from the 2005 "Randolph Times"
Volume 7, Issue 4
Fall is here, temperatures are dropping and we are just now getting the rains we and the local farmers had hoped for this summer. We can be thankful that our area has been spared the wrath of recent hurricanes and the floods which followed. Let's hope this winter will bring more normal weather conditions for everyone.
Since my last letter, several members of the society spent two very hot days in August at the Englewood Fine Arts Festival serving as hosts in our history tent. (See full report elsewhere in this issue). Crowds were very good and everyone seemed to enjoy the different displays this year. Some were disappointed that we were not selling a history calendar for 2006 but we did sell two out-of-date 2004 calendars because of the timeless historic photos and information therein! It has been suggested that the society might do another type of photo publication (perhaps notepaper) that would not become out of date at the end of a given year. If you are a member with computer and design skills who would like to tackle such a project please offer your services. Sue Cummings, who edited the 2004 calendar, is under contract to write a quilt book and will have no time for extra duties during the next year but is willing to offer assistance with choosing photos.
Representing the society, I attended the August 18th Englewood City Council meeting to present a framed and enlarged copy of the "Iamton-Harrisburg-Englewood" postcard sent out in 1899 by then post master Welby Waymire announcing the formal adoption of the name of Englewood, Ohio. The donated picture is now hanging in the government center on the back wall near the library entrance and next to an oil painting depicting the interior of Welby Waymire's grocery store that housed the post office during that period. Members and friends are encouraged to stop by the government center and view the items.
As 2005 winds down, officers and board members have been discussing plans for next year. Several of us attended a talk about old U.S. Rt. 40 at the Clay Township Historical Society given by the Ohio Historic National Road Committee President, Ed Kemper, and he pointed out that 2006 is the bicentennial of the passage of the legislation that established the National Road in 1806. The National Road did not reach our area until about 1838, yet, it played an enormous role in the development of this part of Ohio. So - we are proposing that a major society project for 2006 be a celebration of this event with a large historical exhibit. City of Englewood officials will be approached about housing the display at the government center and historical societies from Butler and Clay townships will be invited to participate.
The thrust of the National Rd. Project will be an inventory of all structures past and present that were located along old U.S. Rt. 40 as it passed through Randolph Township. We will need help from all members who may have lived on Rt. 40 at one time or another and have photos or knowledge of "the way things used to be." Perhaps you had relatives who lived or operated businesses along National Rd. We need that information.
We hope to begin the project late this fall after the leaves fall off the trees. We will begin with photos of all structures now existing along Rt. 40. Loren Butterbaugh, Paul Dewey and Hobert Robbins will be in charge of photographing and recording addresses of buildings. Join them and get your exercise! Caroline Bergman and JoeAnne Conners will lead a group going through old Randolph High School Yearbooks looking for photos and addresses of businesses that used to exist along Rt. 40. This will be an indoor project and others are welcome to assist. We need volunteers from some of our younger members to search through Northmont Yearbooks. In this way, we hope to build up a picture of how the business sites along the National Rd. have changed through the years.
Other sources of information that need to be checked are the Englewood Business Directory from 1957, various newspaper articles, Chamber of Commerce listings, etc. All we need are people who are willing to invest some time over the winter months to compile information.
By spring, we hope to be able to mount an exhibit at the government center. One idea, still in its formative stages, would be to do a large wall mural showing the present and past routes of the National Rd. through Randolph Township (and possibly Butler and Clay Townships). At each address along the way, photos showing the different homes and/or businesses that existed there would be depicted. Some sites might look almost the same today as they did in earlier times, others might have seen numerous changes. The more information we collect, the more accurate our picture of the evolving National Road will be.
Our greatest needs will be for photos of houses and families living along the National Rd. Please call me and volunteer your help with this major project. Start attending our planning sessions and learn how you can contribute.