By Linda Dillman
Limited public funding does not hinder the village of Lockbourne with projects big and small thanks in part to Rediscover Lockbourne, an organization helping to bring ideas and dreams to fruition.
Created in spring 2019, the purpose and mission of Rediscover Lockbourne (RDL) and its six-member board is to honor the canal heritage of the village of Lockbourne and to create and maintain sustainable, economic development for the community.
“The RDL is very important to the village because it serves as its 501 (c) (3) fund raising arm,” said RDL President Cathy Nelson. “Without this board, the village could not hold programs or community events that require funding sources.”
Rediscover Lockbourne raises funds through public and private donations for major projects such as the gazebo in Veterans Park and the Historical Events Hall, which dates back to the late 1800s.
Funding is solicited from private individuals, local companies and corporation grants. Nelson said a “fair amount of money” was donated from veterans and American Legion Posts for the new village gazebo.
“The village does not receive any funding from the city of Columbus, other than water and sewer,” said Nelson. “Lockbourne is surrounded by major corporations and mega warehouses whose large semi-trucks travel on the streets through the village, reaping no revenues from any of these entities.”
The RDL is in the midst of a campaign seeking major corporate and private funding to build a 13 panel black granite Memorial Wall in Veterans Park. The memorial will highlight the role of the Tuskegee Airmen and WACs who were stationed at Lockbourne in the 1940s.
An afternoon High Tea fundraiser will be held in the Historical Hall, 206 Vause St., on May 7 from 2-4 p.m. The event includes afternoon tea service, along with a tiered tray filled with a mixture of savory finger sandwiches and miniature desserts.
In the spirit of the 148th Kentucky Derby, prizes will be awarded for the fanciest hats. Proceeds from the tea and a silent auction will help Rediscover Lockbourne continue supporting village projects.
“The High Tea is a first of its kind fundraising opportunity for the village of Lockbourne,” said event organizer Melissa Rapp. “We were looking for a different type of event to host for the community and a way to showcase the renovations done to the original 1889 Hamilton Township school building.”
During the renovations of Lockbourne’s Historical Hall, several pieces of china and tea pots were discovered and the idea for a tea party was born.
“The hall is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of sipping flavorful teas and enjoying tasty treats all while listening to live music,” said Rapp, who said professional photography will be available to capture guests in their tea party finest, who are also encouraged to wear their fanciest hat.
Nelson said Lockbourne is no longer a sleepy town.
“It’s a historical town founded by James Kilbourne in 1831,” she said. “The same Kilbourne who helped to establish Worthington in 1803. Lockbourne was a canal town and a part of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which brought great prosperity to the area.”
That history is still celebrated today with Lockbourne now part of the new Ohio & Erie Canal Southern Descent Heritage Trail. Winter hikes were held along the Magnolia Trail, part of the heritage trail system, which was named for a Lockbourne canal boat active during the 1800s.
“As a member of Rediscover Lockbourne, it has been a pleasure and an honor to work on its behalf,” said Nelson. “The village has accomplished so much with so little. They will soar to new heights with continual and substantial funding secured by the RDL board.”
Tickets for the High Tea are $25 for adults and $15 for children twelve and under. Contact village administrative assistant Kendall Collins at the village office 614-491-3161 or visit the Lockbourne Facebook page for information.