Ohio. Restrooms will enable the Village to open to the public, the plan of the site’s leaders since 2001.

John & Annie Glenn Museum Foundation (New Concord) received $6,600 to construct additional display cases at the Foundation-operated National Road/Zane Grey Museum. The additional cases will enable the museum to take on loan and exhibit private collections, otherwise unavailable, of locally-made wares from smaller firms during the region’s heyday as a pottery manufacturing center. The exhibits will offer new reasons to visit the museum and encourage repeat visitation.

MidPointe Library System (Middletown) received $2,160 for the digitization of four historic Butler County atlases. The project will make the maps and information in the atlases available digitally through the library system and protect the originals from the damage that comes from frequent handling.

Pioneer Historical Society of Muskingum County (Zanesville) received $8,000 to repair the roof of the Stone Academy according to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The Academy, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is part of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Union County Historical Society (Marysville) received $3,300 to digitize rare color film footage from 1938 showing everyday life in a small town and rural Ohio, generally not well documented on film – much less in color. The reels also include footage of the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, and Ohio State football games. The digitized film will be posted on You Tube and distributed to local libraries and schools.

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