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Trumbull historical society’s new home pushes it toward future

WARREN — The Trumbull County Historical Society is now the official owner of the former Owen Morgan House at 328 Mahoning Ave. NW, which is one of the last houses on Millionaires Row needing to be rehabilitated.

A signing ceremony was held Thursday afternoon during which the Western Reserve Port Authority signed over the property to the historical society. The property was formerly owned by the city of Warren, but it was transferred to the Port Authority to precipitate the sale.

Warren sold the property for $1.

The program allowing the city to transfer property to the Port Authority so it can be sold quickly without seeking bids was approved by Warren City Council and Port Authority officials in 2017.

This is the second property sold under the agreement. The first was the former Warren SCOPE Center, 222 W. Market St., which was sold to Mark Marvin’s Downtown Development Group for $216,000.

That building is being transformed into a winery, which is expected to open this summer.

Meghan Reed, director of the Trumbull County Historical Society, said the organization plans to invest approximately $120,000 in the first phase of the rehabilitation of the building, which will include updating of the electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, add a new roof, redoing walls and floors, and creating extra storage space.

The historical society has been in the John Starks Edwards House, 303 Monroe St., since 1938.

“It is a building that was built in 1807, and there has been only so much that could be done to it to make it functional for an office,” Reed said. “This new building will be our Culture and Education Center. We will have classes, research space and will have more display spaces.”

The historical society is able to do the renovation of the building, in part, because of a bequest of approximately $50,000 from the estate of Raymond and Janice Bland, longtime community activists who loved history and the city of Warren.

Joyce Brothers and Karen Peterson, the Bland’s daughters, said their parents would have been proud to be part of this project.

“It’s important to share the valuable history of all that has been done in the city so people can look at the past and see the future,” Peterson said.

Reed said the historical society also has applied for a grant through the Eastgate Council of Governments for a nearly $50,000 grant.

“We should know whether we’ve been approved for that grant within the next several weeks,” Reed said.

The second phase of the project will be adding a new section to the building.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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