Published on March 21, 2012 | by Ty Pilarczyk3
The Huntsburg Historical Society: Who We Are, And Why it Matters
Somewhere in the volley of ideas and visions that shaped Huntsburg’s 2008 Bicentennial Celebration, a familiar topic resurfaced:
What about a historical society?
The conversation was nothing new. A group to preserve and promote the rich history of our little town had been discussed several times in the past century. In fact, according to Pliny O. Clarke’s book ‘Our Huntsburg Heritage’ (yes, Huntsburg has its own book—two books, in fact!), several hundred dollars were raised at the 1908 Centennial Celebration in hopes to build a museum and library, called the Hunt Memorial. However, support waned, and the funds went instead to help build the Hunt Memorial Gymnasium.
This time around, a century later, interest was mixed with urgency. Our World War II generation, which included those who have kept alive the history and heritage, were reaching their golden years. As some departed from this world, they took with them the stories and events that shaped their lives, and the township. Artifacts and information that may have been important to Huntsburg were being tossed in the trash, or divided and strewn across the country, only to end up in far-off antique shops or on EBay.
The time is now!
And so, on the heels of a successful bicentennial celebration, a small group of dedicated souls came together with the mission of, as our slogan declares, ‘Preserving & Promoting the Past, for the Future’.
At this point, I can almost hear your thoughts: “It’s just Huntsburg. What’s the big deal?”
In today’s society, it is truly a valid question. Huntsburg is so small, quiet, and uneventful. The town is not self-reliant and centrally-focused like it was before the days of cars and computers. Residents likely work, play, shop, and congregate elsewhere. Some perform these functions without even leaving their computer chair. Times have changed.
So why is a bunch of old stuff and stories from a tiny town worth all the trouble?
I’m glad you asked…
- Ever wonder who built that old house you live in?
- How old is it?
- How did it look when it was first built?
- What about those old relatives that lived across town that your grandparents told about?
- Who were they?
- What was life like?
- Are there any records, or letters, or stories of them that still exist?
- What about those odd landforms or structures you may have noticed while hurrying through?
After you digest those questions you might begin to ponder…
- The almost-hidden little wall that crosses the creek on the bend of Princeton Road, the narrow mounds in a cow field on Burton -Windsor Road, the old run-down brick house on 528—what are all these?
- Are you a military buff?
- Who in town fought in the major wars?
- Are there any vets still around?
- What was war like?
- Are there any hunters out there?
- What was the early wildlife? Are there stories of early hunters?
- Ever hear about the pioneer that racked up over forty bears, 70 wolves, and countless other vermin?
This, folks, is why the Huntsburg Historical Society truly matters. Our slogan is not just a catchy tagline! All the work we are doing archiving, interviewing, preserving, and eventually displaying—it is for YOU! We exist so you can learn about your community and its people, places, events, and great stories, and to preserve all of it so our future families can learn too.
Preserving & Promoting the Past, for the Future.
And what if you are out of town, and have no connection to Huntsburg? That’s easy! Huntsburg is a great example of what rural town life was like all over northeastern Ohio. While your ancestors may have resided elsewhere, you can most certainly appreciate what life was like for these folks ‘way back when’–before the internet, or television, or indoor plumbing! Come check us out, then work to find out more about your own locality.
And if you are so moved, please give some thought to joining our group! We are always in need of new members, and it is the perfect way to learn while helping to shape and mold the society and museum. We can always be contacted at [email protected].
And with that, this historian steps off of his soap box!
Next up in the series?
An in-depth look at an early resident named John Finley…..Huntsburg’s great ‘Man of Mystery’……..By Ty Pilarczyk