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Amherst Historical Society
- CATEGORY: Other
- Contact Name: Donna Rumpler
113 South Lake Street
Amherst, Ohio 44001
The Amherst Historical Society, a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, was founded in April of 1973 and currently boasts about 350 members. The Society became accredited in 1990 by the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums (OAHSM). Only about 15% of Ohio museums and historical societies have achieved such accreditation.
Current efforts are focused on expanding our educational and civic role in greater Amherst/Lorain County community by providing new and nontraditional education programs to all county schools. Our most important current educational service is our "One Room School" program for 3rd graders. We received the prestigious Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museum's Achievement Award for a Youth School Program. We also received the coveted "Crystal Apple" Award from the Amherst Board of Education in recognition of the excellence in our academic programming.
In 2000, to rave reviews, we formally added our newest educational program to our school tour: "Fire and Iron: Blacksmithing." The Sandstone Museum Center, a developing six acre historic site, has been a fifteen-year project of the Amherst Historical Society; its role is to preserve and interpret our region's unique heritage of sandstone quarrying and the Industrial Revolution of the 1800's. Our "living history" programs are designed to educate and inform local schools and the Community about our proud history.
A rapidly growing complex of 19th Century sandstone structures, the Sandstone Museum is home to a number of unique old buildings saved from destruction, described in the following links.
The Amherst Historical Society's dedicated and energetic Board of Directors, embracing the cultural, educational and civic need for the Sandstone Museum Center, consists of fifteen volunteer members of the community. Several paid staff members make up the professional core of the Society's development efforts. However, it is our volunteers who run the social programs, staff the museum, and meet the Society's daily goals, which make up the heart of the Society.
With voluntary assistance and cooperation of Cleveland Quarries, Inc., the Society has embarked on its "Historic Quarry Initiative," with the goal of completing an 1880's era "working" sandstone quarry, complete with the original, period equipment.
As part of this initiative, in October of 2000, the Society raised over $12,000 in non-grant funds among Board of Trustee members in less than a month, with significant support from other Amherst community groups and citizens as well, in order to save from destruction a local industrial landmark with historic value: the sandstone quarry's water tower. This rare, wooden water tower was once used by Cleveland Quarries, Inc. in all its large sandstone cutting operations. It was disassembled, moved and prepared for reconstruction at the Sandstone Museum Center. Over 86" in height and weighing in excess for 28 tons, this tower will play a significant role in interpreting the machinery revolution. In addition, a ten ton Electric Motor, circular in shape is the centerpiece of a exhibit on early electrical technology.
Based on the core principles of historic preservation, interpretation, education and family, the future of the Amherst Historical Society is bright, and full of opportunities and challenges.
As the Society's membership and role in our community continues to grow, its place as an integral piece in the greater Lorain County cultural quilt is assured. So come and join us by becoming a member, and experience your community's history as you never have before!