Saving Local History

Fred Sapsford.tif
 Ray Sapsford standing at rear of “KNOPP” HOUSE..

A major goal for the museum is to save, protect and restore fast disappearing Northern Ohio history. Part of what we do is the disassembling and moving at-risk buildings to the museum. Once they are at their new home, the various buildings are restored and become part of the growing museum village. We also spend a good deal of time, effort and all available monies to collect and preserve often one-of-a-kind tools, artifacts and “antiques”. (We can certainly use all donations of goods and money in these efforts. Also, if you hear of a building that needs saving, please give a call.).

The Museum is also working to save and restore, in its original location, as much history as we can. These efforts include on-site consulting with other historical societies to help restore their buildings, equipment and barns (such as at the Strongsville, Brecksville, Hinckley and Burton museums). We have also worked with individual home owners or municipalities to restore their properties. These include the complete rebuilding, by museum craftsmen, of the Elton Pay barn in Brecksville; help in keeping, in its original location, the former Knopp Farm grainery; the repair of one of the main king beams and replacement of the stone foundations of the east and west horse stall foundations of the Hale Farm farm barn; residing and painting of the Hale Farm Salt Box House; the replacement of beams and reroofing of Logan Fry barn in Richfield; leadership in the all volunteer complete restoration of the Old Town Hall in Richfield and the replacement of beams and reroofing of the Romestant barn in Bath. We also do a certain amount of consulting online with historic societies across the Midwest, including advice on foundation work, drainage problems, insulation and roof questions, and a good bit of advice on various heritage tools and equipment (it is surprising to us the gaps in knowledge of many historic societies).

Another major effort by the museum over the last several months has been the gathering and publication of the history of the Knopp House, presently standing in the center of Richfield. This home, most recently owned by the Village of Richfield, has been the subject of much debate, over the last several years, about its eventual fate. We, at the Museum of Western Reserve, feel it is important that the house be restored in its original location. This is generally the best course for most historic properties, and this home in particular has been so important in the past 150+ years of Richfield life. It would certainly be a shame for this important structure to be removed from where it has always stood.

For a full reading of, “A Home at the Center of Richfield. -And the Families that Lived There.”, please click on the “Knopp House” page on the top right of the museum’s home page.

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