The Cheviot Historical Society held its first open house Saturday afternoon at the lower level of the Cheviot Memorial Fieldhouse.
The event ran from 1 to 3 pm with complementary drinks and snacks provided for visitors as they were able to observe the different historic items up-close and personal for the first time ever.
On display for public viewing were historic items such as John Craig's tombstone and his family's bible. John Craig founded Cheviot, in 1818.
"Wow what a turnout! It was our first open house so we didn't know what to expect exactly. A lot of people helped promote it which really helped I think. Everyone involved pitched in and did their part." said Rich Martin, President of the Cheviot Historical Society.
During the event, the Hamilton County Recorder's Office presented Mr. Martin with the Griffin Yeatman Award. An annual award that honors citizens and groups who volunteer their time promoting and preserving the history of Hamilton County. Rich Martin was the 2017 winner. "It only took me two years to track Rich down for the photo op," said David Pittinger, laughingly.
The Honorable Samuel Keller, Mayor of the city of Cheviot, had a few words praising the Historical Society's renewed accelerated success. Paraphrasing Mayor Keller's speech, he told the crowd the origin of some very familiar signs found throughout the city. "We ❤️ Cheviot".
Mayor Keller explained that Mr. Martin paid for those signs out of his own pocket. He then went from business to business asking owners if they would display them in their windows. Mayor Keller explained that not long after that, his office was flooded with calls asking "how do I get one of those signs?"
Mayor Keller suggested to residents then, and during his speech, if you like the work the Cheviot Historical Society is providing, why not show them with a donation? After the city's Bicentennial last year, Mayor Keller gave CHS access to a room in the lower level of the Fieldhouse to keep and preserve the city's historic items. "My biggest problem now is finding them a bigger space," Said Keller, giving praise to the exceptional job CHS has done locating the city's history.
Contact CHS here for donations Cheviothistory@gmail.com
The Cheviot Historical Society was also able to contact and locate members of the Cheviot Semi-Pro baseball team. One of those players in attendance was Earl "Buck" Hempberger, a graduate from Elder Highschool who was part of the State Championship winning Elder Panther's, in 1952. Hempberger later went on to play professionally with the N.Y Giants.
Sue and Bill Rothan donated Bill Rothan Sr's uniform, along with other memorabilia from Bill's playing days with the Cheviot team. The Shadowbox that Sue assembled, will be on display for public viewing at City Hall.
Local historian Greg Hand brought the afternoon to a close with an in-depth look at the bars of Cheviot, and Westwood. Here is a clip from Mr. Hand's speech.
The Cheviot Historical Society issued a statement thanking everyone for attending the open house. "We appreciate everyone for stopping by the open house. The turnout was better than expected. Thanks to Sue & Bill Rothan for donating the vintage Cheviot Baseball uniform and glove of Bill Rothan Sr, Pete Rebold for donating the 1898 High School diploma and the many others who brought historical items for us to copy and add to our displays. I would also like to thank the City of Cheviot, Mayor Keller, Cheviot Gazette, Cheviot History, David Pittinger, Greg Hand, Tony and Roberta Michel, Bob and Teresa Klein, Kim Martin, and Jan Martin-Rush. This event wouldn't have been possible without their help."- Rich Martin, President of the Cheviot Historical Society.