In October of 2020, guests took a walking tour, with Historian Grant Sheehy, through Lebanon's historic downtown. Or went up the hill, to Glendower Mansion, Two tours on four nights, unraveled the spooky stories of some of Lebanon's unlucky residents and invoked the darker side of this idyllic little community.
October 23th & 24th, as well as bonus dates, October 31st & 31, all Sold Out!
The following Western Star article was taken from our archives.
May, 1882. "Waynesville, Ohio, May 29. Although this is an old settled neighborhood, and the primitive snakes in the main, have long since disappeared; except the black, garter and rattlesnake and occasionally some of other species, we are once in a while greeted with the report of some monster of this uncanny tribe.
For several years it has been reported that the track of one above the town, of unusual size, had, on different occasions, been seen in the dust, where it had crossed the pike. This report made the timid fearful, while the generality of the people did not seem to fear or care anything about it; and it has been reserved until yesterday to develop one of the most remarkable specimens ever seen, in or out of snake season, and the story thereof is so well authenticated that the more incredulous of the neighborhood on big snake stories are forced at last to lend an attentive ear.
About one mile north of this place is a little village called Crosswicks, in which several colored families reside. Among the rest is John Lynch, who has two boys, Ed. And Joe, aged respectively thirteen and eleven years. These boys were at a small creek on the south side of the village fishing, yesterday. After sitting on the bank a short time they heard quite a stir among some old reeds, grass and brush behind them, and on looking round they saw a huge monster approaching them rapidly. They screamed and, paralyzed almost with horror, started to run, when the snake, or whatever it might be—for they never saw aught like it before; came close up to the older one, and suddenly throwing out two long arms, or forelegs, seized the boy in its slimy embrace, simultaneously producing two more legs, about four feet long, from some mysterious hiding place in its body, and dragged the boy some one hundred yards down the creek to a large sycamore, twenty-six feet in diameter at the base, hollow, and with a large opening on one side. Through this aperture the monster attempted to enter with the boy who by this time was almost dead with fright and unable to make any resistance.
Three men—viz., Rev. Jacob Horn, George Peterson and Allen Jordan—were quarrying stone a short distance above where the boys were fishing, and hearing their screams and seeing the creature yanking one off, hurried in an attempt to rescue the child. They reached the tree just as the snake, who, failing in its first attempt to drag the boy into his den, became alarmed, probably by the cries made by its pursuers, unfastened its horrible fangs and dropped the more than half dead child to the earth. The little fellow was picked up and carried home, and Dr. L.C. Lukens, of Waynesville, summoned to attend him.
In the afternoon about sixty men, armed with clubs, dog, axes, &c., gathered around the sycamore-tree and concluded to cut it down and destroy its fearful tenant. They began cutting, when, becoming alarmed for his safety, the formidable snake leaped from the aperture, threw out its fore and hind legs, erected itself about twelve or fourteen feet, and, with the velocity of a race horse, crossed the creek and ran up a small hill, climbed over a rail fence, breaking it down, and, continuing north a mile, followed by the pursuers, until he reached a hole in a large hill under a heavy ledge of rocks. Some of the men and dogs were so terrified at the beast’s first appearance that they only thought of getting out of the way. But the braver portion followed until the frightful thing made good his retreat underneath the ground.
It will be watched for and killed if possible. It is described as being from thirty to forty feet long, sixteen inches in diameter, and the legs four feet long and covered with scales the same as the body. Feet about twelve inches long and shaped like a lizard’s, of black and white color, with large yellow spots. Head about sixteen inches wide, with a long, black forked tongue and the mouth inside deep red. The hind legs appeared to be used to give it an erect position, and its propelling power is in its tail.
Dr. Lukens said this morning that the boy, his patient, was badly bruised and scratched, horribly frightened, and that he lay in convulsions and spasms until three o’clock this morning, when he fell asleep, but frequently wakened with fright and terror, yet the Doctor thinks he will recover in a few days.
The foregoing is vouched for by the persons whose names are given above, and many more can be given if necessary, the material points having been furnished your correspondent by Judge J. W. Keys, one of our oldest and most influential citizens."
