Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Sylvania Historical Society and Museum: Preserving Our Past for the Future

visit us at our new website,

One of the institutions that creates a community spirit in the town of Sylvania, Ohio, is the Sylvania Historical Society and History Museum, which preserves manuscripts, artifacts, memorabilia, and stories of Sylvania history.  It’s a vital part of the complex of buildings, old and restored, that compose the Sylvania Historical Village.

The purpose of the museum is to collect, preserve and disseminate our local history.  It houses memorabilia, letters, artifacts and antiques, including the original village safe in need of restoration;  has a great collection of history books;  organizes informative exhibits (the current exhibits focus on Ohio businesses and homemade quilts); and presents regular history programs for school-aged children as well as public programs.  I enjoyed a Chautauqua-type  program on great women in Ohio History and explored another on Sylvania's underground railroad before the Civil War, which I am learning was a substantial part of the secret system that helped slaves escape to freedom. The Lathrop House, for example, still standing, was the site of one of the most important stops, or "stations," along the road.  I had no idea that so many slaves escaping from the South had been sheltered right here. “The Underground Railroad and Sylvania’s Historic Lathrop House,” by Gaye E. Gindy, tells the fascinating story.  It demonstrates as well how local history adds to the national story all Americans share. 

As an historian, I appreciate the efforts of the historical society and museum.  I was recently elected to the board of directors for a two–year term and look forward to serving. Great thanks go to the stalwart leadership of the Historical Society, including Bob Smith, president; Pam Rohrbacher, vice-president; Liz Stover, treasurer; and Polly Cooper, secretary and newsletter editor.  Also on the board are Mimi Malcolm, Tedd Long, Read Backus, Paul Roebke, Sandy Gratop.  Former board member and member-at-large Don Painter also deserves kudos. I look forward to serving with these great Sylvanians, helping to grow the Museum’s membership and to keep Sylvania and Ohio history alive for today and future generations.

MEMBERSHIPS ONLY $18/year @ Sylvania History Museum,  5717 N Main, Sylvania 43560, for free visits, newsletter, special invitations to public programs, history books and gifts galore, and the pleasure of belonging to YOUR history society!  We also have a new website thanks to board member Tedd Long.  Visit  New email:  

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