2013-05-25 / Front Page

Historical Society has 15th Birthday

By Scott Rawdon

Courtesy Photos Courtesy Photos BUCKEYE LAKE – More than 40,000 visitors have walked through the Buckeye Lake Museum’s doors since the Buckeye Lake Historical Society was created 15 years ago— 40,036 as of May 8, to be exact. “My mother’s been keeping track,” said museum director J-me Braig, whose mother, Donna, was the historical society’s first president and remains very active in the Buckeye Lake Museum and community.

There will be a 15th birthday party for the historical society Memorial Day weekend with a Buckeye Lake Museum open house May 25 and a celebration at the museum beginning 2 p.m. May 26 to feature live music, a special Queen of the Lake boat tour, and many other activities. “Please come by whether you were a member of the society or not,” said J-me Braig. She said her mother will have a book signing during the event for her second book, called “Buckeye Lake Memories.”

“She’s working on her third,” said J- me Braig. And, Braig said there will be a camera rolling during the event to record people’s oral histories of the lake area. Owners of the 27 historical sites the museum has recognized since 1999 will be invited to participate as well. The museum’s new addition will be dedicated to the late Norma Dixon, whose generous donation made the addition possible.

According to the historical society’s website, Sept. 1994, a group of interested people came together with the purpose of starting a historical museum in the Buckeye Lake area to preserve the historical record of the Lake, including the Amusement Park, the Ohio Canal, the Interurban, the National Trail, the early pioneers, early boaters, and its history in general. The enthusiastic group met in the Civic Association building on Hebron Road.

Donations began to appear— a gun from the shooting gallery, a rocket ship and a bug car from the old amusement park, a piano that arrived in Hebron in 1840, roller skates, swimsuits from Crystal Pool, photos, cards and other memorabilia, and Phil and Betty Holtsberry Clark donated an old log cabin built around 1840.

Donna Braig, who gathered the group, conducted the first meeting and was later elected as the first president.

The first 'general membership' meeting was held at the Lions Clubhouse in Millersport, and late historian Chance Brockway presented a slide show. In 1996, the society had 200 members who had paid a membership fee of $1O. Moneymakers were needed. Going into the second year of the life of the Society found membership reaching 250 members.

Since then the society has seen many changes, including the Queen of the Lake II tour boat, Cranberry Bog management, expanded gift shop, an entire estate bequeathed, two additions to the museum building, six boats and a canoe were donated.

The Buckeye Lake Historical Society has grown to include one paid director and more than 70 volunteers.

J-me Braig said the society is a non-profit organization and donations of time, money, and memorabilia for the museum are always appreciated.

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