What We Did In 2017

Here’s our annual Year In Review:

  • Four of our Historical Society publications have gone out of print, and we are in the process of publishing new editions. This is challenging, since the original books were printed decades ago using traditional paper methods: The content of each book must be converted to digital format and redesigned for modern printing techniques. Readin’, Writin’, and Rememberin’ is the first of these books to be reprinted, and copies are now available! We wish to thank in particular members Larry and Nancy VanArendonk and Alena Van Arendonk for a big job well done. Not only did the entire text of the book need to be digitized and formatted, but all of the original photos were printed in half-tone, and each one had to be scanned and digitally restored in Photoshop. The page layout and covers were completely redesigned, as well. An index was added for the new edition, as well.
  • We received 150 books in February from the estate of Olga Woolman, a charter and long-time member of our Society with instructions of keeping some for the Museum and selling the rest for our profit. Ann Hansen assessed the value of each book from online sources and created an alphabetical listing.
  • In March, twelve Small Miracles spring break students visited our Museum. Brenda Toney, Tom Clouse and Dana Crapo hosted the event and had fun with the students. Brenda noted that the youth really liked the old typewriters.
  • David Ostheimer made a sketch of the Meeting House to use as a coloring sheet for young visitors. Twenty were handed out at the Street Fair to help gauge children’s responses. Nancy VanArendonk gave a presentation of Franklin Township history to four classrooms of Third Graders at Arlington Elementary School in September and left copies of the coloring sheets for the students.
  • Alena Van Arendonk updated our brochure and membership form and created a beautiful full-color version, which we use to inform the public about our society.
  • Tom Clouse and Brenda Toney cleaned the flower beds and trimmed back the summer flowers at our Meeting House/Museum. They planted new flowers between the doors and near the flag pole. Tom cut down scrub trees and the driveway bushes near Franklin Road. A traffic manager from the church just to the north of our property thanked Tom for removing the driveway bushes, which had created a traffic hazard for their members as well as for us.
  • We staged our Vintage Yard Sale on June 2nd and 3rd at the Civic League Building in Wanamaker. Receipts were in excess of $800 which included $200 from the sale of some of the Olga Woolman books. Some items not sold at the Yard sale were then sold at the Old Settlers Day street fair on June 25th. Jim Winton let us use his Indiana car license plates display at the street fair.
  • Our president, Nancy VanArendonk, gave a PowerPoint presentation of our township history to the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce members at their regular meeting and luncheon in August.
  • By the end of the year, our Board of Directors will have had 11 meetings and three social activities. Board members felt that we should have more social activity together, as well as explore more historic sites around Indiana. We met at the Meeting House and drove to have lunch together at the Kopper Kettle in Morristown last February, and made a trip to the Indiana Historical Society in September to tour exhibits and have lunch by the canal. We will meet again in December.
  • There have been 13 Open Hours sessions at the Meeting House/Museum and several private research initiatives hosted by our archivist, Marlena Linne. The Open House session on May 6th included an inspection of the Indiana Historical Society’s new book “Mapping Indiana,” which shows a sampling of the 500 years of Indiana maps from their archives. John and Carolyn Kanouse sponsored an Ice Cream and Croquet Social at our Saturday Open Hours in July.
  • Dixie Rhode gave us the pulpit Bible from the Ebeneezer Baptist Church, which once stood at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Five Points Road. (The cemetery associated with this church is still maintained, and is located on the north side of Edgewood just west of the intersection.)
  • Eight wooden quilt blocks were made and given to us by David Ostheimer for outdoor display on buildings. They are available for purchase.
  • Some personal school mementos were given to us by Alena Van Arendonk: two spiral notebooks with Franklin Township Middle School printed on the covers, some awards ceremony and theatre programs from FCHS of the 1990s, an FCHS wristwatch awarded for academic honors, and a Wheatley’s Market store closure farewell pen given in 1999. We also received an antique school desk from Laura Baugh, which we put in our “school corner” in the Meeting House.
  • We designed and erected a new bronze historical marker titled “Gallaudet Station: The Town That Never Happened.” We combined the dedication ceremony with our annual Harvest Luncheon, which was well attended. The luncheon included special guest speaker Doug Stringham of Utah Valley University, and also featured a silent auction with gift baskets donated by area businesses, proceeds from which went toward offsetting the cost of the marker. The historical marker is located at 5605 S. Franklin Road, on the property of Grace Church, near the historic site of the Gallaudet train siding.
  • We hosted tables at the Acton United Methodist Church Craft Fair and the Zion Church of Christ Craft Fair, both held in November.
  • At the time of this posting, we still have these events remaining on our 2017 calendar:
    • Christmas in Wanamaker, December 2nd
    • Old Fashioned Christmas at the Meeting House, December 10th
    • Board member luncheon at the Kopper Kettle on December 12th


As always, if you have suggestions for other events you’d like to see or be involved in, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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