The new markers will highlight the village's history as Ohio celebrates its bicentennial.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
POLAND -- Ginny Meloy has spent the past quarter-century living in historical homes.
"I like living in old houses because it makes me feel connected to Poland and its history, the land, the structure and its people," Meloy said. "They take me back to my own roots, to my own family feelings of values. When I go into the old places, I feel like I go back to my heritage."
Since 1985, her home has been the Inn at the Green on South Main Street, a building that she and her husband, attorney Steve Meloy, preserved. Through much love and care, the home was renovated and transformed into a bed-and-breakfast.
It is the Meloys' second historical home in Poland. And it is one of dozens of historical buildings throughout the village.
Ginny Meloy and other members of Poland Village Gardeners are reviving a 25-year-old tradition to honor those historical structures.
As the state celebrates its bicentennial, the village group is renewing its Historic Marker Program, through which buildings that are at least 100 years old receive a plaque showing the date they were erected and the name of the family who first owned them. Committee members for the project are Meloy, Elinor Zedaker and Jackie Boniface.
Meloy and Zedaker showed off a marker recently that will be hung on the Village Hall, built in 1845.
Its first owners were the Stoddards, who owned a tannery just south of Yellow Creek.
Many other buildings have the new markers already, including the Meloys' home, built in 1876.
Garden club members hope to compile a listing of all the historical homes at Village Hall, where residents and visitors can view it and use it to take historical tours of the village.
"I think it's important for people to remember their heritage and preserve the past," Meloy said. "It's just something to be very proud of. … Poland is just a very unique community."
The $30 acrylic markers are in the shape of the state of Ohio.
Former markers were similar but made of plywood, and the garden club hopes to replace the old ones while also placing new markers on homes that have not yet been recognized.
The village was settled in 1796 by people from New Wallingford, Conn., and they brought with them the architecture of New England, Meloy explained.
The oldest building still standing is the Old Stone Tavern, built in 1804 on Main Street by Jonathan Fowler.
Architectural styles range from the white frame, dark shuttered Western Reserve Greek revival style -- like the Village Hall -- to the later 19th Century Victorian style -- like Meloy's home.
"We're so fortunate to have so many original structures standing and preserved in such a beautiful state," she said.
"It's like time has passed the village by.
"... It's just a little gem. Poland is truly a gem in the heart of the Valley."