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Recipients Congratulations to all History Fund grant recipients!
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The History Fund grants are announced at the annual Statehood Day event (Ohio Statehood Day is officially March 1).

2016 Recipients

Auglaize County Historical Society, Wapakoneta
$4,074 to improve collections management at the Auglaize County Historical Society’s museums.  This project will enable the society’s part time administrator and volunteers to act on the findings of a recent American Alliance of Museum’s Museum Assessment Program report, commissioned by the society.  The report calls for the society to address a common challenge small museums face – developing efficient methods of cataloging their collections of artifacts.  With guidance provided by experienced collections management consultants, training, and the help of a graduate-level student in public history, society volunteers will develop efficient work process and collections policies to catalog approximately 2,000 objects over the life of the project.  It is intended that the project will serve as a model for other organizations as well as insure good stewardship of the county’s history.
 
Canal Fulton Heritage Society, Canal Fulton
$6,000 to replace the roof of the William Blank House.  The project will enable the society to replace the roof on this 1901 house, which is one of four historic properties this all-volunteer organization cares for in the city and a contributing structure to the National Register-listed Canal Fulton Historic District in Stark County.  The Blank House is the repository of the society’s archives and artifact collections.  Repairs to the roof will protect the building and the collections inside.  The house is also in a historic location in the community, adjacent to the Ohio-Erie canal that brought prosperity to the area in the mid-19th century.     
 
Fort Recovery Historical Society, Fort Recovery
$17,500 for an archaeological field school and ground-penetrating radar survey at Fort Recovery.  A newly discovered 1793 map of Fort Recovery and a ground-penetrating survey of the area around the fort will guide archeological excavations at a field school.  These efforts will likely revise current understandings of the fort and of the two battles that occurred in what is now southwestern Mercer County during the Ohio Indian Wars of the early 1790s.  The project will share those new conclusions within the field of historical archeology, as well as area school groups and the public during the 225th anniversary of the community in 2016. 
 
The Friends of James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Mentor
$3,577 for a travelling exhibit about President James A. Garfield and the Garfield National Historic Site.  On the eve of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the friends group of this National Historic Site will produce a series of portable exhibits, which will be hosted at locations throughout northeast Ohio.  The exhibits, consisting of interpretive banners and artifacts, will share the life of President Garfield and encourage visits to his family’s home in Mentor.  Increased visitation will not only enlarge the economic impact of the site in Lake County and Northeast Ohio, but also increase viewers’ and visitors’ understanding of President Garfield’s life and legacy. 
 
Green Lawn Abbey Preservation Association, Columbus
$3,450 for the restoration of a stained glass window in Green Lawn Abbey.  A product of Rossbach Art Studio, an important producer of high quality stained glass in early 20th century in Columbus, the window is the last of series of six to be restored in the Abbey’s parlor.  Once complete, the parlor will be highest profile and most often used area for programs and tours.  The project is important step in renovating and preserving the Abbey, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The project also advances the all-volunteer association’s larger goal of saving and sharing Columbus’s local history, as reflected in the structure, and inspiring visitors with programs on classical architecture, of which the Abbey is an outstanding example.  
 
Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, Hillsboro
$10,000 for a magnetometer survey of Steel Earthworks, Ross County.  A magnetometer detects magnetic fields in the earth’s surface and is used in archeology to non-invasively look for archeological phenomena, such as magnetically charged “ghosts” of prehistoric mounds and evidence of structures gone for hundreds of years.  The project will enable the Conservancy to perform a magnetometer survey on the remaining 35 acres of an archeological site, which has remained untouched below the plow line of agricultural use.  The survey will reveal the remainder of the site’s archeological resources and enable the Conservancy to prepare detailed maps.  This information will allow any future excavations to be carefully targeted, preserving a record of life in the area thousands of years ago.
 
Lakeside Heritage Society, Lakeside
$10,000 for the renovation of the exterior of the Lakeside Heritage Society Museum.  The project will enable the society to replace the roof, make repairs to the vestibule and exterior of the building, and paint the entire structure.  Built c. 1875 as a Methodist chapel, the building on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure to the Lakeside Heritage District in Ottawa County.  The building is the headquarters of the society, the site of public programs for children and adults during Lakeside’s summer season, and the repository of its artifact and archival collections about Lakeside, the Marblehead Peninsula, and the Chautauqua Movement.  Work to the building now will forestall more expensive repairs later and protect the collections therein.   
 
