Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 2-3-03

President Jack Smith opened the February 3, 2003 meeting of the Avon Historical at 7:00 p.m. with 32 members and guests being present.

As a first order of business the president asked the secretary to read the minutes from the last meeting. Following the reading of the minutes upon a motion by Jean Fischer and second by Theresa Szipple, the minutes were approved as read.

Jack asked Jean Fischer to give the treasurer's report in the absence of treasurer Barb Wolf. She reported that there was a previous balance of $705.03 in the checking account but after this evening's receipt of additional membership money and a check from the Avon Seniors group for Jean's speaking engagement, there is now a balance of $764.03

Jean Fischer then introduced Sue Boucher, the owner/operator of Sue Beez Embroidery Inc., on Detroit Road, here in town. She was kind enough to speak to the group for a minutes and to display some of the Ohio Bicentennial products for sale in her shop. If you have any questions or special requests, see Sue after the meeting.

Jack then informed the members present that Bill Mayton has brought a few photographs with him this evening of the 1875 school house #5 that sits on the Mayton property on Center Road for anyone's perusal.

Toni Barnhart then reported that she had spoken to the VFW and they are willing to donate a new flag for our flag pole. Jean Fischer then informed the members that there was no need for such a donation as we already have a new one in storage.

Toni further reported on her ongoing crusade regarding the Avon Post Office and its inadequacy. She has learned that the main post office is not happy with the Avon Post Office because they are getting some heat regarding our problems here - so because of the letter writing campaign they are getting the message that Avon residents are not happy - and something needs to be done.

Jack then wanted to thank Bill Furnace and Dr. Fischer for the recent news letter that was sent to all the members. Dr. Fischer then presented a bill in the amount of $54.84 to cover the cost of the letter and postage. Rodney Bock made a motion to reimburse Dr. Fischer for this cost which motion was seconded by Dan McGhee and by voice vote passed.

Jim Szippl then gave the group an update on the renovations for the front steps and railing. He stated that right now there is really nothing new because we are waiting for good weather to work on it. The gravel needed for the base is in the side lot. After the steps are righted, then they will proceed with the hand railing. They have adequate machinery for moving the stone steps, but are merely waiting for the weather to break.

Theresa Szippl then reported on the progress regarding the collection of artifacts for the upcoming Bicentennial Exhibition. She reported further that she had left several e-mails with Matt Kocsis with no response. It is her understanding that they have all the articles that they need. Jack Smith also confirmed that Matt has been to see Jean and Dr. Fischer and selected some items from their home for the exhibit. Our part of that project is now completed.

Jack then stated that there are no further Bicentennial meetings scheduled at this time as construction of the exhibit has started. The next item we have to deal with is our actual on-site participation at the exhibition as guides. It would be greatly appreciated if everyone would sign up for at least one 3 hour stint at the Bicentennial exhibit. The fee at the door is $1.00. The total money received from attendance will be split between the historical societies according to the percentage of time the clubs volunteer there.

On Saturday, April 5th at 10 a.m. there will be a short meeting at the French Creek Nature Center and volunteers will be taken through the exhibit so that you know what to tell the visitors that come through the exhibit.

Be reminded that May 5th our regular meeting will be held at the Nature Center. At that time Jack Smith with the assistance of Jean Fischer will personally give our group a tour of the exhibit.

Tuesday evening, May 6th will be the day we specifically invite Avon city officials to be our guests at the exhibit. Jack then asked for a committee to oversee this venture. Eric Schatschneider, and Jean Fischer volunteered. It was suggested also that we serve refreshments that evening and we would have sign up sheet available before that time.

Toni Barnhart then reported that The French Creek Development Association is seeking sponsors to purchase stone eagles for $35.00 each to pass on to grades 3 through 12 in all the Avon Schools for a decorating contest in conjunction with the upcoming Bicentennial.

Each class is then to do whatever they want in the way of decorations - painting etc., The stone eagles will then be judged and the winner will be displayed at our exhibit at the Nature Center. The sponsor who purchases the eagle will be the actual owner, but we are hoping to decorate the town with the eagles during the Bicentennial celebration.

