Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 9-7-05

President Jack Smith opened the September 7, 2005, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall.

As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of June 1, 2005. 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 Jean Fischer, seconded by Dan McGhee and by voice vote unanimously approved.

Jack then called upon treasurer Barb Wolf for a report. Barb reported that as of August 30th there is a balance of $1,110.74 in our checking account and $6,087.556 in the money market account.

Jack then introduced Vi Free from Wal Mart who then introduced Chris Jones who is the manager of the Avon Wal Mart Store. Mr. Jones presented the club with a check for $1,000.00 which will be used to defray our costs in the preparation of the History of Avon video we are working on in particular Dr. Norton Townshend.

Mike Wolf then asked the group if anyone knew who the actual owner of the Palmer house on Detroit Road is. It is his belief that it is the oldest house in Avon and he would like to find out but no one is ever at the house.

Jack then added that while speaking about old houses in Avon, he was glad to report that with the success of the Williams House we can claim a small victory in achieving our goal, that no part of that structure will be torn down, thanks very much to Joe Richvalsky's plans being approved by the Planning Commission. Joe spoke briefly to the group and added that it was no easy matter, that it was a very, very difficult process with long meetings.

All the plans were approved as designed. They are now looking for a contractor who will complete the job. He was questioned about adequate parking spaces and he explained that a deal was made with the bar next door which would make up the additional spaced needed.

Jack then added that we are to be reminded that this building is on the National List of Historical Places, but that is still no guarantee that a building like it cannot be torn down. The only guarantee is if the structure is owned and operated by the government. If it is privately owned, there is no protection.

Again, our problem here in Avon is that our local government does not have any laws or guidelines in place to deal with historical structures. The Landmarks Preservation Commission at its June meeting asked city council to develop guidelines for Planning Commission to use in reviewing developer's applications because in most cases the developers have no idea that they are dealing with historic structures and have no idea what to do, and the Planning Commission needs guidelines so they know what to do when they are dealing with historical structures.

Jack added further that our current area of struggle is the Stone Eagle Farm on Detroit Road. As most of us are aware, the Hammerschmidt family has placed a bid on the property along with at least 10 others. They would like to run a decorating business from the house which would require a special ordinance from council. We need to keep on top of this and watch for hearings.

Bob Gates next spoke as our representative to the Landmarkss Preservation Commission who reported that as of the July meeting there were originally 244 homes on their list. Subsequently about 30 people have asked to have their properties removed from the list and most have been allowed. However, the important homes still remain on the list. Others were in disrepair or had no significant historical or structural value.

Jack next stated that Ralph White was not present this evening to report on the Detroit Road Scenic By-way project, but we are aware that Ed Herdendorf of the Sheffield Historical Society has also jumped on the wagon and would like this effort extended into Sheffield as well.

Toni Barnhart next reported on the Duct Tape Festival and wanted to thank everyone who help with the float which everyone agreed turned out great. It is currently being stored in the garage being the hall. There was a short discussion regarding the holes in the garage roof that needed immediate repair. There is a tarp over the float presently to preserve it from the weather. There was some discussion that the city might want to store "Old Betsy" the oldest fire engine in the garage as well. We'll deal with that at a later date. JoAnn Easterday offered to contact Jerry Plas regarding the repair of the garage roof.

Jean Fischer next reported that there would be an Intersociety Pot Luck Dinner on Thursday, September 22, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. in the Black River Room of the Carlisle Visitor Center, Diagonal Road, in LaGrange. Everyone is asked to bring a covered dish and their own table service. There will be a speaker also at the meeting.

Nancy McGhee next stated that our annual Christmas party would be held on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 at the Avon VFW. More details will be forthcoming. Jean Fischer then reported that our speaker for the next meeting would be Betty Lou Higgins who will speak on "Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times", a story of Ohio's participation in World War II.

There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion by Dan McGhee and seconded by Stan Hawryluk, the meeting was adjourned.

Jean Fischer introduced Rodney Beals of the Black River Historical Society who spoke on "Ethnic Churches of Lorain."

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary



October 5, 2005

Reading of minutes of meeting of September 7, 2005. Motion to approve and second.

Treasurer's Report

A. Any outstanding bills to present.

Old Business

A. Detroit Rd. Ohio Scenic Byway, Ralph White

B. Report on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob Gates

C. Update on the Williams House, Joe Richvalsky

D. Norton S. Townshend video committee, Del Fischer
(More committee members are welcome)

E. Repair of fire station roof, JoAnne Easterday

F. Black River Tour, Jean Fischer

[Produce For Victory, Posters on the American Home Front, 1941-1945

September 23 to October 26,
Tuesday - Thursday: 11 am - 4 pm,
Friday: 11 am - 9 pm,
Saturday - Sunday: 11 am - 4 pm

Lorain Palace Civic Center - Black Box Theater

Sponsored by the Black River Historical Society, the Ohio Humanities Council, and the Smithsonian Institution]

H. Sacred Landmarks Tour, Mary Ann Littell

I. _______________________________________________

New Business

A. _________________________________________________

Motion to Adjourn and Second


Jean Fischer will introduce Betty Lou Higgins who will present "Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times", a story of Ohio's participation in World War II.

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