Ohio History Journal

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A Report on the First Ohio Institute

A Report on the First Ohio Institute

on Local and State History



Imagine, turning people away from a meeting on history! Yet it actually

happened at Newark this fall on October 30 at the first Ohio Institute on

Local and State History.

One hundred fifty persons from forty-two Ohio communities, represent-

ing thirty-five local and county historical societies and museums, squeezed

and elbowed their way into the Newark Mound Builders Country Club.

Even the most optimistic members of the planning committee had agreed

that seventy people would be as many as we could possibly hope for. But,

when the closing date for reservations passed, and requests continued to

come in, we decided to make it come-one, come-all with 150 the maximus

maximum! So we adjusted plans. The chicken luncheon would be served

buffet style, hoping too many wouldn't have to eat a la lap; and chairs

were pushed closer and closer together as the institute date approached. As

it happened, the chair-pushing more than literally brought people closer

together, and the buffet service, too, seemed to contribute to a pleasant


Several local historical societies were well represented. Fifteen came from

the Brecksville Historical Association, a half dozen from the Warren County

Historical Society of Lebanon, nine from the Delaware County Historical

Society, five from the Milan Historical Museum, and the Licking County

Historical Society furnished at least twenty. The most distant organizations

represented were the Ashtabula County Historical Society, the Fairport

Harbor Historical Society, the Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio at

Toledo, and the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio at Cincinnati.

Not only historians came, but teachers, librarians, and business and pro-

fessional people with an interest in history.

The institute had its real beginnings last spring when a small group of

historical society leaders met at the Ohio State Museum in Columbus. The

purpose of the meeting was to find ways to strengthen the work being done

in the field of local and state history, and to encourage a working-together-

ness on the part of all historical societies and historical museums in Ohio.


* Robert C. Wheeler is field representative of the Ohio Historical Society.