Washington Township Historical Society
Newsletter #5 September, 2008
The Washington Township Historical Society will start their new season on Tuesday night, September 23rd, at 7:00 pm at the township fire hall located at 5843 Beechwood Avenue across from the school.
Join us for another year of history, history and more history. All interested persons are welcome to attend. The following is a list of our upcoming programs.
Officers are President - Dan MacIntyre Vice President – Jane Radabaugh Dickinson
Treasurer – Janet Moser; Secretary – Carolyn Caskey
Notes from Dan
Last spring we participated in the Rodman Library’s Small Town Projects. We presented a program
(mostly prepared by Carolyn Caskey) called "Where In The World Is Washington Twp?" It was extremely well received by the audience and we got a lot of compliments on its professionalism.
Our September meeting we will present this program again. Many of you saw it at the library and I know you will enjoy seeing it again catching a glimpse perhaps of something you missed originally.
Those of you who were unable to see it the first time are in for a treat.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to come as well. Let’s pack the fire house.
To Boston and Back
This summer my grandsons and I took a trip to New England to attend a family reunion and to visit friends. We spent sometime visiting the historic sights in Boston and went whale watching. That is quite an experience.
Boston has what is called The Freedom Trail which is a walk through the narrow and crooked streets of the historic area and you see Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church, Old Ironsides (The USS Constitution) etc. While I walked along with Cameron and Avery part of a poem came to mind:
"One if by land and two if by sea
And 1 on the opposite shore shall be
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
To every Middlesex Village and Farm"
That is part of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere". The lantern was hung in the steeple of the Old North Church, still an active house of worship.
History hits you in the face in Boston. It is obvious even to the casual visitor who isn’t interested in history, it is unavoidable. Here in Washington Township history isn’t very obvious. A visitor or a resident for that matter hardly can see it. It’s a quiet almost silent very unassuming kind of history.
The amateur historian has to imagine things happing in times past. You must close your eyes and visualize how things were in the early days of this township’s time.
Looking out from my house in any direction I see farming. I see sheep being cared for, corn growing along with oats and soy beans. I see two draft horses and Black Angus cattle. Beyond the trees and over a ridge are Jersey dairy cows.
A hundred or more years ago on this very spot of ground the scene would be similar. The acreage would be less as the plows and other farming equipment would be horse drawn. There would be men and boys farming in a much more intensive manual labor manner. Women and girls would be preparing meals, washing clothes, canning and preserving and tending the kitchen garden.
Every family member would be working hard living their dreams of independent living, owning their own piece of land, wanting to pass it on to the next generation of farmers.
Washington Township is to me a microcosm of our country. History did happen here. It is a heritage we can be proud of and should continue in our attempt to have others made aware of this township’s historical roots.
I am proud of the progress our historical society has made in having residents in this community aware of its historical heritage. The tradition of Washington Township is agricultural. It is a tradition of hard work, perseverance, coping with adversities and accepting hardship as the cost of an independent life style. We can hope this tradition of our township being an agricultural community will continue for some time to come.
The city of Boston has managed to keep its historic character in spite of the progress involving tall buildings and complexes. It is a beautiful city to visit. Ours is a simpler beauty. Our history is far less exciting. Its history nevertheless and is very worthwhile to be proud of it. I was born in Boston however Washington Township is my home and I am happy for that.
End and beginning of seasonsPage 3
Summer 2008 went by very fast with flowers, garden and yard work and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. What a beautiful sight to see the flags all summer on the veteran’s graves flying in the breeze. They will be there until November 15th.
Monthly meetings will resume and dues will be due. The year goes from September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2009. The dues are $10.00 per year for an individual and $20.00 for a family. Checks can be made to the Washington Twp. Historical Society and mailed to the Washington Township Historical Society, 5843 Beechwood Ave., Alliance, OH 44601, or see Janet at the September meeting.
Our paid memberships for the past year were 42. Our goal for 2009 will be to increase this number.