A message from the artist:
"Every image tells a story...
Storytelling is a big part of what I bring to each photograph taken. I am interested in capturing the mood, tone and feeling that express subject matter in its greatest light. I have the patience it takes, and planning required to capture my imagery at just the right time to captivate the beholder. These tactics were shared with me by my father who gave me my first camera, a shiny new Kodak "Hawkeye".
At Ohio University I studied Photography and was also privileged to meet my lovely wife Joy who was an Interior Design major. My photographic education also included portraits with models both indoors and outside. Throughout each shoot, I impart the importance of storytelling by applying empathy through the lens of my camera. Today, I find myself enjoying capturing the majesty of waterfalls and calm bold decoration of the American southwest. I hope you enjoy these lovely images and that they take you to a delightful place.
I hope you enjoy my photography and decide to purchase one for your home, office, a friend.
Marshall N. Miller"
Marshall's exhibition begins August 7 and will run through August 29.
WESTERN STAR April 5, 1945: EASTER EXHIBIT ATTRACTS CROWD
Nearly 100 persons visited Lebanon’s new museum* Sunday to see many interesting antiques and historic displays including a special Easter exhibit of china and glass hens.
Special collections belonging to Mrs. Herschel M. Williams and Mrs. Harry Hastings attracted considerable attention. Other displays were exhibited by Mrs. Jack Jones, Mrs. Hazel Brooks and Mrs. William Phillips.
Recent contributions to the museum include a lard oil lamp given by John Holden of Morrow and a portrait of Mathias Corwin**, father of Governor Tom Corwin, presented by Misses Mary and Gertrude Cropper***.
From the desk of John J. Zimkus
“Lebanon’s new museum” is the Glendower Historic Mansion. The story of Glendower begins in May 1843, when J. Milton Williams, Warren County’s prosecuting attorney, purchased just less than four acres from George Kesling. Here, within the next year or two, Williams had a home built for his family. It was the first of five mansions that would be constructed on the hill that would be called Floraville. All five houses were built prior to the Civil War. Floraville would not become part of the village of Lebanon until March 1862.
Amos Bennett, an early carpenter and joiner in Lebanon, built the home for Williams. Bennett was aided in building the house by a handbook. Prominent architects like Asher Benjamin, Minard LeFebre and John Haviland had written such books.
The mansion was erected in the Greek Revival style, which became popular in America in the 1820s. The Greek ideas of democracy, beauty and simplicity were considered fitting for this new republic of ours. The style appealed to America’s governmental leaders, who were looking for a suitable expression in architecture. They chose the Greek Revival style for many buildings in Washington, D.C.
It is believed Ebed Stowell of Lebanon fired Glendower’s bricks from native clay and the iron grill work came from George Bundy’s foundry. The center part of the home was built first. The two wings were added a few years later.
Williams, being very proud of his Welsh ancestry, called his home Glendower. He named it in honor of Owain Glyndwr, the last native Welshman to hold the title of Prince of Wales. In 1400, Glyndwr instigated the Welsh Revolt against the rule of Henry IV of England. It was Shakespeare who anglicized Owain Glyndwr’s name to “Owen Glendower” for his play Henry IV.
In 1868, the land south of Turtle Creek, which included Glendower, was deeded to Elizabeth Probasco Ward for $10,000. She was the wife of the famed orator and statesman J. Durbin Ward. He succeeded Williams as Warren County prosecutor and served valiantly in the Civil War. During the second day of the Battle of Chickamauga, on September 20, 1863, Lt. Col. Ward was severely wounded. As a result, his left arm was paralyzed for the rest of his life. In November 1865, he was brevetted brigadier general “for gallant and meritorious conduct at the battle of Chickamauga.”
Ward called his new home Everton, after the small town in Indiana near where he lived as a child. Ward was very proud of his kitchen garden behind the house and was said to take “great delight in his suburban home.” His favorite room at Everton was his library, which contained “the largest and best selected collection of books of the private libraries of Lebanon.” It was said he loved “talking with [his] best friends, the old authors.” Ward died in the mansion in 1886.
