ANNA — An official Ohio Historical Marker for the “Village of Rumley,” a thriving village once inhabited by many people of color during the 19th century, will be installed near the Temple of Rumley church on Hardin-Wapakoneta Road on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 1 p.m. Representatives Anthony Gibbs from Ohio History Connection, Tilda Phlipot and Mary Ann Olding from the Shelby County Historical Society (SCHS), Board members of the Anna District Historical Society (ADHS), and other various County officials will be present.
In early 2021, brothers Dan and John Schneider approached both SCHS and ADHS about the condition of the previous marker representing this historical site. Several errors were present and the weather had deteriorated the marker to an almost unreadable condition. Therefore, the Societies contacted Laura Russell with Ohio History Connection to determine what steps needed to be taken to apply for an Ohio Historical Marker at the site. After many weeks of research and teamwork, text for the new sign was agreed upon and the application was ready to be sent. In the summer of 2021, SCHS received a letter that the marker was approved and would also qualify for a grant through the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, which paid for almost the entire cost of the marker. Once the final text was double checked and approved by all parties involved, the marker was created, and shipped to Shelby County in late April. Arrangements were made with both the Temple of Rumley and the Shelby County Engineer’s office for the upcoming dedication ceremony on May 19.
Rumley was surveyed 185 years ago on May 19, 1837, by Amos Evans and was first settled by brothers Joel and George Goings (Goins), free black men from Virginia. Many other men and women of color, including some former slaves, made this section of Van Buren Twp. their home. This diverse community obtained its significance in the mid 1800’s as a stopping point along the route between Sidney and Wapakoneta, housing a hotel, sawmill, grocery store, grist mill, brick factory, livery stable, blacksmith shop, post office, and three saloons. There were also three one-room schoolhouses, three churches, and three cemeteries in the vicinity. Of the buildings that once stood in Rumley, only two remain: a brick one-room schoolhouse and the frame Lewis Chapel A. M. E. Church (now Temple of Rumley).
Due to its significance as an early settlement of diversity, the “Village of Rumley” was chosen as Shelby County’s seventh official Ohio Historical Marker. Following the ceremony at 1 p.m., there will be a reception with cookies and punch at the Temple of Rumley, 14811 Hardin-Wapakoneta Road, Anna.