City visits City Exhibit

On December 1, most of our city government officials visited the new exhibit in the museum. Birth of a City traces the evolution of city government in Aurora Township. From the founding in 1799 to the present, Director John Kudley has assembled documents and has explained how Aurora became Aurora City.

We thank our Volunteers & Sponsors

The Aurora Historical Society hosted its third Antiques Appraisal Fair, Consignment Shop, and Café on Saturday, October 11. It was well attended and provided a fun-filled day for all. The ever popular Antiques Road Show format enabled guests to not only obtain a bit of history of their antiques but to also learn of their monetary value. A team of nine appraisers including Rita Williams, Nancy Shaffer, Kay G. Previte, Jim Clarke, Michael Thal, Ron Silverman, Tim Holder, Andrew Hohenfeld, and Don Arbuckle conducted hundreds of appraisals.

Neil Klimko (standing left) Sarah Hillyer (Seated) Don Arbuckle (Appraiser, seated) Ralph Zarnick (Appraiser) and unknown patron with appraisal item (wearing cap)

Neil Klimko (standing left) Sarah Hillyer (Seated) Don Arbuckle (Appraiser, seated) Ralph Zarnick (Appraiser) and patron with appraisal item (wearing cap)

Appraiser Andrew, Pat Fitzerald (seated right) and Ruth Studer

Appraiser Andrew, Pat Fitzerald (seated right) and Ruth Studer

The steering committee of the Aurora Historical Society consisted of John Kudley, Diane Oberle, Kathlyn Brown, Marianne Biederman, Ray Jobin, Jo Smalley and Ruth Studer. The Atrium of Anna Maria of Aurora was the primary sponsor for the event; Chapman and Chapman, Inc. was also a key sponsor. Other supporters included Robeck Fluid Power, James Tomko, O.D., the Edward H. Sutton Insurance Agency, Howard Hanna of Aurora, the Aurora School of Music, Cable Nine, Salon Patrick, The Aurora Community Theatre and the Friends of the Aurora Memorial Library. Contributors were Elizabeth Tomasko Garner, Capel Logistics and Media – UPS, Chet Edwards, Harman Home Designs, and the Twinsburg Veterinary Hospital and Pet Lodge. Heinen’s, Abigail’s Accessories, Harry and David, The Secret Garden, the Wine Reserve of Bainbridge and Aurora, and Mantua Grain provided raffle baskets.


Items on consignment.

Antiq on consignment.

Crowd in museum gallery awaiting appraisals and having appraisals done

Crowd in museum gallery awaiting appraisals and having appraisals done

Dozens of Historical Society members helped to make the day a wonderful community event. Guests enjoyed interesting and enlightening appraisals, lunched with friends, shopped for antiques and took a chance on raffle baskets from establishments around Aurora. The monies generated by the Antiques Appraisal Fair, Consignment Shop, and Café help to support outreach to the community through the many programs of the Aurora Historical Society.

To learn more about the Aurora Historical Society, contact Museum Director, John Kudley, at 330-995-3336. The Aurora Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and collecting the artifacts of the past; and to informing and educating the public to better prepare for the future.


Appraisal Fair coming up


click this image to enlarge

Keep the date in mind to bring items or to volunteer

From our new Director

“Building Upon Our Tradition”

The Aurora Historical Society continued its non-stop series of spectacular events with the grand opening of the Smithsonian Institute’s traveling exhibit Journey Stories. The exhibit explored the individual stories that illustrate the critical roles that travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society.   Journey stories are the tales of how we and our ancestors came to America. From Native Americans to the newest American citizens, our history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything, families and possessions, to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean.  Imagine the sense of adventure and excitement of the prospects of a new beginning, combined with the fear of the unknown that Aurora’s own Ebenezer Sheldon and his family must have experienced when they left Massachusetts in 1799 to settle in the area of the Western Reserve.

