SIDNEY – In 2018, the Shelby County Historical Society completed its 25th year since its 1993 reorganization and 19th full year in the Ross Historical Center. This year part of our focus was updating the Ross Historical Center by installing a new air conditioning unit and fixing our sewer system.
Tilda Phlipot, director, has submitted the following report:
The SCHS continued telling Shelby County “Journey Stories” this past year by hosting the summer exhibit Tragedy and Turmoil: 1900 – 1925. SCHS volunteers created this exhibit to tell the story of several hardships Shelby County’s inhabitants went through at the turn of the 20th century. It included topics such as the Suffragette Movement, World War I, the Spanish Influenza epidemic, and the Flood of 1913.
This year also highlighted the third annual Afternoon Tea held for the first time on two separate dates, June 13-14, 2018. Faye Spangler portrayed Lois Lenski, famous author and illustrator from Anna. She gave insight on topics of interest in the world and in Sidney in the 1920’s.
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 immigrate to a new land. The programs continued in May with another Manufacturing Day for Anna Elementary School and Civil War Day for all eighth-graders in the county.
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 area 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 and Kids Around the Square. Our signature event, Christmas of Yesteryear, featured craft projects done as an open house which hosted over 1,000 kids and parents on a single Saturday at the Ross Center!
SCHS was pleased to partner with the city of Sidney on June 30, 2018, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Tawawa Park, which included historical presentations, a cruise-in, and craft show. Volunteers and staff also created a traveling exhibit highlighting WWI and the Spanish Influenza which was displayed at Ohio History Connection’s booth at the Ohio State Fair on Aug. 3, 2018. Also in August, Rich Wallace presented the Democracy on Trial program at the Masonic Lodge in Sidney.
On Sept. 15-16, 2018, we were pleased to host the Civil War Living History Weekend biennial event at Tawawa Park with the city of Sidney. Over 200 reenactors participated and more than 3,000 people attended this event, which will happen again in 2020. Alongside two battles, there were artillery demonstrations, sutler and soldier encampments, historical presentations, and two period church services.
On October 6, 2018, the Ohio History Connection honored SCHS with its sixteenth “History Outreach Award” for its children’s program, Manufacturing Day, held at Longfellow Elementary School.
2019 will be a busy year for the Shelby County Historical Society as we celebrate the Shelby County Bicentennial. We will continue our “Journey Stories” theme by telling the stories of early immigrants to Shelby County. Throughout the year we will be hosting a Bicentennial Lecture Series, our fourth annual Afternoon Tea in July, and the 12th annual Ghost Tour in October, with more programs to be announced at a later date. The year will end with Angels in the Attic and Christmas of Yesteryear.