In 1905, Joseph and Ladora Owens purchased the estate from the heirs of Ward’s widow, Elizabeth Probasco Ward. The house was put in Ladora’s name and not Joseph’s. Ladora was the daughter of Dr. Seldon Scoville, a Union Army surgeon and later a respected physician in Lebanon. The Owens family called their 1845 mansion by its original name, Glendower.
Ladora Scoville Owens was a prominent member of Lebanon society, being a charter member of the Turtle Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as a charter member the Warren County Historical Society. She adored Glendower and loved to sing of its praises and share its history.
I.T. Fray, an architectural historian from the Cleveland Museum of Art, featured Glendower in his 1936 book Early Homes of Ohio. In the March 1938 issue of American Home, Glendower was described as an excellent example of “one of the important domestic types of early American Architecture.” Professor Ralph Fanning of the fine arts department at The Ohio State University included a painting of Glendower in his 1946 watercolor exhibition, calling it “one of the finest bits of Greek Revival architecture anywhere in the country.”
Ladora Scoville Owens died at age 90 in 1944. On January 25, 1945, Fred J. Wendt, widower of Ladora’s daughter Bessie, deeded the Durbin Ward House, as Glendower was sometimes called, to the Warren County Historical Society.
Nine months later, on October 21, 1945, Governor Frank J. Laubscher, in front of a thousand spectators, accepted the deed to Glendower on behalf of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, later to be called the Ohio Historical Society, from Harry C. Schwartz, chairman of the board of trustees of the WCHS. It operated for years as the Warren County Museum and then the Glendower State Memorial.
On December 3, 2007, the deed to Glendower was ceremonially returned to the Warren County Historical Society by Paul Layman of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and Dr. William Laidlaw, Jr., executive director of the Ohio Historical Society. Accepting the deed was WCHS President Bill Dunning. The Warren County Historical Society had been managing the mansion for the state since 1982.
The Glendower Historic Mansion is still considered the finest Greek Revival restored mansion open to the public in Ohio.
** Matthias Corwin (1761-1829) is best known as the father of Tom Corwin, who grew up in pioneer Lebanon and served as the governor of Ohio, a U.S. senator, the U.S. secretary of the treasury and in many other local, state and national positions.
Matthias himself had a notable career. He was one of the first justices of the peace in Warren County; one of Warren County’s first commissioners; a member of the Ohio legislature, speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and an associate judge of the court of common pleas.
*** “Misses Mary (1868-1960) and Gertrude (1870-1948) Cropper” were the granddaughters of Tom Corwin and the great-granddaughters of Matthias Corwin.
Provided by John J. Zimkus, Historian & Education Director of the Warren County Historical Society
Primarily a self-taught artist (her college degree is in music), Lynda has taken equine sculpture workshops from Gwen Reardon, Kathleen Freidenberg and Karen Kasper, all at the Kentucky Horse Park; an AAEA workshop with Morgen Kilbourne in Aiken SC; a stone sculpture workshop from Annie Pasikov in Colorado; a figurative workshop from Philippe Farault at Philippe's classroom in Honeyoye, NY; a figurative sculpture workshop from Tuck Langland at the Scottsdale Artists School; and a painting workshop from Elin Pendleton at the Kentucky Horse Park. Lynda has also taken workshops or classes in mold-making, resin casting, patinas and drawing to improve her skills.
Lynda Sappington's work is internationally collected, and has been in galleries from California to Ohio to Florida to Wisconsin. Her sculptures are also in use as trophies all over the USA and in Canada, both as championship trophies and year-end awards. Three of her bronzes are at the Kentucky Horse Park: "Elegance" as a perpetual trophy in the Friesian Horse of North America (FHANA) headquarters, "Frolic" as a perpetual trophy in the US Dressage Federation (USDF) headquarters, and "Harmony" in the USDF Hall of Fame.
Lynda is not only an award-winning sculptor and photographer, but a writer, as well. The first edition of her book, "Sculpting 101: A Primer for the Self-taught Artist" sold out. The second edition, which has been completely revised and had two chapters added to it, is available through this website as well as Amazon.com and other outlets. In 2014-17, she co-wrote "Best Horse Care Practices" with her daughter, Grand Prix rider and trainer Jennifer Truett, who is also the owner and head trainer at Dancing Horse Farm, Lebanon OH. This book was published by Xenophon Press in 2018.
Of Lynda's many awards is the Joel Meisner Company Foundry Award from the American Academy of Equine Art. Her bronze, "Ecstasy" won Best in Show 3-D at the Black Stallion Show.
In 2011, Lynda created a life-size sculpture of the Friesian stallion, Nanning 374. It was installed at Nanning's owner's farm in Wisconsin April 19, 2012. A second casting of this piece was installed on a private farm in Ohio in 2013.
Lynda has written articles for numerous publications, including Equine Images, Horses in Art and The Equine Art Guild's newsletter, "The Palette." From 1998-2002, Lynda was Editor-in-Chief of ARTVoices, an online art magazine that was part of the ARTFaces | ARTPlaces gallery, as well as an AFAP Vice President and Board member. She contributed many articles to ARTVoices, including a regular column on sculpting called "Sculpturally Speaking."
An article in the "Bits and Pieces" section of the June/July 1998 issue of The Equine Image magazine featured her sculpture "Presence" and the Mid-Ohio Dressage Association trophy made from that edition. In 2008, Lynda was interviewed as one of several featured artists who make trophies (including the artists who make the Oscars, the Emmys and the Country Music Awards) in A&E Magazine.
Lynda's sculptures were featured on the cover of "The Chronicle of the Horse" magazine seven times. She's been interviewed for a show on RFD-TV and for several other magazines and newspapers. Her work has appeared in "Southwest Art" magazine, the Ascot Race Program in 2013, "Art in America" and many other magazines as well as some coffee table books.
In 1999, #3 of the "Presence" edition became a special award at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, Palm Beach, Florida. Number 2 of "Presence" edition is the Stallion Perpetual Trophy at the Mid-Ohio Dressage Association Classic, Delaware, Ohio. "Harmony" #2/18 became the Grand Prix Special trophy at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, starting in 2002. Another of Lynda's trophies is the Concourse d'Elegance World Championship Driving Trophy, using #2 of the "Elegance" edition, for the Friesian Horse Association of North America, which was awarded for the first time in October 2007. She has also created trophies and/or year-end awards for the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Great Lakes Downs, the American Warmblood Society and other race tracks, breed and horse show organizations.
- from thesculptedhorse.com's bio for Linda Sappington.
There's a lot more to tell about Lt. Burns (like how he was a Medal of Honor recipient) but that's for another time. Burns is also the main character in author Carol Tonneson's newest book, The Westerner: A Postcard to the Girl He Left Behind, out later this summer!
Jeanne Doan, Assistant Director & John J. Zimkus, WCHS Historian
Three women, of varied backgrounds, joined together to become the nucleus of the women’s suffrage movement in Warren County: Lucile Blackburn Berry, Mary Proctor Wilson and Ladora Scoville Owens (once owner of Glendower Mansion).
The first meeting of what would become the Equal Suffrage League met in the Lebanon Opera House on April 22, 1912. After a committee was formed to nominate officers, Wilson was chosen as the first president and Owens as the vice president. Representatives from each township were selected and Berry was picked to represent Turtlecreek.
On June 27, 1912, the committee met at Wilson’s home at 108 N. Broadway, located at the northeast corner of Silver and Broadway (The Breakfast Club stands there now). There, the League arranged for the Dr. S. D. Fess, the Republican candidate for Congress in the sixth district and the president of Antioch College, to deliver a non-partisan address at the Lebanon Opera House. There, he put himself on record for the women’s suffrage proposal. Fess would win that election and later be elected a US senator from Ohio.
In 1912, multimillionaire real estate magnet and Lebanon native, William Elmer Harmon (you can learn all about him in a previous post) appointed his good friend, Owens, to be a board member of the newly established Harmon Civic Trust. Harmon had stipulated that at least two members of the Trust’s board of trustees must be women. Owens was one and Berry was the other. The League made arrangements with the Trust to hold regular meetings at Harmon Hall.
