Historical society plans for museum

HOWLAND — The Howland Historical Society is working to get a museum opened in several months at a township-owned house off North River Road.

Mary Jane Vennitti, society president, said the museum can showcase Howland’s history and include a permanent display and a changing display in the home’s largest room as well as public programs and events.

At a recent meeting, society members discussed fundraising, which would include a fall Amish dinner, Halfway-to-St. Patrick’s-Day breakfast, quilt raffle and a Mother’s Day tea.

Vennitti said the last Amish dinner raised $1,000.

She also said a calendar with drawings of Howland sites can be made for sale. She said other communities such as Leavittsburg and Mineral Ridge have sold calendars.

It was also suggested that picnic tables by the house could be marked with nameplates of donors.

”It is endless what we can do there,” she said.

The house is owned by the township so while the society will maintain the building and property there are no electric or gas costs. The society will handle internet and alarm system costs.

Historical Society Vice President Warner Taiclet said the 120-acre property has trails behind the house and part of it is used for hunting. He said the Sloas family, which owns the airport nearby, at one time had family members living in the home.

Taiclet said he is checking to see if a local Boy Scout would be interested in doing an Eagle Scout project at the house, possibly creating a sign or a handicapped-accessible ramp.

Taiclet said the society could also get corporate sponsors of between $50 and $500 to sponsor a room.

Also discussed was having a trail that would lead to the nearby community gardens, which the public plants.

Vennitti said there can also be a display of events in history that took place in such a month.

”Things that happened that month in such a year could be showcased,” she said.

She also said there could be a lending library from the history books the society members have collected.

While there will be no admission fee, a donation jar will be set up.

”We want to make this a place people want to be, where it is interesting and fun and something Howland will be proud of,” Vennitti said.

Committees will be formed to focus on different parts of the house.

Vennitti said the society would like to have the museum open by mid-2018.