While the five historical societies featured on Sunday’s Dandelion Drive are as different as the communities they reflect, the 22-mile tour showcased how each one works to interpret local history.
Sponsored by the Historical Council of Medina County, the event invited community members to travel to five historical societies for the chance to win a $100 gift card.
The Liverpool Historical Society, housed in a relocated 1895 railroad depot, was the first scheduled stop on the journey through time.
“I think the stories of our earlier people here are fascinating,” volunteer Rod Knight said. “I’ll bet they are no different than any other community; but if you dig in and bring them to life, you understand people then were the same as people now.”
Knight said the depot was moved to 6615 Center Road in Valley City to commemorate the 1976 U.S. bicentennial.
“The townspeople decided to pick this puppy up and move it here and turn it into a meeting house and a historical museum,” he said.
The depot is home to a collection of Liverpool Township artifacts, as well as a steam locomotive and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad caboose.
The Brunswick Area Historical Society’s Heritage Farm was the next stop on the tour, inviting visitors to experience life on an 1830s farm.
Inside the farmhouse museum, house guide Carol Foote explained the significance of an antique hair wreath, made in 1856 by 12-year-old Mary Goodyear.
“This was their way to remember someone,” Foote said. “They did not have photography. If you look, there are different colors of hair, each color belonged to someone else.”
Ken and Janet O’Connor, who recently moved to Liverpool Township after 27 years in Brunswick, were on their third stop of the day at the Hinckley Historical Society when Ken O’Connor said the Dandelion Drive is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about the history of the different communities in Medina County.
“I think it is very enlightening, and I think more people should come out and visit and see what our forefathers and mothers went through and how they lived during their times,” he said.
Hinckley Historical Society President Charles Gibson said the area’s historical societies are stronger together than they are individually.
“I think together as a group we get our point across about why the individual communities exist,” he said. “We have some special things that are different than Brunswick, that are different than Valley City, and this gives us a chance to expound on that.”
Root beer floats were served at the Weymouth Preservation Society, where President Susan McKiernan said the 1925 schoolhouse has a significant place in Medina County education history.
“When it closed in 1956, it became St. Nicholas School for special-needs children, and Medina County passed the first law in the state of Ohio to support a school for special-needs kids,” McKiernan said. “That’s really something to be proud of.”
The tour rounded out with a stop at the Granger Historical Society, which featured a live chicken along with a collection of antique chicken items such as an egg scale and chicken crate.
Next year’s Dandelion Drive will highlight historical societies in Southern Medina County.