What is the Gay Ohio History Initiative?

June is Pride Month!

Danny Spears, 1987 Mr. Gay Columbus, posing downtown by river.

Danny Spears, 1987 Mr. Gay Columbus, posing downtown by river.

Join curator Emily Lang for a talk on Saturday, June 14th featuring collections from the Gay Ohio History Initiative (GOHI) at 2 PM on the museum floor of the Ohio History Center.

What is GOHI?

The Gay Ohio History Initiative, which began in 2006, is a collaborative effort between the Ohio History Connection and Outlook Media. With generous support from the Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation this project is designed to preserve Ohio’s GLBT history by building up our collection with artifacts that tell the story of the GLBT community in Ohio and to educate K-12 teachers on the roles of GLBT people in history.

Why is this collection important?

From the GOHI collection, ACT UP Protesters at the Columbus Dispatch, protesting the perceived lack of AIDS coverage at the Dispatch. ACT UP is an AIDS advocacy organization. The signs read, "ACT UP" and "No AIDS Censorship."

From the GOHI collection, ACT UP Protesters at the Columbus Dispatch, protesting the perceived lack of AIDS coverage at the Dispatch. ACT UP is an AIDS advocacy organization. The signs read, “ACT UP” and “No AIDS Censorship.

GOHI works to preserve, archive, and curate the history and culture of the GLBT citizens of Ohio, to tell the truth about our lives, to create opportunities for understanding of both the past and what is hoped for in the future, and to share GLBT culture and history with all Ohioans.

What projects has GOHI established?

GOHI is a multi-part project designed to educate Ohioans and raise awareness about GLBT citizens and our place in the fabric of our state. Some of these projects GOHI has established include:

"Flaggots Ohio" is a color-guard and performing-arts organization that was founded in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio. They have performed at Gay Pride and arts events across the country. Matt Eisert of Columbus, Ohio, donated this flag on behalf of Flaggots Ohio in 2007. The Columbus Gay Men's Chorus carried the flag in the 1992 Gay Pride Parade and displayed the flag when performing at the 1996 Gala Chorus Convention in Tampa, Florida.

“Flaggots Ohio” is a color-guard and performing-arts organization that was founded in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio. They have performed at Gay Pride and arts events across the country. Matt Eisert of Columbus, Ohio, donated this flag on behalf of Flaggots Ohio in 2007. The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus carried the flag in the 1992 Gay Pride Parade and displayed the flag when performing at the 1996 Gala Chorus Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Collections

GOHI has been working to establish an archive of GLBT- related collections is continuously adding items. You can use the GOHI Collection in the Archives at the Ohio History Connection. A selection of documents and artifacts from the collection are available online in the Ohio Memory digital library.

Historical Markers

We are seeking public input to identify the people, places, events and organizations important to the history of Ohio’s GLBT community so that our history across Ohio can be commemorated with permanent historical markers. Visit Remarkable Ohio, an online database of Ohio’s historical markers, to view the marker celebrating Natalie Clifford Barney in Dayton.

Informative Banners

Two sets of banners have been created to celebrate GLBT Ohioans and gay rights activism within the state and to educate both GLBT and straight Ohioans. These traveling banners can be seen at various festivals and events that GOHI attends. Pride of Ohio is a set of three banners that showcase eighteen GLBT Ohioans. These

Anti-gay vandalism, in unidentified home in Columbus, Ohio. Shelf contents swept to floor, bookcase pulled off wall.

Anti-gay vandalism, in unidentified home in Columbus, Ohio. Shelf contents swept to floor, bookcase pulled off wall.

banners illustrate the contributions, achievements, and accomplishments made by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Ohioans. A Brief History traces the emergence and evolution of GLBT pride parades in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. These banners provide a timeline as well as information about attendance and speakers. The banners also illustrate how these parades impacted and were impacted by local and national events.

Interested in donating to GOHI?

Contact the Ohio History Connection at collections@ohiohistory.org or call 614-297-2535.

Posted in collections, Curators Talks, Current News, Donate, Gay Ohio History Iniative, Ohio Memory, Programs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

I Found it In the Archives Contest 2014

I FOUND IT IN THE ARCHIVES The Ohio History Connection is sponsoring the I Found It In the Archives essay and video contest to show how the items and information found in the nation’s archives touch peoples’ lives. We’re seeking entrants who have found something special in our collections – records, documents, photographs, recordings – a meaningful item or treasure. If it has meaning to you, it has meaning to us and is a wonderful basis for your entry.

Between June 1-30, 2014, we ask that you submit either:

• A 400-word essay describing your quest for information and explaining why finding it made a difference for you, along with a color photograph of you,

OR

• A video of no more than 2 minutes in which you describe your quest for information and explain why finding it made a difference for you.

Essays and videos of the finalists will be posted online for a public vote. The entry with the most votes will be declared the winner and receive a prize package that includes a one year annual family membership to Ohio History Connection; a voucher for a free genealogy workshop at the Ohio History Center in 2014/2015; and a behind the scenes tour of the Center’s archives storage area in Columbus.

Rules
You may submit only one entry. Submitting more than one entry will disqualify you. Essays and videos submitted in previous I Found It In the Archives contest years may not be resubmitted. Repeat entries of the same information discovery in subsequent years of the contest will not be considered.

This entry form (click here to download) must be submitted with your essay or video.

You may submit your entry by email to archivescontest@ohiohistory.org or by mailing it to our offices at the Ohio History Connection, ATTN: Lisa Long, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH, 43211-2472.

You must not currently be employed or previously have been employed by the Ohio History Connection – whether as employee or contractor – or related to a member of the same household as an Ohio History Connection employee or contractor.

Your entry becomes the property of the Ohio History Connection. We reserve the right to post your essay and photograph or video online. Materials will not be returned.

Timeline

Entries Due: June 30, 2014

Finalists Notified: July 8, 2014, and their essays or videos posted online for public vote

Public Voting Ends: July 28, 2014

Winner Notified: August 1, 2014

The winner may be asked to compete in a statewide competition. The statewide winner will be hosted at the Society of Ohio Archivists Fall Conference in October 2014.

Entry Form

Read Submissions from our Previous Winners

2011: Linda Carew Ejzak

2012: Brian Fox

2013: Doug Tracy

Posted in collections, Current News, Programs, Research | Leave a comment

New Civil War Collections at the Ohio History Connection

Andrew Harris from SC 5824

Andrew Harris from SC 5824

Civil War Cartes de Visite

The Ohio History Connection recently acquired twelve cartes de visite of Civil War Officers from Ohio who served in the Union Army: Godfrey Weitzel, William D. Whipple, Walter C. Whitaker, Edward A. Wild, Orlando B. Willcox, August V. Kautz, Andrew L. Harris, Samuel L. Gilbert, Josiah Given, Thomas L. Young, Alvin Coe Voris, and Darius B. Warner [call numbers SC 5818-SC 5829]. The Ohio History Center provides access to over 1,400 archival collections related to the Civil War and these cartes de visite are a great addition. Several of these officers served in Ohio Infantry and Cavalry Regiments and that were not yet represented in our collections. Although we hold collections regarding Governors Thomas L. Young and Andrew L. Harris we held no photographs of the Governors during their military careers up until the addition of these cartes de visite. Displayed here is the carte de visite of Governor Andrew L. Harris in uniform taken at Mathew Brady’s photography studio.

A Letter from One of the Fighting McCook’s

Another recent and significant acquisition is a letter written by Colonel Daniel McCook, Jr (call number VFM 6290), one of the famous Fighting McCooks from Carrollton, Ohio. Researchers can read descriptions of political issues, the Copperheads, and troop morale in March 1863. The letter was written to Colonel Gerretson I. Young from McCook while he was Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 14th Army Corps.

MSS 978 and MSS 979: Emanuel T. Hooker Family

The papers of Emanuel T. Hooker and members of his family are two recently cataloged manuscript collections now available to researchers. Emanuel T. Hooker was born in Fairfield County in 1817 and died in Lancaster, Ohio in 1866. He did not waste the years in between. His papers and the Hooker family papers reveal a man (and family) that could be said to represent the restless soul of the American people. He married three times, with seven children. He traveled not once but four times across the American West. He volunteered to fight in two wars, even enlisting in two separate regiments in the Civil War.  Hooker’s life and travels took him far from his Ohio home. He sailed by ship to Matamoros City, Mexico, led wagons to the goldfields of California, and fought on the battlefields of some of the deadliest engagements of the Civil War. In 1846, at the age of twenty-nine, Hooker enlisted in the 3rd Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry for the Mexican-American War, and was appointed first sergeant. His regiment was part of General Zachary Taylor’s Army of the Rio Grande. In 1847, he returned home to Ohio a second lieutenant. In 1849, he led a company from Independence, Missouri to California as part of the “Gold Rush.” He returned to Ohio, and then headed back to California in 1851, this time with his family. One daughter was born on the journey west. After his second wife died in 1856, Hooker returned again to Ohio, leaving behind a married daughter. In the Civil War, Hooker, now in his mid-forties, volunteered to serve with the 1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was appointed a first lieutenant in Company A in 1861. Severely wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, Hooker recovered and rejoined his unit. Promoted to captain, Hooker mustered out with the 1st Ohio Volunteer Infantry in August 1864, only to volunteer again in September with the 179th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as a major. He mustered out with the unit in June 1865, returning home to his third wife and young daughter. He died in Lancaster in 1866 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.       

To Learn More

These original manuscript and photographic collections are housed at the Ohio History Center, the headquarters of the Ohio History Connection in Columbus, Ohio. They are available for use in the Research Room Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM.

To find out more about these collections, please go to the Manuscripts, Audiovisual and State Archives database in our Online Collections Catalog. You can search for collections by call number, keywords in the title or subject.

Posted in Civil War, collections, Current News, Manuscript Collections, Military History, New Acquisitions, Photograph Collections | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

From Atlanta to Normandy, Pride Parades to Picnics

Join our curators at the Ohio History Center in June for talks on a variety of subjects!

June 7
See You on the Beach: 70th Anniversary of D Day

June 6, 1944 was the momentous day that the United States military launched an assault on the beach at Normandy, France occupied by German forces. Join manuscripts curator John Haas to learn more about the experiences of Ohioans who were there and those on the home front.

June 14
GOHI: Objects from the Gay Ohio History Initiative

Join history curator Emily Lang for a talk about the history and collection of the Gay Ohio History Initiative. GOHI works to preserve, archive, and curate the history and culture of the GLBT citizens of Ohio. Currently in its seventh year, the collection features political, social, and cultural material from GLBT Ohioans.

Group carrying a "Stonewall Union, Columbus, Ohio" banner on High St. in the Short North area of Columbus, ca. 1993, possibly during the Gay Pride parade.

Group carrying a “Stonewall Union, Columbus, Ohio” banner on High St. in the Short North area of Columbus, ca. 1993, possibly during the Gay Pride parade.

June 21
1950’s Recipes: Picnic Time!

Having a backyard barbeque and don’t know what to make? Jell-O salad has been a popular choice for decades. Many popular recipes today got their roots in the 1950’s, but others are more interesting than edible. Join Circulation Coordinator Carla Zikursh to talk about this and other popular 50’s food, as well as some recipes that are best left forgotten. Bring your favorite 1950’s recipes and food memories to share!

Lieutenant General William T. Sherman (1820-1891) appears mounted on his horse Duke in Atlanta, Georgia during the Civil War, 1864.

Lieutenant General William T. Sherman (1820-1891) appears mounted on his horse Duke in Atlanta, Georgia during the Civil War, 1864.


June 28
Fighting Such as We Had Not Seen Before: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864

This summer marks the 150th Anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign, one of the pivotal military campaigns of the Civil War. It struck at the heart of the Confederacy and secured President Lincoln’s re-election. Join Manuscripts Curator and Military Historian John Haas and State Archivist Fred Previts to learn about the experiences of Ohio’s soldiers during this campaign.

The curators talks are part of a busy schedule of activities at the Ohio History Center in June. Check out our full calendar of programs.

If you want to see a curator talk:

Day and Time: Saturdays in June at 2:00 PM

Location: Ohio History Center at I-71 and 17th Ave.

Cost: Free with Museum Admission

Posted in 1950s, Civil War, collections, Commemorations, Curators, Curators Talks, Current News, Gay Ohio History Iniative, Military History | 3 Comments

Curators Working Together

Image of Fort Jefferson was redrawn by Elizabeth Menke from the original in the McHenry Papers, at Indiana Historical Society. Published by courtesy of the Society, in Fort Jefferson, by Frazer Ells Wilson, 1950 copyright.  An image of the original drawing appears in The Mapping of Ohio, by Thomas H. Smith, page 87.  OHS also has a copy of the image in SC 283.

Image of Fort Jefferson was redrawn by Elizabeth Menke from the original in the McHenry Papers, at Indiana Historical Society. Published by courtesy of the Society, in Fort Jefferson, by Frazer Ells Wilson, 1950 copyright. An image of the original drawing appears in The Mapping of Ohio, by Thomas H. Smith, page 87. OHS also has a copy of the image in SC 283.

