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July Picnic

Join us for our Annual Picnic      Order tickets online!
Sunday, July 16, 2016

Moebius Nature Center  929 East Mennonite Road, Aurora

3:00 p.m. Social Hour/4:00 p.m. Dinner

Reply by July 10, 2017, to:
Questions? email  Katie Trook,

Menu
Pulled Pork~ Chopped Brisket~Cole Slaw~ Potato Salad~ Ranch Beans~Mac n’’ Cheese
Food from Hickory River BBQ in Aurora!!

Order online or  mail your reservation form and payment by July 10, 2017, to:
Katie Trook, 141 Millpond Rd, Aurora, Ohio 44202
Charge online or make checks payable to the Aurora Historical Society

 

 

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More Treasures

The Historical Society has received three more boxes from the individuals who had shipped the first “Mystery” box. Jean Doubrava Harris and her husband Chuck were the origin of the first and subsequent shipments. Chuck is a 1965 graduate of Aurora High School and Jean is a 1966 graduate. Chuck grew up in Aurora and in lived in the apartments on Pioneer Trail. Jean lived at 60 East Pioneer Trail. They were high school sweethearts. Moving to a new home in Florida they were going through old possession and have discovered a wealth of items dating back to Jean’s ancestors, the C.R. Harmon’s. The new shipments again contained priceless items. A series of letters received by the Harmons during the 1930’s depression tell the tale of several debtors who owe them money, all declaring their good intentions to repay their obligations but are in such dire straits that they regret they are unable to honor them. The 1866, 67, 69, and 70 diaries of Mrs. C.R. Harmon tell a fascinating story of life in Aurora during the post-Civil War era. There is also an essay on “Temperance” written by Mrs. C.R. Harmon in the 1860s describing the evils of alcohol and the impact on American society. The Baby book of Helen Louise Harmon, born September 21, 1915 gives a glimpse of her early years along with vintage pictures. Items pertaining to the Civil War includes a list of the members of Aurora’s “Independent Company” listing the names of 80 Aurora men who served and three receipts for payment of $4.00 fines paid by Sherman Harmon for his “neglect to perform Military Service” for the years 1863, 1864, and 1865. Other items include additional minutes of the “Aurora Reading Club” from 1873; the “Preamble” of the “Aurora Thespian Dramatic Club of Aurora” c. 1870s; a handbill for the Aurora Thespians presentation of the “Hidden Hand” at the “Opera House in Aurora” on May 26 & 27, 1870; and a 1901 flyer for a “Special Excursion” for a one day roundtrip on the Erie Railroad for the cost of $1.50 to Lake Chautauqua.

The most valuable item in the shipment was the “Aurora School Record”, a journal of school board actions beginning with the formation of the school board on April 17, 1853 in compliance with a State of Ohio mandate for local townships to create boards of education. One of the first actions of the Board was to place before the electorate a bond issue to raise $200 for the construction of a central school. The election was held in May, 1853 and of the 36 qualified township voters 18 voted for the tax and 18 against with the issue failing. The Board then imposed tax upon the Township residents to collect a total of $100 to support the schools. The record covers actions of the board through the May 20, 1882 decision to build a “new school” on the same location of an existing one room school which is the location of the current Aurora City Hall. What was unknown until the journal was read that in 1853 when the school board was formed that there were 13 sub districts (one room school houses) that were created each with its own board of directors. While early maps of Aurora indicated the existence of 8 one room school houses in the Township of Aurora, the Aurora Board of Education also had jurisdiction over one room school houses in Bainbridge and Twinsburg that were in close proximity to Aurora’s borders. Over the years buildings were consolidated and the number reduced. The “Record” reports the approval of annual expenses for the moving and repairing of the school houses since they were routinely moved for the ease of access by the students. Several of the one room schools still stand today and have been converted into homes.

As a historian and in my role as director of the Aurora Historical Society & Museum it is exciting to gain a greater insight in the lives of Aurora’s early residents. The materials that the Harris’s have given to the Society are invaluable and uncover information that would have been lost forever without their generosity and a sense of the importance of what they had in their possession.

