Your Tax Return Can Make History: History Fund Grants Awarded!

This wonderful and inspiring information comes from the February 28, 2014 edition of the Ohio History e-news. Just imagine what could be done for Ohio History if every Ohioan contributed even $1.00!1511509_10152268540869345_950411828_o

Ten history- and preservation-related organizations in Ohio have been awarded grants totaling $110,000 from Ohio’s History Fund. The grants, awarded on a competitive basis, were announced during the annual Statehood Day luncheon at the Statehouse in downtown Columbus on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014.

Chosen From Sixty-Four Proposals

The History Fund grants are made possible by voluntary contributions from Ohioans who opt to donate a portion of their state income tax refund to the Ohio Historical Society for use in the grants program. The History Fund had $110,000 to grant in 2014. The Ohio Historical Society received 64 applications requesting a total of $788,000 in grant funding this year, underscoring the importance of the grant program to local history- and preservation-related organizations throughout Ohio. Recipients of the 2014 History Fund grants are:

Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, Cleveland $16,500 to undertake an architectural and historical survey of dwellings mostly single-family houses built between 1945 and 1969, to identify districts that may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and assist Cuyahoga County communities in their preservation efforts.

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

Dayton Society of Natural History $16,000 to reconstruct the thatched roof of the Big House, which is the central exhibit of SunWatch Indian Village / Archeological Park, a partially reconstructed 13th century American Indian Village along the Great Miami River. The project will enable SunWatch to return to using the Big House for school and public programs. The roof work will be done while SunWatch is open to the public, so visitors can see the work in progress.

Historic New Richmond $7,000 to repair the windows and replace the box gutters of the c.1853 Ross-Gowdy House museum the third and final phase of a 10-year historic preservation project undertaken by Historic New Richmond, a volunteer-operated local historical society.

McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Canton $3,700 to conserve two dresses that belonged to first lady Ida McKinley. The project is part of a long-range plan to preserve 20 dresses that once belonged to her, now in the museums collection.

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

Slavic Development, Cleveland Village $18,000 to install a new roof on the circa 1920 Viola Building in Cleveland’s Broadway Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The new roof is the first phase of an effort to stabilize and rehabilitate the Viola Building, enabling Slavic Village Development to return it to active commercial and residential use.

Summit County Historical Society, Akron $8,500 to assist the society in a long-term effort to renew its collection management capabilities in preparation for Akron’s bicentennial in 2025. The grant will enable the society to buy updated collections-management software, catalog items in its new collections facility and buy new shelving for care of its collections. The project is expected to improve the society’s ability to draw on its rich collections for exhibits and public programs and expand its capacity to accept new items.

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

Worthington Historical Society $8,500 to replace deteriorated sections of the roof of the c.1812 Orange Johnson House museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The repairs will enable the society to continue preserving the historic Orange Johnson House, sharing Worthington’s history and interpreting life in early 19th-century central Ohio.

Grants Funded by Voluntary Contributions From Many Ohioans

Ohio’s History Fund is made possible by a tax check-off on state income tax returns that lets Ohioans opt to donate a portion of their state income tax refund to the Ohio Historical Society, to support grants to local history- and preservation-related organizations in Ohio. The History Fund is about preserving and sharing Ohio’s heritage, says Ohio Historical Society Executive Director and CEO Burt Logan. The History Fund is a worthy program that helps local history and preservation organizations fund projects important to their communities. For just $8 the average donation Ohioans are helping them to preserve history. Recipients of the History Fund grants are chosen on a competitive basis. A panel appointed by the director of the Ohio Historical Society reviews the grant proposals, and then makes a recommendation to the director, who approves the final selection. The Ohio Historical Society administers the program and is not eligible to apply for the History Fund grants. The History Fund had $110,000 to grant in 2014. The Ohio Historical Society received 64 applications requesting a total of $788,000 in grant funding this year, underscoring the importance of the grant program to local organizations and historical societies throughout Ohio, Logan said.

About the History Fund

In 2006, creation of a tax check-off to fund a statewide grants program for history- and preservation-related projects was identified as a priority by participants in the annual Statehood Day legislative advocacy event sponsored by the Ohio Historical Society and nine partner organizations: Heritage Ohio, the Ohio Academy of History, Ohio Archaeological Council, Ohio Council for Social Studies, Ohio Genealogical Society, Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board, Ohio Local History Alliance, Preservation Ohio and Society of Ohio Archivists. It became a reality in 2011 when Gov. John R. Kasich signed Ohios two-year state budget into law. The tax check-off first appeared on state income tax forms in 2012 for tax year 2011 and the first grants were awarded to 11 recipients across the state in 2013. To learn more about contributing a portion of your 2013 state income tax refund to the Ohio Historical Society for use in the History Fund grants program, visit For more information about the History Fund grants program, visit

How the Tax Check-Off Works

Although we call it a check-off, on your tax form, you wont find a box to check. Toward the end of your individual Ohio state income tax return, after you’ve calculated the amount of your refund (if you’re receiving a refund), you’ll find a line that asks Amount of line 00 that you wish to donate to the following funds. (The line number will differ depending on which version of the Ohio state income tax return you’re using hence we’ve used 00 to represent the line number here). One of the four options is Ohio Historical Society. Under Ohio Historical Society, fill in the amount that you’d like to contribute. Last years average contribution was $8.63, so even a small donation can make a big difference. The amount you contribute to the Ohio Historical Society through your Ohio state income tax return goes specifically to support the History Fund, which makes grants that help support local history- and preservation-related projects in communities throughout Ohio. Questions? Learn more about the History Fund grants at


Posted March 3, 2014
Topics: Archaeology

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