The Deed House/Sheldon Law Office was open on July 4th. John Kudley reports that over 180 people visited during the morning and early afternoon. Among those was US Senator Rob Portman, who was invited by Mayor Wormer-Benjamin. Senator Portman has an interest in historic preservation as the owner of The Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio.
The Senator chatted with Board members and locals who were on hand for his visit. He and his staff toured the interior and viewed the displays.
In 2014 as the city administration began improvements at Spring Hill Farm on East Pioneer, plans also began developing to preserve the circa 1805 Federal-style building on the property. The small 12’ by 20’ structure came to be known as the “Deed House” for its likely early use as a place where Western Reserve land was deeded out by Ebenezer Sheldon, Aurora’s first settler. Meanwhile the Aurora Historical Society was likewise lobbying to move and preserve the Deed House, and by 2015 a collaboration had formed between the Historical Society and the city.
The city moved the building on July 31, 2015 to the Pioneer triangle and renovations began. Exterior work and landscaping were funded by the city, and the Historical Society undertook interior improvements through a significant fundraising campaign for the project. The Historical Society entered into a lease with the city to use the Deed House as a visitor center and showpiece of Aurora’s rich Western Reserve heritage.
Putting it all together for the grand opening involved city parks and service department staff, local contractors, local organizations and volunteers. Reverend Kevin Horak of The Church in Aurora appeared as first Western Reserve minister Joseph Badger to lead the dedication.
“The cooperation between the city and Aurora Historical Society has created a permanent memorial to Aurora’s founders,” Historical Society President John Kudley noted. “What was only a vision that has evolved over the last several years has become a reality.”
“A large crowd and beautiful weather made the event even more special,” Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said. “In an unprecedented partnership, the city and the Historical Society shared a vision and came together to promote local history and create a new park to enhance our Town Center.”
Photos by Jeff Gerber
Aurora Historical Society receives a grant from Charles L. and Josephine Robson Leamy Fund of the Cleveland Foundation
The Aurora Historical Society is honored to have been awarded an annual grant from the estate of Charles and Josephine Leamy. The Board of Directors of the Cleveland Foundation authorized the grant from the Charles L. and Josephine Robson Leamy Fund of the Cleveland Foundation.
The Leamys were vital supporters of the Society’s endeavors to preserve Aurora’s past and to educate the public of the important role that Aurora has played in the development of Northeast Ohio. Charles served as a member of the Society’s Board of Trustees and was president from 1994-1995, the Leamys was also Life Members.
As part of his civic and community commitment Charles served several terms as an Aurora City Councilman and was active in The Church of Aurora. The grant which was earmarked for the general support of the Aurora Historical Society will perpetuate the Leamys’ commitment and dedication to the community of Aurora.
The Historical Society is very grateful for this gift, the Board of Trustees will use the grant each year on projects and equipment, which we will document here on this website.