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.