News

2014 Season Office Hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 8am-4pm
Wednesday: 8am-4pm
Thursday: 8am-4pm
Friday: 10am-2pm
*Please note that if there is an off-site meeting or event there may be no one in the office at Spring Hill.  

Volunteers Honored at Annual Volunteer Dinner
On Saturday November 9th, volunteers were thanked and honored at the Annual Volunteer Dinner located at Central Presbyterian Church in Massillon. Just under 60 volunteers attended this pot luck dinner and enjoyed their time visiting with other volunteers, hearing 2013 Highlights and what’s to come for 2014. 3 volunteers were presented with awards for going above and beyond throughout the year. 
Best New Volunteer: Aubrey Berbari
(This award went to someone that has been a volunteer at Spring Hill for less than 2 years. They have jumped into a variety of areas to assist the staff.) 
Volunteer of the Year: Leslie Wells
(This award goes to the Woman’s Board Member that has contributed the most amount of time to Spring Hill during the year.) 
Mary Merwin Award: The Gessner Family
(This award is presented to someone that has gone way above and beyond what is expected of a volunteer. They’ve contributed to Spring Hill over a long period of time through donating time, money, support, leadership, etc.) 

Staffing and Hours of Operation Changes
Spring Hill Historic Home’s hours of operation will be changing as of August 12, 2013. As always, if you plan to visit or stop by the home, we suggest calling to make sure someone is available, however, the following hours will be the “norm” from this point forward to accomodate additional staff, plan for events, etc.
Monday: 9:00am-1:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am-4:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am-1:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am-4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am-1:00pm
*During tour season (June 1-August 31) Spring Hill is open on Fridays from 9:00am-3:00pm.
For more information please contact the Spring Hill Office at 330-833-6749.

Collections Manager Joins Spring Hill Historic Home Team
This summer (2013) Alyssa Arciello was welcomed as the Collections Manager at Spring Hill. Arciello, who has volunteered, interned and worked at Spring Hill Historic Home will now be in charge of preservation, donations, management, displays and interpretation of all artifacts and archives. In addition to these new responsibilities, Arciello has also agreed to spear head children’s programming and coordinate house tours! We are very excited about Arciello joining our team! Adding someone specifically to help maintain our artifact and archive collection will cetainly increase the life and educational oppurtunities of our pieces. If you are interested in volunteering to help save the Spring Hill artifacts OR you are interested in donating any pieces to Spring Hill, please contact Alyssa Arciello at 330-833-6749 or by emailing assistant@springhillhistorichome.org.

Underground Railroad to Come Alive at Spring Hill Historic Home
Come to Spring Hill Historic Home in June 22nd to see firsthand what a fugitive slave’s journey to freedom may have looked like. The Underground Railroad Experience tells the Spring Hill Underground Railroad story through an interactive, personal performance. Guests are welcomed into the past and make their way through the woods, just as escaped slaves would have. They meet key characters along the way such as Percy Ross, a run-away slave, Arvine Wales and Thomas and Charity Rotch. Spring Hill stories come alive with characters like Edy, the wife of George Duncan, who once stayed at Spring Hill and as slave hunter De Camp confronts Thomas Rotch. This experience, suited for all ages, is a very ‘real’ look back in time at not only what fugitive slaves experienced but what Thomas and Charity Rotch sacrificed by offering Spring Hill as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

In addition to the experience, guests will be able to tour the historic home, built in 1821 by Thomas and Charity Rotch and purchased by Arvine Wales after their deaths. Three generations of the Wales family lived in the home which contains the “Secret Staircase.” This staircase is said to have occasionally escorted slaves hidden within the home to a hiding place on the second story from the basement. Journals and letters indicate that slaves would have also been hidden in outbuildings on the farm.

The Experiences will take place at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30am, 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged. To register for tickets, guests can call Spring Hill Historic Home as of June 3rd. The house tours and other activities will take place from 10:00am-5:30pm.

Other activities, such as a marionette show, children’s activities, a gift shop, music on the porch and more will be held from 10:00am-5:30pm. Comfort food; a menu consisting of pulled pork, beans, cookies, drinks will be available for purchase. “A Sheep’s Tale” is a marionette show geared toward children to help them understand the lives of Thomas and Charity Rotch and why they made the decision to help run-away slaves. Author, lecturer and Quaker, Rick Artzner, will give a short presentation at 1:00pm entitled, “Quakers and the Underground Railroad.” This presentation will discuss the history of the network of “stations” from South to North the free slaves and will explain why the Quakers felt the need to be involved in this great effort. Children’s activities and a gift shop will also be available throughout the course of the event.

