President Jack Smith opened the November 2, 2005, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 29 members and guests present.
As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of October 5, 2005. Following the reading of the minutes Jack asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes as read. After a correction was made by Mary Ann Littell a motion to approve the minutes was made by George Bliss, seconded by Theresa Szippl and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jack then called Jean Fischer to give the treasurer's report in Barb Wolf's absence. Jean reported that as of this evening there is a balance of $2,734.24 in our checking account and $6,095.07 in the money market account. Jack inquired if there were any outstanding bills to present this evening, and there were none.
Next Jack called on Ralph White to report on the North Ridge Road Scenic By-Way, and he stated that we are in the process of putting the final application together. Ralph also reported on Avon Isle stating that he has obtained the application and all the books to read on how to get a structure on the National Register of Historic Places, and it will stand a better chance of obtaining funds that are available for restoration of historical buildings through government grants. Now he has to read all the information and put it together.
Ralph has also learned that it is a smart move to get in on the Lorain County Registry of Historic Place first because the process is less cumbersome than the national application. The authority [Marilyn Harley] he is working with viewed the Avon Isle and stated that she though that it would be accepted. It is at least worth our efforts applying for it. Ralph stated that he will be speaking to Mayor Jim Smith and keeping him informed of our efforts in this regard and what we are planning to do.
Ralph stated further that he would like to get the Scenic By-Way completed before he pursues another major project such as Avon Isle. He is still working on compiling information and photographs of Avon Isle and would appreciate input from anyone including photographs he could borrow, or first-hand human interest stories, records of previous owners, etc.,
Moving on to the Landmarks Preservation Commission Bob Gates gave a brief report stating that 2 people requested being taken off the list which was not a problem; there were 2 requests for demolition, one from Greg Romes to demolish the old Schneider home on Detroit Rd which was denied as it was felt this home has significant historical and architectural features and should be saved; and the other for Schaffer Development on Colorado Avenue which was approved. As a reminder though Greg Romes was denied by the Commission, after a 6-month waiting period he will be free to demolish the house. Members of the Commission will be meeting with the Avon Council Legal Committee to discuss guidelines for Planning Commission when dealing with historic structures on Wednesday, November 30th at 7:30 pm, if anyone is interested in attending.
Next Jack called on Joe Richvalsky to give us an update on the progress being made with the Williams House. Joe stated that right now he is acting as design consultant to make sure that they follow through with the design as approved. Presently all is going well, but nothing has started structurally yet. There was a question from the audience regarding just what the building will look like and Joe took a few minutes to describe the design of the new building.
Jack then asked Dr. Del Fischer for an update on the Norton Townshend video project. Dr. Fischer first announced that he had some good news that didn't have anything to do with the Norton Townshend project but that local civil engineer, Mike Bramhall has given our club a $250.00 donation for which we are very grateful.
Next moving on to the video project Del stated that he and Bill Furnace and their wives met and began to sketch an outline for the Norton Townshend video or DVD or whatever. Bill is in the process of reviewing some of Dr. Townshend's books. The idea is to prepare a sketch of the script then apply the pictures to the story, but more research and work on the computer is required.
Next Jean Fischer reported on the recent Black River Poster Tour and said about 8 people attended and a good time was had by all. They also took in Betty Lou Higgens' presentation at the Lorain Library which was very enjoyable.
Mary Ann Littell next reminded the members that the Sacred Landmarks Tour, Celebrations of Faith Exhibit, is still on exhibit at the Stocker Center at Lorain County Community College until November 18th, and she passed out postcards giving more detailed information about hours etc., She notes that special tours are available upon request and after a short discussion it was decided that we should try to go as a group on Sunday, November 13, 2005 arriving at Stocker Center around 1:00 p.m. All those that can are encouraged to attend. We will drive separately and gather as a group when we get there.
There being no further old business Jack moved on to new business which includes the annual tree lighting and Santa here in The Old Town Hall. The event will be the same as in previous years with the tree lighting across the street and then all the children will come here for a visit with Santa and then hot chocolate. If anyone can come and help us with the flow of the crowd it would be appreciated. [Jean Fischer is finding the best date and time for us to set up the tree and decorate the Old Town Hall. Please call her at 936-6106 if you would like to help.]
Jack next stated that the French Creek Association has a display window at the First Federal of Lorain bank window on Detroit Road to display gift boxes from local merchants that are donated as prizes for the annual Candlelight Walk the first weekend in December. A discussion was had to participate in this event including a suggestion by Marion Kennedy to decorate a sign-up box here at The Old Town Hall on Saturday night with Santa, and upon a motion by Cheryl Huene and seconded by Dan McGhee the motion to participate was unanimously approved.
Joann from Sweet Adelines next extended an invitation to the members to attend a program at Southview High school on Saturday, November 5, 2005. More information is on the flier she is leaving.
The next item discussed was the annual Christmas Party and Nancy McGhee reminded the members that it will be held on Wednesday, December 7th at the Avon VFW [Mills Rd.], and we will follow the usual format of asking everyone to bring an appetizer or dessert to share. The club will provide the liquid refreshments. Our calling committee will call everyone to remind them of the party, to get a number of attendees, and to compile a list of what everyone is bringing.
Volunteers will be needed to help set up the hall that afternoon around 4:00 p.m. so if you can assist, please show up.
There being no further business Jack entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting by Stan Hawryluk and seconded by Carla Wible, and by voice vote the motion was unanimously approved.
Jean Fischer then introduced this evening's guest, Ernest Scuilli, who was dressed in authentic Civil War garb and who gave a very interesting presentation regarding the Civil War.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary