(Posted Oct. 21, 2020)
By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer
The heart of any community resides in its history, and the keepers of stories from the past make history come alive.
Steve Chambers, director of the Mount Sterling Community Museum, is one such story keeper. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the village’s incorporation, and Chambers is paying homage to the milestone through a special display.
Historical photographs, books, paintings and memorabilia are available for viewing through the end of October.
Mount Sterling’s founder was a Kentuckian by the name of John Smith who grew up in Mount Sterling, Ky., and moved to Ohio around 1825. In honor of his hometown, he named his new home Mount Sterling.
When the village was incorporated in 1845, fewer than 1,000 people called it home. Today, the population is about 1,800.
Two of the town’s most prominent residents were John Bricker and John Galbreath.
Bricker graduated from Mount Sterling High School in 1911. He served as Ohio’s governor from 1939 to 1945 and as a U.S. senator through the 1950s. In 1944, he was a Republican candidate for vice president, running on the ticket with Thomas E. Dewey against Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
Galbreath made a name for himself in construction and built skyscrapers all over the world, especially in Asia. He married into the Firestone family and owned the Pittsburgh Pirates, a couple of Kentucky Derby winners, and Darby Dan Farms. He graduated from Mount Sterling High School in 1915.
The 175th anniversary display will run through the end of October. Next up on the display schedule is the museum’s annual Veterans Day tribute. Throughout November, visitors can peruse historical items from all branches of the military donated by Mount Sterling residents.
In December, the theme will be Old Time Christmas and feature vintage decorations, ornaments, Christmas music albums and other items donated to the museum over past decades.
“I enjoy creating these displays,” said Steve Chambers, the museum’s director. “I’m given free rein to do what I like with them, and it usually only takes me a week to put them together.”
The museum is located on the library’s lower level. A limit of six people are allowed in the space at a time. Face masks are encouraged except for those who cannot wear them due to medical issues. Call Chambers at (740) 869-9305 to make arrangements for visits outside of open hours. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.