WHAT is it Wednesday for August 27, 2014

On Wednesday, August 27, we shared a photo of an archival item from the Geneva Fath Brown Collection on our Facebook page to see if anyone could identify it.

What could this be?

                                                What could this be?

A few people recognized right away that it was some sort of game and a couple knew it for what it was: a fortune telling game!  This fortune telling alphabet game is from around 1910. We came across this several years ago with processing the Geneva Fath Brown Collection, mixed in among some really powerful (and sometimes humorous) correspondence between a young Geneva Fath and soldier friends in World War I. As near as we can tell, the way this game worked was that you had a list of words from A-M and a corresponding list of boys (or girls) and you would count randomly down the list to assign the people to the words. For example, on this list Ralph H. wants to Marry you, Harry G. Adores you, Will C. thinks you’re Cute. This was a fun find because we started reminiscing about similar games like the origami fortune teller (Cootie Catcher), and M.A.S.H seen above. It goes to show the while things change, some things stay the same!

We looked through some of the materials in our Educational Materials Collection to see if there was anything else fun to share and found some Dick and Jane paper dolls from the 1960s.

Dick, Jane, and Sally paper cutouts used with a 1960s curriculum guide for Kindergarten and 1st Grade students.

In 2008 exhibit we put together a large exhibit on Education in Clark County that showcased a lot of the photos and artifacts in the historical society’s collections.  We built two model classrooms as a way to display some of the neat educational materials and nostalgic artifacts in the historical society’s collections.

Turn of the century replica classroom.

                                     Turn of the century replica classroom.

1950s replica classroom.

                                              1950s replica classroom.

There’s a lot of great stuff in our collection: text books, yearbooks, report cards, diplomas, TONS of class photos, school building dedication programs, desks, cubbies, maps, games, toys, and more. For more info on our school related collections in the archives: http://heritagecenter.us/education.cfm. For more pictures from the 2008 exhibit “Education in Clark County”.

Sources:

Biographical Category – Geneva Fath Brown Collection

Education Category – Educational Materials Collection

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WHERE is it Wednesday for August 20, 2014

This week on our Facebook page we shared a photo to see if anyone could identify the location in Springfield.

Where could this be?

Where could this be?

We had quite a few good guesses and several guesses that were correct!  Coincidentally, the photo that we submitted to the Springfield News-Sun newspaper for Monday’s “Looking Back” photo was a photo from the same disaster file: the 1886 Flood.

High Street Bridge Collapse - Published in the Springfield News Sun August 18, 2014

High Street Bridge Collapse – Published in the Springfield News Sun August 18, 2014

The photo we shared on Facebook showed Eastern School, located at the corner of E. High Street and Penn Street following the collapse of the E. High Street Bridge on May 12, 1886. Around 6:30pm on May 12, 1886 “ominous storm clouds” gathered and delivered a deluge of rain to the city of Springfield. By midnight “the wrath of waters” had flooded streets and homes throughout the eastern and southeastern parts of the city. A drainage sewer on York Street burst in the early hours of the morning, causing the water to surge more, creating a raging torrent beneath the E. High Street bridge, which eventually gave way as the embankment below washed away, leaving behind the destruction seen here.

The eastern part of the Eastern School yard closest to the railroad had washed away and it was feared that continued use of the building would be unsafe. There were a few emergency meetings with the School Board and consultation with local architects F.H. Penfield and Charles A. Cregar (he designed the City Hall/Marketplace/Heritage Center in 1890). Although the architects assured the board that the building was sound, on May 15, 1888 the Board voted to “forever abandon the building” and distribute the pupils throughout the city to other schools. A new Eastern School was built in 1887 farther up on the south side of E. High near Freeman Street (across from current Catholic Central), it was later known as McKinley School.

