By Rick Palsgrove
Everyone has family memories, stories of how and why ancestors settled in a place and what one calls “home.”
“Journey Stories,” an exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution, uses images with audio and artifacts to illustrate the story of the intersection between transportation and American society and how societal mobility is a means for asserting individual freedom.
The exhibit will be on display at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., Groveport, from June 26 to July 31.
Journey stories are tales of migration and relocation. Regardless of one’s ethnic or racial background, America’s history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or across an ocean.
While many chose to move, others had no choice, like enslaved Africans captured and relocated to a strange land and asserting their own cultures, or Native Americans who were often pushed aside by newcomers. Transportation history is more than trains, boats, buses, cars, wagons, and trucks. The development of transportation technology was largely inspired by the human drive for freedom.
Groveport is one of seven Ohio communities to host the exhibit, which is co-sponsored by the Ohio Humanities Council. It is also the third time Groveport Town Hall has hosted a Smithsonian Institution exhibit.
“This is the first time Groveport has been selected to kick off an exhibit’s statewide tour,” said Linda Haley, Groveport community affairs director. “It’s such an honor to have the spotlight on Groveport to announce the tour.”
Groveport’s history is interwoven with transportation as the canal, railroad, interurban, roads and airplanes all have played in role in the town’s growth.
“I think one reason Groveport was selected to host this exhibit is because our history has always been defined by its connection to transportation. Some of the earliest pioneers arrived by canal boat to search for a new life,” said Haley. “Lockbourne Air Base and now Rickenbacker distribution centers draw new residents to the area. This exhibit takes a thoughtful look at how and why we migrate to new areas, and why we call that place ‘home.’”
The exhibit is free to the public. Hours are Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday from noon – 6 p.m. The exhibit will be closed on July 4.
Additional “Journey Stories” events
The following activities and events will be held in conjunction with the “Journey Stories” exhibit:
•American Treasures, photography of American landmarks by Marty Laney in Groveport Town Hall’s art gallery.
•History of Southeast Ohio, a free presentation by Ohio historian Vernon Pack on July 23 at 1 p.m. at Groveport Town Hall.
•Campfire stories on July 26 at 7 p.m. in Heritage Park.
•Family movie night – “An American Tail,” on July 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Heritage Park.
•A showing of the documentary film, “The Story of John S. Rarey and Cruiser,” on July 28 at 2 p.m. at Groveport Town Hall.
For information call (614) 836-3333.