Five Chillicothe Historical Organizations to Host Ohio Statehood Day Open Houses

Five of Chillicothe’s historical organizations will host open houses on Saturday, March 4th in commemoration of Ohio Statehood Day; the annual observation of the founding of the State of Ohio which took place on March 1, 1803.  

Among the featured highlights will be special exhibits and programs on Ohio’s founding and first capital Chillicothe, the 100th Anniversary of Camp Sherman and the U.S. entry into World War I, and many other aspects of local, state and U.S. history.

The Ross County Historical Society Heritage Center, 45 West Fifth Street, Chillicothe, will be open 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Featured will be the grand opening of a new exhibit of World War I uniforms and equipment once belonging to local soldiers and soldiers from military units trained at Chillicothe’s Camp Sherman. There will also be a special one-day exhibit of rare Ohio statehood documents from the historical society’s archives and an extensive display of early American firearms from private collections.  In addition, the event will offer an opportunity to see the magnificent marble statue of Ohio’s 31st Governor, William Allen, recently acquired from National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.  All other regular museum exhibits will also be open.  The Silver Strings dulcimer ensemble will perform traditional music throughout the afternoon.

Adena Mansion & Gardens, 847 Adena Road, Chillicothe, will be open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Adena is the historic home (built 1806-07) of Thomas Worthington–Ohio’s first U.S. Senator, sixth governor, and “Father of Ohio Statehood.”  Mansion tours start every 30 minutes beginning at 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to 1802 and join in a fiery debate over whether Ohio should become a new state or remain a part of the Northwest Territory.  Debates will take place each hour beginning at 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the museum located at the Adena Visitor Center.

The David Nickens Heritage Center, 71 West Fourth Street, Chillicothe, will be open 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Featured will be fascinating exhibits on local, regional, and national African-American history and culture including “Occupations of People of Color in Chillicothe’s Past,” “Freedom’s Journey: The Underground Railroad,” “African-American Women in the 19th Century,” and “The Black Church in America” featuring audio readings of an 1832 sermon by David Nickens and an 1842 letter from an African-American Revolutionary War veteran to the estate of Thomas Jefferson.  Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the acclaimed video production on the Underground Railroad titled “Flight to Freedom,” and learn about the center’s new resources for researching African American genealogy.

The Lucy Hayes Heritage Center, 90 West Sixth Street, Chillicothe, birthplace of Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, will be open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Featured will be special exhibits of Hayes family memorabilia, early Ohio maps and statehood documents, and 19th century home furnishings and decorative arts representing the era when Lucy Webb lived in the house.  A dramatic first-person portrayal of Chillicothe’s founder Nathaniel Massie, by David Tillis, will take place at 1:00 p.m.

To conclude, the Ross County Genealogical Society, 444 Douglas Avenue, Chillicothe, will be open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The public is invited to stop in and learn about the large number of resources available for anyone interested in researching their family tree.

Chillicothe’s annual Statehood Day Open House is free and open to the public and provides an enjoyable opportunity for learning more about the many fascinating chapters in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio and U.S. history.  For more information, please call (740) 772-1936.

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