Commissioners hear museum update

Seneca County Commissioners Thursday heard a quarterly update from Seneca County Museum Personnel Director Tonia Hoffert and volunteer Mark Steinmetz.

Hoffert said a new project spearheaded by Rep. Bill Reineke is under way to start an arts and history council in Seneca County, and the new logo has been decided for the county’s 200th birthday in 2022.

She said the museum assisted with an application for a historical marker at St. Joseph Catholic Church as its 175th anniversary approaches, and the application was one of the 27 approved out of 70 applications by Ohio History Connection.

Personnel also have researched and provided information for several other projects including Behind the Façade walking tours, applications for new historical markers, memorabilia about the former Skateland for the new Rolling Thunder Skating Family Fun Center and information for Tiffin Brewery, to name a few.

The museum’s online presence has been growing, she said. Museum personnel post something related to history every day on Facebook. She said a recent post about the Sycamore tire fire in 1999 drew 132,000 viewers.

“It gets the museum out there in the public eye,” Steinmetz said.

The museum also has a website and posts on Instagram.

Hoffert said 1,340 people visited the museum since June including 740 walk-ins, 160 people using the Fort Ball Room, more than 400 school children and 25 members of the Tri-County Tractor Club.

She said volunteers have tallied 1,870 hours of work, and the ongoing inventory of museum pieces continues with the current total at 3,684 items.

She said it’s hard to tell how far along the inventory is, she said, because there are a lot of items in storage.

“Everything that’s out on display in the museum is done,” she said. “It’s everything that’s stored in closets and things (that still need to be counted).”

Hoffert said the museum received a $10,186 grant from the Robert G. Teach Fund to replace windows in the Carriage House.

The museum has taken part in several activities including a Tri-County Tractor Club event at museum, Living History Day at the Heritage Festival, farmers market and a paranormal investigation with Ohio Researchers of Banded Spirits (ORB).

Hoffert said the museum’s four-legged duck mascot has been named, and anyone interested in hearing the name should visit the museum at 2 p.m. Oct. 27 to find out.