Eleven Organizations Receive First-Ever History Fund Grants

February 27, 2013

Contact: Shannon Thomas, 614.297.2317
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Columbus OH—The Ohio Historical Society (OHS) is pleased to announce that it has awarded eleven organizations History Fund grants. The History Fund is a competitive matching grants program that is one of four "tax check-off" funds found on Ohio's income tax forms and entirely funded through Ohio taxpayers’ voluntary contributions.

“The History Fund was developed to support the preservation and sharing of Ohio history by funding local, regional, and statewide history projects, programs, and events,” said Burt Logan, executive director and CEO for OHS. “It is proving to be a very popular and worthy program that helps history-related organizations across Ohio fund the projects that are meaningful to their communities.”

The strong demand in this first year of operation underscores the need for the History Fund and support for history projects in Ohio. OHS received 64 applications totaling $891,000 in requests. The supply of grant monies available was $114,000, thanks to the nearly 17,000 Ohioans who voluntarily contributed to the History Fund in 2012 (tax year 2011).

“We hope the high number of grant applicants will inspire more Ohioans to donate to the History Fund,” said Andy Verhoff, OHS’s local history coordinator and administrator of the History Fund grant program. “There are so many deserving projects and all of them demonstrate the need for this program, one solely dedicated to supporting history projects.” For information on how to donate to the History Fund through either the tax check off or a donation, visit

Grant recipients and projects include:
  • Clark County Historical Society, Springfield, $15,000, for a project that will enable the society to update and improve the care of its collection of historical artifacts and make them accessible through a digital catalog. 
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History, $12,873, to pilot on a wider scale a proven and highly innovative means to quickly and inexpensively document prehistoric Native American archeological sites in the eastern Lake Erie basin, which, if widely adopted, could lessen the need for full scale excavations of sites across Ohio and the Midwest.  
  • Cleveland Restoration Society, $15,000, for the “Know Our Heritage Educational Program,” which will document and raise awareness of endangered historic sites in Cleveland’s African American community.
  • Dennison Rail Road Depot, Dennison, $15,000, for a project that will enable the Depot, a WWII era icon and National Historic Landmark, to alleviate crowded artifact storage conditions at two of its museums and enable both to move to a facility, which will insure the long-term preservation of the historical collections. 
  • Eden Valley Enterprises, Elyria, $15,000 for support of a PBS documentary about Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, an ordinary Ohioan who overcame adversity and became extraordinary through her hikes of the Appalachian Trail in the 1950s and ‘60s. Gatewood’s inspiring story will broaden our understanding of what the Women’s Movement, fitness, and successful aging means.
  • Friends of White Water Shaker Village, Inc., Cincinnati , $15,000 to build ADA-compliant restrooms at this National Register of Historic Places-listed site, the last intact Shaker site in Ohio. Restrooms will enable the Village to open to the public, the plan of the site’s leaders since 2001. 
  • Granville Historical Society, Granville, $6,041 for a re-enactment of the first Anti-Slavery Convention in Ohio at Granville in 1836. The event will enable attendees to recreate and examine the issues that eventually led to the Civil War. This project is impressive for the partnerships among the historical society, Denison University, and local schools to produce the event.    
  • John & Annie Glenn Museum Foundation, New Concord, $6,600 to construct additional display cases at the Foundation-operated National Road/Zane Grey Museum. The additional cases will enable the museum to take on loan and exhibit private collections, otherwise unavailable, of locally-made wares from smaller firms during the region’s heyday as a pottery manufacturing center. The exhibits will offer new reasons to visit the museum and encourage repeat visitation. 
  • MidPointe Library System, Middletown, $2,160 for the digitization of four historic Butler County atlases. The project will make the maps and information in the atlases available digitally through the library system and protect the originals from the damage that comes from frequent handling.  
  • Pioneer Historical Society of Muskingum County, Zanesville, $8,000 to repair the roof of the Stone Academy according to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The Academy, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is part of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.   
  • Union County Historical Society, Marysville, $3,300 to digitize rare color film footage from 1938 showing everyday life in a small town and rural Ohio, generally not well documented on film – much less in color. The reels also include footage of the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, and Ohio State football games. The digitized film will be posted on You Tube and distributed to local libraries and schools. 

The eleven recipients of History Fund grants were announced at the Ohio Statehouse on Statehood Day, February 27, 2013. For more information on History Fund grant deadlines, and eligibility requirements, visit


The History Fund was created as a result of the “tax check off” for OHS in the state’s two-year budget, signed into law by Gov. John R. Kasich on June 30, 2011. The legislation allowing for the change in state tax forms was initially brought to the General Assembly by former State Rep. Kathleen Chandler (D-Kent) in 2005. State Rep. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) re-introduced it before it was enacted in the state budget.  On previous year’s IT-1040 forms, Ohio residents have had the option of donating to causes such as military injury relief, wildlife conservation, and nature preserves. The History Fund joined these programs on the 2011 Ohio tax form and will be on future tax forms, providing Ohioans with a simple way to help preserve their state’s history. Tax refunds are not the only way to support the program; OHS also accepts direct donations designated for the History Fund.  All donations are tax-deductible. The Ohio Historical Society serves as the administrative organization for the History Fund and cannot apply for the grant funds. To learn more about the history fund, visit 

Founded in 1885, the non-profit Ohio Historical Society (OHS) provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history. The society has over 1.5 million items in its collections throughout its 58 sites and within its 287,000-square-feet Ohio History Center at 800 E 17th Ave. (Exit 111 off I-71), Columbus, Ohio, 43211. The Society receives a portion of its funding from the state, but relies on admission fees, memberships, grants, donations and other forms of revenue to continue to serve Ohioans in the future. For information regarding the Society, contact Shannon Thomas, Communications Specialist, Ohio Historical Society: 614.297.2317, Visit the Ohio Historical Society at