Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 10-6-04

President Jack Smith opened the October 6, 2004, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 30 members and guests present.

As the first order of business Jack announced that this evening we would be having an abbreviated meeting since our program this evening will last at least 1 hour, and so we will address only timely issues at tonight's meeting.

He then asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of September 1, 2004. 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 Mike Wolf, seconded by Ruth Plas 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 $1,283.41 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $6,004.47. The president asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening and there were none.

Jack next recognized JoAnne Easterday who announced that on Saturday, October 23, 2004 the park department and park board will be heading up assembling the skate park ramps behind the old city hall building. They are looking for volunteers to start at 8:00 a.m. and hopefully the project will be finished by 5:00 p.m. There will be pizza, fruit and pop furnished for the workers, and young and old alike are invited.

Jack next reported that they are still asking for pictures to be included in the upcoming Arcadia book that our club is involved with along with the French Creek Development Association and this evening received photographs from Nancy of the 1953 tornado that came through Avon and did extensive damage to her family's home.

Dr. Fischer next gave a wrap up report on the recent 40th anniversary celebration held on Sunday, September 19, 2004 from 2 to 4 at the home of Wilbur Cahoon on Stoney Ridge Road with current residents, Jean and Dr. Del Fischer acting as our hosts. He stated that Wilbur was pleased to have 55 people come through the house and he hoped everyone enjoyed themselves.

Reporting further as membership chairman, Dr. Fischer stated that about 70% of the members have renewed their membership which means about 30% have not. Incidentally he would be glad to see anyone after tonight's meeting if they would like to renew their membership.

Jack next wanted to mention that the committee for the 2005 Duct Tape Festival from our club would be Tom Wible, Toni Barnhart, Jean Fischer, Nancy McGhee and Theresa Szippl, just so he wasn't forgetting anyone.

In the absence of Bob Gates, Jack stated that Bob was going to arrange a tour of the old Avon Isle Park on either October 10th or October 17th at 2:00 p.m. At that time we would tour the building and grounds. It has been suggested that perhaps the city could build a walkway all the way from Avon Isle Park to Stonebridge on Colorado Avenue.

Moving on to the next item, this year's Christmas Party Nancy McGhee stated that the VFW Hall had been reserved for the party on Wednesday, December 1, 2004. As usual, the evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the buffet starting at 6:30 p.m. For the benefit of new members Nancy explained that this party is for members only, that club provides the liquor and pop, and that members are asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to share. More information will be available at next month's meeting, as well as setting up a committee for this year's party.

Jack next announced that at next month's meeting on November 3d our guest speaker will be Millie Arthrell who will give a presentation on Civil War General McPherson.

There being no further business to present at the meeting Jack entertained a motion from Pat Furnas to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by Mike Wolfe and by voice vote unanimously approved.

Jean Fischer then introduced tonight's speaker, Kathrin Donnatucci who will give a slide presentation of The Bicentennial Barns of Ohio.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

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As per the vote on 10-6-04 after the program:

The Avon Historical Society will meet Sunday, 10-17-04, at 2 p.m. at the Avon Animal Hospital parking lot to tour the Avon Isle Park and enjoy the fall colors. Bob Gates will lead a discussion of a possible "riverwalk" for Avon.

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AVON HISTORICAL SOCIETY AGENDA

November 3, 2004

Reading of minutes of meeting of October 6, 2004. Motion to approve and second.

Treasurer's Report

A. Any outstanding bills to present.

III. Old Business

A. Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob Gates

B. Update - Arcadia Picture Book Project, Jack Smith

C. Norton S. Townshend video committee, Del Fischer

D. ________________________________________________

New Business

A. Christmas Party, Date, December 1, 2004, Avon VFW

B. _________________________________________________

C. Motion to Adjourn and Second

Our guest speaker will be Millie Arthrell who will give a presentation on Civil War General McPherson.

``Major General James Birdseye McPherson

Sometimes called the "Forgotten Hero of the Civil War," General McPherson was mortally wounded in a skirmish during the Union advance on Atlanta July 22, 1864.

At the time of his death, the 35-year old native of Clyde, Ohio, commanded the Army of the Tennessee and was the highest ranking Union Army commander to die in the Civil War. Upon hearing of McPherson's death, General Ulysses S. Grant, who later became President of The United States, retired to his tent and wept, commenting sadly, "The country has lost one of its best soldiers, and I have lost my best friend."

James B. McPherson was born November 14, 1828 in Hamer's Corners, (now Clyde) Ohio. Childhood memories of runaway slaves passing through his hometown in their escape to freedom in Canada opened his eyes to the problems of slavery and other problems which would eventually lead to the Civil War in which he would lose his life.

Among McPherson's boyhood friends were Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, William F. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, all of them Ohio boys who became Union generals during the Civil War. Three of them became presidents of the United States.

From 1849 to 1853 McPherson was a student at West Point, the U.S. Military Academy. At the time of McPherson's graduation, Coronal Robert E. Lee was superintendent of the academy; Secretary of War Jefferson Davis was the commencement speaker. James B. McPherson was listed at the top of his class.

Following graduation, he was retained as an engineering instructor. Later he was assigned to supervise harbor and river improvements and seacoast defenses on both Pacific and Atlantic coasts. For some time he served in a staff capacity for General Halleck, and then chief engineer with General Grant at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, and then at Shiloh. At the battle of Vicksburg, he was in command of the XVII Corps.

He had been given a furlough and permission to return to Baltimore to marry his sweetheart, Emily Hoffman, but before he could get home he was called back by General Grant to assist in planning the attack on Atlanta and to take over as the general of the Army of the Tennessee.

On July 22, 1864, while reconnoitering with his orderly, they encountered a group of rebels, and he was shot and killed. The knightliest figure of them all, a young general only 35 years old, one of the most brilliant men in the Union Army had fallen in action.''

Click here for more on General McPherson.

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