Meeting

Regular meetings are held at 114 Valleyview Dr., Englewood, OH on the second Wednesday of each month. 7:00 p.m. April - October and 1:00 p.m. November - March.
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History Center Hours

The History Center is open to the public. Scheduled visiting hours are from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m on the first and third Sundays of each month April through October, weather permitting, and also other times by appointment. Call 937-832-1858.

Mailing Address:
RTHS
114 Valleyview Drive Englewood, OH 45322

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2004-2016
All rights reserved.
Randolph Twp. Historical Society

Clayton - 1816

Englewood - 1841

Union - 1816

CHANGES AT THE HISTORY CENTER
AND MORE TO COME.


History Center Brochure Pg. 1 and Pg. 2

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PAST HISTORY OF THE CENTER


WRAP-UP ON THE ROOFING PROJECT AND MORE

The recycled aluminum roof, decorative park benches, and landscaping added to the History Center in 2014 will keep the building in good shape for many years to come. Thanks to everyone who worked all year to help bring these projects to fruition. A $32,610 “Recycling Incentive” reimbursement grant from the Montgomery County Solid Waste District (MCSWD) plus $15,200 in member donations enabled us to pay for the project. Also new exterior LED flood lights were added to the north, south and west sides of the building for safety purposes, and a new waterline into the building from the street was installed in December due to broken pipes.    

A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD - JULY 2014

RTHS has received a grant from the Montgomery County Solid Waste District (MCSWD) to pay 70% ($32,610) toward the $47,810 cost of putting a new recycled aluminum roof, fascia, soffits, gutters, and downspouts on the History Center. The Society needs to raise the remaining 30% ($15,200). On June 19, the Board of Directors voted to launch a special "RAISE THE ROOF" campaign to help defray this expense. Board members already have pledged or donated $2,000 toward this goal. We are appealing to all our members far and wide and others who believe in historic preservation to DOWNLOAD the "RAISE THE ROOF DONATION FORM" and mail it back with a generous donation. Work is scheduled to begin in August and last for three weeks. We hope to raise the matching 30% by October first.

REPORT FROM THE BOARD

On January 11, 2008, President Glynn Marsh received a telephone call that the Englewood Dunkard Brethren Church located at 114 Valleyview Drive was being listed for sale with a local realtor. The asking price was reasonable. Glynn and Sue Cummings, the Society’s Treasurer, arranged to view the property on January 14. After seeing the property, they felt that it held possibilities for the Society. A special meeting of the Board of Directors and Officers was called on January 15 to tour the property, at which time the Board decided that the building was in very usable condition as is. They concluded that it would meet all of the immediate needs of the Society as well as those in the foreseeable future.

The Board voted to make an offer on the building. While negotiations were taking place on a final purchase price, local banks were contacted for their best possible mortgage loan rates, and information was collected to determine average monthly operating costs including utilities, maintenance, insurance, phone service, etc.

Two additional special board meetings were held, on January 21 and 24, where all financial aspects of the potential move were discussed. Various offers and counter offers were made. On January 24, the Board authorized the President and Treasurer to sign a contract to purchase the building. Final purchase by the Society was contingent on (1) the building passing inspections, (2) financing being secured and (3) deed restrictions established by the Brethren be approved by the Society and the lender. A closing took place on March 10, 2008. The Society will take possession of the building in late April 2008.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR BUILDING AT 114 VALLEYVIEW DRIVE, ENGLEWOOD, OH

According to E. F. Warner in his “History of Randolph Township” that appears in W. H. Beer’s History of Montgomery County Ohio published in 1882, and Earl Heck in his History of Englewood published in 1969, the first church built on what now is Valley View Drive was erected in about 1861 on land donated by David Rasor. (David Rasor was one of the original founders of the town of Harrisburg, now known as Englewood, Ohio.) The first church building burned to the ground in the 1880s and the present brick building with its simple but elegant Gothic arch windows was erected. Quoting from Heck, “This building is of picturesque beauty set as it is among stately oak trees overlooking the valley. . . various branches of the Brethren Church have worshipped in it.” (NOTE: Earl Heck lived on Valleyview Drive, in a house just a few doors north of this church.) This building has indeed played an important role in the history of Randolph Township. It was annexed to Englewood in the 1930s. In 1976, the church building was added to the Ohio Historic Inventory. The building probably is eligible for inclusion on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places, should the Society wish to submit an application sometime in the future. The original part of the 1880s building features Gothic arch windows and brick masonry.

Although a complete history of the building remains to be done, it appears that it was first used by two congregations simultaneously: the Swankites and Wengerites, two groups that split off from the Brethren in Christ (River Brethren) who had established Fairview Church. At one time, the United Brethren in Christ also may have held services here and most recently the Dunkard Brethren. It is believed that the Dunkard Brethren have used the church since the 1920s, after they split off from Salem Church of the Brethren. Hopefully our members who belong to this church will be able to provide more details and history.

At some point in time, a full basement was dug under the old church sanctuary. A basement also was included in the concrete block addition at the time it was completed, c. 1920-1930. Parking spaces are located in front of the building and across the street on a separate undeveloped parcel (Lot No. 30 of the original Harrisburg plat dated 1841) that is part of the sale package. A sign for the Dunkard Church presently occupies the front of Lot. No. 30 that faces out on N. Main Street (the Dayton-Covington Pike). The sign will be be adapted for Historical Society use. The open lot provides a good view of the building on Valleyview, some parking spaces and a private drive to the site.

