Historical Society takes inventory, to open research room

Matt Echelberry

February 20, 2014

Galion Historical Society’s Inventory Committee has taken on two major projects. The first is converting the main office into a public research facility.

The office, located at 201 South Union Street, is where Coordinator Kristen Hoffert works. Her office space inside the building was moved to another room, to make way for a research hub that will contain a wealth of history and genealogy information.

Kim Seckel, chair of the Inventory Committee, said the Society is in the process of creating policies for allowing public access. It is the beginning of the process, but an effort they hope will be beneficial to the community.

The second project is closely tied with the first: Transferring all of the books, documents, textiles and all other materials from the attics of various properties to proper storage areas.

Hoffert explained that last year the Society received an assessment from the Ohio Historical Society. It was recommended that those materials be taken out of the attics because they can be damaged by the extreme heat and cold.

But it is not simply moving materials from one place to another. According to Hoffert, each item must be documented properly. Texts must be read thoroughly, some clothing articles will need their own containers and items big and small will all need to be packed properly.

It is a lot of tedious, time-consuming work to sort and organize. However, the payoff is having a more detailed record of where to locate each item, which will help potential researchers using their facility.

“We live here,” Seckel joked about the process. The committee usually meets every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Other members of the Society help when they can, and Seckel said volunteers are always welcome (just stop by the office).

Marcia Yunker, another committee member, has been scanning photos in the Society’s archives as part of the project. To date, 8,071 pictures have been scanned over the past year. Volunteer Anita TenEyck has helped with the scanning. They have a Facebook page, called “Galion Past Photos Need ID’ed,” where people can help to identify who and what are in each photo.

“It’s been successful so far,” Yunker commented. “We’re finding pictures we didn’t even know existed.”

The equipment being used for scanning the photos was loaned to the Society. They applied for a grant through the Ohio Historical Society in hopes of purchasing a computer and scanner of their own.

Yunker said more pictures from the 1970’s are currently needed. They are also seeking issues of The Spy, especially for the past decade. Note that the Society always accepts donations that are pertinent and relevant to Galion history.

The Society is also focusing on renovations for Grace Episcopal Church, in part to make it handicap accessible. They have utiltized some funds from the Freese Foundation and have applied for a Hessenauer Grant. Overall, Hoffert noted they want the church to be more usable in order to hold more public events there.

People interested in helping with any of these projects are encouraged to contact the Society at 419-468-9338 or Its website is

The Society always encourages people to join, because, as Seckel said: “This is their history too.”

They emphasized there are all kinds of things to get involved in. Other committees include Outreach, Programming and Tours. Members receive a monthly newsletter, are invited to the annual members banquet and can participate in programs and events throughout the year.

Its next event is Feb. 23. There will be an antique appraiser at Peace Lutheran Church from 2-4 p.m. Stop by with your antiques to see what they are worth!

The Galion Historical Society, Inc., is a non-profit corporation that exists to preserve and promote the history of Galion and surrounding townships. It was established in 1955. The 2013 Board of Directors are: Mary Court (president), Marcia Yunker (vice president), Trudy Kempf (secretary), Tim Wertman (treasurer), Rich Henry, Linda Hoover, John Renock, Kim Seckel and Kit Walter.