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Smithville Community Historical Society,
P.O. Box 12, Smithville, OH   44677
Phone: 330 669-9308 
Last updated 19 Nov 2017
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Christmas Open House, 2017
Saturday, December 2, 6:00 to 8:30 pm
Sunday, December 3, 1:30 to 4:00 pm
Santa 2017 
Saint Nicholas makes an early stop at the Smithville Community Historical Society and Nita Downey and her dog Cubbie check out St. Nick's mid 1800s clothing. He felt that for the 25th Anniversary of Christmas in the Village the historic dress would be most appropriate.

For the Village of Smithville it is a very special year as the Smithville Community Historical Society presents their 25th Annual Christmas in the Village. It started 25 years ago as a vision of Nita Downey, Christmas in the Cabin, because at that time the Pioneer Village had only one cabin. But that vision has grown in 25 years to a village within the village of twelve buildings housing the societies collection along with four groups of craftsmen and music of the season. Each year part of the fun for the children is to find Saint Nicholas, yes, in the mid 1800's the Christmas giving spirit was brought by “Saint Nicholas.” Saint Nick's clothing will depict the mid 1800's and we invite families to bring their cameras to take family pictures. Maps will be available at the Downey Pioneer Reception Center that will lead families to the various buildings that are decorated and will share special treats or crafts of the craftsman trade. On Saturday, December 2 the village will be aglow from 6 to 8:30 P.M. Dorothy Hodgdon and family will present Holiday selections playing the 1873 Schantz Organ in the Sheller House. The Caboose Children's Museum will pay tribute to a particular children's item, and this year it is the 1947 Gene Autry song, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” In the Depot, for the train lovers a model train layout will be presented. Take a ride on the “Kid Wagon” to the Mishler Weaving Mill to watch our craftsmen create items; Model-T Museum to view the history of one of the largest produced cars made; and Gift Shop where you may be able to do some last minute shopping. Sunday, December 3 from 1:30 to 4 P.M. gives another view of the decorated village. Again our buildings will be open with craftsmen, docents, and musicians for all to enjoy. In the Sheller House, Lila Smucker will play selections on the 1873 Schantz Organ and treats will be available in several of the buildings. At 3:30 P.M. in the Church of God on Milton St. the Orrville Community Band will present their annual Christmas Concert. Please take the time to stop at the Sheller House and thank Nita Downey for having a vision that brings Christmas in the Village to the Village of Smithville. This event is free to the public, come and create your own Christmas Tradition.


Monthly Meeting:
The Smithville Community Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, December 4 at 7 P.M. at the SMITHVILLE BRETHREN CHURCH 193 E. Main Street, please note the change of location. [The change of the location of our meeting is to accommodate the Choir.] Our program will be presented prior to our business meeting. The fifteen member Handbell Choir will present a concert of contemporary and classic Christmas music. Phyllis Snyder has directed the group since its founding. Handbells were invented by brothers Robert and William Cor between 1696 and 1724. In 1902 Margaret Shurcliff introduced handbells to the United States when she was presented a set of 10 handbells in London by Arthur Hughes, general manager of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Most of the handbells played today are made by either Malmark Bellcraftsmen or by Schulmerich Bells, both based in Pennsylvania. Choirs play between 25 to 97 bells which are finely tuned and they weigh as little as 7 oz. Or upwards to 18 lbs. Phyllis Snyder will provide more information on the handbells throughout the program.
   The business meeting will be held and balloting will be done for officers and board members up for reelection. An overview of the Open House events for 2018 will be presented. All members are asked to bring cookies to share and the officers and board members will provide the beverage. The public is welcome.

The Mishler Weaving Mill continues to be open
on Wednesday afternoons
1:30 to 4:00 year round.  No Fee.
Please visit!
381 East Main St, Smithville, OH

See this report from Margo Stafford on Smithville's Historic Cemeteries.  

Progress on the Downey Pioneer Visitors Center
For a series of photos, go to the Downey Visitors Reception Center.
The main floor of the Downey Pioneer Visitors Center will now be open for the Open Houses and Farm Tour.

Buildings Index

Current Newsletter

Group Tour Information

Purpose of the Society

Membership: How to Join

Map of Smithville

Thanks to all the Volunteers who make this society possible!

Other than the group tours,
the Mishler Weaving Mill is open
to visitors on Wednesday afternoons
1:30 to 4:00 year round.  No Fee.
Please visit!
381 East Main St, Smithville, OH

Note:  “The Village Pottery is open when his sign is out front.”

Historical Society Reception Center
at 391½ East Main Street [State Route 585]
Smithville, Wayne County, Ohio, in front of the Mishler Weaving Mill.  


