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Save Ohio History!

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  • #278775
    Manatee
    Manatee
    Participant

    michaelcoyote wrote >>

    Manatee wrote >>
    I know of certain groups that are being approached to take over the groundskeeping. But these places are in very real danger. The visitors centers are already barely open. This issue is very rapidly changing with each passing day.

    Is there a good source for information on these issues?

    I just get mine through the non-profit eco-grapevine, as it were :p

    So I can’t be namin’ names.

    #278776
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    Manatee wrote >>

    michaelcoyote wrote >>

    Manatee wrote >>
    I know of certain groups that are being approached to take over the groundskeeping. But these places are in very real danger. The visitors centers are already barely open. This issue is very rapidly changing with each passing day.

    Is there a good source for information on these issues?

    I just get mine through the non-profit eco-grapevine, as it were :p
    So I can’t be namin’ names.

    There’s an article from the 3/29/2009 Dispatch that outlines how the local partnership efforts have come about:

    [b]Society seeks help keeping Ohio history alive
    Columbus Dispatch, The (OH) – Sunday, March 29, 2009
    Author: STEVE STEPHENS ; The Columbus Dispatch[/b]
    Although this week doesn’t mark the end of history, it does mark a sad episode in the way Ohioans honor their past.

    In a cost-cutting move, the Ohio Historical Society is furloughing employees and closing many sites for a week, through Friday. The society also eliminated 25 full- and part-time positions throughout the organization.

    The furloughed employees will return and some sites will reopen Saturday. Several sites will operate with reduced hours, with many open only on weekends. So if you’re looking for Ohio history Sundays through Thursdays this summer, you might be out of luck.

    Even worse, the society has said that it might have to close sites completely if it can’t find more money by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

    Especially unfortunate is the timing: Cuts are coming just as more Ohioans are looking for interesting travel destinations close to home.

    But there is hope, even opportunity, on the horizon, said Bill Laidlaw, the executive director of the society, which is looking to drum up support to help operate 18 of the organization’s sites.

    Of the historical society’s 58 historic sites and museums, 29 are already operated through partnerships with local organizations. Those sites, including destinations such as Cedar Bog near Urbana, don’t face the same cutbacks as the sites the society operates itself.

    The local groups provide guides and other staff members, undertake fundraising and arrange programming while the historical society retains ownership and contributes maintenance, curatorial, marketing and administrative services.

    The arrangement has worked well, Laidlaw said.

    “I like to paraphrase (longtime House Speaker) Tip O’Neill and say, “All history is local.” (O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”)

    “Everyone gets excited,” when local groups get involved, Laidlaw said. “All kinds of people come out to help.”

    And there’s plenty of help to be had. Laidlaw estimates that between 300,000 and 400,000 Ohioans are members of local historical groups or museums. The state has more than 1,000 local museums and house museums, he said.

    And it’s not just historical groups that have become involved. The Greater Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau has opened a visitors center at the Circle Mound Museum in Heath, which had been closed, Laidlaw said. The convention bureau got needed office and visitors space, and the museum has reopened, he said.

    “It’s a real win-win,” he said.

    The partnership is working very well, said Susan Fryer, director of the visitors bureau.

    “Between May and December last year, we had more than 7,000 visitors,” at the museum and visitors center, she said. “We appreciate all that the Ohio Historical Society has done for us and for Licking County.”

    But while the society was already hoping to hand most of the 18 threatened sites over to local operation, that process was projected to take five to six years, Laidlaw said.

    Now the society is hoping to do it in six months but still must come up with enough money to keep the sites open through 2009. Potential partners have already been found at Dunbar House in Dayton and Fort Laurens in New Philadelphia.

    The society recommends that supporters contact their legislators to plead for more state money.

    I’d suggest that any state with a history as grand as that of the Buckeye State should find plenty of citizens willing to voluntarily support historical sites and programs.

    An individual membership to the Ohio Historical Society costs just $35. A family membership costs $55. (Senior citizens, educators, military personnel, AAA members and others can get $5 off the membership fee.)

    Members get free admission to Ohio Historical Society sites, so a membership can pay for itself in just a couple of visits.

    Call 1-800-686-6124 or visit http://www.ohiohistory.org. The Ohio Historical Society Web site also contains a complete listing of historical sites, directions to find them and hours of operation.

    And for any group that’s ever dreamed of managing the world’s largest earthen serpent effigy or the home of the 29th president of the United States, now’s your chance.

    and:

    The Ohio Historical Society is looking for partners at 18 sites.

