Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas & a big "Thank You" for your support this past year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

You’re all invited…

The sound of crunching snow under foot, a crisp, clear night with smoke curling up from the neighbor’s chimney… Can you imagine a more perfect night for a Christmas gathering?
Your friends from the Versailles Area Historical Society invite you to be our guests at our first ever “A Tour by Christmas Lights” at the museum. This event will be on Friday evening December 14, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Guided tours or wandering on your own through the museum, are both part of the plan. This will be your chance to ask questions of the Board or catch up with old friends. Light refreshments and a few surprises will also be on hand.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sundays at the Museum Series

This wonderful lecture series is more a chance to meet, greet, and to be entertained than a true “Lecture Series”.

In this our third season, we once again are bringing a unique group of interesting characters together to fascinate you with history and storytelling.

Our first guest is local story teller and character extraordinary Tim Nealeigh.  Whether it is his hauntingly funny, Dead as Canbe, to the lace maker, or the Arrogant Frenchman, Tim blends history and story like no other. That’s why when the “Bishop” or St. Nickolas comes to call for young and old alike on December 9, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. we are all in for a special treat!

The second guest will share legends, lore, and downright lies. That is the humor of area storyteller, Chris Supinger. Chris will join us on January 20th at 2:00 p.m. for “Stories by Fireside and other Noteworthy Lies”.  You and the whole family will hoot and holler with Chris and his folksy storytelling.

In February, Scott Trostel local author and contributor to the PBS series “The Lincoln Train”, will join us to talk about his new book “And Through The Black Night of Terror” in which he details The 1913 Flood in the Northern Miami Valley (that’s us).  Scott will share facts, stories and struggles that many locals have never heard.

Most people remember seeing pictures of Dayton from late March, 1913 – Main Street flooded, water up to the second stories of buildings, the rubble and debris that was left.  It’s also well known that the recovery efforts were led by John Patterson of NCR and that the Miami Conservancy District was formed to protect the region from future floods.

But little has been known of the effects of the 1913 Flood in the northern Miami Valley including the counties of Miami, Shelby, Darke, Champaign and Logan.  Now Scott’s meticulously researched book fills that gap in history with a day-by-day narrative and many never-before-seen pictures and maps.  

Roads, homes, businesses, factories, power stations and railways were under water; 264 bridges collapsed, fresh water was not available nor any communications…72 people drowned and thousands of livestock perished.  "It was the worst-ever disaster to visit the northern Miami Valley.”  As in Dayton there were many stories of rescue and heroism.  The clean-up and restoration took at least ten years.                           March will commemorate the 100th anniversary of this tragedy.
 In the spring, a downtown tour of the village of Versailles with a new twist is being planned. There is much to look forward to, so let’s get excited for another great Series.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Landscaping underway at the Museum

The award winning Versailles Garden Club has graciously volunteered to take on the project of landscaping the Museum grounds.  Work has begun and all the old overgrown bushes & shrubs have been removed.  New beds have been established and plants are now going in.  We are thrilled to have the Garden Club take on this project.  Be sure to watch the progress and remember to "thank" a Garden Club member for their work to make Versailles a beautiful place to call home.  

Quilt Show coming to an end.........

The Quilt & Textile Show is coming to a close....be sure to visit this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Don't miss this fantastic display of some of the finest craftsmanship ever to be displayed in Versailles.   

This past Sunday, Lois Kindell volunteered to share her beautiful needlework with visitors to the Museum.
Lois also donated some  Christmas needlepoint for our next display for the holidays. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October Schedule

The Museum will be open Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. during the month of October.  Stop by and enjoy the Fall displays.  We have a large & varied "Textiles & Quilts" display.  "Out of Africa" features items from the collection of missionary Pat Pittsenbarger and "Boo", is a halloween display from the collection of Tom & Norma Parin.  These displays will go away in a few weeks to make way for Christmas displays.  

Of course, we have our permanent displays which include Military, Churches, School, Sports, Area Businesses & Homes, 1901 Fire, The Famous Russells, Martin's Department Store and many other unique items from the area's past.  Stop in & take a stroll through the past.  You'll be glad you did!    

Sunday, September 16, 2012


A "Thank You" to the Ruth and Emerson Booher Committee Advised Fund for Versailles, Ohio, which awarded a grant to the Versailles Area Historical Society on Tuesday, September 11. 

We are grateful to the committee for the opportunity to be a part of this grant process and appreciate the funds awarded which will go toward Phase I of the Museum Remodeling Project.

Thank You!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Fall Schedule & Displays

The Museum will be open each Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. during the month of September for the new fall displays.

The Museum is filled with ties that bind.  There are beautiful & unique "Quilts & Textiles" in this new fall display.  You will be amazed at the number and variety of items on display throughout the museum.      

"Out of Africa," a collection of French West African artifacts belonging to missionary Pat Pittsenbarger, will be on display.   These items are on loan from Delilah Pittsenbarger and the display is the work of her grandson Trevor Bulcher, who volunteered for this project.  