By 1914, Lucile Blackburn Berry was the president of the Equal Suffrage League. On July 23, 1914, The Western Star reported that the League had “held a very enthusiastic" meeting on July 17. At the meeting, Berry "...gave a report of the results of the recent circulation of petitions. There were 1,049 signatures obtained in the County." Wilson, along with another couple, the Chapmans, were chosen to present the petitions to the Secretary of State in Columbus. Nearly 150,000 names were signed to the suffrage petitions, 46,000 more than necessary.
The Western Star headline, on July 30, 1914, read, “Ohio Suffragists To Descend on State Capitol Today." And descend they did. At 4:30 that afternoon, bands accompanied suffrages from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron and other areas to form a procession that marched from the Ohio Suffrage Organization's Columbus headquarters, in the Chamber of Commerce Building, to Capitol Square.
Harriet Taylor Upton, the organization's president, spoke along with several others including the president of Ohio State University and Representative W. B. Kilpatrick. The counties presented their petitions and, as planned, Mr. and Mrs. Chapman and Mary Proctor Wilson presented Warren County's.
Congress wouldn't draft the 19th amendment (giving women the right to vote) until 1919 but Ohio was quick to ratify it on June 16, 1919. The also passed a law stating that, if the amendment wasn't a law by the 1920 election, women would be about to view in Ohio regardless. However, by August of 1920, the amendment would gain the backing it needed (36 states) and pass into constitutional law. Thanks, in part, to a teacher (Berry), a newspaper editor (Wilson) and a socialite (Owens) who came together to fight for all Americans' right to vote, regardless of gender.
Learn more of the story at Harmon Museum's newest exhibit, "Women Leading the Way."
In an effort to bring the museum to you, we'll be sharing our favorite pieces throughout #HarmonMuseum. Today we're sharing our 1908 #Buick. It's just inside the main foyer and often the first thing that draws guests' eye.
Our 1908 Buick was donated by the Ertel family (yes, as in Fields Ertel) in 1960. They had restored the Buick, with period correct parts, and would take it to shows and races. (We have a cabinet filled with their trophies and medals.) The historical significance extends beyond one family's love for speed. There Buick has no electrical components; from the gas powered headlights to the kerosene lamps and the air horn to the hand crank. 1908 was the last year before it all changed.
In 1909, Charles Kettering (yes, that Kettering) accepted a contract from Cadillac to invent a better means to start their cars. Enter the electric starter with electric lights soon to follow. It was Kettering's patent that allowed for batteries to be incorporated into automobiles as a power source. Pretty soon, every car company wanted to use this new design. (Kettering made his fortune as an inventor and author of many other patents.) Cars have changed a lot in the subsequent 110 years but we're still using batteries to start our cars and light our way.
Several mechanics have inspected the Buick (they always ask to) and we're assured it would still run. We won't take it out though for fear of the little rocks of the pavement road tearing up the undercarriage. So, for now, it'll live as it has for the past 60 years, on display in our Transportation Gallery. However, our recently retired Director, Victoria VanHarlingen purchased an antique bulb for the airhorn so, when you visit, you can honk it. 😋
A global pandemic. the likes of which have not been seen for 100 years, is now sweeping across America. As deaths are on the rise, infectious disease experts scramble to better understand the Coronavirus. All non-essential workers are sent home, closing small businesses and leaving many to wonder their next paycheck is coming from. wonder their next paycheck is coming from. We will be collecting/archiving articles and images from this unprecedented time. A somber yet strong reminder that history happens every day.
On February 28th we hosted our Opera Tea in honor of famous opera soloist and Lebanon resident, Laura Bellini. Born in Lebanon, Ohio, Laura Bellini (1848-1931) was a soprano opera singer of note on three continents. Her magnificent singing voice was discovered when she was in a local church choir.
Christopher Milligan, the General Director & CEO of the Cincinnati Opera and Natalie Drury (Soprano Soloist).
