Historic markers dedicated

Saying this was the first time he has ever dedicated two Ohio Historic markers on the same day, Andy Verhoff of the Ohio Historical Society was on hand for special dedications of markers in Bristol and Southington this past weekend.

A dedication was held first at the historic Chalker Building in Southington, which opened in 1906.

Later that day a marker was dedicated outside the Bristol Public Library, which is more than 100 years old.

Verhoff said local communities work with the Ohio Historical Society to create the text for the two-sided marker. There is a limit of 140 words per side.

The Southington marker was the 29th in the county and Bristol marker was the 31st.

He said there are currently 1,469 markers in the state, and others in the works.

Verhoff said the makers note places of historical significance and the opportunity for local recognition.

At both locations, Verhoff presented proclamations from the governor and Ohio Historical Society.

Southington Trustee Chairman Sam Plott said people have many memories and stories of the Chalker Building, the school system and the community.

“All the events in our lives get told and retold from generation to generation,” he said. “These are special memories we share while preserving the local history.”

Plott said many hours of hard work by the Southington Community Trust made the historic marker possible. The organization applied for the marker and completed all the necessary paperwork.

Patricia Anderson of the Southington Board of Education also praised the efforts of the community trust.

“That was an epic undertaking,” she said. “This marker will always remember Newton Chalker and his support of the local educational institution and this community.”

Sue Tietz of the Southington Community Trust said attorney and Southington native Newton Chalker’s contribution of the buildings is an important part of the history of Southington.

“These buildings are a visual reminder of the local history, and now so is this marker,” she said.

Verhoff said when he was driving into the township, he saw the Chalker Building from a distance and hoped that that was where the marker would be located. It was.

In Bristol, local historian Wendell Lauth noted the library’s marker is the second in the township. The other marker commemorates the first Civil War memorial in Ohio. The Civil War marker was added in 2005.

“Never before and never again will our library be honored in this special way. This celebration is a historic moment for us,” said Library Board President Shirley Frantz on the recognition of the Carnegie-style library near the township center.

Lauth said historical preservation is the way to remember local history. The marker’s text tells the history of the construction of the library from in the early 1900s to the addition at the back of the building in 1990.

Leslie King of Warren and John Reynolds, a native of Bristol, who are the great-grandchildren of Dr. Edward Brinkerhoff, who served as president of the library board when the library was being organized, presented architectural blueprints and sketches of the library, dated April 1912 for public display.

Those attending the ceremony were presented a special postcard of the original library building.

The library officially opened its doors to the community on March 10, 1913.

Verhoff said the marker helps in preserving the local history.

“Your community is to be commended. This library is a beautiful building. The marker makes your community and this library relevant in history,” Verhoff said.