Milton-Union Public Library, West Milton
$3,000 to purchase a microfilm viewer/scanner/printer.  A microfilm reader is a basic tool for historical and genealogical research at any library.  The current unit at this small town library in southern Miami County, near Dayton, is so obsolete that parts for it are no longer available.  Consequently, local historical records on microfilm sought by patrons are not conveniently available.  The grant from the History Fund, matched by anther grant from the Miami County Foundation will give researchers at the library better access to the records they use to piece together their understandings of the past.
 
Noble County Historical Society, Caldwell
$3,900 to replace the furnace in the Ball-Caldwell House.  The end of the useful life of the house’s 30 year-old furnace inspired this all-volunteer organization write a History Fund grant to replace the unit with a new, more energy and money-efficient model.  The c. 1832, National Register of Historic Places-listed house in southeast Ohio is a museum featuring the society’s collection of furniture, decorative arts, and quilts and textiles.  A reliable furnace will be cheaper to operate and enable the society to stabilize the temperature in the building year-round, and preserve its plaster walls, woodwork, stenciling, wallpaper and the collections displayed inside.  Because the house will have a reliable heat in colder months, the society also plans to schedule more programing there.
 
Poland Township Historical Society, Poland
$6,327 to rehabilitate the eight windows of the society’s Little Red Schoolhouse.  The project will retain the building’s historic appearance and windows while making it energy-efficient and less expensive to operate and maintain.  The school is the historical center of Poland Township in Mahoning County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The structure has changed little since it was built in 1858, and it is a site for this all-volunteer society’s school and public programs.  Rehabilitating the windows will help to maintain the building; maintaining the building ensures that it can continue to spark an interest in area history for generations to follow.       
 
Ted Lewis Museum, Circleville
$6,000 for the “Ted Lewis Record Collection Preservation and Digitization” project.  The grant will enable this Pickaway County museum to catalog and re-house approximately 378 historic 78 RPM records and transcription discs as well as to digitize 197 records.  The one-of a-kind record collection documents the Circleville native’s long career from 1919 to 1967, including radio broadcasts, unissued takes, and historic interviews.  The unique collection recordings of Ted Lewis are in danger of deterioration beyond use and could be lost if not addressed soon.
 
Warren County Historical Society, Lebanon
$3,972 for the “In Honor & Remembrance Oral History Project.”  The society will collaborate with the county veterans’ services office to collect approximately 40 oral histories from area vets.  The society will share the histories on its website and in an exhibit at the Warren County Historical Society’s museum.  It is expected that in the retelling of their experiences, veterans will be able to help their families and their community understand the nature of their service.  It is anticipated that the oral histories will become a resource and teaching tool for students, so they may discover the stories of these veterans’ service and the impact it had on their families and communities.     
 
Western Reserve Fire Museum & Education Center, Cleveland
$19,200 for a window replacement and rehabilitation project in the museum.  The project will continue the rehabilitation of the Western Reserve Fire museum, formerly the Cleveland Alarm Office and Fire Station #28, to its original 1926 appearance. The work on this city-ordinance designated Cleveland Landmark will replace ten damaged glass block windows with near-reproductions of the original windows, as documented by period photographs and documents.  The project will advance the overall goal to re-open previous uninhabitable areas for use as museum galleries, public program space, and event rental facilities, as well as return the historic landmark site to its original appearance.
 
The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology, Newark
$3,000 for the conservation of a historic map of Newark.  The grant will enable the center to conserve a large but damaged c.1890 map of Newark, which shows a bird’s eye view of this city in Licking County.  The conserved map will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit about a nationally-regarded stock farm in Newark that imported draft horses from Europe and will be used in programs to highlight the contrasts between the city now and 125 years ago.  The map conservation project and related exhibit will be a part of the center’s 20th anniversary celebration in 2016 and is anticipated to become the focal point of the institution’s education and community programs because of the contrasts between “then” and “now” that it reveals.


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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