FORT LORAMIE — The Fort Loramie Historical Association celebrated its 50th anniversary this past year. In July, state of Ohio House Rep. Susan Manchester presented a proclamation to Charter Members Tom and Jan Busse to commemorate our anniversary.
“We started the year with a complete re-organization. A new board of directors was selected with Jim Rosengarten president and curator, Ken Gigandet vice president, Lynn Gusching treasurer, Char Henkaline secretaryand Ann Stidd reporter. Additional board members are Doug Ahlers, Karen Anthony, Mike Busse Jr., Larry DeLoye and Joe Turner. The first challenge for the new board was updating the by-laws. This was a lengthy process but well thought out and the by-laws should serve us for many years. We didn’t overlook the needs of the Museum as we re-organized. We were informed a $24,000 Capital Budget grant that we had applied for in 2019 was granted. This was a much needed grant for some greatly needed repairs, “said Jim Rosengarten, president.
His report continues:
The cold days of January found workers replacing several windows and doors in the museum. That was quickly followed with electrical wiring being upgraded in the attic and kitchen. No sooner than the electrical work was completed we had a new metal roof installed over the oldest part of the museum. The old roof was nearly 100 years old and we hope the new metal roof lasts that long as well. The Capital Budget grant covered most of the cost of the electrical work and roof. Through the support of the Real Estate Tax Levy, we were able to cover the cost of the remaining work.
While the museum was buzzing with workers we reopened the Genealogy Room on Tuesday mornings. We subscribe to Ancestry.com Library Edition and Newspapers.com, both great tools to aid in researching your family tree. Come and visit us, we can help get you started or maybe help find that long lost relative.
June found us hosting a presentation and book signing at the Elementary School for New Knoxville native Robert Kuck II. His historically based novel “Blood and Honor, The Life and Times of Fur Trader Pierre-Louis de Lorimier” is an excellent insight into the life of the man considered the first trader and settler in this section of Ohio. As an added attraction the 200 guests in attendance enjoyed viewing the artifacts from the archaeological dig on the Fleckenstein farm, the site of Lorimier’s trading post and the 1794 fort.
The “Blood and Honor’ book created a ripple of excitement about Fort Loramie’s namesake Pierre Louis de Lorimier. Lorimier headed to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, when he left this area so it was only fitting that we travel to the “Cape” as well. In September the association sponsored a bus trip to the Cape Girardeau and St. Louis area to learn more of his life. Over 50 history buffs joined us for this wonderful trip.
By fall we were in high gear getting ready for our Colonial Christmas Dinners. We had to cancel the dinners in 2020 so we were excited to bring back this annual event. We had new cooks, new entertainment and a new serving style. A lot of changes in one year but it was a success. None of this would have been possible without the tremendous decorating skills of our volunteers and organizational skills of many more. Over 400 guests enjoyed the dinner and the dinners were enjoyed by the volunteers as well, it was great to be back. We hope to extend our successful efforts into 2022 and look forward to bring new ideas to the museum in the coming year.