2018 is a new year, and, despite November's setback, your historical society is taking a fresh approach for the new year. In addition to regular Trustee meetings, the board has met informally in "round-table" style. As we'll not be hiring staff in the foreseeable future, the discussions have centered around how best to accomplish our mission of preserving and presenting the artifacts and history of Champaign County by utilizing volunteers.
Trustees' suggestions range from the traditional to the "out-of-the-box." All agree that educational outreach is an important program worthy of expansion, and is underway. Treasurer Ken Wright has submitted a written proposal for, among other things, the implementation of an extensive volunteer program. His title, "The Path Forward," well represents our visioning process.
A new start may include opening the museum to the Public on Sunday afternoons. This would not happen until Spring in order to give us time to enlist from our membership a corps of volunteers who are willing to serve as trained docents. Members who would like to become docents or to volunteer in other capacities are encouraged to contact us by phone (937-652-6721) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org. DW
It is unfortunate that our request for public support failed to convince the residents of Champaign County to pass the 0.3 mil tax levy we placed upon the ballot this month.
The levy committee started work in August. Supporters contributed campaign funding which was gratefully received and judiciously budgeted. Flyers and brochures were printed and distributed. Over 300 yard signs were strategically placed throughout the county. Townships and Villages were particularly emphasized.
Volunteers marched, spoke at county events and to service clubs, wrote letters of support, posted messages on social media, and spent hours spreading the word of our need for funding to hire staff in order to open our museum to the public throughout the week and to expand our school programs and educational outreach.
Yet despite all of the hard work, direct approaches, positive feedback, and finally finger-crossing it was not enough. 48% voted in favor, 52% against.
We will continue to collect, display and interpret the artifacts of Champaign County as we have for 83 years -- through the generosity of our volunteers and donors, we simply will not be able to expand our hours, or our educational outreach.
County Historical Museum Seeks Approval for an Operating Levy
Urbana, Ohio – July 7, 2016 - For 82 years the Champaign County Historical Society (CCHS) has preserved the heritage and artifacts of Champaign County. Its mission is to display to the public Champaign County’s history at its museum at 809 East Lawn Avenue, Urbana.
The Society is now seeking to augment its donations and dues with a three-tenths (0.3) of a mill operating levy in order to open the museum to the public more often, to improve its youth programs, and to improve the displays of Champaign County history.
The CCHS Museum is currently open to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm. The artifacts on display include a wide range of relics including: prehistoric Native American relics, relics of Simon Kenton and Tecumseh, the first United States Medal of Honor presented, the former Spring Hills log jail building, historic period clothing, military uniforms, agricultural implements, aviation items from Grimes, and pans manufactured by the American Pan Company.
CCHS President Dan Walter explained the purposes of the levy in this way: “For 82 years we have preserved and supported the collections with volunteer support, society dues, and generous donations. We have created a very good museum, but our ability to be open to the public is limited to two days a week. We would like the museum to be open to the public more often, at least five days a week – in order to tell the Champaign County story”
CCHS Treasurer Larry Headlee explained that if the voters of Champaign County would approve the 3/10th of a mil levy, the museum would be able to fund the pay of a professional curator/director who can help preserve and improve the care and display of our artifacts. It would also allow the museum to have a greater presence in the community and permit the introduction of new youth-based programs linking Champaign County youth with their history.
President Walter noted that the levy request would equate to an annual tax increase of $10.50 per average household and would allow the museum to be open up to five days a week.
He noted that it is not unusual for a county historical museum to be partially supported by public funds. The Clark, Logan, and Miami County historical museums are funded by tax levies larger than the one proposed in Champaign County.
The CCHS has established a Campaign Committee, appointed former County Commissioner Max Coates of North Lewisburg as Campaign Treasurer, opened a campaign account at the First Central National Bank in Saint Paris, and filed all appropriate federal, state, and local forms.
The Champaign County Historical Society Museum is the local agency responsible for preserving the historical artifacts that record the memories of the past citizens of the county in order that their contributions to our county’s progress will never be forgotten.
For more information on the CCHS and proposed operating levy, please call the museum at 937-653-6721. Contributions to the “CCHS Museum Campaign” may be sent to P. O. Box 65, Urbana, OH 43078-0065
The Champaign County Historical Society lost our President last week. Doug Dill passed away unexpectedly and his soul has been committed to the great beyond. We regret his passing and attach his obituary from the Urbana Daily Citizen here.
The Historical Society Museum is stronger, better, and a more welcoming experience because of the efforts of Doug Dill. Pay the Museum a visit. See what he worked for in life, and help us pay respect to his memory.
RDP Web Editor.
A long time western Champaign County fixture has a new home. The owners of the former Hitching Post Western Store in St. Paris Ohio have donated their signature fiberglass horse, which stood on West Main Street for twenty years. The horse will soon become part of our displays of buggies, tack, and 19th century equipage.
But our horse needs a name! Send your name suggestions to us at email@example.com. The winner will be selected by the Membership committee and will receive a personal tour of the museum for the winner and their family -- presented by our Curator.
Come visit the Museum and I am certain that you will be delighted with what you learn. D.D.
What do you see as the Long-Term goals for the Champaign County Historical Society & Museum? This was the question that came up at a recent board meeting. In 5 to 10 years, what should we have accomplished?
The board will be looking at developing long term goals for us in the next several board meetings. your thoughts and ideas are welcome.
I'm sure that "SPACE" will be one of our goals. It has become evident that we need more space for a number of reasons. Our last program was over capacity by 60 persons. Our exhibit space is about filled up, and we are being offered items and whole collections, but need the space to adequately display them.
We have started discussing the need for an addition to the museum, but financing that addition will be a daunting task.
Another certain goal will be "VISABILITY" to the public. I have heard that many county residents thought our Museum was an abandoned building. Our board members are working hard to dispel this perception with improvements to our façade, our exhibits, and our communication tools.
Lastly, come over and visit our Museum and I am certain that you will be delighted with what you learn.
My extended remarks are published in our April Newsletter "Champaign Chronicles" D.D.