Saturday, July 27, 2013

Celebrating Sylvania Families: City of (Family) Trees

From top left corner, Bob Smith, president of the Sylvania Area Historical Society Board, traces his origins to Sylvania's early history;  the Historical Society Museum on Main Street.
once home to a doctor and his family;  samples of  family trees;
 Mimi and Polly, who between them cover most of Sylvania's early families.
  From bottom left corner: Gayelynn Gindy, Sylvania historian par excellence, shares family research with Polly and board members Liz Stover & Sandy Gratop; Mimi and Polly talk to a guest with roots in Sylvania. Lower right: Joy Armstrong, head of Sylvania Village, Village  board member and treasurer Mary Kay, and Liz prepare tea.    
The Sylvania Area Historical Society (SAHS) celebrated Sylvania families with a special tea last week. The Historical Society and the Sylvania Historical Village came together to share a family history project featuring some of the first families of our town, as well as those who came later. The lovely family trees cover the walls of the Historical museum.  Between them, Mimi Lenardson Malcolm, whose family came in 1832,  Polly Cooper, and Bob Smith, members and officers of the Historical Society Board, pretty well cover the first families of our town, up to the present.  Sylvania, the City of Trees, takes on new meaning in this context!

As a relative newcomer in town and on the SAHS Board, my family tree isn't even in the picture.  Still, as an historian I value the work of the SAHS and the Sylvania Historical Village, which preserves our past for future generations.

Mimi Malcolm, a teacher and skillful geneologist, has been writing a column for the Sylvania Advantage that presents different aspects of our fascinating community history from the beginning. An incredible history detective, Mimi says "I can find just about anyone, anywhere."  "Women, too?" I ask. "Yep, women, too!"  She will be conducting a Geneology Workshop on November 16, 1-4 pm at the Historical Society Museum on Main Street. Mark your calendars now!   Family history is community history, and that makes up American History.  

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