    Although parks at some locations would remain open, all of the museums and visitors centers at these sites face closure this summer without partners or more funding. The sites are:

    * Adena Mansion and Gardens in Chillicothe

    * Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta

    * Campus Martius Museum and the Ohio River Museum in Marietta

    * Dunbar House in Dayton

    * Flint Ridge near Brownsville

    * Fort Ancient near Oregonia

    * Fort Hill near Hillsboro

    * Fort Laurens in New Philadelphia

    * Fort Meigs in Perrysburg

    * Harding Home in Marion

    * National Road/Zane Grey Museum near Norwalk

    * Newark Earthworks in Newark and Heath

    * Piqua Historical Area in Piqua

    * Serpent Mound near Peebles

    * Wahkeena near Lancaster

    * Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor

    * Zoar Village in Zoar

    #278777
    Manatee
    Manatee
    Participant

    Oh, wow. Good work all around, with no way to pay for it. I am wondering if some archaeology or anthroplogy programs, or other higher education programs, wouldn’t like to set up residence in some of these places? Trouble is, study brings its own dangers. But still, it’s better than closings and vandalism.

    #278778

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Manatee wrote >>
    Oh, wow. Good work all around, with no way to pay for it. I am wondering if some archaeology or anthroplogy programs, or other higher education programs, wouldn’t like to set up residence in some of these places? Trouble is, study brings its own dangers. But still, it’s better than closings and vandalism.

    The problem is also that many of the groups they are approaching are local, non-profit and typically volunteer groups. Great idea in theory, but in the long term how sustainable will this model be? If the state historical society is having monetary issues, does it not follow that a smaller local group with out the same resources will also be having trouble? If it’s an all volunteer group, how long until the volunteers burnout trying to maintain a site?

    #278779
    Manatee
    Manatee
    Participant

    Well, I mean, why not do residencies for appropriate lines of study, and charge money?

    Just a thought.

    And I do agree with the above mentioned idea of charging more money for tourists, as well. At least it’s something.

    #278780
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    The word is getting out. A peaceful protest held at Levis Commons in Perrysburg generated some press coverage today:

    WTOL News

    Additionally, WTVG ran a story yesterday about the fate of Fort Meigs.

    Anyone in the Columbus area who wants to show their support is welcome to join the rally at The Ohio Historical Society on Thursday, June 11th from noon – 1:00 PM

    #278781

    laChewla
    Participant

    Oh no! I once made $250 off “National History Day”. So much for my “Four Dead in Ohio” paper….

    #278782
    Manatee
    Manatee
    Participant

    Hmm, Thursday at noon… how will I get there. Will think on this.

    #278783
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    Manatee wrote >>
    Hmm, Thursday at noon… how will I get there.

    Canal boat? Conestoga Wagon? Wright Flyer? :)

    #278784

    joev
    Participant

    Ft. Meigs is a great museum. Most of our Ohio Historical Society sites are spectacular, but the interpretative center/museum may be total dullsville. Ft. Meigs is a great example of how to do this right.

    If you’re passionate about this like a lot of us are, I think financial donations of any size to OHS and letter writing to govt. leaders are more effective than a rally.

    #278785
    Manatee
    Manatee
    Participant

    jeff_r wrote >>

    Manatee wrote >>
    Hmm, Thursday at noon… how will I get there.

    Canal boat? Conestoga Wagon? Wright Flyer? :)

    Hah! More like, “I will be at work then”. :p

    #278786
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    I saw this posted on Donewaiting.com and thought I’d cross-polinate a bit for the cause:

    We’re having a funeral procession for Ohio History on Sunday at Comfest. Join us as we hold a New Orleans-style Jazz Funeral for Ohio History. We have a coffin, umbrellas and funeral cards, but we really need some MUSIC! We’re looking for anyone who can play “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Horns, woodwinds, drums, kazoos, anything. Please pass this on to all the players you know.

    We will meet at the Giant Eagle on the corner of Neil Avenue and Buttles Avenue, and will begin the procession at 3PM. We will travel east on Buttles Avenue and enter Goodale Park at the corner of Dennison and Buttles. Feel free to join up with us along the way!

    Visit [url]http://www.saveohiohistory.org[/url]

    Sounds like an interesting bit of guerrilla street theatre!

    …and who knows, maybe if you don’t get arrested for bringing in your own beer you can try your luck with non-violent protest.

    #278787

    Brant
    Participant

    Between the Ohio Libraries, Ohio History, and the Davis, there’s an awful lot of saving to do these days.

    #278788

    Hael
    Member

    jeff_r wrote >>

    …and who knows, maybe if you don’t get arrested for bringing in your own beer you can try your luck with non-violent protest.

    +1

    #278789
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    It looks like print will be dying in non-profit sector too:

    OHS scholarly publication “Timeline” likely to get the ax.[/url]

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 41 total)

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