Wade Oval Wednesday (Extended Museum Hours 5-8pm)

Wade Oval Wednesday (WOW) is back and we’re extending our hours each Wednesday, June 15 until August 31!

Admission is only $5/person after 5pm and anyone who pays regular admission during normal museum hours are welcome to stay throughout the evening.  Carousel rides will be unlimited after 5pm.

Carousel rides only tickets after 5pm, pay $5 for unlimited rides or $3 token/per ride.

We look forward to seeing you and please visit the Wade Oval Wednesday website for more event information!

*Note:  The WRHS Research Library and Hanna Mansion will be closed during the extended hours.  Extended hours are unavailable on Wednesday, June 22 for a private event.


Breastfeeding Welcome Here

“We were made aware that, last weekend, a breastfeeding mother was asked to move to a private space by members of our Cleveland History Center staff.  This reflects poor judgment on our part, for which we are truly sorry.  We have formally apologized to the mother, and are immediately implementing additional training for our entire team in order to ensure that an incident like this does not happen in the future. The Western Reserve Historical Society strives to be an inclusive, family-friendly organization that provides a welcoming environment for all our of patrons, including breastfeeding mothers.  We did not live up to that goal in this instance.”

Statement from Kelly Falcone-Hall, President and CEO

WRHS Appoints Kelly Falcone-Hall CEO

IMG_3884Cleveland, OH— Kelly Falcone-Hall has been named Chief Executive Officer of Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS). The announcement was made by Don Dailey, Chair of the Board of Trustees, at the June 25 board meeting. Falcone-Hall had been serving as Interim CEO of WRHS for six months.

“Kelly presents an unusual story in the world today. In her 19 years with WRHS, she has worked at every level, held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility, and continues to interact with staff in every department.  She knows the ‘back room,’ the front of the house, the board room, and the community. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. Both her undergraduate and her Master’s Degree are from Cleveland State University, described as one of ‘America’s Best Colleges’ by US News & World Report,” said Dailey. “She is like many from Northeast Ohio in that her family has roots in other countries; her grandfather, Mario Falcone, was an Italian immigrant, and her mother’s ancestors were farmers descended from Ireland and England. Kelly’s interest in family history was one of the draws that first pulled her into the archives and all the stories that are held at WRHS.”

“Nonprofits are less likely to fill senior positions from within. It is more prevalent in for-profit businesses,” said Glenn Anderson, Jr., a partner at On Search Partners, an executive search firm, and the incoming Chair of the WRHS Board of Trustees. “But when the right candidate is within the organization, it is in the best interest of the institution to promote her, as our Board chose to do through a unanimous vote. WRHS has worked diligently and smartly over the recent past to develop a Strategic Plan, to create a solid financial footing, to make some excellent hires in critical positions, to boldly instill innovation and creativity into its decisions about exhibits, to secure new collection items—such as the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, and to work to change from a traditional museum culture to an organization that is visitor-centric. The institution is now well positioned to take a solid top-tier, top-of-mind rank in Northeast Ohio. The institutional knowledge needed at the helm during this vital next phase helped make Ms. Falcone-Hall the best candidate.”

Falcone-Hall is a resident of Westlake, Ohio. She joined WRHS in 1995 as a reference assistant and manuscript processer. She has served in positions of increasing responsibility at WRHS over the last 19 years, including Director of Interpretation at Hale Farm & Village, Vice President of Hale Farm & Village, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Chief Operating Officer, and Interim Chief Executive Officer, before being promoted to CEO.

At Hale Farm & Village, Falcone-Hall developed popular public programs, including the Holiday Lantern Tours and A Fugitive’s Path: Escape on the Underground Railroad. Her research and leadership deepened the living history museum’s interpretation of the early American crafts and trades, improved restoration of Hale Farm’s buildings and grounds, and guided the location’s mission and strategic initiatives. She developed the concept of InHale as an educational and experiential initiative to reconnect people to the world around them through sharing stories about the Hale family and providing a variety of experiences based on the life of an Ohioan in the 1800s. She is the author of Hale Farm & Village, a booklet about the history of the re-created village and living history museum in Bath Township, Ohio. Falcone-Hall was instrumental in bringing the 2013 national conference of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums to Akron and Bath Township. The event drew international interest to Hale Farm & Village and Western Reserve Historical Society.

“I am humbled by this vote of confidence in my leadership and in the team at Western Reserve Historical Society,” said Kelly Falcone-Hall. “This is a phenomenal institution with a mission that is vital to preserving history. The future is very bright for us. All the pieces are in place to truly jump to the top of mind position for anyone looking to find out about any history in Northeast Ohio. I feel as if I have been preparing for this opportunity all my life.” Ms. Falcone-Hall is the 10th person to hold the most senior position at WRHS.

