Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011


The regular monthly meeting will be held Thursday Dec 15th to avoid the Christmas crunch.  Nominations for two Board positions will be accepted at this meeting.  See you at 7 pm at the museum.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Work on "Heritage Book" Continues

The Heritage Book Committee is actively collecting material for a book to be published in the not too distant future and we need your help.   

Do you have old area photos, stories to tell, old family recipes to share, or history of any kind that would be of interest to others?  Help us make this book a treasure by providing your contribution today.

Remember, the Versailles Area Historical Society represents the entire area, so included in the book will be Brock, Frenchtown, North Star, Osgood, Yorkshire, Willowdell, Webster and Russia, right along with Versailles.

If you have material for the book, contact Jenny Condon, Chairman for the Heritage Book Committee  at or at 526-5302.   
Questions are welcome.
Also on the Committee is Evelyn Simons 526-4691 and Sarah Magoto 526-3552.   We will be happy to hear from you and talk to you about material you may have to submit.  



Our regular monthly meeting will be held Thursday Nov. 17th at the Museum at 7 pm rather than the fourth Thursday of the month which is Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

~ Fall “History Walk” ~

Black Swamp/Greenlawn Cemetery

 Versailles Area Historical Society

Sunday Afternoon October 9th at 2 O’clock

This is a “walking tour” (rain or shine) so be prepared. 
Lawn chairs are welcome.  Parking available across the street or use the two drives on the East side of the cemetery. 

The tour begins with an overview of the history of the BlackSwamp/Greenlawn Cemetery presented by Jim Kelch.

Janet Worz will present a history of tombstone symbolism.

The Memorial Arch and its history/military significance will be presented by Jim Condon.

The Mausoleum will be open and its history will be presented by Sarah Magoto.  You will have a chance to look inside and a question & answer session will follow.  Betty Armstrong & John Nickol have each devoted over 30 years to the cemetery and they will be on hand to answer your questions.

To finish out this year’s “history walk,” Deb Pohl will present the history of the Famous Russells.


~ Join Us ~
It is free & open to the public!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Basement is cleared & ready for wall repair

The basement has been stripped & cleaned and is now ready for wall repair & new dainage tile.
A big "Thank You" goes to Ron Vogel & his crew for stripping the basement.  Another big "Thank You" goes to Dane Miller of Dane's Electric for his volunteer help.
We continue to make progress and look forward to the completion of this project yet this fall. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Work continues at the Museum.  The basement is almost cleared for repair to the south wall.  Estimates have been received & decisions are being made to move forward with the work of repairing the wall &
addressing drainage issues at the Museum.  We intend to have the repair work finished yet this year. 

The Board is finalizing a Museum Acceptance Policy for gifts, donations, and loans to the Museum.  A formal Acquisition Policy will be adopted shortly and available to the public.  Inventory and cataloging of items already donated or gifted will begin shortly.

We will continue to update you on the progress here at your local museum.  Thank you for your continued support.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Regular Meeting

Our Regular Meeting is Thursday August 25 at the Museum.  Time 7pm - See you there!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Another tree was removed today to make way for the excavation around the building for new drainage tile.  Estimates are still being compiled for the repair of the crack in the south wall.  Work has begun in the basement to expose the south wall for repair.  

Thanks to Janet Worz, we have received another donation of equipment from the Social Security Office in Piqua:  18 more stackable chairs, two file cabinets, a desk and credenza.  Thanks to Deb & Harold Pohl for the truck & trailer to haul the items & thanks to Bob & A J Magoto for giving their time and doing the heavy lifting.         

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Getting Ready for the Next Step

Two trees are being removed from the lot at the Museum.  These trees are too close to the building and are contributing to drainage issues on the roof as well as the area surrounding the museum.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Heritage Book

Question: I know the historical society is working on a Heritage Book to be published in the future.  What information are you looking for and what are you including in this book?

Answer:  Thanks for asking.  We are open to just about any old photos, articles of history, old family recipes and/or anything to do with the past 200 years of Versailles area history.  We will be including old advertisements of businesses from the past, lists of military veterans & their photos, public servants, organizations & their histories, old postcard photos and older 4/5 generation family photos.  There will be hundreds of unique & informative “Did You Know” lines/paragraphs throughout the book giving you an overview of 200 years of area history.       

We need your help to make this book a treasure.  If you have that “one of a kind” photo or a family recipe handed down for generations, we want it.  If you want to submit the history of your organization, we want it. Do you have a terrific story to tell, write it up! 
Chairman for the Heritage Book Committee is Jenny Condon 526-5302.  Also on the Committee is Evelyn Simons 526-4691 and Sarah Magoto 526-3552.  Questions are welcome.   We will be happy to hear from you and accept your contribution to the book. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Work Continues at the Museum

Much needed roof repairs have been finished at the Museum and a new seal coat has been applied to the roof.  Kremer Roofing did the work and we are happy to have it completed. 
We are now in the process of getting estimates for needed repair to the south wall of the basement.  Due to drainage problems around the building, we discovered a crack in the basement wall that needs to be fixed.  Whether we repair the wall or replace the wall has yet to be determined.  But we must take care of this issue before we can consider any remodeling.    

