LOGAN – Hocking Hills’ “best kept secret” is getting upgraded thanks to fundraising help from the Hocking Hills Tourism Association (HHTA), vice president of the Hocking County Historical and Genealogical Society and Museum Ann Cramer said.
From its Schempp House to a park off Route 33, the Hocking County historical society, located at 64 N. Culver St., is a six-building nonprofit organization that showcases hundreds of years of history. The organization is currently fundraising through a Destination Investment Fund (DIF) grant through the HHTA, Cramer told The Logan Daily News.
The grant is a challenge grant where every dollar donated will be matched by the HHTA – up to $6,231. The DIF funding will be used for brick-and-mortar repairs, Cramer explained.
“Our biggest need is electrical repairs in the Schempp House,” Cramer said. “It’s an old historical building, built in 1881. Even though I think they’ve worked on the electric once, it’s now in need of replacement on the second floor.”
The furnace for the Schempp House, located at 98 N. Culver St., is also antiquated. Those repairs are a priority issue for the society, Cramer said, as the building stores many historic artifacts.
“Even if this grant doesn’t work out, we’ll have to find a way to do (those repairs),” Cramer said.
The Schempp House has many different displays from various time periods represented in its rooms, Cramer said. For example, its dining room features turn-of-the-century 1800s objects, while a boy’s bedroom features objects a child in the 1930s would have had. The building also has a Katie Smith collection, Cramer added.
Another grant the historical society is receiving will help fund canal history in the county, Cramer said. The grant will help the organization showcase and trace the history of the Hocking Canal, including its route, which ran through Logan into Athens.
“The canal grant is going to be a really good thing,” Cramer said. “We’re going to develop a video of a canal route people can see, we’re going to put up a historical marker by (a) canal lock... We also want to develop some coloring books for kids with canal themes, and develop some brochures.”
The history of the Hocking Canal is becoming a recent topic of interest. In 2018, vibrant blue lines were painted throughout Logan to mark where the canal once ran, The Logan Daily News reported. The canal was an important part of life before railroads, Cramer said.
Cramer said she’s thankful for the opportunities the tourism board has presented and she looks forward to collaborating with them more in the future. She also said plans are in the works for reopening the historical society to the public, and that she’s hopeful for consistent hours later this year.
In the meantime, the museum is open by appointment only. More information about the historical society can be found at hockingcountyhistorymuseum.org and on its Facebook page, facebook.com/OurHockingCountyHistory/. More information on donating to the society can be found on the Columbus Foundation’s Give Store website, at columbusfoundation.org/the-giving-store/nonprofit-directory-listing/hockingcountyhistoricalsocietyinc/12504.
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