It is not clear exactly when the original Eastern School building was torn down, but it sat abandoned for a number of years. Later, the Centennial Cabin, a replica of James Demint’s cabin, was moved to that site. The Centennial Cabin was built for the 1901 centennial of the city of Springfield and was originally located at the county fairgrounds on Yellow Springs Street. During the centennial celebrations the cabin was open as a museum run by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The following pictures show the site of the bridge collapse, more photos of the May 1886 flood from our Disaster Collection in the archives and the Centennial Cabin in 1901, 1943, and 1975.

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Sources:

May 12-25, 1886 Springfield Daily Republic

Photograph Category – Residential – City – A-L – Centennial Cabin

Photograph Category – Disasters – May 12, 1886 Flood

Education Category – Springfield City Schools – Eastern School

Springfield City Directories

WHO is it Wednesday photo for August 13, 2014

Yesterday’s WHO is it Wednesday photo was kind of unfair…there was virtually no chance that anyone would know who the handsome young gentleman was! Actually, we chose the photo because we just happened to run across it in our collection of identified local men and the picture was so striking, we just couldn’t resist trying to learn more.

Who could this handsome gentleman be?

Who could this handsome gentleman be?

We’ll take you through our long and winding detective process:


The back of the photo said “Rich Hackett, 1886-1891, CCHS 7487 Item 8.” The first stop was the city directories, where Richard was listed as a painter in a house on Main Street with his mother and siblings from 1886-1891. Next we jumped to our clipped obituary card file and found a Richard Hackett who died in 1983. While that particular Richard seemed very interesting (he worked at Crowell Collier, headed the Hackett Trio), his 1896 birth date and 1983 death date told us he was clearly NOT the correct person. Our next step was Ancestry.com for census records where we found Richard (b. about 1867) with his widowed mother (Eliza)beth and siblings (Mary, Patrick, and Charles) in the 1870 and 1880 census records.

1880 Census showing the Hackett children with their mother and grandfather.

1880 Census showing the Hackett children with their mother and grandfather.

His mother showed up in the 1900 census with Charles, who was listed as an elevator operator. A quick search of Familysearch.org turned up a death record for brother Charles in 1913 and said he was buried in St. Raphael Lagonda Cemetery. So, we grabbed the index to St. Raphael burials off the library shelf and found that the entire Hackett family, parents Charles and Elizabeth with children Richard, Mary, Patrick, and Charles are ALL buried with one stone (and no dates) at St. Raphael’s.

Hackett Listings in St. Raphael's Cemetery, Springfield, Ohio

Hackett Listings in St. Raphael’s Cemetery, Springfield, Ohio

With still no sign of Richard and no death date, we turned back to the census, where we found a Richard Hackett, who appeared to be around the right age, married to a Katie in Greene County. Mystery solved, we thought, he moved! Then we found the same Richard Hackett in Greene County in 1870 and 1880 with different parents…so definitely not our guy.

1900 Census from Greene County, Ohio showing a Richard Hackett and wife Katie

1900 Census from Greene County, Ohio showing a Richard Hackett and wife Katie

Since the photo had an old CCHS inventory number on the back, we checked the index card files that were used for artifacts and archival material at the historical society in the 1970s and 1980s to see if finding out about the donor might give us a clue. Recently, two of our volunteers, Ruth and Marguerite, spent several months organizing the boxes of old inventory index cards so that we can access the information more easily whenever we find an item labeled with a CCHS inventory number.  The card told us the donor’s name (Mrs. Frances McKee), but a brief search in that direction did not appear to yield any obvious connection.

Donor card from index card filing system, used at the historical society 1970s-1980s

Donor card from index card filing system, used at the historical society 1970s-1980s

Finally, it dawned on us to check the Probate Court and Health Department death records that we have in the archives and there he was. Sadly Richard Hackett died at a very young age on August 25, 1891 at age 24. The cause of death listed was heart failure. Now, with a date, we turned to the 1891 newspaper microfilm and found a death notice on August 26. Interestingly, we noticed that a benefit for his brother Charles, the city building’s elevator operator, was scheduled for October 12. The benefit was to raise money for an artificial limb for Charles….a story that we’ll have to investigate more later!

