The Washington Township Historical Society of Stark Co., Inc. started their new season by welcoming 71 members and guests at their Tuesday night meeting.
President Dan MacIntyre welcomed everyone to the firehouse for a repeat showing of the "Where in the world is Washington Twp?" program that the society presented at the Rodman Public Library for its Small Town Series. The program consisted of a slide show showing maps and pictures.
A very brief meeting was held and included the announcement that member Glen Rastetter had heart surgery. Also it was announced that the society was discussing the idea of having a float in the next Carnation Parade. A field trip to the Stone Gate Manor will be held on October 27th. Those interested in going were to sign up.
MacIntyre then started giving the very beginning of the township which was founded in 1821. He informed the group that we had towns that were platted but are no longer in existence. Burlington was founded in 1830. It sat on what is now the southeast corner of State St. and Beechwood Avenue. In 1834 Mt. Union was founded. The southern one half of the village was located in Washington Twp. Ten lots were on each side of the present day Union Ave. Another extinct town was Washington which was located on the west side of the now Hartzell Avenue between Beechwood Ave. and Salem Church Road. Washington was founded in 1884. Maps showed where these towns had been.
Jane Radabaugh Dickinson was next and told the group about Freeburg. Freeburg was founded in 1842 and continues today only not as a bustling village with stores, hotels and many businesses but as a residential community. There was a public school to the south of Freeburg. Freeburg had a railroad station on the west side of town but eventually the train stopped going through the area. She told that when there was a post office the name was spelled Freeburgh.
Carolyn Caskey told the group about Maximo. It too was founded in 1842 however it was more successful with the railroad still passing through the town. Like Freeburg, Maximo had in the beginning hotels, grocery stores, a pretzel factory, many saloons and other businesses. Maximo also had a public school and a Catholic School. Maximo still has its postoffice.
Marleen Grant continued the program telling about Beechwood. It was not an official town but is made up of 3 different allotments. In 1906 the first allotment was platted with 90 lots. Two more allotments added to the community in later years. Beechwood was like the 2 towns as it had a grocery store, a religious college and other businesses. It too had a public school.
Janet Moser finished the presentation by giving information on the Fire Department, the Fairmount Children’s Home, and the Fairmount Grange. She told of all the other 7 public schools and the various churches in the township. She ended her presentation with a collage of pictures of different residents through the years. Some of the individuals were named and others were not.
At the conclusion the guests enjoyed looking at the display of other pictures and memorabilia. They were given refrigerator magnets with the business card of the society on the front. It has since been brought to the group’s attention that the phone number on the card has the last two numbers turned around. The township’s office phone number is 330-821-9834 not 43.
Cookies, coffee and cider were enjoyed while much visiting and discussing of the program closed the evening. The next meeting will be held on October 28th with a program "Down Memory Lane." For more information on the group go to their website www.washingtontwphistoricalsociety.org