Jack then reported that the Landmark Ordinance Committee has now shifted its energy toward trying to make the Landmark Ordinance part of the Avon City Charter. Jack further stated that he has been chosen chairman of the charter review commission. This is an ongoing process that we have to keep our eyes on.

Jack then asked Jean Fischer if there was any further report on the window shade project and she stated that the shades that we were interested in are no longer available and for the time being we have put this project on hold and are not pursuing it.

Next Ron Larson spoke regarding the preservation of the Lewis House. Ron stated that the windows are in - the work on the inside fireplaces is coming along. We are presently trying to locate old sandstone for the front steps. We are still tying in all the utilities. He is also working with 3 consultants right now - we're trying to locate an actual 1840 barn so that we can duplicate it. We should have something very soon to present to the Planning Commission.

Ron stated further that it is important to continue pushing for this type of program to identify those landmarks that are worth saving such as the old school house because as time goes by we will continue to loose those structures to the developers.

Ron stated further he and Jack Smith and Dr. Fischer have been attending meetings of the Lorain County Historical Society as they try to list and develop a financial fund for preserving historical homes in Lorain County.

He stated that the only negative thing about the meetings from his perspective is that he believes that the committee seems to becoming more of an Elyria committee and its not focusing on the entire county area. It needs to be reminded that it is serving the bigger picture - all of Lorain County. Hopefully they will realize that and we can get more members in Lorain County actively involved and attending these meetings to bring the focus on all of Lorain County.

Jack then gave an update on our club's participation in the upcoming Spring Fling on April 5th and 6th. Jean Fischer then reminded the group that we have offered The Old Town Hall to The French Creek Association and it will have displays and a quilting demonstrations going on. The judging of the decorated stone eagles will be done at the gazebo and the eagles displayed here. We may have coffee available but will not be serving refreshments.

Dr. Fischer our membership chairman stated that as of this evening we have 222 paid up members.

Regarding our oral history committee the president stated that this project continues to go very well with the Ford Motor Company volunteers - to date among some of the local residents they have interviewed by Jim Gornick are Bill Furnace, Gene Lescher, Dr. Fischer, Bill Cummings, Franny Bommer, Ruth Plas, Len Clawson and others.

Jack Smith then reported further on the Landmark Ordinance Committee and the progress of our struggle to insist on no more than 3 lanes on Detroit Road. He emphasized how important it is to make this a part of the Avon City Charter.

The problem with it being an ordinance is the an ordinance can literally be repealed over night - without any notice to the people - and without any notice in the newspaper. That is why we feel it is so important that this be put into the Charter as Avon Law to maintain our quality of life here.

Be reminded that there is a charter review commission meeting this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall caucus room. It would be appreciate it as many people as possible could attend.

Theresa Szippl then announced to the meeting that Jean Fischer will be speaking at St. Mary's Church Hall on Sunday, March 2nd at 2:00 p.m. The church is in the process of major repairs and renovations and Jean has graciously agreed to give a history of the parish including the lead glass windows in the church, etc., There is no fee for this event.

Also be reminded that on March 2nd Jack Smith and Dr. Fischer will be presenting the Avon Quilt Story at 2:00 p.m. at the Avon Library if you would like to attend.

Looking ahead to our April 7th meeting please note that Millie Arthrell of Oberlin will give her presentation on Theodore Roosevelt. This is one you won't want to miss.

Be reminded that our May 5th meeting will be held at the French Creek Nature Center. This will be our regular business meeting followed by a tour.

Our next regular meeting will be here at The Old Town Hall on March 3rd with Al Doane being our speaker that evening with a presentation of the old interurban streetcar system of Lorain and Elyria.

There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion by Toni Barnhart and seconded by Theresa Szipple the meeting was adjourned.

Jean Fischer then introduced Ton Hoerrle of Sheffield Village who gave a history of the historic Burrell House and its connection with the Underground railroad.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

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