Message from the President
The Ebenezer Sheldon Deed House is resting upon its new home on the City triangle adjacent to the
Aurora Memorial Library. One can only wonder what Ebenezer would think about all the excitement that has been generated and all the hard work that has gone into this project.
The Deed House will serve as a historic visitors’ center that will focus on the founding and settling of Aurora. An interpretative display of Sheldon’s work as an agent for the Big Beaver and Cuyahoga Land Company and his early efforts to establish Aurora as a major town within the Connecticut Western Reserve will be showcased.
Leaving the Sheldon property
Visitors to the Deed House will also be able to tour Aurora’s historic areas by selecting from walking tour brochures of the Aurora Center Historic District, the Train Depot District and/or the Aurora Cemetery. They will also be directed to the Aurora Historical Society Museum as part of their journey through Aurora’s history. The Board of Trustees has worked hard to get the Deed House where it is today. Much more needs to be accomplished.
Coming down East Pioneer
Getting ready to settle on the new location
The City under the administration of Mayor Ann Wormer Benjamin and Parks and Recreation Directory, Jim Kraus has taken on the moving of the structure, completion of a new foundation, and will take on the exterior renovation. The AHS has signed a ten year lease for use of the Deed House and is responsible for its interior renovation and operation as a historic visitors’ center. Our goal is to raise $60,000. An informational packet explaining how you can participate in this exciting fund raising effort will be forthcoming.
Deed House pledge card
Board members gathered at the Deed house before the August meeting
What we know so far:
The foundation is being prepared in the Historic Triangle opposite the Library.
The Deed House was moved off of its foundation onto steel girders last Friday in anticipation of a move next Tuesday the 16th. It will be moved to a flatbed truck on Monday.
Dennis Suchetka from Channel 9 will video the move and Scott Pease will photograph it with his drone.
Further details will be available as they are known.
Hope that some of you will join in the celebration of this change to our Historic District.
From the Director,
There are times when I am researching or transcribing things that really hit a button of excitement. Early this year Dick Fetzer gave me several letters that he had. It appears that they were written by a young lady named Libbie and were sent to her aunt (last name Haymaker) who lived in Streetsboro. They are something to read and really reflect the ideas and attitudes that people in this area had regarding the war. They were written in December 1861. Parts of the letters were difficult to transcribe and I would appreciate any help with someone taking a shot at determining the wording. Hope you find them as fascinating as I did. Read the letter entitled “Dear Aunt” and then “Dear Libbie.”
Dear Aurora Historical Society Member or Prospective Member,
We have enjoyed another wonderful and productive year with you as a valued member and volunteer for the Aurora Historical Society and know we can count on your continued support in the coming year. With your assistance we have completed a busy calendar schedule and are looking forward to another year of friendship and activities where, with your vital support, we can fulfill our mission to enhance and maintain the community of Aurora, Ohio by preserving and communicating its rich history.
Our exciting agenda for 2014 included hosting the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition, Journey Stories: Tales of How We and Our Ancestors Came to America. That exhibit focused on immigration and migration across our country and on the history of transportation which made that possible. It was a great accomplishment by our volunteers who helped with the setup, grand opening and special presentations, impressing all of our visitors.
We hosted an American Girl Doll Tea and opened several new exhibits, including a new permanent exhibit, Early Aurora Before the Pioneers, and the current, Aurora – The Birth of a City, at our Museum.
Together we enjoyed several dinner and dessert meetings with guest speakers, participation in the 4th of July and Pioneer Days Celebrations, as well as our special Annual Picnic at the Moebius Center.
The third Antiques Appraisal Fair, Consignment Shop and Café brought another success due in large part to our volunteers who spent so many hours greeting our guests and guiding them through the Fair.
You have, no doubt, read about our donation of 400 copies of the local history book Aurora: From the Founding to the Flood to fourth graders, fourth grade teachers and the library at Leighton School. We have copies for sale if you do not already have that spectacular Aurora history book!
We are very involved in our newest project, moving the Sheldon Deed House from Spring Hill Farm to the triangle across from our Museum and restoring it for use as a Visitor Center with a marking on the National Registry as well as an Ohio Historic Marker.
We thank you for all the hard work and dedication you have shown to the Historical Society in the past and we invite your renewed or new membership for 2015 and your participation in our upcoming ventures. Here is the form you need to complete when sending your check.
AHS Membership form
Carole Jo Moroney, Membership Chairman
A memorial Mass will be celebrated Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church for B (Generalovic) Koglman, 90, who died Jan. 16, 2015, after a short illness.
A celebration of life took place Jan. 31 in the lower level of Aurora Memorial Library.
Bertha Mary was born Feb. 9, 1924 in Harmarville, Pa, to Steven and Susan (Vilsak) Generalovic. She never liked her first name, so she told everyone “It’s just B” and went by that most of her life. Continue reading B. Koglman
Can’t get to the museum during our regular hours?
We have new Saturday hours, starting January 17 through the end of March We plan to be open from noon until 3 on those days. the current exhibit is Aurora: The Birth of a City.
So come on over and see the new and the old on a Saturday afternoon.
On December 19 a contingent of Aurora Historical Society Board members made a donation of 400 copies of its signature title, Aurora: From the Founding to the Flood, to the fourth graders at Leighton Elementary. Each student received a copy of the book and each of the eight fourth grade classrooms received an additional set for future use.
Dee Ann Pochedley’s class enthusiastically welcomed John Kudley, Kathlyn Brown, Dick Fetzer, Michael Thal and Neil Klimko to join in the distribution. Dick, co-author of the volume, signed each student’s copy. The students were polite, appreciative and very bright. They also received an invitation to visit the Historical Society Museum.
One of the missions of the Aurora Historical Society is outreach to the community. There can be no better way to accomplish that goal than through engaging of our young people.
We hope that you will enjoy some glimpses of that endeavor.
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.
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 patron with appraisal item (wearing cap)
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.
Antiq on consignment.
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.
“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.