We are also working to correct drainage issues that need to be addressed.  Some trees on the lot that are too close to the building and are contributing to drainage problems are slated to be removed.    These same trees are also contributing to debris on the roof clogging downspouts  and creating moss growth on the roof.

Our funds are limited, so the work moves ahead as we have resources to do so.  We will provide more information as it becomes available to us.  We are grateful to everyone who has helped support this project and we count on you as we move forward. 

Thank You All! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Regular Meeting Thursday July 28

You are invited to attend our Regular Meeting on Thursday July 28 at 7 p.m. at the Museum.  All meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to join us.  See you there!  

Friday, June 17, 2011


An Annie Oakley Birthday Celebration for the benefit of the Versailles Area Historical Society will be held on Thursday evening July 14th from 7:00 - 10:00 pm at The Winery at Versailles.
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!  ($20 ea. for members and $25 ea. for non-members)

Ticket includes cheese, dessert bar, and wine sampling.  Live entertainment provided by Garcia & Scott.  

The Winery will be unveiling the new "Sweet Annie" wine at this event.
Join us for an evening of fun and entertainment.  Ticket sales are limited, so get your tickets now.  Contact any VAHS Trustee listed on our Contact Us page or stop by Johns IGA and pick up your tickets.  More details will be in the next issue of The Versailles Policy. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The drawing for the Versailles Area Historical Society 2011 Fundraiser Raffle to benefit the Museum was held Sunday evening on the Poultry Days grounds.  To everyone who participated in this raffle, thank you for making it a huge success.

Frank Fullenkamp won the watercolor, painted and donated by Dr. Donald Pohlman

Renee Barga won the colored pencil drawing by Carolyn Armstrong

Esther Eiting won the Eldora Speedway drawing by Mel Huffman and autographed by Tony Stewart and Earl and Bernice Baltes

Dr. Bradley Bruns won the Stained glass artwork designed and donated by Dr. Delbert Blickenstaff

Barbara Hart won the Sweetheart Package, donated by The Inn at Versailles (includes an overnight stay and dinner)

Marilyn Griesdorn won 4 Tickets to a Cincinnati Reds vs Washington Nationals baseball game

Mona Lou Blakeley won 2 Ohio State Buckeyes tickets donated by Langston Graphics

Sharon Haas won a Wine Gift Package donated by The Winery of Versailles

Bradley Bruns won the KitchenAid Blender donated by KitchenAid

Sue Miller won the Wooden Stool made and donated by Gene Oliver

Sunday, May 8, 2011


    2011 VAHS Fund Raiser Raffle To benefit the new VAHS Museum
Poultry Days Weekend
June 10, 11 and 12, 2011
Old Versailles High School Grounds
Donation: $1 for each ticket, $5 for six

Raffle Items:

Watercolor, painted & donated by
Dr. Donald Pohlman

Colored Pencil Drawing, drawn & donated
      by Carolyn Armstrong

Eldora Speedway Drawing, autographed,
& donated by Mel Huffman

Stained Glass Artwork, designed & donated
      by Dr. Delbert Blickenstaff

Sweetheart Package, donated by The Inn at
lles (includes an overnight stay and

Four tickets to a Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington
      Nationals baseball game, Section 128

Two Tickets to a 2011 Ohio State Buckeyes
football game
, donated by
Langston Graphics

Wine Gift Package, donated by
The Winery of Versailles

KitchenAid Blender, donated by KitchenAid

Wooden Stool, made & donated by Gene Oliver

Drawing will be held Sunday evening,
June 12, at 6:00 p.m. at the VAHS
Booth, under the tent on the
Poultry Days Grounds.
 Attendance not required to win.
For tickets or information
call Deb Pohl, 526-4108.

From Your Local Museum

     The Versailles Area Historical Society Board thought all of you may be wondering what is going on at the new museum building.  We have been very busy!  So far we have had Gary Kunk give us a building inspection.  Scott's Electric checked all the electric and wiring in the building.  Bill Ahrens Plumbing and Heating has checked the furnaces and plumbing.  Kremer Roofing has checked the roof.  Ron Vogel of Village Contractors has checked the feasibility of moving some walls inside to make the museum space larger.  (Too many small examining rooms)  The Versailles Garden Club has received several bids to do the landscaping in future phases.  Two ladies, Judy and Barb, cleaned the lobby for the speakers' open house.  Julie Boring has done our tax filings and certified our 2010 balance sheet for future applications for grants.
And all along the way our attorney, Tom Guillozet has been there to advise us.  All this help and inspections have been done on a volunteer basis!  What can we say about the people of the Versailles area!  When something needs done or someone is in need the people of this area alway step up to help.  Thanks to all!