As I mentioned, we have had great success with our efforts at bringing quality programing and activities to all segments of the Aurora community from the tremendously popular Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War exhibit to the second successful Antiques Appraisal Fair, Consignment Shop and Café.  Thanks to your participation and the outstanding efforts of our Board of Trustees and the talents of our director Dr. Marcelle Wilson the Aurora Historical Society has earned a reputation of being more than just a local historical museum.

With your sustained support and input we will continue to provide a rich historical and cultural experience for our members and visitors.  Our goals this year are to continue to grow our membership, conduct a review of the society’s by-laws, and establish a program of “planned giving” as a way for our members and others to perpetuate the efforts of the Aurora Historical Society.  The Board of Trustees cannot possibly do all of these things by itself.  Where do you and your talents fit?  Is it working on one of the three goals? It is helping with this year’s Antiques Appraisal Fair?  Is it signing up to be a museum docent?  Be part of history and let us know where you will help to make a difference. Help build upon our tradition by contacting your officers or any member of the board.

John Kudley

New Exhibit

The Aurora Historical Society and Museum is always busy but it has been a long time since we introduced a new, permanent exhibition into our space. That is all about to change in May, when we unveil Early Aurora: Before the Pioneers. This forty-eight square foot exhibition will tell the story of life in the Aurora area before our founding families migrated here from New England. Early Aurora looks at the animals, plants, and Natives living here as well as early contact between Natives and new settlers. Kent State University intern Cori Iannaggi served as lead researcher and writer on this exhibition prior to her graduation and admission to graduate school. Carrie Wimer, also a Kent State University intern, provided valuable help in writing and proof reading the text as well as placement of components of this exhibit. Currently the exhibit panels are at the UPS Store but should be completed in time for our grand opening scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 22nd. The historical society will host a speaker and dessert meeting where members can see the results of this year-long project. For members who fondly remember the previous exhibit about early Aurora, don’t worry, the arrow heads and projectile points will remain on display!

From Marcelle

Special Thanks to City Workers
The Aurora Historical Society would like to extend special thanks to Bill Fellenstein, J.J. Kudley and Matt Germann for their help.  These three men spent several hours in the museum moving HEAVY artifacts and exhibits to make room for the Journey Stories exhibit.  Since Journey Stories is over 1,000 square feet in size, the museum needed to be cleared of its entire contents so that we would be able to set it up.  That would have been an impossible task without the help of our generous city workers.  Thank You!  We Appreciate Your Hard Work!  Unfortunately, the workers will have to return in about six weeks to put all the items back into the museum space once we dismantle the Smithsonian exhibition and send it back to Washington, D.C.

Journey Stories—
Highlighted Local Pioneer Families
The Aurora Historical Society is excited about hosting Journey Stories in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum On Main Street program and the Ohio Humanities Council.  In addition to the terrific research, imagery, and audio clips that was available, it allowed the historical society to highlight some of Aurora’s Pioneering families who migrated from Massachusetts and Connecticut to the wilderness that would eventually become the city of Aurora.  The journeys made by families like the Littles, Blackmans and Egglestons are recounted.  The exhibit also looked at the letter that Emily Granger Kent sent to her parents, Julius & Huldah Granger in Suffield, Connecticut on April 9th, 1811.  The Grangers sold their farm and decided to move their family to join their daughter Emily in Aurora without ever having visited the place.  Emily’s letter expresses her anxiety about her mother’s youngest baby and its chances of survival during the six to eight week trek through the wilderness.  She mentions many items that her parents should pack, like woolen cloth, seeds, tin pans, a brass teakettle and other necessities that are difficult to procure in the small village of Aurora.  She advises her mother to bring a good supply of cotton yarn with her so that she could sell it on the way for extra money.

Emily Granger Kent’s letter is poignant.  It is evident that she misses her family and is excited to see them again but, at the same time, she worries that they won’t like the available land in the area and wishes she could accompany them on their journey to help with her siblings.

If you aren’t familiar with the stories of these and other “first families”  you can find their accounts of life in early Aurora as well as trace the growth of the little village into the cheese capital of the Western Reserve in our publication, Aurora:  From the Founding to the Flood.  Volume I, 1799-1913 which is now on sale for $15.  Supply is limited so don’t wait to purchase your copy.  President John Kudley, Jr. is also working on Volume II which is due out within the next year.

