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August 14, 2020

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A video dive into local history

Swiss Historical Society creating weekly video tours of Schumacher homestead

Volunteer docents at the Schumacher Homestead, a property owned and operated by the Swiss Community Historical Society (SCHS) of Bluffton and Pandora, were disappointed when the historical facility was unable to open on schedule in early June.

You may watch the video of Gary Wetherill at the bottom of this story -

However, they decided that they show must go on and are now producing weekly video tours of the historical facility.

Armed with their cell phones, SCHS docents will give viewers a taste of the 1840-50s farmhouse, kitchen garden, summer kitchen, workshop, barn, and grounds.

The first video is narrated by board member Gary Wetherill, providing an overview of the property once owned by the Schumacher family. One generation—that of Peter and Elizabeth Schumacher – raised 16 children in the four bedroom farmhouse.

While the docents are perhaps best versed in the treasures found in family photo albums and Bibles, barn lofts, and attics, they are tackling their new assignment with a “whatever it takes” philosophy.

Tour coordinator Susie Gratz notes, “Docents are the public face of our organization. We interact with visitors of all ages and make every effort to engage them in meaningful ways.

"We love to tell the stories of the Homestead and hope our guests are inspired to learn about their own family stories.”

The historical society counts on volunteer docents to show visitors how to churn butter, craft wood shingles, bake in a wood-fired oven—to demonstrate tasks and explain farm items that are unfamiliar to modern families.

Now the society’s motto—preserving the past, building for the future—also applies to building a library of videos which will be available through swisshistorical.org, Facebook, and the "Bluffton Pandora Swiss Historical” YouTube channel.

Plans to reopen the homestead, which is typically open on Saturday afternoon through August, have not yet been finalized.


Schumacher Homestead introduction, SCHS of Bluffton/Pandora, Ohio