The Western Reserve Historical Society is the premier center for collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Northeast Ohio.  As a testament to its financial solidarity, it has received the coveted four-star ranking from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. WRHS received a 70 out of 70 on “Accountability and Transparency” from the evaluation service, acknowledging the highest levels of financial stewardship and professionalism.

Music and Wine: A Perfect Pairing at Hale Farm & Village

BATH, Ohio – Sip a glass of wine while listening to local folk musicians at Hale Farm & Village’s Music in the Valley Folk Music & Wine Festival, July 12-13, 2014, from 10 am to 5 pm. This is the festival’s 40th year and while the music part of the event will be familiar, the addition of a wine garden is something new.

“We’re excited to introduce the element of wine to this already popular music event at Hale Farm,” says Jason Klein, site manager at Hale Farm. “This is a great opportunity for visitors to experience the high-quality wine produced locally here in Ohio.” Participating wineries include the following:

Hale Farm partners with Folknet each year to present the festival. Folknet is an organization dedicated to the development, expansion, and celebration of folk music and traditional arts. Its musicians will perform on rustic stages made of straw bales, benches and barn floors. While guests tour the beautiful property and experience all that Hale Farm has to offer, the sounds of dulcimers, banjos and fiddles will fill the air.

All regular museum craft and trade demonstrations will be open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair, sample the wines, and make a day of listening to music throughout the scenic grounds.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12, and free for WRHS members and children under age 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.halefarm.org. For more information, call 330-666-3711.

Congressman Louis Stokes Named Honorary Trustee

Cleveland, OH—Congressman Louis Stokes has been named an Honorary Trustee of the Board of Directors at the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS). Stokes, who served as a board member of the institution for nine years, announced his retirement from his post for the end of his term June 30, 2014. The Board unanimously elected Stokes to the honorary designation to recognize his contributions not only to WRHS, but to Cleveland and the county. The designation of Honorary Trustee has been awarded to only a handful of individuals in the 147 year history of WRHS.

Stokes began his career as a lawyer with a special interest in activism in the arena of civil rights. It was the relationship he built with the Cleveland community through civil rights law that led him to run for office. In 1968, Stokes became the first African-American elected to the United State House of Representatives from the State of Ohio. He served 15 consecutive terms, totaling 30 years of service. Stokes was a strong advocate of education, affirmative action programs, housing and development projects, and healthcare improvement initiatives. The Louis Stokes wing of the Cleveland Public Library, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and Greater Cleveland RTA’s Louis Stokes station at Windermere, are a few of the locations in the Cleveland area that bear his name as a testament to his service and his invaluable contribution to the area and the country.

Hale Farm & Village’s Home & Garden Tour Sure to Inspire

BATH, Ohio— Come explore the historic homes and charming gardens of Hale Farm & Village at the second annual Home & Garden Tour, June 21 – 22, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate preservation in the Western Reserve and learn the architectural history and stories behind the historic buildings on-site: who first lived in them, how they were moved, and how they were restored. Meet the people who tend the gardens of Hale Farm and find inspiration for your own garden.

“The Home & Garden Tour is a great opportunity for people to learn about gardening and historic preservation,” says Jason Klein, site manager of Hale Farm & Village. “Our ultimate hope is that visitors will gather ideas and inspiration for their own homes and gardens at this event.”

The houses in the Village span the time period of Federal through Greek Revival architectural styles. The Herrick house, a stone residence built in 1845, was completely disassembled before it was moved. Each stone was numbered, and then moved in 1981 from Twinsburg, Ohio to Hale Farm, where it was reconstructed.

“Each home has a story to tell not only about how it was moved and restored but also about the people who once inhabited it,” says Klein. “Those who attend June’s Home & Garden Tour will have the chance to hear these stories during their visit.”

A variety of special presentations are also planned for the weekend. Included in the lineup are presentations about beekeeping, fiber arts, and more. See the entire schedule of special presentations, which are new to this year’s event, below:

  • 11:00 am – Dye Plants & Fiber Arts
  • 1:00 pm – Beekeeping
  • 2:30 – Home Composting & Companion Planting

In addition to learning about the structures at Hale Farm, visitors can hear about historic horticulture and hearsay while taking part in hand-on experiences in the gardens. Volunteers and partners that help Hale Farm keep its historic structures and gardens looking fresh will also be on-site during the event: Bath Gamma Garden Club, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Medina Spinning and Weaving Guild, Smaht Farm, the Village Quilters, and more.