     We have much more to do before the museum can become a reality.  Right now we need the architect to draw plans for the building's inside reconstruction and have the  plans approved by the State before we can start tearing out walls and moving them around.  This will take lots of your volunteer help also!

     But, we are not just sitting here twiddling our thumbs!  We had a local speaker and resident, Cindy Vogel last month at the museum.  Her talk was on one of the most popular subjects now, The Civil War.  On the first Sunday of May, Rex Spencer was guest speaker; dressed in full Frontiersman regalia.  He told the story of the Anthony Wayne Movement and Indian Wars in Western Ohio.  Along with Rex at the museum were Ronnie Thiebeau and Brad Grilliot with their Indian relics on display answering questions the public had.  We hope to have more speakers starting in the fall.  All this was free and open to the public.

    In the future agenda, historical displays over Poultry Days weekend at the museum, (museum will be open several hours each day of the weekend) and a wonderful and exciting raffle with numerous donanated items (details coming).  We will have tickets for sale soon.  The drawing will be Sunday evening June 12th at Poultry Days.

     In July we will be celebrating our own Phoebe Ann Moses' (Annie Oakley) birthday.  We will have live music by Garcia & Scott, wine sampling, meat, cheese, desserts and a grand toast with the newest wine named after Annie at the Versailles Winery.  Tickets will be on sale soon.  Also in the planning stages is a Greenlawn Cemetery "history walk" in the fall, a heritage Cookbook for the Bi-Centennial, our quarterly newsletters and more ideas not quite hatched yet.

     So you can see we have been quite active.  We will try to keep you posted when things happen!  We hope we can depend on your help in the upcoming months, either by your monetary donations or your physical help.  If you can push a broom or mop, use a paint brush, use a saw or pound a nail, your help will be needed in the future!        

Sunday, May 1, 2011


A Gala & Birthday Celebration for the Benefit of the Versailles Area Historical Society will be held on Thursday, July 14, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The Winery at Versailles.

This will be a special evening you won’t want to miss! So mark your calendars  now and plan to help us commemorate the 151st Birthday for northern Darke County’s own Annie Oakley. Music will be provided by the talents of “Garcia & Scott.”  Watch for details of this upcoming event. Tickets will be limited for this special evening and this great cause.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Poultry Days Weekend - Help Needed

Anyone wanting to help the Versailles Area Historical Society during Poultry Days Weekend, let us know.  We will be scheduling shifts to man the "pay for parking" lot at the museum and shifts to help man the temporary displays inside the museum for the Poultry Days 3 day event.   

Plus, the Poultry Days weekend will wrap up our ticket sales for our fundraising raffle.  Anyone want to help sell raffle tickets during this event?  Contact any Trustee.  We would be happy to schedule you for a shift and truly appreciate the help.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Next Regular Meeting

Have a great Easter weekend!  See you at our regular meeting Thursday April 28th at 7 pm at the museum.
Bring a friend & join us.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lecture Series 2011 - Part II - Frontiersman & Indian Relics

As part of our 2011 Lecture Series, the Versailles Area Historical Society will host Rex Spencer as the “Frontiersman” on Sunday May 1, from 2 – 4 pm at the Versailles Area Museum located at 552 S West Street.  
Rex will dress in period costume and become the “Frontiersman,” presenting the program in a first person narrative.  He will tell the story of the Anthony Wayne Movement and the Indian Wars in western Ohio covering a time period from about 1775 to 1795.  You will hear about the Battle of the Wabash, called the “Bloodiest Battle of Pioneer American History”.  The narrative will continue with the Battle of Fort Recovery and the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the latter also known as the “last battle of the American Revolution,” opening the Northwest Territory.
The “Frontiersman” concludes his narrative with the Treaty of Greenville which ceded much of the present day Ohio to the United States.  The Treaty of Greenville also ended forty years of conflict over the upper Ohio Valley and paved the way for the creation of the state of Ohio in 1803.
A special bonus for this event will be exhibits of Indian relics provided by Ronnie Thiebeau and Brad Grilliot.  They will be happy to talk about their collections and answer any questions you may have.  You won’t want to miss this event!  It is free and open to the public.
Come join us for an “Afternoon at the Museum”.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Heritage Cookbook to be Published