Death notice for Richard Hackett, August 26, 1891

Death notice for Richard Hackett, August 26, 1891

Benefit notice for Charlie Hackett (brother of Richard), ran September 15, 1891; benefit held October 12, 1891

Benefit notice for Charlie Hackett (brother of Richard), ran September 15, 1891; benefit held October 12, 1891

With all of this information put together, we decided to go a bit deeper to determine if Mr. Hackett was related to the W.R. Hackett who started the wholesale fruit and produce business in Springfield. The 1860 census gave us our answer: Charles Hackett Sr. was the brother of Peter Hackett….who was the father of William R. Hackett. It appears that Richard and William Hackett were cousins!

1860 Clark County Census showing Charles Hackett (Sr.) with his mother Bridget and siblings.

1860 Clark County Census showing Charles Hackett (Sr.) with his mother Bridget and siblings.

This foray taught us some lessons, namely, don’t always go with the first match you find just because the name is the same!

Sources:

Photograph Category – Identified Men

CCHS index card files

Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org

Springfield Township Cemeteries Listings Volume 1 – St. Raphael/Lagonda Cemetery

Health Department Death Microfiche, September 1891

WHAT is it Wednesday artifact photo for August 6, 2014

On Wednesday, August 6, we shared a new WHAT is it artifact photo on our Facebook page to see if anyone could identify what it is.

What could this be?

What could this be?

This was a tough one and there were a lot of great guesses, and only ONE right answer. This is a pen. But not just any pen, it’s a push button retractable Arrow dip pen, made by the Eagle Pencil Co. of New York. At first glance, upon seeing the clickable end, a few staff members here did this this was a pen, but when we clicked, nothing happened. Our curator Kasey stumbled across the pen while working on the inventory of room 6 on our second floor. She says she was puzzled and clicked it off and on for a few moments while holding it vertically…it wasn’t until she tipped it at just the right angle that the bottom detached and the pen tip dropped out. The piece the drops out of the bottom clicks into place to hold the pen tip. It’s really pretty neat!

ArrowPen ArrowPen ArrowPenJust for fun were pulled some other more modern writing utensils from the collection, representing several local businesses, schools, campaigns, etc.

See any you remember?

See any you remember?

In the archives we have several handwriting primers in our Educational Materials Collection. Here are a few pages from two different 1948 Zaner-Bloser books. Look familiar to anyone? We also have quite a few student desks that contain spaces for inkwell, including the one here. Our fanciest inkwell by far is Asa Bushnell’s crystal number shown here, given to him by his staff in 1896.

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Student desk with hole for inkwell.

Student desk with hole for inkwell.

Crystal inkwell given to Governor Asa Bushnell by his staff, 1896

Crystal inkwell given to Governor Asa Bushnell by his staff, 1896

Inkwell

Inkwell

Rayburn Neff Inkwell

Rayburn Neff Inkwell

Sources:

Bartley Collection

Education Category – Educational Materials Collection

WHERE is it Wednesday Photo for July 30, 2014

On Wednesday, July 30, we shared a new WHERE is it Wednesday photo on our Facebook page:

Where could this be?

Where could this be?

We really had a lot of great guesses with this one!  Most people noticed that the photo showed a paving crew and there was a lot of speculation as to where in Springfield this could be.  Guesses included Fountain Avenue, Limestone Street, High Street, and Lagonda Avenue.  There were several people who recognized the school in the background (which was the big giveaway) as Elmwood School, which was located at 280 S. Clairmont Avenue.

