Grove City's Independence Day weekend festivities will begin with bells and end with fireworks.
A noon bell-ringing will be part of the Grant-Sawyer Home/Grant Homestead dedication ceremony on Saturday, July 1. The event will mark the conclusion of the city's sesquicentennial celebration.
The festive mood will continue for a little longer, as the city puts on its Independence Day celebration July 4 at Grove City High School, with the highlight being the annual fireworks display.
"It's going to be a great weekend of celebration," Kelly Sutherland, the city's recreation superintendent, said.
Residents will have the opportunity to tour the Grant-Sawyer Home during the grand-opening event, which will be held from 10 a.m to 3 p.m Saturday, July 1, at 4126 Haughn Road.
"At this time, we will only have the first floor of the house open for tours. The upstairs is still in the finishing stages of restoration," said Steve Jackson, president of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society.
The stairway leading to the second floor is steep with a tight turn, so further work is needed before a group of people could be safely allowed upstairs, he said.
The house was built by the Grant family, one of the city's founding families, Jackson said.
The family originally owned a 400- to 500-acre tract of land, he said.
"This was the land where Grove City was platted," Jackson said. "The house predates Grove City's founding."
While a date of 1840 is given as the approximate year when the house was completed, evidence indicates initial construction of the house began 10 to 15 years earlier, Jackson said.
The property remained in the same family for five generations. The last owner of the house and the last surviving member of the family, Ruth Sawyer Jividen, sold the property to the city shortly before her death at age 98 in 2014.
Jividen's mother, Relieffe Grant, married into the Sawyer family, Jackson said.
"The house had, of course, been modified over the years," he said. "It's now been restored to the way it looked when it was completed circa 1840."
All of the furnishings in the house date from the mid-19th century, Jackson said, and about one-third belonged to the Grant family.
"About one-third is from the Grove City area and the rest is local to the central Ohio area," he said.
The carpeting in the parlor was used beginning in the mid-1990s and for about two decades after in the Ohio governor's ceremonial office, Jackson said. The carpet is a replica of an Axminster design from the 1860s.
"When you visit the house, you'll be standing on the same carpet the governor and who knows what other dignitaries stood upon," he said.
The historical society plans to host tours of the house, by appointment, three days a week, Jackson said.
"We're still working on the details," he said. "We'll be posting more information about how to schedule a tour on our website (grovecityohhistory.org)."
The July 1 activities will include live music by Fiddle Me This, performances of historic Grove City vignettes by actors from the Little Theatre Off Broadway, Civil War reenactors, a storyteller and vintage children's games.
Grove City area churches have been invited to ring their bells as part of the bell-ringing at noon, Sutherland said.
"Basically, we've reached out to anyone who has a bell and asked them to be part of that special moment of celebration," she said.
Residents are invited to bring a picnic lunch, blankets and lawn chairs, Sutherland said. Water will be available for a donation to support the historical society.
Parking will be available at the Kingston Center, Grove City Family Dentistry as well as Park Street Intermediate and J.C. Sommer Elementary schools. Shuttles will be available every half hour. There will be no parking on Sawyer Drive, Gladman Avenue or Haughn Road from Sawyer Drive to Columbus Street.
Fourth of July
The city's Independence Day celebration will be held from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at Grove City High School, 4665 Hoover Road. Parking lots will open at 5:30 p.m.
The evening will include music by High South from 6 to 8 p.m. The Grove City Christian High School and Alumni Band will perform patriotic songs from 8:30 to about 9:45 p.m., just before the fireworks show begins.
A soundtrack to the fireworks will be simulcast on WLVQ-FM radio (96.3).
Free children's activities sponsored by the Grove City Church of the Nazarene will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. The Grove City Kids Association will offer children's activities and concessions as a fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. at Murfin Field, 4570 Haughn Road.
Parking will be restricted to one side of the street from 5:30 to 11:45 p.m. in the Briarwood, Hoover Crossing, Martha's Woods and Clark Drive neighborhoods.
Free parking will be available at GCHS, the Church of the Nazarene and Windsor Park. Parking also will be available at Murfin Field for a fee to support the Grove City Kids Association.
All carry-in items will be subject to search by security. Blankets, lawn chairs and most other personal items will be permitted.
Grills, alcohol, weapons, personal fireworks including sparklers, skates, bicycles, skateboards, pop-up tents and canopies and pets other than service dogs will be prohibited. Coolers aren't allowed, but food and beverages will be sold.
In case of rain, the fireworks show will be moved to Wednesday, July 5.