By Ty Pilarczyk, president Huntsburg Historical Society
Fresh on the heels of Huntsburg‘s 200th birthday celebration a question arose, one that had been asked several times through the ages.“ What about a historical society?” This time, the inquiry was answered with reality. By the spring of 2009, a small group of dedicated residents united with the mission of, as our slogan states, “Preserving and Promoting the Past, for the Future.”
My wife Jennifer and I love to reminisce about those days. We had a handful of members, no funds and no place to call our own. Our first artifact collection fit in a plastic storage tub and resided in the living room of our apartment. These days, thanks to our numerous and dedicated members, township trustees, local businesses and residents, our little historical club has grown to become a strong and active non-profit organization. We participate in many of the town’s events, and have taken on the tasks of running Huntsburg’s Memorial Day celebration as well as locating and properly marking our buried veterans’ graves. We spend a great deal of time documenting and preserving our ever-expanding collection of artifacts. Currently, all of our focus is on the completion of our new museum space, complete with multi-media displays and a featured exhibit room. I think it is safe to say, we have come a long way.
At this point, I know what you are thinking: “Okay, Ty. It’s just Huntsburg. What’s the big deal?” It is a valid question. Huntsburg is small, quiet and uneventful. The town is not self-reliant and centrally-focused like it was before the days of cars and computers. Residents likely work, play, shop and congregate elsewhere. Some now perform these functions without even leaving their couch. Times have changed. So, why is a bunch of old stuff and stories from a tiny town worth all the trouble?
I’m glad you asked.
Have you ever wondered who built that old house you live in? How old is it?
What about those old relatives that your grandparents told about – who were they? What were their lives like? Are there any records, or letters, or stories of them that still exist?
What was life in Huntsburg like 100 years ago? What did the town look like? What was there to do?
This, folks, is why the Huntsburg Historical Society matters. Our slogan is not just a catchy tagline! All of the preserving, and sharing is for you. We exist so you and future generations can learn about your community, its people, events, and great stories.
If you are so moved, there are several ways you can help. You can become a member and volunteer, or give to our current fundraising campaign online at www.gofundme.com (search for Huntsburg Historical Society). For information, check out www.huntsburghistoricalsociety.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 440-636-4004. Finally, be sure to read our regular column here in the Middlefield Post.
Ty Pilarczyk has lived most of his life in hometown, Huntsburg, and is the current president of the Huntsburg Historical Society. When he is not creating landscapes with the family business, he keeps busy gardening and spending time with his family.