At the Ohio History Connection our curatorial staff work in three disciplines, archaeology, history and natural history. We find, however, that there are not neat lines in between them and that we have a lot to learn by working together.

For a recent post on the Ohio History Connection Archaeology Blog, archaeology curator Brad Lepper and manuscripts curator John Haas collaborated to explain how the rediscovery of documentation related to the archaeological exploration of Fort Jefferson in 1930 has brought renewed and long overdue attention to this important episode in Ohio and American history.

French prisoner of war box, catalog number H -----.

French prisoner of war box, catalog number H 26197.

In what is likely our very first tri-disciplinary blog post, history curator Emily Lang, natural history curator David Dyer and archaeology assistant Juli Six collaborated to tell the story of a French prisoner of war box housed with the history collections. Easily it is one of the more unusual objects collected by the Ohio History Connection. With David, Juli and Emily’s combined detective skills we now not only know what this box is made of, but also why it was made and likely when.

Posted in archaeology, Curators, Current News, Military History, Natural History, Research | Leave a comment

How Do You Research a Company That No Longer Exists?

Sometimes additional information comes to light after we have published something. This recently happened in the May/June 2014 issue of Echoes, the Ohio Historical Society newsletter.

A Lustron house with a green roof.

A Lustron house with a green roof.

For a newsletter feature called “Ask the Staff,” I was recently asked by a visitor what color were the roofs of Lustron homes. After reviewing our archival collections about the Lustron Corporation and consulting the Lustron Preservation web site, I drew the conclusion that only green roofs were made for production models. It was noted that some houses across the country had roofs of different colors, but that this was a local decision, not necessarily a Lustron Corporation decision.

However, it seems the history behind the roofs is more complex than that. Working with Steve McLoughlin of the Whitehall Historical Society, it was brought to my attention that many Lustron houses across the country have roof colors other than green. Through his extensive research, McLoughlin has concluded that roof colors were assigned based on the color selected for the house, as he explains, “a standard equipment of sorts.”

This is the part where doing historical research gets tricky. When the company disbanded, their materials ended up in several different places due to lawsuits, bankruptcy sales, and destruction. At the Ohio Historical Society, we have several collections of Lustron Corporation material including the Lustron Homes Research Collection, call number MSS 1288, and the Lustron Corporation Records, call number MSS 861. These collections contain photographs of the houses with green roofs. However, no specific roof colors are mentioned in the records. How did these other colors come to be if they are not in the known archival records of the company?

The Lustron Corporation went through many changes in its short time. With the rising costs of the houses and the need to ramp up production, the company often made decisions that are not reflected in the archival material. At one point, the company advertised enameled paneling in eight different colors, but only produced four colors. They advertised three different models of houses, but produced only two and three bedroom Westchesters and two and three bedroom Newports. They never actually made a model called the Meadowlark. Is it possible they offered different roof colors and never advertised it? Probably! There seemed to be little consistency between what was advertised and recorded versus what was actually available.

Some owners have reported roof colors complementary to the colors offered for enameled paneling. However, some owners have reported roof colors and materials never offered from the Lustron Corporation in any of their products. How is this possible? Local developments and neighborhoods sometimes had housing color restrictions that Lustron homes did not meet and the houses may have been painted or altered to accommodate these restrictions. For example, the Lustron homes used at the United States Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia were majorly altered, including painting the roofs of the homes white.

A Lustron house with a painted white roof at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.

A Lustron house with a painted white roof at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.

As roofs became damaged over the years, sometimes home owners found a local source of porcelain enameled roof tiles or other type of replacement roof in colors those local companies could offer. McLoughlin worked on a Lustron house in New Orleans whose roof was composed of something other than Lustron parts. When asked, the owner explained that all of the roofs of Lustron homes in the city were comprised of this same material.

Through additional research, I have found two sources that hint multiple colors were available for roofs through the company. A 1948 Lustron advertisement explains, ”You have your choice of exterior color complementary combinations-all in non-glossy porcelain enameled steel which will never weather, stain, never need repainting, redecorating, or reroofing.”  This indicates combinations (plural) as a choice for both the roof and panels, but never actually states the colors. In MSS 1288, there is a transcript of an oral history interview conducted by the Lustron Preservation group with the former mayor of Louisville, Kentucky who slept in a model Lustron house. In his interview he states, “The outside of the home I saw was a soft, greenish blue. The pitched roof was grey.”

