|This article originally appeared in the 15th Annual Tri-State Pottery Festival Booklet. June 18, 19, 29, 1982.|
In what follows it is stated that membership was restricted to certain geographical areas. That is no longer the case. Anyone from anywhere can join the East Liverpool Historical Society.
East Liverpool Historical Society
The East Liverpool Historical Society came into being on July 8, 1907. It was incorporated on July 13, 1907. It was, and is, designated as a corporation "not for profit; to be located, and transact its principal business in East Liverpool." The purpose of the corporation was, and is, "to collect relics, curiosities, and articles of local and historical interest and value, and to provide the means of preserving and exhibiting the same for educational purposes; and to receive, hold and disburse donations, bequests, and funds arising from other sources."
The men who undertook the formation of the society were active in many facets of the life of East Liverpool. The Articles of Incorporation were signed by such prominent men as William L. Thompson Walter B. Hill, Arthur E. Bowdler, Jere H. Simms and John J. Purinton. William L. Thompson became the first president. Article VIII of the regulations read that "any resident of Columbiana County could become a member." At the November 15, 1920 meeting the motion was made by E. B. Bradshaw that "women of the community be invited to become members of the Association." The motion was seconded by W. H. Vodrey and unanimously carried! The meeting of November 9, 1969 further amended Article VIII to state that "any citizen of Columbiana County, Ohio; Beaver County, Pennsylvania; and Hancock County, West Virginia may be invited to become a member."
The first gift acquisition to the Association was a tract of ground 20 x 30 feet at the spot where General John Morgan surrended to Major Rue on July 25, 1863. The gift was made by David Crubaugh "and others" in order that a monument be erected to perpetuate this historical site for our area.
The first endowment of money was made, appropriately, by W. L. Thompson in 1920. The report of this gift was made by Treasurer W. H. Vodrey, who also headed a committee consisting of George S. Goodwin and C. B. Ogden to prepare a resolution of respect for the money of W. L. Thompson. Later endowments were made by W. H. Vodrey and T. H. Fisher.
In the years from 1920 to 1932 the Society was relatively inactive. On April 28, 1933, the Trustees of Carnegie Library decided to let the Historical Society use the West Room on the second floor of the Library. The Society is still meeting in the Library in the Director's Study. The museum had its beginnings at this time. From the china closets and cupboards of the members, many of them the lady members, came the first donations of china objects.
The idea of observing the 100th Anniversary of the Incorporation of East Liverpool City was presented to the members on August 27, 1934. For the year 1984 the idea of observing the 150th Anniversary has been presented. A committee directed by Paul Blair is in the process of gathering information, pictures, and memorabilia for the 1984 Sesqui-Centennial.
The activities of the ELHS are many and diverse. There are letters and newspapers to be preserved, display cases to be purchased and maintained. The Society has not been a wealthy one. Early paintings acquired, and in need of framing, were financed by assessing each officer $15.00 for the pro-ject. The Society has been instrumental in finding and preserving much of our history. In 1963 Columbiana County replaced the Beginning Marker at the State Line. We have six covered bridges to enjoy and Gaston's Mill. We have preserved an old bottle kiln, circa 1840 to 1925, from the Mountford Pottery of East Second Street, as well as one at Third Street and Wells Avenue in Wellsville. The campaign to acquire a Museum of Ceramics for our pottery industry was to continue for many years, but with gratifying results. In 1969 the former Post Office became a pottery museum. The Society functions as Guardians of the Dale and Dorothy Thompson Home, which is a designated National Historic Place. We are most fortunate in having members for whom the preservation and protection of such land-marks comes as naturally as their next breath. Jack Lanam serves as Curator for the society with a limitless amount of energy, time, and work-and very little fanfare. A genuine "Jack of all Trades." The officers this year are: Charles Thomas, Jr., President; William D. Ogilvie, Vice-President; Mrs. Arthur (Nancy T.) Doak, Secretary; Joseph W. C. Cooper, Treasurer.
Three-quarters of a century from its founding the East Liverpool Historical Society still has its purpose "to collect articles of historical in-terest and to provide the means of preserving and exhibiting the same." Margaret Locke
The Recognition Plaque commemorating the contribution of David Blythe to our history and progress is one of the latest historical ac-complishments of our East Liverpool Historical Society. This plaque will be placed at the grave of Artist David Blythe as a rememberance of his life here. His simply noted grave is a part of the Blythe family plot in Spring Grove Cemetary.
The current "home" of the East Liverpool Historical Society is the Thompson House. The Historical Society conducts tours of the house and maintains the house.
The mansion was built by pottery magnate Cassius C. Thompson of the C. C. Thompson Pottery. The house served as the residence of the Thompson Family from 1876-1978. when it became property of the East Liverpool Historical Society
The Dale Thompson Home is officially a cited "A National Historic Place"
The Cassius Clark Thompson Memorial Trust will insure the preservation of this sentimental and interesting history for us in the future.