Historic Pipe that Caused Mill Explosion

There’s an artifact, #427, in the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio’s collection that has not been on display for a number of years and sits quietly in a drawer. However, it is among the earliest of artifacts collected for the original 1904 Wooster Public Library Museum which was absorbed by the formation of the … [Read More]

1906 Swartz Voting Machine

It seems appropriate to spotlight a Wooster inventor’s Voting Machine as the featured From The Collection artifact in November of 2016. These mechanical devices were used to define ballots and to cast and count votes during an election. This voting machine was designed and built by Judge Hiram B. Swartz during his retirement years. It … [Read More]

Wooster’s Wood Water Lines

Wooster’s first water distribution system was built in 1811. These early engineers would set up a gravity water system, starting from a spring or stream on high ground, which allowed water to flow downhill to a desired location, which was often some sort of catch basin. The trick was to find some way to transport … [Read More]

Humongous 1856 Baker’s Map of Wayne Co. Ohio

Sometimes the story about how an artifact was acquired is more interesting than the actual artifact itself. This may be the case with the large framed 1856 Baker’s Map that hangs in the Little Red Schoolhouse on the campus of the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio. The map has darkened with age, some type … [Read More]

Elizebeth Hochstrasser Gravestone

Formally, this featured artifact, a broken but intact gravestone, is not officially part of the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio’s collection. Basically, the Society has been temporarily housing it for 34 years until it can be returned to its proper place in Steele Cemetery, also known as the old Sommer-Speicher Cemetery. Unfortunately, it may … [Read More]

Was Your Relative a Blainiac?

Stored in a drawer, wrapped in tissue paper and pinned to a note-card, is this 1884 James G. Blaine Presidential campaign brass pin in the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio. It was donated by Mrs. Jean (Stophlet) Flattery and originally belonged to her parents, Reverend Samuel W. Stophlet and Laura Stophlet. … [Read More]

Dear Father and Mother Kimmell….

The Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio documents vault volunteers recently unrolled a photocopy of a two-page letter written in 1822 that was donated in 1967 by Mrs. Samuel J. Vogelhuber. The pages had to be placed on light box to read and decipher the old faded long-hand script writing on age-darkened paper but it … [Read More]

Musical Compositions of Elizabeth Wood Vance

Maintained underneath the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio campus is the Ethel Parker Archive Vault Complex. Inside this vault the society stores rare books, maps, letters, local newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, and many other paper-based artifacts that preserve different facets of Wayne County history. Among the items in this vault are music books, musical scores, … [Read More]

Bradbury Square Grand Piano

The square grand piano that sits in the Beall-Stibbs Homestead house in the southeast room on the first floor, which was the family parlor, was donated after the death of Emeline Stibbs McSweeney on November 5, 1958. Miss McSweeney’s Will stipulated that much of the Stibbs family furniture, the three oil portraits of General and … [Read More]

1896 Ohio Pupils’ Reading Course

If you graduated from a public high school you likely were required to read certain works of literature or books often referred to as classics (or opted to read the Cliffs Notes version of these publications). Even back in 1896 there were lists of books, poems, and speeches that students were expected to read and … [Read More]