President Jack Smith opened the meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall. There were 33 members and guests present.
As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of September 8, 2003. Following the reading of the minutes the president 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 Susie Cory and seconded by Jean Fischer and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jack then asked for the treasurer's report. Barb Wolfe reported that as of this evening there is a balance of $1,581.02 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $5,932.76. Jack asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening, and there were none.
As our next order of business the President invited anyone in the audience to share any "ghost stories" they may have regarding our town as was requested at our last meeting. Several members of the audience shared some interesting and funny stories that they had heard.
Next Dr. Fischer reporting as chairman of the membership committee reported that as of this evening we have 177 active, paid-up members. This number is down about 50 from this time last year when we had our big membership drive. He stated that we will be sending out little post cards before the next regular meeting. If anyone knows any of these "reluctant dragons" speak to Dr. Fischer and perhaps someone could give them a call to remind them that we would like to have them back again.
Jack then called on Jim Szippl for any further report on the railing to the front steps. Jim reported that he had spoken to the representative from Elyria Concrete and they are very reluctant to put up handrails without anchoring them to the steps. There is a serious safety concern here. It has been suggested that perhaps we could install anchor blocks to help anchor the handrail.
The only alternative to anchoring the rail to the steps again which would once again be damaged by rain and cause cracks would be to get rid of the bushes in the front of the building and anchor something on to the side of the building. Therefore, Elyria concrete desires to do the project with safety being their utmost concern, that's the way we will go.
Jack then asked if there were any comments on the Bicentennial Exhibit, and Bob Gates stated the he brought a 4th grade class from St. Mary's down to the Bicentennial Exhibit this summer and the students responded with thank-you letters which include a little summary of what they saw and enjoyed at the exhibit. The letters are displayed on the front table.
Jack then noted that it was time to be thinking about our upcoming Christmas party in December and asked the secretary Nancy McGhee if she would again chair the event. She agreed to do so and will be joined by a committee of Jean Fischer, Carla Wible and Theresa Szippl. Since last year worked out so well at the Avon VFW we will plan to hold it there again. More details will follow.
Next Dr. Fischer reported on the goings on and progress of the Small town Avon Committee. The group did a mailing up and down Detroit Road to everyone who is a registered voter. He stated that up to the present time he doesn't think we have made our point to these people. The responses and especially from the Detroit Road people has been a little "underwhelming". Our belief is that the vast majority of people did not realize that we wanted them to use a pair of scissors, cut the form, and return their replies to us.
A good number of you say you are willing to distribute these to your neighbors and we are very grateful for your assistance and we invite you to an ad hoc meeting this Thursday night. We need to get this stuff out to everybody who said you would deliver this to your neighbors. The easiest and best way of delivery would be to walk up and say "hello, I am your neighbor 'so and so' and do you know about the current charter amendment proposals? etc., However, please do not argue with anybody.
We have only had 2 bad returns so far. This solicitation should be done in the next week or two. We ask that you try to talk to the people. And, a contribution to our cause is fine, but we need their names and support and their vote. We would also like to know where everyone is going to be taking these out so we don't duplicate areas.
On to new business Ron Larson reported that he is waiting for a permit to dismatle and move the Clifton Barn. There are no specific plans at this time on starting on this structure. He has also learned that a request has been made to demolish the old Casper Garage and that are parties interested in purchasing the Williams House.
Right now there are these 3 properties on Detroit Road within the French Creek District that may not be there in the next 3 year period. There has been some discussion regarding a possible restaurant on the Williams House site, and we all know what a blow it would be to our cause to have a Taco Bell sitting on that corner where the house now stands. These are just a couple current structures that are in jeopardy that we are aware of right now which emphasizes the urgency and need to have these protective measures voted on and approved in the upcoming election.
Jean Fischer stated that at our next meeting on November 3rd our speaker will be our dear friend Millie Arthrell from Oberlin who will present "LUCY STONE," an early feminist working for the abolition of slavery.
Following a short discussion, the president then asked if there was any further business to present at the meeting, and there being none he entertained a motion from Dr. Fischer to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by Jim Szippl and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jean Fischer then introduced our speaker, Herb Rolland, who gave a fascinating talk on the role of coins in American history, emphasizing the number 13. After the talk, Herb evaluated coins which several of our members brought in.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary