Pat Preston, on behalf of The Chevy Network and Preston Chevrolet, presented Century Village in Burton with $4,000 on March 1.
“It costs a lot of money to purchase the makings for our pancake breakfasts which we serve every Sunday in March through April 7,” said Fred Green, president of the Geauga County Historical Society. “We have to outlay a great deal of money just to set up. So, this cash gift couldn’t have come at a better time, and it is fantastic that Preston is willing to come forward and help us out.”
“Century Village is an integral part of Burton,” said Pat Preston owner of Preston Superstore. “It supports many of our restaurants and shops with out-of-town customers by bringing visitors into Burton, daily. We are committed to doing our part to help out Century Village and would like to challenge other companies to join in and support this valuable area resource.”
“Century Village is open much of the year for activities,” said Green. “We have a variety of events going on and our main purpose is to educate. Throughout the spring and fall of the year, school tours are happening every day during the week. Some days, we may have two or three busloads of school kids visiting. Interpreters host and perform in costume to groups of 20 kids taking them around to the buildings for two-hour tours and make-and-do crafts.”
The Village owns 40 historical buildings, total. “There is a lot of expense when maintaining these structures,” continued Green. “We operate 22 buildings which are open for functions and on display. It is important to keep authenticity. For example, some buildings have wooden shingles so they have to be treated every other year.”
Century Village employs three full-time staff. The two maintenance people are currently involved in gathering sap and boiling maple syrup. Century Village employees and volunteers placed 1,350 taps this year. “Newly opened last year, we have our own sugar house which is on the back part of our new maple museum on the far east end of our acreage,” mentioned Green. The maple syrup which is produced on the property is served at their pancake breakfasts and sold in the Village at the Country Store.
During the summer, families can send kids to “Pioneer School” where they will learn about customs of old at minimal cost. New this year is a train depot brought in from Aultman, Ohio, and Century Village will stage an original train station built around 1900 with a waiting room, office, baggage area and jail cell.
“Every October,” said Green, “we have our famous two-day apple butter festival which draws more than 5,000 tourists, and this year we will be holding a cheese and wine one-day festival which will present 10 wineries from surrounding areas. Geauga County was always an important cheese production place,” added Green. “Even before the Rothenbühlers came in from Switzerland to start their cheese factory, cheese has been a big part of Geauga County’s history. Civil War encampments are also a big attraction in May.”
Corporate sponsors are needed to support the Geauga County Historical Society. Visit centuryvillagemuseum.org or call 440-834-1492.
Visit Preston Superstore located just west of Burton Square at 13600 W. Center St., Burton; on the web at prestonsuperstore.com or call 440-316-4812.