Olentangy Valley News

History today

New event touts 'good ol' days'

By Carole Wilhelm
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People sometimes ask where I get ideas for this column. Naturally, there are a variety of avenues I take.

The files at the Powell Liberty Historical Society provide much material, and the more time I spend volunteering in the office, the more I learn and can share with you in a History Today column. With some regularity, I focus on a holiday or time of the year, such as when school begins or ends, as we have a large collection of school memorabilia.

Occasionally, on a trip I have taken, I discover some relationship to Powell or our Martin-Perry House, and it is always fun to highlight particular similarities.

Today, I take the opportunity I have here -- and one I've had for more than 20 years -- to offer a brief history of our organization and a new event we have planned for Sept. 8.

In 1986, when this community still had a lot of growth ahead of it, Louise Cornish and Janet Masteller thought it was vital to save an 1889 home that was to be razed for development. They organized several lifelong residents and business owners to make a plea to the developers and Powell council to let the home stand. They were asked to raise a large sum of money to show they were serious.

If you are not familiar with this story, it is one worth knowing. After small and some large anonymous donations, the developer gave the house and the land to the newly formed historical society. Restoring the home took more money and several years of dedicated volunteers and hired workers to prepare the home for opening to the public at Christmastime in 1990.

The Martin-Perry House sits on Powell Road at Grace Drive. It is filled with Victorian furnishings, artifacts and memorabilia from family members, area residents and shop owners. There is a small library where local history is kept and genealogy files are maintained. Programs with guest speakers are given monthly, and tours are offered to all who are interested -- organizations, clubs, scout troops and individuals. See our website, powellhistory.org, for upcoming programs and contact information if you or your group wish to see the 1889 home.

Marie O'Brien had the idea for the first fundraiser after the group formed. For 26 years, Powell Pancake Day was held annually. The society plans a new event in its place this year. People of all ages and interests will be invited to Good Ol' Days: Revisiting the 1800s and Early 1900's. It will be held Sunday, Sept. 8, on property at 233 S. Liberty St. It is free and will take place the same date as the final Market Day, presented by Historic Downtown Powell Inc.

Along with artists, crafters, antiques and collectibles, there will be entertainment and demonstrations featuring the featured time periods. The Delaware County Antique Farm Machinery Association will have an equipment display. Garth's Auctions will offer appraisals for a nominal fee. Students from Village Academy will give their wax museum-style presentations of famous Americans. A project similar to National Public Radio's Storycorps, a square-dancing demonstration and more are included in the plans.

Visit tinyurl.com/good-ol-days-info if you are an artist, crafter or one who demonstrates quilting, weaving, and such, and you are interested in participating in this family-friendly event focusing on the past. For more information, call Cheryl at 614-565-6724.

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell-Liberty Historical Society.

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