Thank you

Our heartfelt thanks to our bravo volunteers who helped to make the Antiques Appraisal Fair, Consignment Shop, and Café a tremendous success.
The spirit of community and collegiality could not have been greater on Saturday; all to the benefit of the Aurora Historical Society.

So to all of you; from parking attendants to pie bakers, to guides and kitchen helpers….hurrah!!!

Diane, Kathlyn, Ruth, Marianne, and Ray

Don Arbuckle, Jean Arbuckle, Ann Womer Benjamin, David Benjamin, Sheila Best, Earl Biederman, Byron Brown, Diane Brubaker, Sue Cameron, Barbara Cassidy, Jeff Clark,, Jim Clarke, Winnie Croft, Nicole Dureiko, Brenda Eakin, Dick Fetzer, Pat Fitzgerald, Karen Gajewski, Suzanne Gloden, Marge Godale, Jim Gosser, Mary Gosser, Peter Gugliota, Terry Gugliota, Jim Hickey, Mary Hickey, Sarah Hillyer, Andrew Hohenfeld, Tim Holder, Lynn Hubach, David James, Donna Jobin, Ray Jobin, Milka Kalta, Neil Klimko, B Koglman, Barb Kudley, John Kudley, Esther Leach, Barbara Lebit, Mary Ann Lepp, Gary Lockmiller, Bob Luckay, Bob Mason, Donna Mattmuller, Toni Mazzotta, Doug McCracken, Elaine McCracken, Craig Moore, Dale Moravec, Dick Oberle, Christine Patronik-Holder, Tina Petrick, Russell Post, Sandy Post, K. G. Previte, Joanne Rose, Sheila Rogers, Dotty Sasalal, Amy Scott, Ron Silverman, Dan Smalley, Jo Smalley, Patty Smith, Stella Smith, Sue Sutton, Michael Thal, Winnie Tucker, Bob Walter, Karen Walter, Rita Williams, Jean Wilson, Judi Wilson, Marcelle Wilson, Betsy Wolschleger, Ralph …

Know about the Grindstone?

We have a heavy millstone in our collection with a tag from an anonymous donor.















We were contacted by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Joe Hannibal of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History stopped by and assessed our mill stone.  Our mill stone is French buhr, a type of chert (“flint”) found in the Paris Basin (a geological area around Paris).  The stone has fossil charophytes in it that show it is the French stone.  Such stone was widely used in the United States in the 1800s for millstones.  A great amount was imported from France.

Does anyone know anything about this stone?

Memorial Day Display Case

Donna Mattmuller did a fine job putting together the display in the library front hall using photos and items from the archives. A Ladies Auxiliary project.



Saturday, Lincoln Discussion

We hope to see you at the free “Surgical Advancements during the Civil War”  presentation at 5pm on Saturday the 30th.

Dr. Peter D’Onofrio, Pete's CW Picture
President, Society of Civil War Surgeons

The Civil War was the first modern war and resulted in the highest number of U.S. casualties per capita of any of our wars as approximately 620,000 men perished, including 360,000 in the North and 260,000 in the South; 25 percent of those involved died. These casualties exceeded those of all other U.S. wars and affected nearly every family in the North and South. What is not often understood or appreciated now are the rapid advancements made in American medicine that were stimulated by this conflict. Dr. D’Onofrio’s PowerPoint illustrated presentation explains those advances and their impact on the subsequent development of American medicine.

Dr. D’Onofrio is President of the Society of Civil War Surgeons and editor of its quarterly publication, The Journal of Civil War Medicine. The specific goal of The Society of Civil War Surgeons is to promote, in both members as well as the general public, a deep and abiding appreciation for rich medical heritage of the American Civil War. To accomplish this, The Society will foster fellowship, provide a continuing forum for education and the exchange of information, and provide communications among people who have similar interests. The Society will also serve as a resource for those seeking authoritative information of Civil War medical and surgical practices.