Inspired by the movie of the same name, the Union County Historical Society is planning a "Night at the Museum" fundraiser Sept. 14 that will feature characters from the county's past.
Tickets must be purchased in advance for tours to be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Union County Museum, 246 W. Sixth St., in Marysville.
Historical society trustee Barb Miller said the event will feature 10 locations in the museum where visitors will meet 17 historical characters from the 1850s to the 1940s, portrayed by community volunteers. The tours will end with a refreshment reception.
"More than 10 personalities from Union County's past will 'come to life' to entertain guests with fascinating stories of their lives and share details of their amazing contributions to Union County, the state of Ohio, the United States of America and beyond," Miller said.
President Bob Parrott said this is the first time the Union County Historical Society has undertaken such a project. Planning committee members spent two months researching the subjects and an additional two months writing, revising and editing the script.
"It is a new and imaginative way to teach people about our local history in an entertaining program," he said. "We hope that an event like this will not only draw our members but also encourage interest from a new group of people who have not previously been involved in historical society activities."
Museum docent Crista Miller said visitors will get a level of detail they wouldn't normally see during a regular visit to the museum.
"This is a unique experience, giving guests the opportunity to meet local historical personalities who lived during earlier eras," she said. "These individuals walked our streets before us and either made or used the artifacts in our museum during their everyday lives."
Organizers are keeping the identities of the historical figures a secret until the Sept. 14 tours, but descriptions of some of the characters who will participate include Ladies of the House, Son of a Towering Celebrity, Travelers with Tales to Tell, A Senator's Sweetheart, Modern Home Manager, Seed Cleaner's Brother, Military Hero, Frau and Herr Rausch, Butter Sculptor Who Paints and Man of Academia.
Guests must go up and down a flight of stairs to meet four of the characters since the 1891 Queen Anne- style home housing the museum is not handicapped-accessible.
In addition to the volunteers portraying the historical characters, "Night at the Museum" will use 14 tour guides and an additional 15 site volunteers.
The event is sponsored by the Union County Historical Society and Honda, with proceeds benefiting museum projects.
Tickets are required and can be purchased by calling 937-644-1113. Tickets for historical society members and children age 17 and younger are $8 each. Tickets for non-members are $10 each.
Approximately one-third of the tickets for the event have been sold so far.
Tours will start every seven minutes, beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8:07 p.m. Each tour lasts about 50 minutes. Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 10 minutes before their scheduled tour time.
"We hope this tour gives a new perspective of the museum's collections and the people who made the early history of the area," Miller said.