President Jack Smith opened the September 9, 2002, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:05 p.m. with 33 members and guests being present.
As a first order of business Jack asked the secretary to read the minutes from the last meeting. Following the reading of the minutes Norb Jaworowski asked that a correction be made regarding the minutes from the last meeting. Since that time he has reconsidered his position and stated that he will be glad to do the restoration of the flag at no charge to the club. In this way there will be no confusion with tax problems. Upon a motion by Jean Fischer and second by Anna Allen the minutes were approved.
Jack asked Barb Wolfe to give the treasurer's report. She reported that as of this evening there was a balance of $956.67 in the checking account and the money market has a balance of $4,854.07. Jack then asked if there were any outstanding bills to present for payment this evening - and there were none.
Jack then gave the floor to Dottie Eldred who spoke to the group on behalf of the French Creek Development Association who have a current fund raising event selling Cat's Meows depicting The Old Town Hall and the Gazebo. See Dottie after the meeting if you are interested in purchasing these.
Moving on to committee reports Jack asked Jim Szipple to give an update on repairs to the steps and front railings of our building. Jim reported that he has spent quite a bit of time on this project contacting local builders and contractors and everyone seems somewhat interested but fall short of making a real commitment or when they could do the actual work. The Stone Salvage Company out of Painesville is the most promising at this time. Jim is pushing to have this company to give us an estimate to restore the old steps so we can keep this project moving along.
Regarding an update on the upcoming Bicentennial, since we have the main people here with us this evening, Matt Kocsis and Bill Bird, the discussion regarding the Bicentennial will be passed over for now and we'll cover everything at the end of the meeting during their presentation.
However, Matt wanted everyone to know that on Friday, September 27, 2002, students from the Cleveland Institute of Art will be coming here to view the Avon Isle structure and to meet with Matt at the French Creek Nature Center. They will be involved in a contest to design an Avon Isle display for the Bicentennisal exhibit. Money prizes will be provided by our club for the first and second place winners (donated by club members). The Avon Seniors group will also be involved on September 27.
As the next item Jack asked Ron Larson to re-cap his adventure in moving the Lewis House from its location on Center Road to its new location at Ron's Olde Avon Village on Detroit Road. Ron reported that after several delays, the move finally took place on August 21st.
The process tied up traffic for about 3 hours which was a little longer than the hour-and-a-half anticipated by the movers. So after a harrowing trip down Detroit Road with Ron and a couple friends riding the top of the house to help it pass under traffic lights and wires - the house made it to its location with a little bit of heart-stopping finality as it came down the slight slope to the Olde Avon Village resting place.
Thankfully the structure came through the move very much intact. So now phase one - the moving of the house has been completed. Phase 2 will now begin - the restoration. Ron hopes to get the roof replaced and the utilities installed before the bad weather sets in. He is in the process of getting estimates for the roof and the restoration of 3 fireplaces in the house. He is trying to restore everything to its actual 1840 being which is very difficult. Ron also wanted to thank everyone in our club for their interest and support in this venture.
Ron stated further that he continues to be interested in the old barn owned by the Mayton family. He would like to obtain some of the old beams from the Mayton barn to restore the barn he plans to rebuild behind the Lewis House that would resemble a blacksmith shop from the 1850 era that would have been in Avon. The beams would sit on top of some stone walls that were salvaged from the old barn. Ron hopes to start on the barn in the spring. The Lewis house should be pretty much put back together and part of the Olde Avon Village by next spring.
Next Jean Fischer reporting on the flag restoration stated that 3 weeks ago she had delivered the flag to Norbert Jaworowski and he got the flag out of the frame. But the sad conclusion is that the flag is in very bad shape. It was decided that the best thing to do was to leave it as is attached to the cardboard backing.
Norbert has suggested that at this point the best way to further preserve the flag would be to put it in a box frame with an acid free barrier so the flag doesn't touch the glass. The flag will be re-hung with a drapery cover over it to protect it further. A motion was made by Dr. Fischer to approve and authorize the work outlined which motion was seconded by John Eldred and by voice vote unanimously passed.
Next Jack gave an update on the Avon Historical Society's participation in the Spring Fling to be held in Avon on April 5th and 6th of 2003. Our suggestion was to open the Old Town Hall to the public and the French Creek Association will provide exhibitors. One confirmed exhibitor is Peggy Strang of French Creek Fiber who will be giving demonstrations. We will have more discussions on this event in subsequent meetings.
Jack then reported that many of our members including himself attended the grand opening of the Burrell House in Sheffield and everyone found it very impressive. It is certainly a slice of time and very beautiful and if you get the chance it is well worth your time to walk through it.
There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion by Theresa Szipple and seconded by Rodney Bock, the meeting was adjourned.
Jack then introduced Matt Kocsis, historian, Lorain County Metro Parks, and Bill Bird, executive director of the Lorain County Historical Society who gave and interesting and informative lead-in to the upcoming Bicentennial celebration and what part our club would be playing in that celebration.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary