Grove City is turning to its residents to help maintain and support the community's history.
The Grove City Historical Commission convened its first meeting Nov. 22, in the second-floor conference room of City Hall.
Jim Hale was voted the commission's chairman, and Jackson Township Administrator Mike Lilly was voted as vice chairman. The other three members of the new commission are Linda Hale, Karen Lane and Lisa Napier-Garcia.
The commission positions are comprised of residents appointed by the mayor to three-year terms.
"We do have an extremely important role in preserving the history of our city," said Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage. "We can bring a lot of resources together."
The Historical Commission replaces the vacant city history department, which was originally established in 1959.
In September, Grove City Council voted to repeal the Department of History and replace it with a five-member, volunteer commission comprised of residents that would be charged with investigating, researching and maintaining the city's history for "educational enhancement, preservation of records, and the collection, preservation and display of artifacts and archival materials of historic importance."
At the meeting, the inaugural members of the commission discussed their backgrounds as well what they would like to see the commission work toward.
Jim Hale is the former executive director of the Grove City Area Visitors & Convention Bureau and a former Grove City Record editor. He is currently involved with the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society.
"I've always been interested in history and this area has a tremendous history," he said. "It's a message that needs to be told."
Jim's wife Linda Hale is a retired Southwestern City Schools technology instructor for adult education classes.
"I'm really interested in video editing," she said. "I want to preserve the stories of the people of Grove City on videotape."
Lilly said Jackson Township, founded in 1815, will soon approach its bicentennial.
"One of my goals would be to promote a community-wide bicentennial," Lilly said.
Lane works for the Grove City Library in the reference department.
"Through my job, I became the archivist," she said. "I'm here to see what plays out and what I can do to help out on behalf of the library."
Napier-Garcia is the board of directors president for the Little Theatre Off Broadway, which she said has been operating in Grove City for more than 50 years.
The commission began its work after the introductions with discussion about developing its bylaws.
That topic is expected to lead the agenda for its next meeting, tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 13, at City Hall, 4035 Broadway.