Visitors can also learn about Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Pint Size Farm, a 6,000 square foot garden plot the restaurant started in 2008 at Hale Farm. Filled with vegetables, herbs and flowers for the Ohio City restaurant, the plot is fertilized with the spent grain from the brewing process.

Enjoy lunch in the Hale Café and take home a “hand-crafted at Hale” souvenir from the museum store. Tickets to the event are $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12, and free for WRHS members and children under age 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.halefarm.org. For more information, call 330-666-3711.

Media contact: Renee Flynn, rflynn@wrhs.org
(330) 666-3711 ext. 1715

Like History? Love Beer? Join the WRHS Young Professionals’ Historic Pub Crawl

Cleveland, OH— If beer and history are two of your favorite things, consider joining the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Young Professionals at their annual Historic Pub Crawl on June 28 beginning at 2:00 pm. This year, the pub crawl will take guests through the historic west-side neighborhood of Tremont.

With tickets available for just $10, participants will receive a wrist band and drink specials at four unique Tremont watering holes: The South Side, Hotz Café, Lincoln Park Pub, and Edison’s. Each of these locations holds historic value to the area, which has experienced significant growth and change since its development in the late 1800s.

Dr. John Grabowski, Senior Vice President for Research and Publications at WRHS, will be on-hand to tell the historic stories of Tremont during the Pub Crawl. Each location has its own interesting quirks, architectural background, and historic significance.

“All of Cleveland’s neighborhoods have strong historic and cultural backgrounds,” says Grabowski. “Tremont is fascinating in the fact that it has undergone so much change over the last 100 years and has grown to be one of the cultural and culinary hubs of the city while keeping intact much of its historic architecture.

The Young Professionals are an auxiliary group of the Western Reserve Historical Society. The group connects the past to the present through a variety of engaging programs and social events. Members of the group enjoy members-only events of WRHS, free admission at both Hale Farm & Village and the History Center, and more. To join the WRHS Young Professionals, email yp@wrhs.org.

Western Reserve Historical Society – The Wade Project Begins

CLEVELAND, OH – Your family helped support the cultural core of a city. Now, how can their experiences be leveraged to encourage future entrepreneurs and philanthropists?

The Wade Project is a new initiative at the Western Reserve Historical Society designed to tell the story of the Wade family, and to create an online model for studying individual family histories with a focus on institutional collaboration, research, and discovery. In addition to producing print and digital publication of key archival collections, The Wade Project will explore best practices in inter-institutional collaboration to create a model for understanding how Cleveland’s culture and economy was shaped over time by those who gave plentifully to a wide variety of institutions. This uniquely American interpretation of “giving back” to the community determined the role and impact that cultural organizations would have in American cities.

In 1881, Jeptha Homer Wade offered 75 acres of land along Doan Brook to the city of Cleveland for a park. It was one of the first large gifts of open space to the city. Cleveland’s Wade Park and the surrounding area—known today as University Circle—is home to more than a dozen museums and cultural institutions. It is a nationally and internationally respected cultural center. The role of the Wade family in the cultural and corporate growth of Cleveland continues to resonate today.

The driving need of influential families to create cultural legacies characterized a particular aspect of American philanthropy. To a great degree, these nineteenth and twentieth century gifts built the cultural infrastructure of the arts in America. The Wade project will focus on the Wade family’s historic legacy in Cleveland while serving as a resource and hub for collaborative projects with other institutions holding Wade materials. The project is supported by generous gifts from Mrs. Jeptha Homer Wade III, the George Garretson Wade Charitable Trust, and Theodore Sedgwick, US Ambassador to Slovakia.

The goal of the first phase of the project is to create an online and easily accessible repository of the family papers in the collections of Western Reserve Historical Society.  This repository will enable students and scholars to explore the complex—and often conflicting—decisions involved in the creation of America’s urban cultural centers in the late 19th century. The initial scholarly collaboration will center on the annotation of an extraordinary set of family travel journals.

Goals of later phases of The Wade Project are to encourage collaboration among scholars and the diverse institutions in the city holding Wade materials, to encourage and created discussion of best practices in inter-institutional collaboration, and to provide a model that allows access to records of other families who shaped the city’s culture and economy over time.

Dr. Holly Witchey, PhD., recently named Director of the project, brings 30+ years of museum curatorial and interpretive technology experience to the position and currently teaches graduate museum studies at both The Johns Hopkins University and Case Western Reserve University. She recently completed the transcription of the Randall Wade’s Travel Journals (1870-71).

