(Posted July 23, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
It all started with a covered-wagon adventure across Ohio. Now, after 11 years at the helm of the Madison County Historical Society Museum, director Dorothy Richmond is stepping down.
The long time London resident is getting married in November and moving to Grapevine, Texas, near Dallas. She said that leaving Madison County and the museum will be difficult.
“I’ve been here in London since 1964. This is home,” she said.
Richmond’s involvement with the Historical Society began after members heard about her participation in the Ohio Bicentennial wagon train in 2004. Her willingness to live and travel like a pioneer for two weeks piqued their interest.
Richmond volunteered at the Historical Society’s Pioneer Day that year and, shortly thereafter, Gretchen Green, museum director at the time, asked Richmond if she’d like to take her spot. Richmond accepted and has served in the volunteer position ever since.
“I like the idea of maintaining history for the next generation to come. I have kids coming into the museum who see our old Underwood typewriter and have no idea what it is. We need to preserve the old for the future,” she said.
Richmond praised community members for their generosity in donating historical items to the museum.
“It’s people sharing their hobbies or memorabilia that keeps things changing and interesting at the museum,” she said.
Beyond displays, the museum’s volunteers have found ways to make Madison County’s history an interactive experience. Richmond points to this year’s Pioneer Camp as an example.
“This was our first year for it, and it went really, really well,” she said.
The camp spanned three days and was open to children in third through fifth grade. Each day, they took part in lessons from which they got to take home a reminder of the past. One lesson yielded small metal triangles used to call workers in to dinner. From another, they took home faux gems they “mined” using sand.
Annette Rinesmith, vice president of the Historical Society’s board of trustees, said she will miss working with Richmond on events like Pioneer Camp. She said Richmond’s departure will leave big shoes to fill.
“This town is going to miss her. The Historical Society was her life,” Rinesmith said.
Richmond said she plans to make regular trips back to Madison County to visit family and friends, as well as help with events at the museum. She also plans to get involved with historical programs in Texas.
Finding a new director
Richmond’s last day as museum director will be at the Historical Society’s annual meeting and dinner in October.
The Society’s board of trustees is accepting letters of interest and/or resumés from individuals interested in filling the position. Those interested should send information as soon as possible to P.O. Box 124, London, OH 43140. The position is unpaid.
The museum director is responsible for coordinating volunteers, leading tours and club meetings at the museum, accepting and documenting donations, processing memberships, and manning the museum during twice weekly public hours.
Upcoming events include Jonathan Alder Day on Sept. 20 and the museum’s Christmas program on Nov. 29.
“We need somebody that loves our county and the history of it,” Rinesmith said.
Open board seats
In addition to the museum director’s position, the Historical Society has four openings on its nine-member board of directors. Elections will take place at the annual meeting in October. Each seat comes with a three-year term.
Anyone interested in serving on the board is asked to send a letter of intent to the address listed above.
For more information about the director position or board seats, call the museum and leave a message, (740) 852-2977, or contact Annette Rinesmith, (740) 852-4996.