The photograph below shows the Church as it looked about 1940. The view is looking east from Valleyview, toward the Stillwater River valley. The chapel occupied the brick part of the building. The concrete addition was completed c. 1940. A modern kitchen is in the basement of the addition. A large meeting room is under the sanctuary along with a furnace room, utility room, storage and older restroom.

 

Randolph Township Historical Center

The photograph below shows the church as it looks today. The view is looking northeast. The brick foyer on the front was added c. 1992. The foyer has new restrooms and a stairway on the left that gives easy access to the meeting room in the basement. The meeting room and kitchen also can be reached through outside doors on the ground level. In addition to parking in front of the building, additional space is available in the lot across the street.

 

Randolph Township Historical Center

LONG TERM PLANS REALIZED IN 2008

Since 1998, members and leaders of RTHS have worked and saved for the day when the Society could acquire a permanent location. A building of our own will give the Society greater visibility in the community and allow us to better serve all residents of Clayton, Englewood and Union. This day has arrived. The purchase is a fitting capstone for our 10th anniversary celebration, which will occur in the summer of 2008.

Since we formed, the City of Clayton has graciously allowed us the free use of two 12’ x 12’ offices in the Janice Ward Center in the old village of Clayton. One room holds our research archives and the second our museum displays. We hold monthly meetings and programs in the community room, which is used by many other public and private groups. We have run out of space. Many historical artifacts are housed off site. We have been looking for a suitable facility for the past two years, and have considered historic homes, business buildings and farm complexes. Most of the properties for sale are out of our reach financially and would require extensive remodeling to make them usable.

All our officers and board members are excited about the purchase of the church building at 114 Valleyview Drive in Englewood. It will meet our needs for meeting space, offices, display areas, and research rooms. It has been well maintained and improved through the years. The congregation has outgrown the building and is moving out of Randolph Township into Miami County. We can think of no better location to convey the heritage of the area to the communities we serve.


WE HAVE A BUILDING - WHAT NEXT?

During the past ten years our Society has grown from 106 memberships to the current level of 195 (about 260 people). Most of our annual income comes from dues, which we purposely have kept at a modest level. Other revenues come from the sale of history booklets, the 2004 calendar, coins and coffee mugs, fees for antiques appraisal programs and, of course, extra donations from our members and groups that request special programs or help tracing their family genealogy. Each year we have managed to save money. We are financially sound, but will need to be creative in meeting the new challenges of owning our own building.

Obviously we will need to raise funds as quickly as possible to cover expenses associated with mortgage payments and monthly operating costs. We anticipate mortgage payments of around $9,000/year (first payment due in March 2009) and operating expenses of some $500/mo. We are exploring various revenue producing options: (1) a quick fund raising drive among Society members (seed money) to be followed by (2) a community-wide fund raiser with different levels of giving to include individuals, local businesses, civic, fraternal and social organizations, other community groups, and local governments; (3) applying for grants from the Dayton Foundation and other funding agencies; (4) ticket sales for special programs, exhibits, luncheons, and dinners that will bring people to the new facility; (5) growing our membership and (6) raising membership dues sometime in the future. Eventually we hope to establish an endowment that will be large enough to handle operating expenses.

Buying this property preserves an important part of local history, which can become a historical center in which all members of the Society and greater community can take pride. We will take possession of the building (no furnishings included) at the end of April. We plan to hold an “Empty Building Open House” and 10th Anniversary Party on the grounds in late spring or early summer. More on that later! In the meantime, enjoy the anticipation.


WAYS YOU CAN HELP NOW

Here are some actions that you, our members and distant friends, can take rather quickly that will help bring revenues to the Society. Other ideas are welcome – call any board member, send us an e-mail or attend our monthly meetings. Having a high level of support from our members and friends will strengthen our fundraising efforts throughout the community.

1. Every Member Recruit a Member Campaign.
If all our current members would convince a neighbor, friend or relative to join the Society at their current level or above, we would double our annual income. Why not send gift memberships to friends and relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, married sons and daughters) who have fond memories about the area – we especially need more young people to take an interest in local history. If your own membership is not current, renew it promptly and upgrade to a higher level. If you are a first-time visitor to this web site and want to support our endeavors, download a membership form and join today. Let’s try to double or memberships by mid-April!

2. Community-Wide Fund Drive.
You will be hearing from us soon with PLEDGE CARDS. You will have the opportunity to donate to the Society at various levels on a one time or on an annual basis for a specified number of years. Portions of the money donated will go toward operating costs and retiring our debt. Our end goal is to establish an RTHS Building Fund endowment through the Dayton Foundation, which will help pay annual operating expenses. By working with the Dayton Foundation, we will be able to accept your gifts of real estate, stocks, bonds and appreciated securities. Note that the Society is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 charitable organization so all donations are fully tax deductible. If your current or past employer matches your donations, this is a wonderful way to leverage your money and benefit the Society even more. Why not donate your soon-to-arrive Federal Rebate Check to the Society? This could be a WIN/WIN/WIN situation: you get the tax write-off, the Society gets the money and we spend it and help the U. S. economy!

3. Other Needs.
We are counting on our able-bodied members to donate their time and labor to help us move from the Ward Center to Valleyview in late April or early May. Please respond cheerfully with your trucks and vans when contacted. Once we move into the building, we should have a better feel for the number of tables, chairs, bookcases and other furnishings we will eventually need to utilize the space effectively. In the meantime, if you become aware of any such items in good usable condition that are being surplused by another group in our area this spring, please notify us.

Download our Building Fund Donation Form for more information on how you can help!


2015 Activities

2014 Activities

2013 Activities

2012 Activities

2011 Activities