Poland Historical Society open house

Poland Historical Society open house

Just in time for the weather to level out, the Poland Historical Society will host an open house at the Little Red Schoolhouse.

On display from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday will be a variety of historic items and documents recently received by the society.

“The donation involved papers from Christopher Lee,” said PHS President Laurie Fox. “It came from a New Jersey fellow who saw our Facebook page.”

She said Evan Shenkman from Towaco, N.J., had successfully bid on some old papers at an auction and discovered the Poland deeds from the Lee family. She said it was Barnabas “BF” Lee who built the schools on College Street.

Shenkman decided the papers needed to go to the PHS and he donated them.

“We have two whole bundles of deeds,” Fox said.

Another interesting find is the Kirtland Diaries. PHS Trustee Dave Smith has been working to translate the diaries along with a series of Civil War era letters between Issac Raub and John Nesbitt.

“I am translating and putting these documents into Microsoft Word,” Smith said. “These are our most prized possessions.”

Among some of the more recent acquisitions are a group of early deeds. The deeds date from 1830 to 1858 and contain many of Poland’s early settlers and prominent business men.

Once a page has been put into electronic form, it is placed in an acid-free sleeve to preserve it for historical value.

The PHS archival committee meets once a week on Wednesdays to go through every document and page so it can be cataloged and put into digital form.

“Some items we are uncovering in boxes we haven’t gone through yet,” said Trustee Dave Smith.

He said on Sunday the society will be displaying its collection of Poland yearbooks and fireman’s books. The old letters and papers can be shown only if a member is present.

One other item that will be on display is the large dollhouse that was designed off the Farmer’s Deposit and Savings Bank that was located on South Main Street. The real structure was built in 1874 and the model was built in 1990 by Rand and Ellen Snyder. The doll house had completed interiors and finished floors and walls. It was donated to the society from daughter Kristin Snyder-Phillips from Florida because it represented a part of Poland history that no longer exists.

The PHS began as the Poland Township Historical Society on March 26, 1980 when it was incorporated as a non-profit. On Jan. 29, 2020, the word township was dropped since the society’s mission was to preserve all Poland history, both township and village.

A lease agreement between the Historical Society and the Poland School Board was arranged for $1 per year for a period of 99 years, and thus The Little Red Schoolhouse became home to the Poland Historical Society. Today the PHS houses its collections at the old school and showcases the rich history of Poland.

If you go …

WHAT: Poland Historical Society open house

WHEN: 1-3 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Little Red Schoolhouse, 4515 Center Road

Have an interesting story? Contact JT Whitehouse by email at jtwhitehouse@vindy.com.


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