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Aurora Thespians

Another find from the Doubrava-Harris donations. An early Opera House poster featuring many many prominent names in the cast.

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Aurora History Grows

The Historical Society has received a second box from the individuals who had shipped the first “Mystery” box. Jean Doubrava Harris and her husband Chuck were the origin of the first shipment. Moving to a new home in Florida they were going through old possession and have discovered a wealth of items dating back to Jean’s ancestors, the C.R. Harmon’s. The new shipment again contained priceless items. A series of letters received by the Harmons during the 1930’s depression tell the tale of several debtors who owe them money, all declaring their good intentions to repay their obligations but are in such dire straits that they regret they are unable to honor them. The 1866, 67, 69, and 70 diaries of Mrs. C.R. Harmon tell a fascinating story of life in Aurora during the post-Civil War era. There is also an essay on “Temperance” written by Mrs. C.R. Harmon in the 1860s describing the evils of alcohol and the impact on American society. The Baby book of Helen Louise Harmon, born September 21, 1915 gives a glimpse of her early years along with vintage pictures.  

The most valuable item in the shipment was the “Aurora School Record”, a journal of school board actions beginning with the formation of the school board on April 17, 1853 and covering actions of the board through the May 20, 1882 decision to build the “new school” on the same location of the existing one room school which is the location of the current Aurora City Hall. What was unknown until the journal was read that in 1853 when the school board was formed that there were 13 sub districts (one room school houses) that were created each with its own board of directors. While early maps of Aurora indicated the existence of 8 one room school housed in the Township of Aurora, the Aurora Board of Education also had jurisdiction over one room houses in Bainbridge and Twinsburg that were in close proximity to Aurora’s borders. Over the years the number of buildings were consolidated and the number reduced.

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Mystery Solved

The mystery has been solved. The anonymous donor of the box of materials on the Harmons is known.  We knew the package was shipped from Florida and the billing at the UPS store had a C Harris on the receipt.

After some sleuthing, I called Bob Harris (Toni) no relation to the Harris’s, he had graduated with and was still good friends with Jim Doubrava who lives in Gates Mills.  Bob contacted Jim and got the phone number for his sister, Jean.  John Kudley talked to Jean, she had no idea that her husband Chuck  shipped the box without a note inside.  And Chuck wasn’t aware that he had not put a letter in the box either. 

The package was shipped from Melbourne, Florida by Chuck Harris and Jean Doubrava Harris  she is a descendant of the Harmon’s and Baldwins and had grown up in the brick house at 60 E. Pioneer.  Her family had built the house in 1826 and the Baldwins had moved to the Western Reserve in 1809.The Baldwins owned a 5 acre square, from Chillicothe Rd. east to the river.

Needless to say the mystery is solved.  Jean also indicated that they have a lot more if we were interested in the “stuff.”  They will be shipping more in the future. We will keep you posted!  

-John Kudley
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Show your Support!

Be the first on your cul-de-sac with an AHS sticker on your rear end!

…of your car that is.

Stop by the museum and get one for just $2. The project was put together and donated by Dale Moravec. Honk when you see one.

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Post Office

postofficeWho can add some information about this location?

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Just learned of the passing of Honorary Life Trustee, Past President and Founding Member

Jean Rumbold

This may not be new to many of you.

JEAN RUMBOLD, of Aurora September 15, 1930 December 31, 2016. Beloved wife of the late John; dear mother of Lynn (Tom) Rollason, Ann (Jim) Nesbitt, Liz (Al) Fisler, and Laura (Nick) Crow; loving grandmother of 9; sister of Lois Callahan and Kathy Nothnagel. Memorial Services Saturday January 7, 1PM at The Church In Aurora, 146 S. Chillicothe Rd., Aurora. Memorials may be made to the Aurora Memorial Library. Arrangements by Steinbauer Funeral Home (440)248-6088.

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