Media Contact: Alyssa Purvis, apurvis@wrhs.org
(216) 721-5722 ext. 1407

New WRHS Exhibit Highlights Entrepreneurial Spirit of NEO

CLEVELAND, OH – The Western Reserve Historical Society is pleased to announce the unveiling of Entrepreneurship in the Western Reserve, an exhibit featuring individuals and businesses that took risks in creating new businesses and industries in Northeast Ohio. A graphic timeline for entrepreneurship in Cleveland from 1800-2000 will act as the background for the exhibit, which features four Western Reserve enterprises: Taylor Chair Company, Morgan Lithograph Company, Vlchek Tool Company, and Designs by Joan Luntz, Inc.

Taylor Chair was founded in 1816, building chairs for home and office use until 2012. Morgan Litho is still printing large format posters and displays after its beginnings in 1864. In fact, many of the large printed banners on display at the WRHS History Center in University Circle were created by Morgan Litho. Frank Vlcheck, an immigrant to the US from the Czech Republic, founded his tool company from a small shop in Cleveland and would eventually sell products on the national level. Joan Luntz began her design career in 1949 with designs for a breakthrough product for International Molded Plastics: “Brookpark”  dinnerware, the first successful dinnerware made of plastic marketed to the public.

“Supporting entrepreneurship as one of society’s main pillars is of the utmost importance to the Western Reserve Historical Society,” said Kelly Falcone-Hall, interim CEO at WRHS. “We educate schoolchildren on its key role in developing an economy and continue to honor the entrepreneurial figures in our community through the 100 Year Club of the Western Reserve. Our hope is to continue the conversation around the area’s entrepreneurial spirit through this exhibit and its future editions.”

The exhibit will be open to the public beginning Saturday, May 10, 2014. Multiple businesses and individuals will be featured within the exhibit as it develops over the next year. Each business has a feature section of its own within the exhibit, showing how they all have contributed to the overall picture of success in Northeast Ohio.

Media Contact: Alyssa Purvis, apurvis@wrhs.org
(216) 721-5722 ext. 1407

Made in Ohio Art & Craft Festival Planned for Labor Day Weekend

BATH, OH – The richness of artistic abilities and talents from Ohio will be showcased August 31 at the 4th Annual Made in Ohio Art & Craft Festival at Hale Farm & Village, a living history museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Over 100 vendors with Ohio-made, Ohio-grown, and Ohio-produced arts, crafts, and foods will be in tents throughout the grounds.  The annual celebration of the arts and history of Northeast Ohio will be Saturday, August 31st from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hale Farm & Village, located at 2686 Oak Hill Road, Bath. Due to bridge construction, please see the website for driving instructions and a map.

The Made in Ohio Art & Craft Festival is an outdoor event featuring Ohio artists and craftspeople, as well as local restaurants, all nestled in the history and idyllic scenery of Hale Farm & Village and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Attendance has climbed to 1,500 – 2,500 visitors.  Admission to Hale Farm & Village is typically $10/adult. The specially discounted $5 admission fee for this event includes admission to the Festival as well the entire museum.

“The $5 discounted admission is a great value. It allows you to plan on this event as Labor Day weekend tradition. It truly is a family-friendly day that can accommodate as many guests as you want to bring—at a great price. We have 90 acres at Hale Farm & Village. There is plenty of room to visit the artists, take a stroll, enjoy the farm animals and gardens, and relax with refreshments from our vendors,” said Kelly Falcone, Senior Vice President of Interpretation and COO (WRHS).  “Join us for the Made in Ohio Art and Craft Festival and post your favorite photos on our Facebook page. We’d love to see what you enjoyed most about the festival.”

Vendors include jewelry artists, potters, carvers, glass artists, soap and lotions makers, quilters, painters, and a variety of craft artists. Musical entertainment and food vendors will be available.  Beer and wine may be purchased by adults.

Renee Flynn, independent artist, event founder and coordinator, says, “It’s exciting to promote Ohio artists and craftspeople. The talent coming from Ohio is amazing. Hale Farm & Village is a great venue to highlight their creations.”

Hale Farm & Village, a museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society, is Northeast Ohio’s premier outdoor living history museum depicting daily life for mid-19th century residents of the Western Reserve area.  Located in Bath, Ohio, Hale Farm & Village features dozens of historic structures, farm animals, heritage gardens and demonstrations such as glassblowing, candle-making, blacksmithing, and hearth cooking, bringing history to life for visitors of all ages. For more information on the Made in Ohio Festival, please visit the WRHS website or the Made in Ohio website and Facebook page.

Media contact: Renee Flynn, rflynn@wrhs.org