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Smithville Community Historical Society, P.O. Box 12, Smithville, OH   44677
Phone: 330 669-9308 
Last updated 15 Mar 2015
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Up Coming Event

April 6 Meeting
The harmonica had it's beginning in China with an instrument called the “Sheng.” In the 19th century the harmonica began being manufactured in Germany. Matthias Hohner introduced the harmonica to America in 1862 and were heard on the battlefields during the Civil War.
 This began the modern history of the harmonica.  The most common harmonica is the ten hole “diatric.” The instrument grew in size and variations of seven types, but basically all made with five pieces with two accessories.  The harmonica became a large part of the “Blues” music of the 1930s and 19940s. In the 1930's many harmonica bands were form in communities throughout the country. Some forty years ago one such group formed in the Akron area, “the Rubber City Harmonica Club” consist of members well into their 80's. “Are they a bunch of characters,” join us on Monday, April 6, at 7 P.M. in the historic Church of God in Smithville to enjoy some “Golden Oldies,”played by this entertaining group.

A brief business meeting will be held prior to the program with refreshments to follow the performance.

Mother nature said “NO” to our Mardi Gras, but we will have music. “In Concert with the Hymns of Dixieland,” will take place Sunday, April 19 at 2 P.M. in the historic Church of God.  The tunes may be somewhat different from those played for Mardi Gras, but they will still be ones that we will enjoy for the afternoon. There will be door prizes and refreshments but best of all, with the generosity of some local businesses the concert is free.


In case of inclement weather which might cause cancelations of events please listen to WQKT for that announcement.


Reminder: Your 2015 Dues for your membership at the Smithville Community Historical Society are due, unless you are a lifetime member.  Single annual membership is $10.00; Husband/Wife annual membership is $15.00 and Student membership under 18 is $5.00.  Please send them to Smithville Community Historical Society, P.O. Box 12, Smithville, OH 44677


 Welcome to the Smithville Community Historical Society online.

  Come See Our Buildings.
Group Tours can be arranged.


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

Smithville Historical Society Group Tours
For information call 330-669-9308 or 330-669-3969
Fees are:
Mill only $3 per person
Pioneer Village only $5 per person
Both, $7 per person
Special rates for schools


PIONEER VILLAGE has10 buildings open to the public. Most buildings were built in the 1800s in our community – log cabins, barn, church, depot, caboose, tin shop, spring house, pottery and blacksmith shops.


People may see many products being made on some of our old looms in the mill, that are over 100 years old.  Reception Center has three permanents exhibits and a new Ford Model-T exhibit at this site.


Sun. May 17
Sat. June 20

Sun. July 19 – Orrville Band
Sat. Aug. 15 – Antique Market, flea market hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., call 330-669-9455 for information

Sun. Sept.20- Model T Day

Sat. Oct. 17 – Apple Butter

Hours for Open Houses 1:30 – 4:00 P.M.

Admission – Donation



All of our buildings are open to celebrate an old-fashion Christmas.  Many activities, old-time decorations, and Santa Claus, too!

Sat. December 5 – 6pm - 8:30pm
Sun. December 6 – 1:30pm – 4:00 pm


Thanks to all the Volunteers who make this possible!

 Click on the photos below to learn about the buildings.

Blacksmith Shop
Blacksmith Shop

The Cabin
Pioneer Log Cabin

The Sheller House
 The Sheller House

Carriage Barn
The Carriage Barn

The Mishler Weaving Mill
Mishler Weaving Mill

The Tin Shop
 The Tin Shop

Lydo Barn Exhibit

Historic Church of God
The Historic Church of God

Caboose at Smithville Historical Society
Caboose and Train Station

 The Spring House
The Spring


On Saturday April 26, 2003  
a Dedication was held for
The Ohio Bicentennial Historical Marker
at the John Mishler Weaving Mill in Smithville
and the Grand Opening of
the Historical Society Reception Center
at 391½ East Main Street [State Route 585]
Smithville, Wayne County, Ohio.

The Weaver
by Edgar A. Guest

The patter of rain on the roof,
The glint of the sun on the rose;
Of life, these the warp and the woof,
The weaving that everyone knows.
Now grief with its consequent tear,
Now joy with its luminous smile;
The days are the threads of the year--
Is what I am weaving worth while?

