AWTHS 20th Anniversary

This year, The Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society, Inc. will celebrate 20 years as a historical society.

On Thursday, March 24, 2004 Arcanum residents William Gunder, David & JoAnne Hill, Fred & Carolyn Troutwine, Keith Furlong and Anita Short first met to organize an historical society, encompassing Arcanum and the surrounding area.  On June 15, 2004, the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society, Inc. was established. These were the first founding members.

First Officers:First Board of Directors:
President: Keith Furlong  Rodman Brown 
Vice President: Fred TroutwineBill Gunder
Treasurer: Lois EilermanWendell Miller 
Recording Secretary:
Pat Jones
John Trigg
Corresponding Secretary:
Barbara Deis

The Society purchased the Arcanum Wayne Trail Grange Building at 123 W. George St. on November 24, 2004, procuring a physical working and display space for the organization.  A program schedule has been developed for the public to attend and enjoy.

Our membership began to grow. Programs and meetings were planned.

The building was in need of restoration and improvements as well as meeting code. Many awths members and community volunteers helped with the process as well as donating supplies, time, work and donations of materials.

Woodwork was stripped, walls repaired, plastered and painted. Floors sanded and refinished. The tuck pointing was done to the outside brick. Upstairs wall paper was removed. The outside porch was repaired. The ceiling in the main meeting room was removed. Many hours of labor went into the old house and it has been beautifully restored to a Victorian era. Furniture and furnishings were also donated. Landscaping was done and maintained as well.

Today the building continues to be maintained by members and the awths board and the funds are supplied from memberships, donations, fundraisers, rentals and grants. It serves the community by quality educational programs of Southern Darke County as well as providing a rental facility for meals, reunions, and parties for small groups.

We sell publications about Arcanum, authored by two of our founders, the late Anita Short and William Gunder. Information is on our web site and they may be purchased through the mail, during open hours or by appointment.

We encourage memberships and volunteers to serve in the many opportunities available.

We service a research and reference library open during open hours, which is the first Saturday of each month from 9-noon or by appointment. We will be writing in more detail about the research library over the year.

Our goal is preserving the past and present for the future through education, preservation and research.

If you have not visited us at 123 West George, we encourage you to do so as well as visit our web site and Facebook page. We have many post, blogs and links to valuable and interesting information about the building, our organization and our community’s history: it’s buildings, businesses and families who make up our Southern Darke County history!

Join us in September as we’ll celebrate with cake for our 20th anniversary!

Please follow AWTHS blog guidelines. These photos are part of the AWTHS archives.

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