The Versailles Area Historical Society will be publishing a Heritage Cookbook for the upcoming Bicentennial.  The theme of course, is the history of the Versailles Area.  The book will contain recipes, stories, and photos from anyone wanting to submit them. 
Special items of interest are old family recipes, old family photos (4 & 5 generations), military tributes (photos of veterans) Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam and stories/photos depicting Versailles area history.  We need your participation to make this book a keepsake treasure. 
As we are just starting the book, updates will follow.  Stay tuned, but start thinking about those photos, recipes, and articles you want to submit.  Make sure your family is included in this Heritage Edition.           
The Heritage Cookbook committee includes Jenny Condon (chairman), Evelyn Simons and Sarah Magoto.  If submitting photos, please consider quality copies rather than originals.  Exceptions can be made.  Final decisions are made by the committee on all items submitted and some material may not be used.  Any questions, please call Jenny Condon at 526-5302 or mail to VAHS, P O Box 54, Versailles Ohio 45380.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Join Us At Our Next Meeting

The Versailles Area Historical Society will be meeting Thursday March 24 at 7 PM at the Museum.  This meeting is open to the public.  Please join us as we will be discussing Renovations to the Building, Museum Acceptance Policy, Fundraisers etc.   Bring your ideas and join the discussion. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Civil War Program April 3rd - Open to the Public

VERSAILLES – The year 2011 marks the beginning of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The war officially started on April 12, 1861, when Southern artillery shelled Fort Sumter on Sullivan’s Island, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. It ended four years later, on April 9, 1865, when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his exhausted army to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
Do people want to learn more about the Civil War, the when, why, and how it began? And how it dramatically changed the lives of the men and women of our country? Local author Cynthia Vogel will be presenting such a program at the Versailles Area Museum on April 3 at 2 p.m. The program will last about an hour with time for questions from the audience. Refreshments will be served following the program.
The museum is located at the old medical building at the corner of St. Rt. 121 (Marker Road) and South West Street.
Versailles Area Historical Society is a new organization, having held its first meeting to discuss the formation of a historical society in July 2009. Since that time, the group has elected officers, enlarged its membership with several types of membership and held monthly meetings. Other activities have included displays at Versailles Poultry Days and at the 2010 Versailles High School Alumni weekend last fall.
In addition to their business meetings, the group has sponsored a Versailles Downtown Historical Walk and held an open house in February for the public to see their newly acquired property. This property is as it was when local doctors moved to other offices and left the building empty. The property, the old Versailles Medical Center, was purchased from Wayne Hospital in December 2010. Plans are in the works for renovation to make the building museum friendly.  The Society is using the building "as is" until those renovations are completed.  Cynthia Vogel is the author of two books about Civil War women. She is pleased to share her knowledge of this important time in American history.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Historical Society News:
Your Versailles Area Historical Society (VAHS) held a most successful Open House on Sunday February 20, 2011, at the site of their new museum. Many community minded individuals stopped by to see the facilities and to learn about the plans for the museum. Coffee and cookies were served and many great discussions were held.
 On Saturday the Board of Trustees met with Andy Verhoff of the Ohio Historical Society. Mr. Verhoff is an expert at museum planning and offered the group many ideas for the museum and praised the group effort in the sound planning that has already been implemented.
An exciting year full of activities is being planned, but without your support, how can we hope to have the quality museum that the Versailles area expects and deserves?
Please note our annual membership fund and become a supporter of preserving our community and local history for future generations! We need YOU!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Sneak Peek this Coming Sunday
Your Versailles Area Historical Society Board of Trustees is inviting you, the community, to see our new museum home in its “before” look, for “An Afternoon at the Museum”. This “sneak peek” will be held on Sunday, February 20, 2011 from 2:00 to 4:00 at the Museum, located in the former Versailles Medical Center, at the corner of West Street and Marker Road. This sneak peek will give you an idea of where we are starting and a chance to talk first hand with the newly elected museums Board of Trustees. We will be happy to hear your thoughts, sign-up new members and dream along with you about what our completed museum might look like. Plan now to join us as we begin the work of preserving our history for the future!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ohio Historical Society to Help Plan Museum Renovations

On Saturday, February 19th, Andy Verhoff of the Ohio Historical Society, will travel to Versailles to spend the day with the Trustees of the VAHS at the new Versailles Area Museum.  It will be a detailed on site visit to help map the transition from a medical building to a historical museum.  We are looking forward to having Andy lend his expertise to the project.  His suggestions and ideas will be important as we move forward on this project.         

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Temporary Sign in Place at Museum Site

A temporary sign was placed at the museum this past week announcing "Future Home of the Versailles Area Museum".  A big "thank you" to Steve Condon for a job well done.  The sign looks great!     

We continue the work of developing a museum for the Versailles Area.  We need your support and your help.  Please consider a membership or attend our meetings & get involved.  Thank you to all the volunteers who have stepped in to help with inspections and suggestions.  And a big "thank you" to the membership for helping to drive this project forward.