Come and join us for our monthly meetings and learn by hearing our interesting programs. Our September program will tell you about things in our township that you were not aware of.
In February we present the history of the township to the 3rd graders at the Washington Twp. Elementary School. This has been a very successful project for us, the children enjoy hearing us talk of our years in school, of growing up, and the games we played (no computers) plus much more. We show articles and wear old clothing. We enjoy this time with the students. Would you like to be part of our group or even just come and watch?
See you on September 23rd for our first meeting and a beginning of a new season.
As fall draws near and we settle in it’s getting to be that time of the year again I can soon put away the mower and the hoe and get out the genealogy papers and the warm blanket. I will nestle in for the winter.
Don’t forget our meetings and remember we are still taking donations of pictures, memorabilia and genealogies for our room. If you haven’t stopped in lately come see us when we have work night on the first and third Wednesday, 7 to 9 at the playground. If you can’t help in the evening we have done some things during the day.
Also, if you haven’t turned in your military information for our Honor Roll Book, please do so. If you know of anyone in the township without a military standard and flag, let one of the officers know.
It is a policy of the society to purchase a book in memory of a deceased member. We are saddened at the passing of Ann Zellers this past year. We added to our library a book titled "Barns". In the past we have also purchased books in memory of Delbert Grimes and Lola Orwick. We miss their smiling faces.
The 3 P’s
Did you see our program at the library last spring? Do you know how many pictures and maps you saw? What you saw is only a drop in the bucket of what we have acquired so far in our short time. We showed 167 pictures and 19 maps. We have accumulated over 500 pictures so far and we want more. We are not greedy but when you stop to think that the township is 187 years old and there have been thousands and thousands of different people and hundreds of businesses calling our township "home" we are just getting started.
I was reading my latest issue of the "Preservation" magazine. The magazine talks of preserving buildings but other things can and should be preserved also. In one article they quoted a grandmother saying "preservation demands perseverance, passion and patience".
I watched some of the recent Olympics and I realize that the athletes followed the same 3 principles. They definitely persevered and had passion. They also had to have the patience to keep training and not give up. I am not asking you to train for the next Olympics in London but to use some of the 3 p’s in helping the society.
Working in our room at the playground we have catalogued over 1500 items so far. Papers and pictures are put in acid free envelopes. Did you know that Marleen has a special way to fold clothes with acid free tissue paper? It is not hard work but it is work that has to be done. We have to have the perseverance, passion and patience if we want to succeed and have the information and items for generations to come. Some things can not be replaced and if we don’t do our part they could be lost forever.
What is ahead?
The past 5 ˝ years has gone by very fast. As stated above we have received many items. We have had displays at breakfasts, visited the 3rd graders annually, had open houses, went on a field trip, told a local DAR group about our township, and participated with 8 other historical societies in the Stark Electric Railroad project. We have been involved in projects with the Huston/Brumbaugh Nature Center and the Beech Creek Botanical Gardens. We continue to honor our veterans every year. We had very interesting programs, some by outsiders and some by our own members. We are working on documenting the old barns. We have oral histories on tape of some of our "older" residents. Whew! For a group so young we have been busy.
This coming year will contain some of the same items but the officers have talked about a couple of new ventures. We will be putting up a display in the Kountry Korner Store in Maximo. We did the program "Where in the World is Washington Twp.?" at the Rodman Public Library and now what better way to show "what" we are than to have a float in the Carnation Parade. Could we do a tour of the township? How about another field trip? How about the history of the scouts, 4-H clubs?
If you have any suggestions or ideas, please don’t keep them to yourself. Tell one of the officers and perhaps your idea can become a reality.
Remember our motto "Where the present finds the past to save for the future". Come and be a part of our group. You won’t regret it.
Recently acquired pictures of the Boy Scout Troop at the Fairmount Children’s Home.
What will you be doing on the 4th Tuesday of the coming months?