Society prepares for long-awaited museum

Since its 1988 chartering, the Howland Historical Society has sought to obtain a permanent place to establish a Howland Township museum it could call its own.

Over the years, there have been several opportunities to house a museum, but it never materialized.

In 1976, the Howland Township American Revolution Bicentennial Commission obtained tentative ownership of the old Howland township hall, which also was a one-room school building and Thyme to Cook store, along Mosquito Creek across from Up a Creek Tavern and Grill.

Howland Community Church council met and agreed to relocate to land behind the church. Meetings were held in the building to make plans for the move.

Volunteer workers, including a plumber, carpenters, electrician and mover were arranged, and the electric company agreed to lift electric lines. The council even applied for permits, but then two snags occurred.

The telephone company required additional fees for each line and cables that had to be moved. Before additional funds could be raised, a tree severely damaged the building’s roof during a storm, leveling the structure. The roof beams were salvaged and become the entrance sign for Howland Township Park’s Clifton Drive.

A second option became available when Ohio Supreme Court Justice Lynn Griffith Sr. was willing to sell the Ewalt / Ray / Griffith House, at the northeast corner of Heaton North Road and Warren Sharon Road, to the society for $1.

To make way for a coming drug store, the society needed to move the Griffith House quickly, however, the only property available at that time was east of the Route 82 bypass, and the house was too tall.

The society wanted to cut the house into four parts and transport it by helicopter, but the insurance company questioned whether or not the house would hold up during air travel, due to the wooden-peg construction.

The moving issue unfortunately was solved New Year’s Eve when the renters tried to burn their Christmas tree in the fireplace and burnt down the house.

Failure three came with the Sealy House, on state Route 46 at the end of Eastwood Mall Boulevard, the oldest house in Howland Township. Built by the first doctor in the Connecticut Western Reserve, who also was a state representative and state senator, the house fell prey to uncooperative real estate agents, roof leaks, nesting birds and finally the wrecking ball.

As you have possibly read by now, your township historical society finally will receive a home that it can make into a museum. In September, the Howland Township Historical Society Museum will take over the 120-acre Sloas family farm on North River Road.

Now this is where you, as Howland Township residents and friends of preserving history, can become crucial parts of Howland history. The society needs memberships, museum artifacts or items, monetary donations, attendance at society meetings and volunteer workers.

Don’t throw away potential museum items. Don’t garage sale. Don’t antique sale Howland’s legacy. Donate.

For more information, contact Mary Jane Vennitti, president, at 330-856-34312; Warner Taiclet, vice president, at 330-856-1115; or Susette Liddle, treasurer, at 330-652-2337.

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