President Jack Smith opened the February 4, 2002 meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. with 37 members being present.
As a first order of business Jack asked the secretary to read the minutes from the last meeting. Upon a motion by Theresa Szipple and seconded by Anna Allen, the minutes were approved as read.
Jack asked Barb Wolfe to give the treasurer's report. She reported that as of January 31st there was a balance of $1,001.69 in the checking account and the money market has a balance of $4,805.99. Jack then asked if there were any outstanding bills to present for payment this evening - and there were none.
Beginning with committee reports - reporting on the repair and/or replacement of the front steps and railings, Jim Szipple reported that he has talked with city officials several times regarding the project. It has been recommended and decided that the city will take care of the repairs because they have the equipment and manpower to do the work but more importantly because of the liability involved in making the repairs and if necessary they will contract some of the work out.
Jim will advise them when there is a window of opportunity with no meetings to be held here at The Old Town Hall so that the city can perform the work.
The next committee report was from Dr. Fischer regarding the upcoming Bicentennial involving our club. He reported that the work involving converting video tapes, etc., to DVD for our use is moving along quite nicely. Also he and Jack Smith and others have been attending various Bicentennial meetings with various other county groups. He reminds us that the Avon club will be involved in major displays and much work is required early on.
We are working basically on 2 displays right now 1) Elmer DeChant's model farm and 2) the water wheel/mill project. As a new addition regarding the Avon Isle restoration project the city is working on a model for us to use and display. Jack Smith reminded everyone again that if anyone has any artifacts or pictures of Avon Isle we would appreciate borrowing them to enhance our exhibit.
As an added item of interest Mike Wolfe stated that going back into the history of the Avon Isle it should be noted that way before it was a well-known dance hall it was used as central meeting point for the buying and selling of horses that were used in the Spanish-American War
Report on the Landmark Ordinance committee, Jack reported that our proposed ordnance will be discussed at the Planning Commission work session on Wednesday, March 13th at 7 p.m. There is always strength in numbers and it would be appreciated that if any members can make the meeting it would be a nice show of support for our group.
Jack asked for a report from Jean Fischer regarding the city decorating committee and Jean stated that nothing new has been going on. She has checked with Ellen Young again at city hall to see what pictures they want and she is waiting to hear back from her.
Next on the shade committee Jack asked for a report from Toni Barnhart who reported that she had traveled to Brownhelm to view their window coverings along with Dr. & Mrs. Fischer and Jack Smith. Since that time she had obtained a price of $150.00 per window from Penneys for vinyl over fiberglass which are currently on sale.
George Bliss offered to find out the cost of window coverings at another hall that just purchased some. The projected cost would be in the vicinity of $900.00. After some discussion Barb Wolfe suggested that since we are not under a deadline to purchase these blinds, that perhaps we should table the immediate purchase at Penneys and look into it further. It was agreed that the committee would obtain more bids and report back on it next month.
Jack asked for a report from Ron Larson - a committee of one on a mission to save and move the Lewis House on old State Route 83. Ron gave a rundown of his recent meetings with the planning commission where he submitted his plans of what the Avon Village would look like when completed. He thanked the members of the club who also attended this meeting to support him.
The current status of the project is he is now waiting for the architect to submit the architectural and engineering plans showing the actual position on the property on Detroit Road. He must appear back at the Planning Commission on March 20th seeking their approval. Since this venture began First Interstate is not longer the owner of the property - Wal Mart is the owner now and all dealings are shifted to Wal Mart and a third party Neff & Asociates to make sure everything is ok. Since timing is an issue - Ron must have everything in order and approved so he is ready to perform when he needs to.
When asked what the cost is involved to move the house Ron stated approximately $63,000.00 and banks won't lend money for moving a house. He stated further that the house seems to be primarily secure inside was being lived in up until January. On a positive note Ron learned today that WalMart and First Interstate each donated $5,000.00 to help with this project. Since this is a personal venture and all the costs are coming out of Ron's pocket if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for soliciting city hall to waive some of the costs and fees - it would be appreciated.
Also if anyone has any landscaping advice or other expertise to assist, please see Ron as any help would be appreciated. Another part of the project will be to move the foundation from the barn that remains in the back of the property. The foundation was also a work of art and Ron wants it preserved. Be reminded that once the excavation begins everything will be gone - this stuff is just in their way and nothing will be saved unless we do it now.
Dr. Fischer asked if Ron had a breakdown of the actual cost and Ron replied that AAA movers charge $38,000.00 - the ground work, excavation, foundation blocking, etc., will be approximately $19,000.00 and another $11,000.00 right now for architectural and structural designs and layouts. Then there will be more fees and permits for the State Highway Patrol, Centel, CEI, etc., We all wished Ron luck with this huge undertaking.
Jack stated that we have a new member, Eric Jaworowski who will be assisting our inventory and architectural committee with their ongoing project.
Next Jack called on John Traxler to give a report on the plaque committee. John reported that the committee after much discussion had decided that the park across the street offered more of a focal point than trying to erect the plaque next to our Old Towne Hall which no longer has a large enough area to display the plaque. By putting it on the grassy area it would be easily visible fron the road and just for practicality reasons it seemed the more logical location to install the plaque.
John Eldred reminded the group that it would be necessary to obtain the approval of the French Creek Development Association and City Hall before the plaque is installed. A motion to accept the recommendation of the plaque committee contingent upon acceptance by the city and the French Creek Development Association was made by John Eldred, seconded by Ron Bock and by voice vote the motion was passed.
Next on the agenda Jack called on Bill Furnace to report on the committee he is serving on representing our club with the County Historical Society with the video tape project. He reported that they have met several times and have a working committee with a working outline and everything seems to be going along pretty well at this time. They are trying to keep the video tape to 1 hour long with credits. They will be meeting again soon to check on the progress - but Bill feels that the people involved know what they are doing.
Jack announced that at our September 9th meeting Bill Bird and Matt Kocsis from the Lorain County Historical Society and Lorain County Metro Parks respectively would be speaking to our group on the upcoming Bicentennial program.
Jean Fischer reported to the members that she had been contacted by the Firelands Historical Society who will be putting together a quilt show dealing with the history of the Western Reserve. They are interested in borrowing our quilt. Jean asked for a committee to consider this and Lynette Bock agreed to assist Jean. They quilts would be on display from May 11, 2003 through August 8, 2003.
George Bliss reported to the meeting that the new Lorain County Maps would be ready by the end of March with the correct spelling of Nagel Road. He will keep us advised as to his ongoing project to correct the spelling of Nagel Road everywhere.
Jack announced that the next meeting would be Monday, April 1st at 7:00 p.m. which will be a wine and cheese tasting provided by Ray Rider.
Lynette Bock questioned whether or not we wanted to move the meeting date since it was the day following Easter and people may be out of town. A short discussion was held with a decision to be made later.
There being no further business conduct upon a motion made by Bill Furnace and seconded by Anna Allen the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m. followed by a movie presentation, The `Ghosts of Gettysburg' by Bert Nesbitt.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary