Posted February 27, 2019
(COLUMBUS, OH)— The Ohio History Connection is pleased to announce that it has awarded ten local history organizations Ohio History Fund grants. Now in its seventh year, the Ohio History Fund is a competitive matching grants program that is one of six “tax check-off” funds found on Ohio’s income tax forms. It’s funded entirely through Ohio taxpayers’ voluntary contributions.
“The Ohio History Fund allows us to preserve and share Ohio stories by supporting local history projects all over the state,” said Burt Logan, Executive Director & CEO of the Ohio History Connection. “Local history helps us understand where we came from and gives us a sense of identity and place, inspiring pride in our communities.”
The Ohio History Connection awarded $90,000 in grants this year. Since the program started in 2012, the Ohio History Fund has made a total of 73 grants to history organizations all across the state totaling $688,000.
- Canal Fulton Heritage Society (Canal Fulton) received $17,500 to replace a roof on the organization’s Oberlin House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house, built in 1847, is an example of the kinds of structures built in Canal Fulton when the community prospered along the Ohio & Erie Canal. The new roof will protect the house and the society’s one-of-kind collections preserved inside.
- Chagrin Falls Historical Society (Chagrin Falls) received $4,500 for a project that will digitize and make the contents of the local newspaper available online. It’s one of the few sources available regarding the cultural and industrial history of Chagrin Falls and its neighboring communities from 1874–1883. This digital access will make the paper’s contents easily accessible for students and researchers.
- Cleveland Restoration Society received $9,000 to publish a history of 20th century African American developers. As their stories are traditionally underrepresented, this project will recognize the efforts and achievements of African American developers in mid-century Ohio and add to the body of knowledge about suburbanization in post-World War II Ohio. The organization will use the publication for educational programming and plans distribution to area residents.
- Delaware County Historical Society (Delaware) received $6,000 for a project that will replace failing wood shelving with new archive-quality metal shelves. These new shelves will enable the organization to comprehensively organize their collections and make them more accessible. Local history researchers, students and society staff who use the collection will benefit from the project.
- Friends of Crowell Hilaka (Richfield) received $15,250 to support the hiring of an architect and structural engineer to develop a plan for the restoration of Kirby’s Mill. The mill, constructed by American inventor James Kirby, was a testing site for vacuum cleaners and household appliances developed by the inventor and, later, the site of an iconic northeast Ohio Girl Scout camp. This project represents the first steps in making Kirby’s Mill publically available as a part of Richfield Heritage Preserve.
- Libbey House Foundation (Toledo) received $9,158 for a project that will increase accessibility to the Libby House, a National Historic Landmark. Edward Libbey and the companies he founded made Toledo the “Glass Capital of the World.” In addition to founding the Toledo Museum of Art, Edward and Florence Scott Libbey directed their philanthropy in service to the city’s neediest citizens, including those served by the Toledo Society for Crippled Children, now the Ability Center. An addition of a ramp and half-bath compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act will make the house accessible to all who want to learn more about the Libbeys and how their contributions and the institutions they supported shaped Toledo. The Ability Center will celebrate 100 years in 2020.
- Metroparks Toledo received $3,285 for the revitalization of the historic Isaac Ludwig Mill. The Isaac Ludwig Mill, a part of Providence Metropark, is a working 19th century mill that, combined with a section of the Miami & Erie Canal, interprets life in the area circa 1876. The project will update exhibits and hands-on activities at the mill and enable park staff to better interpret the site in light of newer third and fourth grade curriculum standards. The updates will also allow causal visitors to discover the mill at their own pace, in addition to first person experiences available at the site. The impact of these upgrades to be great, as the site welcomes thousands of school children and adults annually.
- Oberlin Heritage Center received $2,007 for a project that will help historic house museums in Ohio identify best practices for self-guided tours. The Oberlin Heritage Center will lead this project that will enable small museums throughout Ohio to formulate self-guided tours for their institutions. Turning to self-guided tours is a necessity for many house museums, as volunteer tour guides in the numbers needed can be difficult to find. This project will empower local history organizations to better share the important stories from their communities.
- Southern Lorain Historical Society (Wellington) received $18,000 for a project that will professionally conserve a large mural by Wellington native Archibald Willard, the creator of the iconic painting The Spirit of ’76. The mural depicts masonry in the Wellington area. After conservation is completed, the mural will become the centerpiece display in its Spirit of ’76 museum.
- Warren Library Association / Sutliff Museum (Warren) received $5,300 for a project that will create an app for hand-held digital devices. This app will provide museum visitors with digital access to the organization’s collection of over 800 primary source documents. This collection contains Victorian-era artifacts, stories related to the national abolitionist movement, and provides insights into the Sutliff family’s place in national anti-slavery efforts.
Ohio History Fund
The Ohio History Fund creates grants to help support local history and preservation-related projects in communities throughout Ohio. It’s funded by Ohio taxpayers that select “Ohio History Fund” as a donation fund on their state tax returns. For just a $9 donation, you can help repair a roof on a historic home, expand a popular history tour at a local museum, preserve the stories of Ohio veterans or provide public access to rare museum collections. For more information about the History Fund grant program, visit ohiohistory.org/historyfund or contact our Local History office at [email protected].
Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, local history office and managing more than 50 historic sites and museums across Ohio.