Spring Hill Historic Home is recognized as an Underground Railroad location by the National Park Service Network to Freedom. For more information about this event or to register for tickets, please call 330-833-6749, visit www.springhillhistorichome.org or email info@springhillhistorichome.org. Spring Hill Historic Home is located at the intersection of Wales Rd/241 and Lake Rd at 1401 Springhill Lane NE.

Come experience the unique Underground Railroad and Massillon history story at Spring Hill!


Spring/Summer Internship Available

Spring Hill Historic Home and Museum is excited to offer a brand new internship opportunity. Our small site, located in Massillon OH is a nearly 200 year old Quaker Home that served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Every summer we hold an event called the Underground Railroad Experience. The meat of this program is the actual experience. Guests, as slaves, travel the grounds of Spring Hill and while on their way to safety, encounter different characters, all related to Spring Hill. This includes fugitive slaves on their way to their next stop on the railroad, Arvine Wales (the farm hand at Spring Hill), Thomas and Charity Rotch, the original occupants of the home and a slave hunter. Along the way, visitors can see first-hand what runaway slaves may have looked like, hear their stories and understand what they may have been going through. Visitors are also able to tour the home and see possible places that slaves were hidden while they stayed at Spring Hill. They can also enjoy some southern style food, many activities for kids and gospel singers on the porch. This year we hope to add some more displays with slave narratives and more information about what was happening in the country as a whole as well as educational programming on the meaning behind some of the songs that came from this time period.

This is a great opportunity for students to learn the history of our site, how to communicate history with the general public, plan educational programs, organize and run meetings and get a real taste for what working in the history/museum field may feel like. This will be offered as an unpaid internship but we are happy to be flexible and work with students and faculty in hopes that this may be an internship that can earn college credit. The description is attached but some brief details about the position include;
-An average of about 11 hours per week (back loaded closer to (and including) the event)
-Application Due Date: February 22nd
-Hire Date: March 25th
-Event Date: June 22, internship would conclude on June 24th to allow time to a review/evaluation and to learn ideas for next year.
-Some tasks would include: Coordinating volunteers for the event, assisting in educational displays, assisting with marketing, attend steering committee meetings and coordinate the “green room” for the event.

Please review the job description below and send the needed information to Spring Hill. Contact Director Kate Smith with any questions.

Underground Railroad Experience Internship Job Description
*If you have trouble viewing the document, please email director@springhillhistorichome.org for a copy.

 

Preservation Efforts Continue at Spring Hill Historic Home

Alyssa Arciello started volunteering at Spring Hill in January as part of her requirements for graduation from Walsh University in museum studies. As part of her internship she began a project that would entail re-organizing and moving all Spring Hill archives (paper documents) to safe storage. Spring Hill is a nearly 200 year old home with no air conditioning. This is not the best situation for the paper pieces of the collection as heat can speed up deterioration. So, part of Alyssa’s project was to move the archives into the office, the one room with a small air conditioner to help keep the archives cool. This portion of the project is well underway but has given the staff and volunteers some momentum to undergo a much bigger project; re-organizing, re-housing and inventorying the entire collection; ALL of the pieces in the home.

Along with other volunteers, the larger phase of the project has begun. First, all of the pieces in the home have to be inventoried, this hasn’t been done in a long time. So, each piece gets recorded with it’s condition, current location and a photo that will be loaded into a program that helps keep track of collections. Second, the pieces already in storage will be inventoried and sorted or re-organized if needed. Third, we’ll re-evaluate what is on display at the home and possibly make some changes. Lastly, all of the items, including the archives will be loaded into the computer program and stored. Storing them strategically and tracking each piece on the computer will help us use the pieces more for education and exhibits.

This will be a long process, we’re hoping to finish in the spring of 2013 with some major house cleaning and re-organizing going on this winter. Hopefully by the summer of 2013 we’ll have a new piece or two on display.

Interested in volunteering? We’d love to have you. The more help we have with this project the sooner we’ll be able to use the pieces to their full potential! Please email the Director; Kate Smith at director@springhillhistorichome.org or call 330-833-6749 if you’re interested in helping.