2009-12-05 / News

Licking County writes its own history

By Scott Rawdon

NEWARK – Licking County’s bicentennial celebration deserved far more than a mere parade, said Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb. It needed a memoir. “It was an excellent bicentennial for the county,” he said Wednesday morning at the Commissioners’ office in Newark.

Bubb, who served as the Licking County Bicentennial Commission chairman, gathered members of the media and others to introduce the Licking County Bicentennial Commission’s legacy project to commemorate the county’s 200th birthday, which was last year. “Why are we still talking about the bicentennial?” asked Bubb. He said the county began celebratory plans in 2007, which included more than 40 events countywide throughout 2008 that focused on education and history.

The legacy project is a book called “Journey through 200 Years-Vintage Vignettes from Licking County,” which is 91 short stories highlighting the county’s first 200 years. Several of the stories’ highlight events were not previously published or publicly detailed.

According to a Licking County press release, this very readable volume features an artistic layout with many photos and illustrations. Subjects include Moundbuilders and Native Americans, serving God, defending our nation, politics as usual, and famous and infamous, among many others. Local historian and reference librarian Dan Fleming edited the story collection and contributes 55 of the 91 stories. “It was a major effort working on that book,” said Fleming. He said he wanted more writers and historians to contribute, but they were hard to find. “That’s why I wrote most of the stuff myself,” said Fleming. Jon Emler, Dave Hile, Rita Jackson, Jim Lukens, Licking County Commissioner Doug Smith, Larry Stevens, D. Robert Tharp, Martha Nichols Tykodi, and Pat Tavener Walrath also contribute.

The Bicentennial Commission will distribute a limited number of books to public and high school libraries, and then give its publishing and distribution rights to the Licking County Historical Society as a fundraiser and as a means for the book to be continually available to the public. The historical society can fill orders for the book in soft and hardbound covers.

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