Suzanne Bressoud, The Works' director of marketing and communications, hopes the museum's temporary World War I exhibit not only will educate visitors about the conflict, but also about Licking County's large number of contributions to the war effort.

Suzanne Bressoud, The Works' director of marketing and communications, hopes the museum's temporary World War I exhibit not only will educate visitors about the conflict, but also about Licking County's large number of contributions to the war effort.

"Who knew Newark was an integral part of the war effort in Europe?" she asked. "People of all ages have really been interested in this exhibit."

"The Great War Comes Home," curated by Tracie Hill, a military arms specialist, opened to the public Jan. 23 in main gallery at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology, 55 S. First St. in Newark.

The exhibit brings together for the first time a collection of World War I artifacts, personal stories of Licking County residents who served and historical insights into Licking County's role during World War I.

Adding to the exhibit's reality, Bressoud said, the museum created a replica of a World War I battle trench, complete with sandbags, uniforms and weaponry.

"It's really impressive," she said.

Bressoud said the trench replica is back-dropped with a wall-sized photo of Flanders Fields, the Belgian battlefield that inspired the famous war poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

Bressoud said the exhibit is inspired in part by the recent 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose death caused a chain reaction of alliances leading to World War I.

Also, Bressoud said, Licking County Library head of circulation Doug Stout leads a database project called "In the Company of Heroes: Licking County Veterans," which was able to lend many WWI artifacts to the Works exhibit. More items came from the Alexandria Historical Society, Denison University, National Firearms Museum, National Heisey Glass Museum, Ohio History Connection and private collectors.

"The Great War Comes Home" features personal stories of several Licking County residents, including Col. George Crawford, whose Sharon Valley Stock Farm sold thousands of horses through his satellite farm in Antwerp, Belgium -- including to the governments of France, Italy and Belgium.

In a four-month period in 1899, Crawford shipped 648 horses to Antwerp. King Leopold II of Belgium knighted him in 1909.

The exhibit also includes Arch Leedy, who is credited as the first resident of Newark to be killed in the war. Leedy, a member of the U. S. Navy, served aboard the destroyer Jacob Jones, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat on Dec. 6, 1917, while patrolling off Great Britain near the Isles of Scilly. The Jacob Jones sank with Leedy and 64 of his shipmates still aboard.

In all, 2,596 Licking County residents served in WWI; 82 of them perished in battle or from disease.

Admission to "The Great War Comes Home" is free. The exhibit will remain on display through April 11. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in January, February and March.