President Jack Smith opened the September 1, 2004, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 28 members and guests present.
As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of May 3, 2004. Following the reading of the minutes Jack asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes as read. There being none a motion to approve the minutes was made by Jim Szippl, seconded by Mike Wolf and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jack then asked Barb Wolf for the treasurer's report and she reported that as of this evening there is a balance of $847.99 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $5,998.37. Jack asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening and there were none.
Jack then asked for comments regarding the first annual Duct Tape Festival this past summer. It was agreed by all that an attempt should be made to have the high school band participate in the parade; that was sorely needed.
Nancy McGhee then stated that despite the cold weather she and Theresa Szippl did a brisk business selling hot chocolate and coffee out our front steps. The water and pop will be sold at The Aunt Teak & Uncle Junk weekend coming up. Theresa stated that the crowd that lined Detroit Road was surprisingly large despite the very cold day and on a nicer day the crowd would have been even larger. Nancy stated further that next year our club needs to make a bigger presence in the parade.
Everyone agreed that many of the local clubs went all out with their floats and that perhaps next year we could enlist the help of school kids with our float. We didn't have too much time this year to plan for our participation and it was agreed that we should start now with ideas and also to form a committee to head this event. Jean Fischer, Tom Wible and Tony Barnhart volunteered to head up our 2005 Duct Tape committee.
Jack next called on Ron Larson for an update, and Ron stated that he is still working on The Old Avon Village. Presently he is waiting for decisions from the city to determine what it is requiring of him to proceed with The Old Avon Village. It appears the city would seem to want him to build new buildings to look old instead of moving old structures there.
The parking lot issue still remains a problem with the city wanting it to be paved despite explanations from Ron to the city fathers that it is difficult to pave an entire area while we are still adding more structures. Its difficult to make final plans in this regard without knowing what's in the future for the Village.
Ron stated further that he is still interested in obtaining the George Clifton barn. We are reminded that the house and all outbuildings are on the Avon Registry. However, Gregg Romas has not responded despite Ron's efforts of sending letters explaining the tax advantages, etc.,
Ron then presented the club with a check for $65.00 which represents the club's share of wine sales at The Tree House making good his promise to done $1.00 for every bottle of designated wine sales back to the Avon Historical Society. the Landmarks Preservation Commission activities stated.
Bob Gates next spoke on the Landmarks Preservation Commission and stated that finally in June of this year the commission was allocated $15,000.00 which finally gave them the funds to hire a consultant to take inventory of the historical houses in Avon.
Steve McQuilian has spent 6 weeks doing this inventory and has recorded 244 houses in our city including pictures. At their last meeting the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to put all 244 sites on their list. Mr. McQuillin has stated the owners of these homes should consider it an honor to be on this list.
Bob stated further that at this time no further meeting has been scheduled but he reminded everyone that he is still looking for any old pictures people might have of Avon. We will make copies and return the originals to you.
Jack next gave the members an update on the Arcadia picture book project. We are reminded that this is a joint venture with the French Creek Development Association with the profits being 50/50 between our 2 clubs; however we have supplied the bulk of the materials for this project thanks to Jean Fischer.
When the book is ready it can be purchased at all major book stores including Borders, etc., We are still looking for pictures to add to the book especially any pictures from the 1924 and 1953 tornados that hit Avon. Again copies of your pictures will be made and the originals returned to you.
Dr. Fischer, membership chairman next reported that currently we have 228 active members in our club, which is more than we have ever had. Anyone wanting to pay this year's dues can see Dr. Fischer after the meeting. His goal is the reach membership representing 10% of Avonís population which would be roughly 1,500 members. He thinks it would be great to see how many we can fit into this building.
On another subject Dr. Fischer spoke about his interest in compiling and completing a new video on Dr. Norton Townsend. Since he is Avon's "favorite son" of sorts, we should have a video of information and photos for people to view including photos from the dedication of the plaque in his honor. Bill Furnace has agreed to help work on this project.
Next Jack stated that the 40th Anniversary celebration will be held on Sunday, September 19, 2004 from 2 to 4 at the home of Wilbur Cahoon on Stoney Ridge Road and current residents, Jean and Dr. Del Fischer. Instead of wasting too much time, we will let the committee decide on the menu, decorations, set up, etc., Members of the Avon Historical Society only will be invited.
Next Jack called on Tom Wible a member of the video equipment committee. Tom reported that everything has been put together and the new system works beautifully with a clear picture and no glare. Also the new cart was assembled this week which was necessary for safety with locking castors. Jack thanked Tom and Rodney for a job well done.
Regarding old business Jack called on Jean Fischer who reported that at the annual intersociety picnic of all the Lorain County historical societies held at Mill Hollow hosted by the Brownhelm Historical Society there were approximately 70 to 75 people in attendance with our club having 18 members present.
This is always a good meeting where each club has a chance to discuss their upcoming events and clubs can offer ideas on raising money etc., and everyone can sort of feed off of each other's ideas. Hopefully they will begin having the annual pot luck picnic/meeting at a different location so that we can view the different historical museums in the area and it makes for a nice chance to get to the other cities to see what they have.
Jack next lead a discussion on the Heritage Loan Program, loans available to restore century homes presently in Cuyahoga County offering 3% loans. In Cuyahoga County these loans are restricted to homes only and not commercial buildings. However, in Avon we believe that commercial buildings should not be excluded. This is a wonderful way to help preserve the old commercial structures and the French Creek District has a strong commercial influence.
A national registry designation will not stop demolition, it may slow it down, but even the Preservation Commission cannot stop it, only slow down the demolition. The Landmarkes Preservation Commission should take an active lead on this. There is nothing stopping the City of Avon from starting its own Heritage Loan Program.
Jack further stated that Detroit Road could become an Ohio Scenic Byway. The State of Ohio actually promotes scenic by-ways such as those in the Columbus area. This would be the answer to preserving the appearance of Detroit Road and our historical structures. It would help out the small business owners along the road and would be a draw for the tourist trade here.
The process could be started by having Steve McQuillan make a proposal, then we as an organization need to get in there and support the proposition. It was further suggested that we invite Steve McQuillan here to a meeting soon to discuss the Ohio Scenic Byway idea.
Ron Larson next stated Avon is at a critical stage in its grow and development. The Mound Cemetery at Route 83 and Detroit could be made into a memorial to the citizens of Avon. This cemetery should be considered in the beautification of Avon.
We should also not forget about the Avon Isle which we hope to have on the National Registry of Historic Place. The City of Avon had applied for a $700,000.00 reconstruction grant to help with the cost of restoring the building and it was thought that the granted was denied. However, Joanne Easterday informed the club that the grant is still active and has not been ruled on, so in essence we have not been denied as yet, so we are still in the running.
There being no further business to present at the meeting Jack entertained a motion from Dan McGhee to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by Ruth Plas and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary
AVON HISTORICAL SOCIETY AGENDA
October 6, 2004
Reading of minutes of meeting of September 1, 2004. Motion to approve and second.
A. Any outstanding bills to present.
III. Old Business
A. Recap of 40th Anniversay on September 19, 2004
B. Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob Gates
C. Update - Arcadia Picture Book Project, Jack Smith
D. Norton S. Townshend video committee, Del Fischer
A. Christmas Party, Date, December 1, 2004, Avon VFW
V. Motion to Adjourn and Second
Program: Kathrin Donnatucci - The Bicentennial Barns of Ohio.