SCIOTO — The Scioto County Historical Society has announced they will be opening the 1810 House for the 2021 season. The house will open on Sundays from 1-3 p.m. (new hours) beginning July 11.
“The house has undergone a major restoration and we are very excited to share the improvements with the community,” Lindsey Kegley said.
The multi-faceted renovations started in 2019, initially focused on the house’s exterior. Later in 2020, activity switched inside and involved a slow, methodical room by room effort. As necessary, plaster was repaired (although areas are showing signs of moisture, an on- going battle!) and all interior rooms were painted. The storage shed was painted, room darkening shades were hung and two aged air conditioners were replaced thanks to local Boy Scout, Gary Jenkins for his Eagle Scout Project as well as his Scout Master, Richard Craycraft. This was a very timely and impactful project. Volunteer, Linda Donaldson generously donated a third air conditioning unit that was needed.
In putting the house back together, volunteers spent countless hours sorting through the collections, updating displays and cleaning. The preservation focus now moves toward our clothing collection. The house has many fragile and delicate items that must be stored out of damaging rays of light. They have built a better closet for these pieces that keep them from direct sunlight. The next project is raising funds for acid free boxes and tissue paper to protect the collection while stored. It is critical in order to preserve these treasured items. Additionally, organizers are raising funds to address the moisture problem. Unfortunately, gutter repair was not enough to keep moisture from the walls. It will be necessary to replace the existing gutter system.
Exhibits will be rotating seasonally to share more of the collection. With the goal to bring visitors back to see new things. The featured exhibits for the summer months include wedding dresses, linens and early postcards. Wedding dresses from as early as 1787 are on display. Elizabeth Kinney’s wedding dress and ‘going away ‘outfit are also featured. Local postcards from the collection of the late Carolyn Blood are available to view as well as a collection from our president/curator, Lindsey Kegley. We also created a vignette that better displays our military collection.
Fall months will feature vintage quilts and coverlets and historical books; including; women’s books on social graces and life of the period, school books and local history books.
The current situation with Covid-19 has delayed the opening and forced organizers to make some changes in protocol. Masks will not be required but encouraged, especially for those not vaccinated. Groups will be limited to six and social distancing will be in place.
“We will keep up to date with the state guidelines and the infection rates and make changes as necessary,” Kegley said.
New regular hours for the public will be on Sundays from 1 p.m.to 3 p.m. It is the hope that the new hours will better accommodate out of town guests. Organizers ask that visitors arrive before 2:30 p.m. to begin a tour. Special tours can be scheduled by contacting Lindsey Kegley at 740-357-7257 or Kegleylb@gmail.com. The house can be rented for club or business meetings as well.
We welcome anyone interested in local history to join the team. Interested guides may contact Lindsey Kegley. If being a guide is not to your liking, we need gardeners, bakers, organizers, history buffs and cleaning help. There is a job for anyone interested. Please share your talents.
If you would like to become a supporting member of the Scioto County Historical Society (Keepers of the 1810 House) or donate to our clothing preservation project or gutter project, please send contributions to S.C.H.S. P.O. Box 1810, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662. We appreciate your support as we try to maintain our local history for the community and for generations to come