Medina County Historical Society
206 North Elmwood Street, Medina, Ohio 44256, Phone:330-722-1341

Organized in 1922, the Medina County Historical Society is celebrating its 96th year of collecting and preserving artifacts and information dealing with Medina County, Ohio history. The mission of the society was formed for the purpose of promoting, maintaining and preserving all such things as relate to and are of historical interest pertaining to the County of Medina.

The Society's holdings and resource material is in the 1886 John Smart House at 206 N. Elmwood, Medina, Ohio 44256. The Historical Society is a 501c3 organization, and all donations are fully deductible. Artifact donations are also tax deductible based on an appraisal provided by the donor. Our active committees include Historic Homes Committee, Digitization, Finance, Genealogy, Holiday Themes and Special Events.

John Smart House Photo
Museum Hours
Tuesdays 10am-2pm
First Sunday of the month 1pm-4pm
Call ahead if there is a holiday falling on the Sunday
Tours by appointment


LETHA E. HOUSE From Foundling to Philanthropist A fascinating story about one of the areas most generous Philanthropist and how she used her sudden wealth for the benefit of many. Soft cover $24.00 Hardcover $30.00

JOHN SMART HOUSE PRINTS by Medina artist Grace Zay $25.00 unframed

BUILDING A FIRM FOUNDATION $30.00 Tells the story of Medina County's history through her architectural heritage. Contains historical anecdotes, personal sketches, architectural descriptions and ever 250 photographs and drawings

GROWING UP IN WEYMOUTH, OHIO $2.00 A short tale of growing up in a small cross road town from the eyes of a little girl now grown and returned to the place of her youth.

NEW: Medina County Coming of Age 1810-1900 By Joann G. King $45 Over 500 pages of history of the people and activities in the formative years of Medina County

NEW: The Bicentennial Print by Richard Doyle $10

We also have more books, pictures, note cards and pins for sale!

2018 Summary
Yearly Calendar of events

Thank you for your support and contributions throughout the year.   2018 was a year full of historic events commemorating the Bicentennial of Medina County, Medina City, Medina Township and Chatham Township. 

We held or participated in several new events.  A bourbon tasting and fine dining in February.  The Spring Grove Civil War encampment in May, Ice cream social in June, Civil War diaries presentation at St. Paul's church, Spirits of the Past in September, Titanic Luncheon in October, singing by the Smart House Singers at the Candlelight walk, our annual Victorian Feast and the Christmas tea.  We participated in other historic events with our traveling displays and loans of the McDowell carriage and sleigh..

Medina County, Medina city, Chatham Township and Medina Township all celebrated their bicentennial.  We worked with state officials to create a Medina County Bicentennial license plate with proceeds to be shared with all museums in the county.

Additions to our collection include a sleigh and antique lamp post donated by Mike Rose, and restored by Larry Prebis. An extensive stamp collection by Teresa Merkle, G.A.R ribbons, and even a railroad tie with bricks excavated in front of Waite & Son Funeral Home from the interurban line on North Court street.  We collected items of interest, news clippings and suggestions from visitors to the county fair for the time capsule.  It will be sealed and stored at the museum, not to be opened until 2068.

Major projects this year:

 ·   The digitization project (Code name Dizzy) became reality after two years of planning.   We were fortunate to have professionals come forward to offer guidance and support to procure equipment and the necessary software so we can preserve our collection for future generations in digital formats.

·        The driveway was finally expanded and paved after years of disappearing gravel, and limited parking. 

·         The exterior of the John Smart House received a new paint job and it looks great.

·        Electrical upgrades throughout the museum to provide support for the increased electrical  demands (never dreamed of in 1886)

We were fortunate to receive a state grant for most of these capital projects.   Thanks to Rep. Steve Hambley, Rep Darrell Kick, and Sen Larry Obhof for their action and support.  Other township and city museums in our county also received grants thanks to working collaboratively with us to write a master grant for worthwhile capital improvements.

Outside the museum:

         Thank you to Dr. Tony Giovinazzo and his crew maintaining the flowerbeds and lawn and re-landscaping after the driveway project.

