Marion County Historical Society History 1969-1984 by Trella Romine
A Seed is Planted
During the 1960s Judge Charlton Myers hosted a WMRN Radio Program on Sunday afternoons called “The Salt Rock Marching and Historical Society. His “Society” had only one member—Judge Myers. These programs aroused an interest in Marion County history that had been latent for many years. As a result Judge Myers taught Adult Education Classes on Marion County History. in 1966 and 1967.
When David Haldeman approached him about forming the Marion County Historical Society, Judge Myers furnished him a list of the students who had taken his classes. A group met at Hemmerly’s Flowers to send letters inviting them to an organizational meeting on February 17, 1969 at the Women’s Club Home, at 1126 East Center Street. Seventy-five founding and charter members joined at that meeting. Charlton Myers was elected president.
Without a Home
When MCHS was founded in 1969 the new organization had no home. For several years program meetings were held in the auditorium at Ohio State University Marion campus and board meetings were held in member’s homes.
The Society became a magnet for donations of articles of historic value. Eventually they were located at twelve sites including Turner Hardware’s attic on South Main Street, the second floor of Laippley’s Big Red Quick Print Shop on East Center Street, and at member’s homes.
Carl Lehner was president when Phillip and Phyllis Boyd donated the cottage at 255 South Main Street to MCHS. After extensive remodeling led by Wayne Harper the collections of the Society were moved there. Changing exhibits were prepared by Gary Barnhart and open house was held on Sunday afternoons with volunteer greeters. Gary also started what he called the “gift list.” This was the beginning of our collections management program.
The next big move was the result of over a year of negotiations with the United States Postal Service led by John Hixson and Trella Romine. A new post office was to be built on Barks Road West and the one at the corner of Church and State Streets would be offered for sale. Without the support of George K. Brown, who was seeking a home for his valuable collection of popcorn machines, the next home of MCHS would not have been possible. His offer was accepted of a monthly payment to MCHS for the use of the 1936 annex at the south side of the building as the Wyandot Popcorn Museum.