The Canal Winchester Times

Scenes from everyday life

Local footage from 1937 now posted online


A little known film about people and places in and around Groveport and Canal Winchester is getting a much broader audience, thanks to Patty (Meade) Kallies, Destination: Canal Winchester and the Internet.

Destination: Canal Winchester Executive Director Bruce Jarvis told the Old Town Committee at its June 3 meeting about a 1937 film Kallies gave him that had been transferred to DVD.

Kallies, a lifelong resident of Groveport, appears in the film.

After adding a Swing-era soundtrack and an opening title explaining what little is known about the film, Jarvis uploaded it to YouTube to share with the world.

"Up until now, I think this film has only been shared among a group of history-minded folks in the area," Jarvis said. "I received it through Kallies. She's freeze-framed at one point in the film as a third-grader coming out of the Groveport school building.

"I think it's important for a broader audience to see this because it is unscripted and shows what life must have been like here in 1937," he added.

"It was very unusual for someone outside of the movie or corporate news industry to have a movie camera in those days, so it is something of an enigma for a small town in Ohio."

According to Jarvis, the filmmaker is unknown.

"Things like this only become significant after the passage of time," he said. "When transportation, fashions and fads change is when we realize that they're gone forever.

"Funny thing is that it doesn't seem very significant to anyone as it is happening because it's so commonplace -- but it would be great if some group took on the responsibility of storing digital images as a legacy for future generations.

"That will take someone with the mindset that they are planting an acorn, knowing they probably won't be around to sit in the shade of the large oak tree that grows from it."

Jarvis said the Groveport Historical Society and the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society will retain copies of the film as a part of their archives. He said the 2012 Destination: Canal Winchester promotional video may be another item that could be preserved for the future.

"There is a strong and unintentional parallel between this 1937 piece and the 2012 piece," he said. "Both films attempt to show our towns at a specific point in time in a fun and lighthearted way.

"The 1937 film shows several school activities, including a great scene of school buses getting ready to take kids home, with the rest of the film making a deliberate attempt to document the businesses and shopkeepers, with scenes in between of people going about their daily routines.

"If we appreciate seeing our towns as they once were, we need to thank the people who took the time to show us, and we should take pictures of what's happening now because future generations will also enjoy seeing what's changed over time," Jarvis said. "These are going to be the good old days for them."