What pattern have I on my loom?
Shall my bit of tapestry please?
Am I working with gray threads of gloom?
Is there faith in the figures I seize?
When my fingers are lifeless and cold,
And the threads I no longer can weave
Shall there be there for men to behold
One sign of the things I believe?

God sends me the gray days and rare,
The threads from his bountiful skein,
And many, as sunshine, are fair.
And some are as dark as the rain.
And I think as I toil to express
My life through the days slipping by,
Shall my tapestry prove a success?
What sort of a weaver am I?

Am I making the most of the red
And the bright strands of luminous gold?
Or blotting them out with the thread
By which all men's failure is told?
Am I picturing life as despair,
As a thing men shall shudder to see,
Or weaving a bit that is fair
That shall stand as the record of me?

Published in 1917 in the book 
of his poems called Just Folks


Some help in researching families
in the Smithville area

Past SCHS Newsletter Clippings
Steam Engine Speeds Through Smithville
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

NewTaping took place at the Society buildings on 7 May 2013.
See it here.

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



  Purpose of the Society
Membership: How to Join
 See Map of Smithville Here

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


Cancelled because of weather. May be rescheduled.
Special Event: Feb 15, 2015  
Mark your calendar for February 15 at 2 P.M. and come to the historic Church of God.  It’s Mardi Gras with The Hymns of Dixieland also known as the Honey Creek Preservation Jazz Band and River City Jazz Band.  Trombones, Tuba, Clarinet, and Cornets all to entertain everyone.  This event is FREE, so come and enjoy great music, refreshments and door prizes.


All programs begin at 7:00 P.M. and are held at the historic Church of God UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

January 5th--"Indian Trails in Ohio"; speaker, Robert Haag.  Hostesses:  Nita Downey, Pat Keirstead.

February 2nd--Cancelled because of weather "History of Local Railroads"; speaker, Roger Scott.  The Smithville Community Historical Society will meet on February 2 at 7 P.M. in the historic Church of God. The program will be “History of Local Railroads”, by Roger Scott of the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society. He will present the history which began in 1852 of how and why the railroads came to this area. If you have ever wondered why the rail lines came to a certain area, this program should answer that question. Roger has had over 30 years of railroading experience and knows a lot of the industry's history.
A brief business meeting will be held. Refreshments will be served following the program.
 Hostesses:  Margo Stafford, Harlene Steiner

March 2nd "President Lincoln's Last Day"; speaker, Jerry Payn, Abraham Lincoln re-enactor;  Hostesses: Martha Kaufman, Lila Smucker  Cancelled because of weather "President Lincoln's Last Day"; speaker, Jerry Payn, Abraham Lincoln re-enactor;  Hostesses: Martha Kaufman, Lila Smucker  

April 6th--Enjoy "Golden Oldies" performed by the Rubber City Harmonica Club of Akron;  Hostesses: Keith and Ruth Ann Chambers

May 4th--"Understanding the American Hobo";  David Gates, speaker from Summit County Historical Society;  Hostesses:  Barb Mast, Joanne Turner  

June 1st--Tour the Pioneer Equipment Co. of Dalton, Ohio—no admission fee;  Eat supper at: restaurant TBA; followed by a brief tour of the Mt. Eaton Historical Society building
Time of tour:   3:00 P.M.   
Meet for supper:  4:30 P.M.                             

July 6th--Tour of Canton Car Museum--admission fee of $5.50;   Eat supper at: TBA
Time of tour:  3:00 P.M.     
Meet for supper:  TBA                                            

August 3rd--Tour the Behalt Museum, including the Conestoga Wagon and Amish School--admission fee of $12.50, but there will be a discount;    Eat supper at:  restaurant TBA
Time of tour:    4:30 P.M.  
Meet for supper:  TBA                                              


October 5th--Annual picnic at Rex and Diane Miller's farm; supper at 5:30;  bring table service and a dish to share;  Program:  TBA

November 2nd--"History of Pioneer Cooking";  speaker, Michael Hocker;  Hostesses:  Nancy King, Patty McFadden, Dorine Widder

December 7th--"Christmas, 1941"; reminisce with us as we remember the Pearl Harbor event; entertainers:  Sweet Spirit quartet performing WWII and Christmas songs;  members' cookie exchange;  officers provide beverages;  members are encouraged to bring small WWII items to display and/or to dress in 1940's clothing



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