Historical Society opens new learning center

SIDNEY – In 2022, the Shelby County Historical Society collaborated with Eleven Fifty Seven (Sidney) and 1913 Media Group (Dayton) to research and design the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center. The purpose of the Learning Center is to use local history in an interactive environment to educate and inspire primarily young people to appreciate our community and eventually live, work and raise a family in Shelby County.

The Center hosts six galleries that are leadership-focused. During critical times in our history, leaders with the right vision and passion have selflessly guided our community in the proper direction. Each gallery identifies three leaders who were instrument in moving us forward. The Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center will open in the spring 2023 in conjunction with the Shelby County Historical Society celebrating its 30th Anniversary since its revitalization. In 1993, SCHS reorganized itself and changed its mission to educate residents of all ages and assist them in learning the importance of Shelby County’s rich heritage and how it can be used to influence the future.

Tilda Phlipot, director, has submitted the following report:

The Shelby County Historical Society programming calendar was back to normal in 2022.

From April through October 2022, the Society hosted a monthly Cruise Downtown Sidney event every third Saturday.

Grants provided by Emerson Climate Control, the Monarch Foundation, The Shelby County Foundation, the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County United Way provided the funds to insure a full schedule of student programming by the Just for Kids Committee.

In the month of May, SCHS provided Civil War Day at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Fourth graders from Northwood Intermediate School also explored Tawawa Park, where each student was given a fishing pole and tackle box supplied by the Bent Finger Foundation and taught how to fish.

This year, Manufacturing Day was held at Fairlawn Elementary students in kindergarten through fifth-grade with assistance from high school students. In June, we were pleased to partner with the Shelby County Sherriff’s office to present at DARE camp. Pioneer Day was held in October for all fourth graders in Shelby County and a Downtown Sidney tour for all the third graders from Northwood.

The annual Ladies Tea was held in July. High school students provided a fashion show using vintage clothes from the Society’s collection. Curator Jane Bailey provided the narration.

With help from the city of Sidney, the Society was able to host the annual Tawawa Park Car Show in June and the biennial Civil War Living History Weekend in September.

The Christmas season started at the Ross Historical Center with another successful Angels in the Attic Craft Show.

Christmas of Yesteryear saw hundreds of children visiting with Santa, decorating gingerbread houses, and enjoying chestnuts roasted over the open fire. Volunteers then immediately took our Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center float to participate in the Winter Wonderland Parade that evening.

Society volunteers have continued to write the daily “Out of the Past” column for the Sidney Daily News as a free public service.

The Shelby County Historical Society is looking forward to 2023! The Ross Historical Center will feature an exhibit titled “Innovation Shelby County Style” that will open in May. Rich Wallace will present programs celebrating the Big Four Bridge’s 100th birthday and how Shelby County Innovators have changed our world.

Our tentative 2023 events include a Cruise Downtown Sidney every third Saturday from April through October. We will be celebrating Tawawa Parks 75th Anniversary this year with its annual Car Show, as well as craft show and educational programming on June 24. Christmas of Yesteryear will be Dec. 2, 2023. Dates will be announced soon for our annual Ladies Tea, Gentlemen’s Luncheon, Graceland Cemetery and Ghost Tours.