SIDNEY — In 2017, the Shelby County Historical Society completed its 24th year since its 1993 reorganization and 17th full year in the Ross Historical Center. This year part of the focus was preserving the Ross Historical Center for the future by replacing its roof and gutter system and painting the exterior of the building.
Tilda Phlipot, director, has submitted the following report:
The SCHS continued telling Shelby County Journey Stories this past year by hosting the Titans of Industry. SCHS Volunteers created this exhibit that told the life stories of the Titans behind Shelby County’s many thriving industries. These men’s character traits of an innovative spirit, creative thinking, and hard work were used to build the foundation for the Society’s latest children’s program Manufacturing Day was held at Longfellow Elementary School in May. Students of all grades were given the opportunity to explore 12 different career options that are used in our local manufacturing operations daily.
The year was also highlighted by a Ladies Tea held on July 13, 2017. Faye Spangler portrayed Delia Amos, sharing how in a time when it was almost unheard of for a woman to be placed at the top of any organization, Amos became the first managing editor of a newspaper in Ohio when she did so for The Sidney Daily News.
Our Just for Kids programs launched in February as fifth-graders from all across Shelby County and local schools traveled to the Ross Center for the Coming to America exhibit to understand the process and the courage needed to emigrate to a new land. We were pleased last year that the Tipp City 5th graders arranged to join us. The programs continued in May with Civil War Day for all eighth-graders, Manufacturing Day and Native American Day.
In October, Pioneer Day was held at the fairgrounds for fourth-graders from the Sidney City and Shelby County schools as well as from Christian Academy, Holy Angels, and some homeschooled children.
The Just for Kids Programs are funded by the Emerson Trust Foundation, Sidney/Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, The Community Foundation of Shelby County, Monarch Legacy Fund and the Shelby County United Way. Other children’s programming during the year included the Fall Festival, DARE, Kids Around the Square, Neighborhood Night Out, Our signature event, Christmas of YesterYear, featured craft projects done in an open house that hosted over 1,000 kids and parents on a single Saturday at the Ross Center!
SCHS was pleased to partner with Tactical Solutions in January 2017 to offer a mini exhibit and program about weapons and events of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Volunteers and staff created an exhibit for the Junior Fair Board that highlighted the history of the Shelby County Fair including the Titans of the Fair, and the Shelby County Agriculture community. Later in the year Tilda Phlipot presented a program in Columbus for the Ohio Clerk of Courts Association.
The society was honored to accept participation in the CAP program. This federal program allowed the society to be visited by Ronna Rivers, a conservationist from Detroit, Michigan, and Steven McQuillin of Hayesville, Ohio, a building preservationist. They worked with the staff and board to develop a preservation plan for the Ross Center. We were also pleased to host a program allowing others in the downtown area to benefit from the specialists’ expertise.
The Ohio History Connection honored the SCHS with its fifteenth “History Outreach Award” for the Civil War Living History Weekend programs held during 2016.
In 2018, the Shelby County Historical Society will continue its “Journey Stories” theme by featuring “Turmoil During the First Quarter of 20th Century.” The exhibit focusing on these tumultuous times and the people who endured them will open on April 17, 2018. SCHS will be partnering with the Shelby County Health Department to offer a program “The Spanish Influenza Epidemic Strikes Shelby County.” Was it more devastating than World War I to the residents of Shelby County?
During June, we will host our annual Graceland Cemetery Tour and Celebrate Tawawa Park’s 70 Anniversary. In July, we will stage the third annual Ladies Tea, and in October the Society will again host a Ghost Tour with more programs yet to be announced. The year will end with Angels in the Attic and Christmas of YesterYear.