Heritage Council hears tunes, looks ahead
By DON ALLISON
Bryan Times Senior Editor
The Stryker Area Heritage Council continues to add to its collections and improve the museum at the railroad depot, and already is looking ahead at 2014.
And when the group met for its annual membership meeting Thursday evening, those present took a look back at the American Civil War through the music of the period.
The performance was indeed authentic - Steve Ball of Columbus, a historian and musician, performed with an 1848 Martin guitar. To place the songs in perspective, he explained why the tunes were written and what was going on in the war at the time.
Ball, shown performing at the annual meeting in the photo by Don Allison, has studied the Civil War since his childhood. He said music was an important aspect of the conflict. "As I studied Civil War music," he said, "I learned more and more that every song has a story ...
"There were nearly 30,000 musicians in the Union army," Ball said. Music, he explained, was how the soldiers entertained themselves.
"Gen. Robert E. Lee said, 'You can't have an army without music,'" Ball told the audience.
He explained that many popular songs from the era were written in Ohio, including the popular "Lorena" and even "Dixie," considered an anthem of the South. Many period songs remain familiar today, such as "Goober Peas," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Prior to Ball's program, Heritage Council members took care of annual business, including a report on its finances from Treasurer Sue Buehrer.
Also, President Rose Burkholder distributed a report outlining activities from 2013 and looking ahead at plans for 2014, including continuing efforts to improve the local history museum at the former railroad depot, The Stryker Heritage Center.
"We continue to receive donations and loans of Stryker-related items for display at the depot," Burkholder wrote. She noted photos of these items will be featured in upcoming editions of the SAHC quarterly newsletter, the Bean Creek Chronicle, which is produced by Burkholder and Bill Priest.
During warmer weather a baggage cart believed to have come from the depot was on display outside the building. This cart was purchased by the Heritage Council and has been refurbished by Virgil Frank.
A recent addition to the depot displays is a set of blueprints for the building, Burkholder noted. Frames for the blueprints were created using floorboards stamped by the Stryker Lumber Company, and were completed by Duane Jolly. Mr. Jolly and his wife, Phyllis, donated material to finish the project. Burkholder also noted that the baggage room has shelves in place to organize the collections, again with donated wood and labor from Mr. and Mrs. Jolly.
Planned for 2014 is refurbishing of the depot windows to protect the collection from sunlight damage.
The report noted the Heritage Council continues to scan local photographs so they can be displayed and a permanent record maintained. In addition, the Heritage Council conducts local programs, coordinated the Stryker Homecoming parade and has produced a replica of the 1900 depot for sale.
"We continue to provide donated Stryker schools annuals to the Stryker Library, and have a few annuals still needed to complete their collection, along with purchasing the 2013 annual for the library," the report noted. The first Stryk-Hi annual was published by the class of 1925. Annuals still needed are 1926 through 1940, 1944 and 1989." Annuals also were donated to the Williams County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Center in Bryan.
Stryker Area Heritage Council trustees for 2014 are shown in the photo above taken by Charles Allison and courtesy of the Bryan Times. Seated from left, Sue Buehrer, Helen Bell, Judy Keller, Rose Burkholder and Anna Marie Sprow. Standing from left are Fred Grisier, Terry Wieland, Don Allison and Bill Priest. Bell and Priest were re-elected during Thursday’s general membership meeting, and Keller was newly elected.
The heritage council trustees meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the depot. The annual general membership meeting takes place the second Thursday in November. Burkholder announced that the depot will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in conjunction with the American Legion breakfast and other programs that day.
(Reprinted by permission of the Bryan Times)