All programs begin at 7:00 P.M. and are held at the historic Church of God UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
GENERAL MEETINGS – For members and guests

Generally the first Monday of each month
Short business meeting, program, refreshments
Held at the Historic Church of God
Officers meet the third Monday of the month at the Reception Center – Open meeting

January 2 General Meeting at 7 P.M. Program “Pump Organ Musical”; Featuring Wilbur Herr and Neil Jackson.
Hostess: Kathy Meitzler.

January 16 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.

February 6 General Meeting at 7 P.M. Program presented by Robert Haag discussing Indian Arrowheads.
Hostesses: Dorine Widder and Nancy King.

February 20 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.

March 6 General Meeting at 7 P.M. Program “A video History of Smithville,” presented by Dan Kaufman
Hostess: Lila Smucker

March 20 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.

April 3 General Meeting at 7 P.M. Program “Hymns: Old and New”; commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the historic Church of God and its service to the faith community.
Hostesses: Pat Keirstead, Margo Stafford

April 17 Board of Trustees Meeting 7 P.M.

May 1 General Meeting at 7 P.M. Program “Dairy Bottles Collection”; presented by Sue McFadden, referencing Louis McFadden's Book, Ohio Dairies.
Hostesses: Barb Mast, Ruth Chambers

May 15 Board of Trustees Meeting 7 P.M.

Sunday, May 21 Open House Donor Appreciation 1:30 – 4 P.M.:
baseball Stars play the Mohican 9.     

June 5 Monday, June 5 meeting will take place at Lehman Hardware with members arriving at 10:00 A.M. To start a tour guided by Glenda Lehman Irvin.

Saturday, June 17 Open House Family & Farm 1:30 – 4 P.M.:
baseball Stars play the Wyandotte Ghost-riders

June 19 Board of Trustees Meeting 7 P.M.

July 3 General Meeting ROAD TRIP! Travel into Holmes County to tour the Holmes Co. Pottery. The tour will begin at 4 P.M., followed by supper at nearby restaurant, TBA NO FEE.

Sunday, July 16 Open House Band Concert & Ice Cream Social 1:30 – 4 P.M.

July 17 Board of Trustees Meeting 7 P.M.

August7 Our next meeting on August 7th we will visit the Moreland Community Historical Societies 1897 Township House at 7 P.M.  This historical society is the newest in Wayne County which numbers about sixteen societies one of the larger numbers in the state.  Before that at 5 P.M. we will have dinner at Broken Rock Café on East Liberty Street in Wooster.  Please make your reservations by August 4 with Nita Downey at 330-669-3969 or Harlene Steiner at 330-621-8364.

Saturday, August 19 Open House and Antique Market 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. on the grounds of the Mishler Weaving Mill, 381 East Main St. Rt. 585, Smithville, Ohio.  The Pioneer Village will also be open that day for the Open House.  For vendor information call 330-669-9455 and click HERE for printable application.  
baseball Stars play the Mansfield Independents

August 21 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.


Sunday, September 17 Open House Model-T & Antique Auto's Day 1:30 – 4 P.M.:
baseball Stars play the Akron Black Stockings

September 18 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.

October 2 General Meeting Annual Picnic at Rex & Diane Miller's home, at 5:30 P.M. Bring food to be shared and your own table service. Beverage provided. Program Mike Follin as Dr. Bathasar, traveling medicine man of the 1800’s.

October 16 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.

October 21 Open House Apple Butter Making 1:30 – 4 P.M.

November 6 General Meeting at 7 P.M. Program “Plan for Your Stuff”; presented by Andrew Richmond, estate consultant and appraiser.

Hostess: Linda Platt

November 20 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.

Saturday, December 2 Christmas in the Village 6 – 8:30 P.M.

Sunday, December 3 Christmas in the Village 1:30 – 4 P.M. Concert at 3:30 P.M.

December4 General Meeting at 7 P.M. General meeting will be held at the Smithville Brethren Church at 7 P.M. The church's Bell Choir will present our program.  Members are to bring cookies, beverage will be furnished by the officers and board of trustees.

December 18 Board of Trustees Meeting at 7 P.M.


See schedule above for play dates.

See the Smithville Stars on

Taping took place at the Society buildings on 7 May 2013.
See still photos here.

Some help in researching families
in the Smithville area
[Sorry, we can't help you with genealogy research.]
Past SCHS Newsletter Clippings
Smithville News from the Past

  Please help identify
the people in the photos.
Smithville Freshman Class 1927,
other High School Photos, and Burkholder Family

Number 3 School

Outside Links

Trip Advisor for Smithville
Wayne County Map Link
Wayne County Public Library
Wayne County Historical Society
Ohio Historical Society
The Smithville Inn restaurant
The Barn restaurant
Places to stay in nearby Wooster
Smuckers in Orrville
GenWeb Site for Wayne County, OH  


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