Newspaper Articles on NMHS Awards for 2009: IHS and
Chamber of Commerce--
HISTORICAL SOCIETY HONORED FOR SERVICE
News-Journal, Dec 16, 2009
“Doing a lot with a little,” most accurately describes the
accomplishments of the North Manchester Historical Society.
The organization’s success at preserving the community’s
ties to the past, providing residents with ongoing education
and programming, and also looking to the future with a
rapidly growing collection at the Center for History were
all reasons why it was selected from among similar
organizations statewide for a major award.
Indiana Historical Society presented the “2009 Outstanding
Historical Organization Award” to the North Manchester
Historical Society (NMHS) at its annual Founders Day Dinner
on December 7 in Indianapolis.
Accepting the award on behalf of the NMHS were Bill and
Eloise Eberly and Nancy Reed. Bill Eberly said, “We felt
quite honored to be there and to receive the award. It
speaks to the wonderful work our volunteers devote to the
Society and to the museum on Main Street.”
The award is given each year to “county or local historical
societies, organizations or sites in Indiana that have
demonstrated remarkable public service to the communities
The NMHS was formed in 1972 with just twelve charter
members. Growing by leaps and bounds over the past 37 years,
the society accomplishes much despite relying solely on
volunteer time and efforts for everything from its
day-to-day operations to securing grants to preserve many
parts of the area’s history.
publishes a quarterly newsletter with original articles and
notes and hosts regular programs that serve hundreds of
local residents. The Society has undertaken many large tasks
over the years, from the rededication of the covered
bridge and purchase and restoration of Governor Thomas R.
Marshall’s birth home to the collecting of artifacts and the
opening of its museum.
At the Center for History, volunteers are currently
remodeling a large back room to house large numbers of farm
equipment and other historical artifacts donated by the
Harold Miller family. The room is being remodeled to look
like the interior of a barn so when it’s complete, the new
exhibit will give visitors a “window” into North
Manchester’s agricultural heritage. The Center for History
also participates in numerous projects with several groups
from the community, including students, teachers, civic
groups, and service organizations. ...Through all that it
does, the NMHS depends on volunteers and the financial
support of the community. For more info, see its website at
www.nmanchesterhistory.org , email firstname.lastname@example.org ,
or call 260-982-0672.
Photographs of Dec 7, 2009 IHS Awards
Ceremony provided by Bill Eberly.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY WINS SPIRIT OF THE COMMUNITY
North Manchester News-Journal Feb 3, 2010
The North Manchester Historical Society was honored by the
Chamber of Commerce as the winner of the 2009 Spirit of the
Community Award at the 2010 annual dinner Thursday night,
2008 winner Debbie Chinworth, who was filling in for 2009
winner Rowena Greer, presented the North Manchester
Historical Society the award.
“The Spirit of the Community Award is being presented to an
organization for their innovation, their commitment, and
their contributions, which have greatly impacted the
character of our community,” Chinworth said.
The North Manchester Historical Society was founded in 1972
with the purpose of collecting and preserving artifacts,
documents and photographs which tell the story of North
The founding 12 members have grown to nearly 200 members
They meet monthly and publish a quarterly newsletter.
In 1994, they purchased the Thomas Marshall house and moved
it to its current location on Market Street.
An affiliate of the Historical Society, the Historic Home
Preservation group, restored the Rice House, the Grant
Street blue/red brick house, and is attempting to restore
the exterior of the Cigar Factory.
“The most visible activity of the Historical Society in our
town is at the Center For History on Main Street, our
historical museum,” Chinworth said.
Chinworth explained the first historical museum was in the
upper floor of the town hall, then moved to the Town Life
Center. In 2001, the Oppenheim Department Store was
purchased by the Historical Society. The large building
provides approximately 11,000 square feet for the first
floor exhibit space, and an additional 18,000 square feet
for office space, a library, and work and storage areas.
More than 19,000 items are part of a collection that began
with 2,000 when the museum opened.
“Fascinating displays present memories and tell the history
of North Manchester and nearby communities of the Eel River
Valley,” Chinworth said.
The facility also serves as a center for educational
programs, reunions, local family historical research and
“The ever-changing window displays make our downtown alive
and interesting,” Chinworth added.
One recent addition to the Center for History is the Barn
Room. The Harold Miller family donated to the Historical
Society a huge collection of farm equipment and other
historical artifacts. They have been remodeling the large
room in the back of the east side of the museum. Owen
Summers, Bob Amiss, Robin Lahman, Steve Batzka and
others have worked to make the room look like a barn, with
Dave Hippensteel installing new electric wiring for the
In 2008, the North Manchester Historical Society won special
recognition from America In Bloom for its part in historic
In 2009, the Indiana Historical Society announced that the
North Manchester Historical Society won the Outstanding
Historical Organization Award.
Historical Society vice-president Ferne Baldwin accepted the
Spirit of the Community Award on behalf of the Historical
Photos provided by Bea Knarr. The
entertaining theme for the Chamber's
66th Annual Dinner was "Pirateology." Hence, the unusual
“Soon after I came to North Manchester in 1952, I recognized
that this was a very special town,” she said. She talked
about the importance of historical preservation. “It is very
easy for us to forget, in our busy lives, to preserve the
history of our activities and our stories for our children
and our grandchildren,” Baldwin said. “The purpose of the histocial society, when it comes down to the bare facts, is
to preserve that history for all of us. Although we have
been honored by many special recognitions this year, that
purpose will continue, and we hope that you will contribute
to that history by sharing with us your very special
keepsakes, so we can keep those for all of us and for our
Baldwin thanked all of the volunteers “who do an incredible
amount of work”, and invited those in attendance to come see
the Center For History when it re-opens Saturday, March
Chinworth added, “We thank the North Manchester Historical
Society for all the volunteer hours they give to restore and
preserve our community’s story. Without your work and
dedication, our stories would be gone forever.”
Historical Society board members are Bill Eberly-president,
Ferne Baldwin, vice-president, Karl Merritt-secretary, Ralph
Naragon-treasurer, Nancy Reed-Director of Center for
History, Joyce Joy-Office Manager and Curator. Other members
are Joe Vogel, Art Gilbert, Mary Chrastil, Darlene Bucher,
John Knarr, Mike McKee, Tim Taylor, Bob Amiss, and Viv
Group photo provided by Eric Christiansen.
Pictured front l-r, Ferne Baldwin, Debbie Chinworth,
McKee, Karl Merritt;
back l-r, Joyce Joy, Darlene Bucher, Nancy J. Reed.