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The Historical Society of Mt. Pleasant will host its annual historic tour, Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6. All together there will be 14 historic sites to view.
This year's tour will include perennial favorites the Bone Store, The Elizabeth House, the Burris Store, the Tin Shop, and the Ohio Yearly Meeting House. Additionally, there will be three privately owned properties that have not been shown in recent history; The J M Mercer house built ca. 1850, now the home of Ron and Tami Shumard, the J H Gill House, next door recently purchased by the Shumards, and In the center of town, just a few steps away, is the ca. 1840 William Reid house, owned by Bruce and Melissa Clark.
Angela Feenerty, president of the Historical Society said, "These homes make an exciting addition to this year's tour. I, for one am looking forward to seeing them!"
The Historical Center, in the center of town, houses the historical society's museum and is the location of the Rev. Lloyd G Smith Research Room. The research room, was recently dedicated to Rev. Smith, who has devoted much of his life to preserving Mt. Pleasant's history. The room will be open to view, however will not be open for research during the tour. In addition to items of Mt. Pleasant's past, there will be an exhibit of Rev Smith's collection of hand painted German lustreware.
The Friends Church's Samuel Gill house ca 1846, the former Lone Tree restaurant ca. 1840, the Humphreville Log House ca. 1806, and the 19th century drover's camp all return to the tour this year. The Free Labor Store will be on view with an exhibit of Free Labor and abolitionist items. The Hicksite Meeting House, built c 1837, two miles west of town is on the tour and has received newly restored windows.
Restoration efforts have continued in the John W Gill house, known locally as the Elizabeth House. Thanks to the Tom Dailey Foundation three 19th century Dutch doors have been completely restored in the kitchen and summer kitchen.
There will be an extensive exhibit on the abolitionists of the area and the local African American experience in the addition of the Bone Store. Money was provided for this exhibit by Constellation Energy and Walmart.
"This exhibit has been a year in the making, but this is only the beginning, there's so much history to tell," Feenerty said.
Something new this year, painted rocks will be hidden around historic properties on the west end of town. Each rock will be marked with #MTPROCKS, those who find rocks are encouraged to post a photo to Facebook or Twitter including the hashtag. Many of the rocks are painted to commemorate a significant piece of Mt Pleasant's past. For instance, the first United States flag to fly in China was made of silk from John Gill's silk mill located behind the Elizabeth House.
Lunch will be available in the Sherry Sawchuck Victorian Tearoom, located in the Elizabeth House. They will begin serving at 10:30 on Saturday and will noon on Sunday. The cost is $15 for adults and $7 for children 6-13. Tour hours are from 10 to 6 on Saturday and 1 to 5 Sunday. Visitors should allow at least three hours to tour all sites.