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History group schedules monthly meetings

By Paula Scott

On Wednesday, January 11, nineteen individuals who are interested in the history of the Bluffton area gathered for an exploratory meeting on the topic of creating a Bluffton historical society and museum, with or without the “Historical Society” name tag.

The meeting was chaired by Dan Groman, a vintage Chevy car enthusiast who has visited many historical sites across Ohio. Groman collected names and emails from those in attendance and scheduled future meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, with a February 8 meeting planned for 7:00 p.m.

Welcoming those in attendance, Groman explained that he has visited several excellent museums in small Ohio communities and decided that it was time to pitch a similar endeavor to residents of the Bluffton area.

The first steps towards creating a historical organization are forming a nonprofit organization with bylaws. Groman has started sketching out bylaws using another organization’s rules as a template. The discussion included the idea of creating a committee to visit museums and to begin holding monthly meetings. 


It was noted that there are many artifacts in the community–such as an extensive train collection once owned by Dr. Boyd Travis–and that accepting donations is far down the line. Members of the Swiss Community Historical Society were present, including SCHS president Gary Wetherill. It was noted that this society currently stores items that are outside the scope of its purpose that could be displayed by a Bluffton historical museum.

Groman noted that this endeavor is starting from scratch. As yet, there are no funds and no location for the museum. He would like to see a museum located in central Bluffton. 

In a followup email, Groman noted, “We have a lot of things to figure out, but it was great to discuss a path forward.  I know that there are a lot of people in this community that have thought about doing this for a long time. Let's work together and make this happen.”

For meetings in the near future, it was suggested that individuals volunteer to provide brief, 15-minute historical talks.

Another item to think about is the name of the new venture. While the organization would focus on events and artifacts from the past, it was suggested that it have a more contemporary name that need not include "historical society." For example, the Ohio Historical Society has rebranded as the Ohio History Connection.

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