One of the oral history transcripts available in MSS

One of the oral history transcripts available in MSS 1288

So what conclusion can be drawn? Actually, I am not sure. We know that roof colors other than green exist on Lustron houses, but we may never fully understand the circumstances that lead to this since the company’s records were spread to many places or destroyed. As more sources come to light, stories may not be as simple as they seem, so we need to be flexible and open minded. We may never have a full answer. As one of my fellow curators would say, “History takes time.”

Emily Lang, History Curator

Posted in collections | Leave a comment

Hot off the Presses from Cincinnati and Medina

New Papers Added to Chronicling America!

The Ohio Historical Society is pleased to announce that more historic Ohio newspapers have been added to Chronicling America, the Library of Congress’s free digital newspaper database.  Issues from the following newspapers are now online and keyword-searchable:

The Star, later known as the Cincinnati Daily Star, was established in 1872 and published every day but Sunday.  Politically, it was independent, focusing less on politics and more on the happenings of the greater Cincinnati area.  While readers could find national and international news, for the most part, the Star catered to the needs of the readers in the Cincinnati area and the neighboring cities in Kentucky across the Ohio River. With a large reader base, the Star was also a prime spot for “Wanted” and other advertisements for various business, manufacturing and agricultural interests.  The Star did not include many images, but instead relied on catchy, alliterative headlines to draw readers into an article.

This article reports on the cold weather that hit Cincinnati in January 1879.  Citizens of the city were subjected to frostbite, frozen pipes and fiercely cold wind with temperatures barely above zero.

This article reports on the cold weather that hit Cincinnati in January 1879. Citizens of the city were subjected to frostbite, frozen pipes and fiercely cold wind with temperatures barely above zero. (Cincinnati Daily Star, January 4, 1879, p. 1, col. 2)

By 1878, it was the most read newspaper in Cincinnati with 20,000 readers, but only two years later, in 1880, it was sold to its rival Times.  Together, the papers were known as the Cincinnati Times-Star until it merged with the Cincinnati Post in 1959.  For more information about these papers and to access their digital versions, click here for the Star and click here for the Cincinnati Daily Star.

The Medina Sentinel was the official Democratic organ of Medina County, serving the county from 1888 to 1961 when it was absorbed by the County Leader Post.  Published on a weekly basis, the paper included some state and national news, but most of its content featured local news from the city of Medina and neighboring communities, like Seville and Litchfield.  Local news items were often composed of agricultural, business, church and court news; classified advertisements; death notices; and “Personals,” which reported the comings and goings of the county’s residents. The paper also printed serialized literature and, during World War I, war bond advertisements, like the one pictured below.

In World War I, dramatic advertisements imploring citizens at home to support the troops fighting in Europe through the purchase of Liberty Bonds were common.  This one goes on to say, “Yet when you refuse to buy all the Liberty Bonds that you possibly can...you are refusing to do your share” in protecting soldiers “against the brutal enemy.”

In World War I, dramatic advertisements imploring citizens at home to support the troops fighting in Europe through the purchase of Liberty Bonds were common. This one goes on to say, “Yet when you refuse to buy all the Liberty Bonds that you possibly can…you are refusing to do your share” in protecting soldiers “against the brutal enemy.” (Medina Sentinel, October 11, 1918, p. 3)

In support of its political orientation, readers of the Medina Sentinel were also encouraged to support Democratic policies and to vote for Democratic candidates in local, state, or national elections. Prior to elections, candidate profiles, editorials, advertisements, and political cartoons were prominently featured.  Click here for more information about the Medina Sentinel and to access its digital version.

While you are visiting Chronicling America, take some time to see what other news you can find in Ohio’s historic newspapers—there are just over 275,000 pages dating from 1836 to 1922 from all over the state to explore!  These titles (over 55 in all!) comprise only a small part of the over 7.6 million pages from all over the nation that are currently available on the Library of Congress website.

Chronicling America is brought to you by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress and state projects to provide enhanced access to United States newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.  National Endowment for the Humanities awards support state projects to select and digitize historically significant titles that are aggregated and permanently maintained by the Library of Congress at Chronicling America. As part of the project, the Ohio Historical Society contributed over 200,000 newspaper pages to the project between July 2008 and August 2012 and will contribute an additional 100,000 pages by the end of August 2014.  For more information about this project and resources for searching Chronicling America, please visit the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio Project Wiki or Ohio Digital Newspaper Program Website.

Jenni Salamon, Project Coordinator, NDNP-OH

Posted in collections, Digital Projects, Digitization, Newspapers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment