Since 1960, the Ohio Local History Alliance – in partnership with the Ohio History Connection – has led the state in recognizing excellent projects, programs, publications created by Ohio historical societies and museums, as well as recognizing individuals who have contributed greatly to the field of history.
At the 2021 Annual Meeting, OLHA presented 12 Outstanding Achievement Awards to a selection of organizations and individuals that have inspired, connected, and educated their audiences in Ohio.
Learn more about the winners and their projects from the descriptions below, and consider submitting your Outstanding Achievements for the awards in 2022!
OHIO LOCAL HISTORY ALLIANCE CHAMPION AWARD
- Richard T. Prasse – Richard T. Prasse, also known as Ted, has served a number of organizations in different capacities, including National History Day for more than 30 years. He is the immediate past Chair of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, the management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area in southwest Ohio. Ted is former President and Chair of the Ohio Historical Society (now called the Ohio History Connection). He is a current trustee at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums and Dawes Arboretum, and has a long list of additional community service and achievements. Ted exemplifies a Ohio Local History Alliance Champion for his work with individual organizations and his ability to connect, promote, and advocate for Ohio history.
- Brayden McAfee – Brayden McAfee’s Eagle Scout project was to construct a museum of 19th century farm vehicles and equipment in the lower part of the Noble County Historical Society’s 1940s barn. The equipment has been stored inside and outside the barn over the years and on a dirt base. He had to clean up, repair, and then show off the equipment after building a level base in the barn. For that base, he used screenings and brick. Also added to the project, was lighting in the lower barn so people could see the vehicles and equipment. Brayden added narratives of the pieces of equipment of how they were used. $2000 was fundraised for materials in the barn museum. Brayden McAfee exemplifies the service Eagle Scouts provide to local history organizations, and we are pleased to recognize his service to the Noble County Historical Society with an Ohio Local History Alliance Champion Award.
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
- Timothy Daley, Cuyahoga County Soldiers and Sailors Monument – Tim Daley served as Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Soldiers and Sailors Monument for the last 12 and a half years, until his retirement on May 30. Tim enjoyed the challenge of making the Monument relevant and bringing in the public. He developed the hugely popular “Tunnel Tours” a single weekend a year where over a thousand people make their way through the tunnels that make up the support structure of the Monument. Tim also developed and supported many core programs such as Descendants Day, Veterans Day, Christmas at the Monument and most importantly the reestablishment of the Monument’s Traditional Decoration Day. It is through such activities and observances that this 127-year-old Monument stays relevant to modern visitors and appropriately honors the memory of the 9,000 men who served in the Civil War from Cuyahoga County. During his tenure Tim developed lasting partnerships with a wide variety of Cultural, Fraternal, Historic, Military and Patriotic organizations throughout the Community. Tim has long served on the boards of the Ohio Local History Alliance and the Northeastern Ohio Inter-Museum Council. He also continues to serve as the Executive Director of the Cleveland Masonic Library and Museum as well as other fraternal, civic and religious organizations.
- Judith M. Sheridan, The Upton Association – Judith Sheridan is a member of many historical societies in northeastern Ohio, allowing her to network with many people with similar interests. Her involvement with local, regional, state and international groups all ties together as a package to promote education and interest in Ohio history. Historic preservation is paramount to Judith. She continually searches for items of historic interest for the Upton House in Warren. She has donated period pieces of furniture and accessories, made curtains and quilts. She was instrumental in window replacement decisions for the house, ensuring that they match the historical period style. Judith demonstrates excellence in all areas of the Upton Association: finance, leadership, historic preservation, membership, communication, publicity, and community outreach. She is assiduous in her work for the success of the Upton.
HISTORY OUTREACH – BUDGET UNDER $25,000
Media and Publications
- Huron Historical Society & Kathy Muelhauser Moore – “Explore Huron History” – Kathy Muelhauser Moore was approached by an anonymous donor back in 2016 who asked if they could fund a special project for the Huron Historical Society (HHS), and she suggested the interactive kiosk. It took a few years to decide on the format, gather all the information, decide on photos, and produce video content. Using a Cleveland-based company for the kiosk, Kathy produced and edited most of the videos. Data came from some of the Huron Historical Societies previous programs and/or publications. Most of the work was completed in 2020. Kathy interviewed numerous people, searched for information in the Huron Reporter and other newspapers and researched the Huron Historical archives for information and photos. In addition to the original $10,000 grant she secured additional funds from the Mylander Foundation and a foundation in Maryland whose administrators had ties to Huron. The project was entirely funded by grant money, a total of $20,000. Huron Historical Society current President, Alyson Wilson stated, “Preservation and access to archival collections is our commitment to the community, history practitioners, students, citizens, and genealogists. We believe as a Board that this level of community engagement is part of our purpose. Kathy’s website will make a difference in educating our community about our past in a interesting and interactive manner.”
Exhibits or Displays
- The Sutliff Museum – “A Million Ways to Die in the 19th Century” – The Sutliff Museum presented its first digital exhibit titled, “A Million Ways to Die in the 19th Century”. This exhibit within the Sutliff Museum’s website consisting of three components: Mini episodes, feature videos, and photographs. There are six mini episodes that touch on specific areas that were deadly to the 19th century population. This ranges from household items like lighting and wallpaper to fashion including clothing and makeup. Each of these episodes are between 2 and 4 minutes long. They included two feature videos in the exhibit. The first is on diphtheria, a disease that touched the Sutliff family personally as well as many families in the 19th century. The second video discusses the difference between miasma and contagion theories. There were a lot of debates in the 19th century between physicians on how diseases were spread and how to treat them. This video briefly touches on this topic. The third component consists of 15 photographs provided by the Melnick Medical Museum. These photographs show medical tools and medicines used by physicians in the 19th century which prove to be very deadly today. This exhibit is still available on the Sutliff Museum’s website through December 2021.
- Loveland Museum Center – “World War II Honor Roll Restoration” – The Loveland World War II Honor Roll was dedicated in the Pennsylvania Railroad Park in 1944 to honor local men and women who were serving in the war. It was octagonal in shape. With the eagle perched on top it would be 10 to 12 feet high depending on the base. It listed all the Loveland area service members with the inscription “We Honor These Who Serve for God and Country in All our Thoughts and Prayers.” It was designed by local artist Carl Zimmerman (1900-1985), who taught at the Cincinnati Art Academy and was a leader in the Cincinnati arts community. The monument was removed about 1953 to make room for a shopping center. The monument was re-discovered on a farm just outside of Loveland where it had been used as a garden shed for many years. The structure was moved to the museum campus in early 2020 with the plan of completing the project by Veteran’s Day. The COVID-19 epidemic delayed those plans. The dedication took place May 31, 2021 immediately following the City of Loveland’s annual Memorial Day Parade and Observances.
- Sandusky County Bicentennial Traveling Museum – “Sandusky County Bicentennial Traveling Museum” – A group of local residents joined together to form the Sandusky County Bicentennial and offer a year of events and outreach to celebrate the county’s bicentennial in 2020 and then it’s bicentennial + 1 year in 2021 (celebrated because most 2020 events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic). One of the outreach initiatives was to create a traveling museum that could visit various fairs and events throughout the county, as well as schools. The committee raised money through private donations and grants to buy a trailer that it outfitted with exhibit cases, museum panels and TVs with video displays.
HISTORY OUTREACH – BUDGET OVER $25,000
Media and Publications
- Shelby County Historical Society – “The Churches of Shelby County Past and Present” – The idea to commemorate the importance of churches in our community was spawned during planning sessions for the 2019 and 2020 bicentennial celebrations for Shelby County and the City of Sidney respectively. The original idea was to create a publication containing information on the various active churches within Shelby County. As time moved on, a decision was made to include former or “bygone” congregations as well. The goal was to list demographic information for each active church. This included the name of the minister/priest, the telephone number of the church office, the physical address of the institution, the service times, and more. Histories of the active and former congregations were also on the radar. Many individuals and organizations were enlisted to achieve this phase. Among them was the staff of the Shelby County Historical Society and several volunteers in the community. In addition, each and every school system in the county was contacted and asked for student researchers to provide information on their local churches as well. This enabled us to engage young people in the research and creation of the book.
- Randy Winland & Marion County Historical Society – “Moments & Memories – A Collection of Marion County History in Celebration of the 2020 Bicentennial” – Randy Winland’s interest in his adopted home town of Marion led to his collecting Marion Memories in the form of memorabilia, postcards, photographs, books, and stories. Over the years, this interest grew resulting in his involvement in a wide-range of local history activities. During 2020, Winland served as the chairman for the Marion County Bicentennial Celebration. While most of the planned celebration activities were cancelled due to the pandemic, one that did continue unabated was Moments & Memories which entailed the creation and sharing of a collection of 366 snippets of information focusing on the people, places, and events from Marion County’s first 200 years. All proceeds from the book sales benefit the Marion County Historical Society. Moments & Memories is Winland’s fourth book focusing on the history of Marion and Marion County. Winland has served as an adjunct professor for Ashland University, as well as four terms as president and more than twenty years on the board of trustees of the Marion County Historical Society.
- Delaware County Historical Society – “Cultural Communities of Delaware County: Early Settlers and American Indians 1770-1850” – Cultural Communities of Delaware County, 1770 -1850 is an entertaining and educational experience for school-age to adult audiences. The program is a series of 9 vignettes that illustrate the interactions between the Lenni Lenape (Delaware People) and early pioneers who settled Delaware County. Historical experiences of early settlers and American Indians are depicted through multi-media presentations that incorporate re-enactment, art, dance, and music. The program also includes an artifact cart of objects in use during the time period. The program was designed to be performed by Delaware County Historical Society volunteers for a live audience. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the vignettes and descriptions of the artifacts were recorded and edited into a 90-minute program that was viewed on YouTube and Face Book on March 25th, 2021. A follow-up Question & Answer session with Delaware County Historical Society volunteer program presenters of Cultural Communities of Delaware County, 1770 – 1850 was held via Zoom on March 30th, 2021.
Exhibits or Displays
- Friends of Harriet Beecher Stowe House – “Our Neighborhood Story: A Tour of this Walnut Hills Block” – This outdoor exhibit, which is accessible to visitors from dawn to dusk, highlights the story of the changing neighborhood of Walnut Hills. By centering the exhibit content on this particular block we can see transformations concerning the Lane Seminary, the nearly 200 year history of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, the development and apex of the Black business district, and the changes wrought by road construction and urban planning.