"Boo" is a frightful Halloween Display from the collection of Tom and Norma Parin.  If you enjoy Halloween, you will be delighted with this colorful display of items from the past. 

Stop in and take a stroll through the museum.  You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Exciting Fall History Tour Scheduled - Tickets On Sale Now.....

Tickets are still available for both tours!  Don't wait, you won't want to miss this tour. 

On September 8, 2012 from the luxurious comfort of a charter motor coach we will travel the winding back roads of Darke County to learn about the legendary Annie and her early years.

Local travel entrepreneur, Sue Christian will serve as hostess for our journey with emphasis on making you feel at home. Local Annie “history buffs” will share the facts and lore that most of us have never heard about our local hero. We will make several stops along the way and several other special guests will share their stories as well. Our last stop will be at the Winery at Versailles for refreshments of your choice and a surprising connection to Annie herself!

Because of what we anticipate to be a great demand for tickets, we are offering two options.

The first family friendly trip will depart the museum located at West Street, in Versailles at noon. This will include the tour and return our guests to the museum at about 3:00 p.m. The cost is $15.00 for VAHS members and $18.00 for non-members.

The second trip, recommended for individuals age 21 and over, will depart from the Winery at 4:00 p.m. and include all the activities of the first trip plus a fantastic finish! We will attend the Thrill of the Grill, a tradition at the winery where each guest will enjoy a delicious fresh salad, homemade bread, a choice of a 12 oz. N.Y. strip steak, or a 7 oz. Marinated Chicken Breast, or a 6 oz. Salmon, a large baked potato, mixed vegetables, a fantastic dessert and a bottle of wine per couple or 2 glasses of wine per person.

We will be in a semi private dining room and will be toward the end of the event allowing for a relaxing finish to a special day of roaming and learning in our own back-yard. The sunset over the vineyard is a special bonus on an early autumn evening.

The second trip including tour and dinner is $39.95 for all guests.

Reservations may be made by calling the museum at 526-4222 and leave a message. We will return your call and get you registered for this one time adventure, you won’t want to miss!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Museum Hours for July

The Museum will be open Sunday afternoons fron 1 to 4 during the month of July.  Stop in and see the displays!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Prize winners in the Annual VAHS RAFFLE are:

1.  TOM MAGOTO won the CLOCK made by Gordon Yount
2.  WUEBKER FARMS won the JEWELRY made by Terri Bey
3.  ESTHER EITING won the WOODEN FLAG HOLDER made by Gene Oliver
4.  DAN & JACKIE KREMER won the OSU Mat donated by Bob Paulus
5.  DONNA HUELSKAMP won the ALL OCCASION CARDS donated by Jeanne & Jack Turpen
6.  GLEN & ALFRIEDA ANDERSON won the OSU yard sign made by Ken Lawrence
8.  MEGAN RUE won the TABLE RUNNER quilted by Rosie Pierron
9.  CAROL  APPLE won the WOODEN TRAIN made by Urban Gehret
10.  BRENNAN GAIER won the CINCINNATI REDS yard sign made by Ed Hoke 
11.  VERSAILLES DENTAL won the VAHS TICKET to the Wine Gala
12.  JO LANGENKAMP won the WOODEN BOWL made by Dave Stonebraker
13.  JUDY TREON won BUFORD the BULL made by Francis Bulcher
14.  VIRGIL FRANTZ won the  VERSAILLES INN package donated by The Inn at Versailles
15.  TOM BUXTON won (2) ONE DAY PASSES to the Great Darke Co Fair donated by Daryl Riffle
16.  JUDY PEPPLE won the HAND BLOWN GLASS by Clay Hufford
17.  PHYLLIS SHIVELY won TWO TICKETS to GODSPELL by Towne & Country Players
18.  SANDY SPANGLER won the GOLF for 4 donated by Stillwater Valley Golf Club   

Friday, June 1, 2012

Museum Hours for Poultry Days Weekend

The Museum will be open during Poultrys Days.
Friday 5 - 8 pm
Saturday 2 - 8 pm
Sunday 2 - 6 pm
You can park in the Museum lot for a $5 donation and you are just a short block from the Poultry Days activities.  We will also be open from 1 to 4 pm each Sunday afternoon during the Month of June. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Volunteers Needed

The VAHS will be staffing a booth on the Poultry Days Grounds, pay for parking at the Museum parking lot, and Museum visiting hours.  If you would like to help at any of these three locations, contact any Trustee or call the museum at 526-4222 and leave a message.  We need the help and would be delighted to sign you up for a shift.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fundraiser Raffle Tickets on Sale

Thanks to the many talented individuals who have donated to our Annual Fundraiser Raffle, the VAHS will offer another great list of prizes this year.  Tickets will be in the mail to members in the coming weeks and will be available to the public from now through Poultry Days.  

Check this prize list and make sure your tickets are in the drum for the drawing on Sunday June 10 at our booth on the Poultry Days Grounds!  Tickets will also be available at the Museum during Poultry Days.  Stop in to see the displays & get your chance to win.                          

Saturday, April 21, 2012


We will meet Thursday April 26th at 7 pm at the Museum.  Join the fun & get involved in your area Historical Society & Museum. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Next Meeting

Our monthly meeting will be March 22nd at 7 P M  at the Museum.  See you there!

What a Fun Afternoon

What a fun afternoon we had with Jimmy Baltes, Earl & Berniece Baltes, and Susie Barga who entertained us with stories of the old Crystal Ball & Baltes Restaurant of Frenchtown Ohio.  Thank you all for attending (what a great crowd) and thanks to the guest speakers for a job well done.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We Have Waited All Season for This Event!


The Versailles Area Historical Society will host the third and final event of our Speaker Series “Sunday Afternoon at the Museum” on Sunday, March 18th at 2 o’clock. But this event, we felt, was too big for the museum to handle, so we will be hosting it in the St. Denis church basement, as we “Remember the Crystal Ball and Life in Frenchtown
The music of Glen Miller, Guy Lombardo, the Dorsey Orchestra, and so many others were played at the famous Crystal Ballroom. Some times by the original bands, but more often by the Baltes Orchestra or the Bumble Bees. These are just two of the amazing local bands that graced the stages of this magnificent facility right here in the heart of Wayne Township and Frenchtown, Ohio. From the late 1940’s the Crystal Ballroom was the place to be to hear the newest music, to try out the newest dance and to see old friends and to celebrate life.

We are fortunate to have an afternoon to reminisce about those bygone days of the Big Bands and the wonderful people who made it all happen. Earl and Berniece Baltes, Susie Baltes Barga, and Jimmie Baltes along with Ann Subler, will share the stories, recall the entertainers and let us in on all the “back stage” drama that couldn’t be shared until now!

This event is free and open to the public.  So join us at St. Denis, located on the corner of Wood and East Streets. An elevator is provided from the parking lot for those who might need it.

Following the program our museum will be open until 6:00 p.m. for touring with new displays being added all the time. The Museum at Versailles is located at 552 S West Street in Versailles.

Plan now to join us for what is certain to be an event not to be forgotten as we “Remember the Crystal Ball and Life in Frenchtown,” one of the most famous crossroads in the Midwest!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sunday Afternoon at the Museum

The Versailles Area Historical Society will host the second event of our Speaker Series “Sunday Afternoon at the Museum” on Sunday, February 19th at 2 o’clock. 

Local, Darke County author, Rita Arnold will share the paranormal activities around the county. Joining Rita will be several members of the Darke County Center for the Arts “story tellers” from their noted annual “Ghost Walk” in Greenville, each October. They will share stories in the first person about some interesting characters of Darke County (Could they be some of your relatives)?  Come to the museum and bring your local tales to tell! Also several displays will be available to view as work continues on our facility.

This event is free and open to the public.  Please join us at the Versailles Area Museum located at 552 S West Street in Versailles for what is sure to be a haunting good time.  Also mark your calendars for our March 18th event as we “Remember the Crystal Ball and Frenchtown”.  This will feature Jimmie Baltes, Suzie Barga, and Ann Subler and friends as we reminisce about one of the most famous crossroads in the Midwest! The location for this special event will be announced in the next several weeks, so watch for the details!

Monday, January 16, 2012


The regular meeting of the VAHS will be held Thursday, January 26th at 7 pm at the Museum.  Join us as we continue to create your area museum.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

“Sunday Afternoon at the Museum” to Return this Winter

The Versailles Area Historical Society is excited to announce its new speaker series for this upcoming winter. “Sunday Afternoon at the Museum” was such a wonderful success we are thrilled to be able to offer it again!

This year’s series begins on January 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. when we welcome Versailles native,” Jack Turpen in “Versailles Remembered, a visual film made by C.E. Pitsenbarger in the 1930’s of the Versailles businesses that thrived after the 1901 fire.

The second event will be on February 19, 2012 when we welcome Darke County author, Rita Arnold who will share the paranormal activities around the county. Several members of the Darke County Center for the Arts will share several stories in the first person. Come and bring your local tales to tell!

Get out your dancing shoes and your appetite! Our last afternoon will be on March 18, 2012 when Jimmy Baltes, Ann Subler, & Suzie Barga will be remembering the old days in Frenchtown. From Baltes’ Restaurant to the Crystal Ballroom, great times will be shared, bring your souvenirs and who knows maybe we’ll even get a song or two!

A special treat is coming in June:

The Versailles Area Historical Society is excited to announce a special “Sunday Afternoon at the Museum”.  On Father’s Day, June 17, 2012 we will welcome to the museum Versailles High School Alumni and Ohio Northern University, and the University of Richmond (Virginia) graduate and Civil War expert, Ryland Breeding. He will return home to share a presentation entitled Faith of Our Fathers, Ohioans in the Civil War”.  This is one afternoon you will not want to miss!  Plan now on attending and welcoming home our local scholar and treat Dad to a very special afternoon.


The Versailles Area Historical Society is looking forward to the new year.  Lots of work to do and much progress to be made at the museum.
Make a resolution to "get involved" and join the effort.