When the photo was donated to us in 2012, the donor did not provide any identifying information, so we did our own detective work to discover the location. We started off in the wrong direction with a suggestion that this was Sunset Avenue around 1932. We did a little bit of scouting back in our archives, through the city directories, and on Sunset Avenue in person and found some promising matches on houses and learned that architect Robert Gotwald had built Trinity Evangelical Lutheran on Sunset in 1913. Although the building in the background didn’t look very churchlike, it DID look like a Gotwald building to us. Luckily, one of our volunteers thought to flip through the Harry Laybourne “Springfield, Ohio Revisited” photo book and was able to match the building as Elmwood School. We did a bit more research and found the dedication program and learned that Robert Gotwald had also been the architect for Elmwood School in 1903.

Elmwood School, built 1903

Elmwood School, built 1903

We also wanted to share with you some more interesting finds from our collections: a 1931 map of Springfield showing the paved streets highlighted in yellow, Bomag road roller models donated last year, Kelly Springfield and Buffalo Springfield road roller photos from catalogs in the archives, and repair on an unpaved N. Fountain following the February 1929 flood.

1931 Springfield Map showing paved streets highlighted in yellow

1931 Springfield Map showing paved streets highlighted in yellow

Service Department Truck, early 1900s

Service Department Truck, early 1900s

Road Roller and Service Crew on S. Clairmont

Road Roller and Service Crew on S. Clairmont

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Bomag Steamroller models

Repair following the 1929 Flood

Repair following the 1929 Flood

 Sources:

Manufacturing Category – Kelly Company Collection

Photograph Category – Government – Service Department file

Photograph Category – Frank Braun Collection – 1929 Flood file

Photograph Category – Education Collection – Elmwood School file

WHO is it Wednesday Photo for July 23, 2014

On Wednesday, July 23, we posted a new WHO is it Wednesday photo on our Facebook page of this gentleman here:

Who could this be?

 

There were several good guesses, but no one recognized this as former Clark County Fair Manager Bryan “Putt” Sandles.  (Actually, one of our volunteers, a former Fair Board member herself saw the picture in person and recognized him right away!) The photo shows Mr. Sandles atop a tower at the fairgrounds advertising the 1953 county fair. The photo was taken by Howard Weber Jr. (better know as Howdy) of the Springfield Daily News at a time only 5 years after the relaunch of Clark County’s annual fair. Bryan Sandles was credited with developing the fair into the best of its kind in the nation. Considered to be a master showman (he was former manager of the Ohio State Fair), he was invited to Springfield to run the fair in 1948 when it first came to its current location on Route 41. Before that, the fair, formerly located on Yellow Springs Street, hadn’t been open in almost 25 years.

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The fair has its roots in the 1840 formation of the Clark County Agricultural Society, who first met to organize a annual exhibit of livestock and produce. That original society only lasted for a few years before disbanding, but luckily the reorganized in 1853 and held the first annual fair on Yellow Springs Street (now Davey Moore Park). The tradition last until 1925 when it was discontinued due to financial burdens. For 22 years there was no official fair as we know it today, but 4-H clubs in the area still held an annual “achievement day.” In 1947 the old city airport was secured as the new site for the fair and it has been held there ever since.

Since this is the week of the Clark County Fair (tomorrow is the last day!), we wanted to share a few photos from our collection to look back at past fairs. The recently donated Springfield News-Sun collection contained an entire box of fair photos, articles, and special newspaper sections and we also have premium books from dozens of years in our Social History Category Fair Collection! The fair is a great and longstanding tradition!

1978 Fair Poster

1978 Fair Poster

1976 Fair Queen Candidates

1976 Fair Queen Candidates

1953 Fairground Aerial

1953 Fairground Aerial

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Phil Dirt & the Dozers, 1994

1979 Fair

1979 Fair

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George Berkhofer in the Clark County Historical Society artifact barn, 1976

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Fair poster, 1977

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Fair Queen Candidates, 1994

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Sack Race, 1977

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Herman the Magician, 1979

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Fairground Maps, 1978

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Fair Queen Candidates, 1979

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Fair, 1994