Orange or Raspberry White Chocolate Scones
Orange Marmalade or Raspberry Jam
Twinings Lady Grey Tea
Cumber Stack Sandwich
tomato stuffed with blue cheese and bacon salmon on pumpernickel, grapes.
The BonBonerie Bakery’s Opera Cream Cake
We were pleased when attendees referred to the tea as both "elegant" and "wonderful."
April 24th - The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company joins us for "A Celebration of Shakespeare"
October 23rd - "A Shaker Tea" with Special Guest: the Whitewater Singers
December 18th - "A Dickens of a Tea" It is rumored that Dickens himself will be joining us.
For tickets and more information, click here.
"My goal as a sculptor is to produce the kind of work that does not need an artist statement to be enjoyed and appreciated.
Although I bring a sense of Christian vocation to my role, I do not think that art is a very effective preaching medium and so my work is made to be open to many interpretations. Although the work starts at a specific point in my experience, it is intended as an open attempt at communication with the observer.
About the most specific thing I wish to say about my work is that I enjoy the character of my materials and the manual process of shaping them. If nothing else happens in the viewing process, it is my hope that my audience will sense the work as a celebration of those materials."
- Neale Murray
Murray will open his Art Exhibition on May 6th, 2020 with a reception at 6:30pm.
“No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.”
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was the daughter of Daniel and Lucy Read Anthony, Quakers and political activists in the abolitionist movement. After the family moved to Rochester, New York in 1845, Anthony would meet William Lloyd Garrison as well as anti-slavery activist and escaped slave, Frederick Douglass. Douglass would later join Anthony in the quest for women's equality.
Anthony was a prominent player in the Temperance Movement, going so far as to take an axe into bars to destroy the barrels of alcohol, which got her arrested on several occasions. When she was denied the chance to speak, at a Temperance Movement rally, because she was a woman, Anthony took her attention to a new cause, women's equality.
In those days, women were – for the most part – considered property. To fight against the status que, Anthony joined forces with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the pair became a driving force in the suffrage movement. Under heavy opposition, they traveled across the country giving speeches and inspiring women - and men alike - to support the cause. In 1869, they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association and later, the American Equal Rights Association, an organization for white and black women and men dedicated to universal suffrage.
On November 1st, 1872, Anthony, Stanton and two others, registered to vote at a barbershop in Rochester, NY, becoming the first women to do so. How'd they do it? Well, Anthony threatened to sue the registrars personally if they didn't let them. On Election Day, the ballots were secretly cast (the ladies dressed as men). Two weeks later Anthony was arrested and fined $100, which she refused to pay – and never did. "The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do."
"To think, I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel." Susan B. Anthony passed away, in 1903, at the age of 86. She would never see the culmination of her life's work. It'll be another 17 years before the 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote in the US. On November 2, 1920, more than 8 million American women exercised that right.
We're still working on true equality in this nation but, thankfully, are a far cry from women being considered property. The strides toward equality that have been made are, in large part, thanks to Anthony and the other brave women and men that fought, tirelessly for those strides. Now, every time a woman votes, holds political office or manages her own finances, she is doing so – whether she is aware or not – in the spirit of Susan B. Anthony.
-Nathaniel Grauwelman is the Marketing Manager and a staff writer of the blog for WCHS.
With the recent uncovering of a Beedle Station log cabin within the walls of a 19th century Victorian house a few miles west of Lebanon, new interest has developed in what was the first settlement in Warren County in September 1795. Few know that the founding of Union Village, the first Shaker community in the West in 1805, led to Beedle Station’s destruction. Families were torn apart, mobs marched, arrests were made, and the fledgling pioneer community, along with its influential church, disappeared.
John J. Zimkus, the Historian and Education Director of the Warren County Historical Society, led a sold out Lunch and Learn on Beedle Station. John is also the author of Historical Footnotes of Lebanon, Ohio and the house historian of The Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio’s oldest continually operated business.
A sold-out crowd (the event sold out a month in advance) played bingo for a chance to win designer handbags! Coach, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, Michael Kors and more were up for grabs.
If you'd like your shot, tickets for our next event are almost sold out. You can purchase them here.
Nathaniel Grauwelman as well as various staff and volunteers.