Inside the museum

Tom Hilberg,  Mary Jo Palmer ,and her daughter Katie spent many hours creating a new look with our archives.  The Tuesday Volunteer staff started “teachings with Tom” to learn more about the nooks and crannies and special items of interest for docent training. Our core volunteers were there for many hours each week.  Tom Hilberg, Mary Jane Brewer, Carole Feron, Mary Jo Palmer,and many more that cleaned, dusted, and greeted visitors.

Volunteer Judith Parish collected and researched civil war veterans and created an index to their families.

Our theme to commemorate The Great War also known as  WWI 100 years ago brought many more visitors to see our unique collection.  Most 3rd grade students in the area passed through our doors. Many return for another visit with their parents in tow. This year we also educated the public about the terrible flu pandemic that hit in 1918 just as the war was ending.  Laurel Glaze and Patrick Abbey prepared an interesting exhibit including home remedies used and posters to discourage the spread of the virus.

Our members pitched in to help whenever asked.  Your board provided over 2000 hours of service. If you add in work done outside the museum operation, that number is well over 2500 hours.  

On the financial side of your society

Our capital reserves are earmarked for continued museum maintenance 

However, we must raise funds for the continuing operation of this museum.  Our annual operation budget is $22,000 and requested the County Commissioners to restore our funding to pre-2008 levels of at least $15,000 per year. But sadly the 2019 allocation was just $3000.  That means we will watch our expenses, hold fundraisers and rely on membership dues and donations to support the basic museum operations.   A new source is we are now listed on an Amazon smile account so if you purchase on-line , go to Amazon Smile and you can designate Amazon to donate .5% to us.

Looking Forward to 2019, areas of focus will be

Establish strict protocols for the Digitization project to scan and save parts of our collection not easily accessible.

Recruit new members from our communities including high schools & colleges.

Expand use of social media to attract more members and advertise what we have to offer.  Our Facebook followers are over 900 and growing.

Create a new fundraising event for operating funds.  Stay tuned for updates about the John Smart Spirit Society events in 2019!

The suffragette movement from 1919 will be a central theme in our museum and other activities.  We may even see female picketers demanding the right to vote.

Preserving our history requires many dedicated volunteers.  If you wish to help, please let us know.  You can reach us at 330-722-1341, or email us at

Financial donations are always welcome.  MCHS is a non-profit 501c3 organization.  Please consider our organization in your estate plans. If you have questions, or need more information, please contact us.


Brian Feron, President,on behalf of the MCHS board wishing all of you a prosperous and healthy new year!

New way to support Medina County Historical Society!

When you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Good news is, that you may now choose the Medina County Historical Society! If you would like to participate, simply click on the link below and follow the prompts.

Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile ( at the same price. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.Any time you shop on AmazonSmile, you will be benefiting one of your favorite non-profit organizations!

For more information about the AmazonSmile program, go to AmazonSmile


Open House

We will hold our first Open House of 2019 on Sunday February 3rd from 1pm - 4pm at the John Smart House Museum, 206 N. Elmwood. Medina. This year we will focus on the passing of the Women Suffrage Act by Congress and explore the role of women in Medina County. After years of effort, women would have a vote in what was happening in the county, state and nation! Returning visitors, or if you have never visited before, you will like what you see! The museum admission is free, donations are welcome!  See you on Sunday February 3rd!

2019 Membership Meetings

All membership meetings will be at the Community Center at A.I.Root company 623 W. Liberty St., Medina unless noted

All open to the public -- No charge!


Monday, March 11th at 7pm   "A History of Medications"presented by Tom Strong, health educator and patient advocate. He will take us through medications humble beginnings through medications evolution over the past hundred years. He will talk about not only the good but the dark side of prescription medications, their side effects, costs and scandals.  

Monday, April 8th at 7pm  Kathy Kraus will be "Sarah Emma Edmonds". Sarah was one of the most famous spies for the Union Army during the Civil War. She posed as a soldier, slave, an Irish peddler woman and a Kentucky gentleman to name a few!She is the only woman to receive the Bronze Star on h er grave.Kathy will portray her in many disguises. Should be very interesting!

Monday, May 13th at 7pm Judy Davanzo will be "Elsie Bennett Wilson". Elsie will come to visit us at our monthly meeting and will bring us back to the late 1800's and early 1900's as she tells us about her life and passions. Come hear about how this daughter of Medina became a leader in the woman's right to vote movement and her work with the Republican Party in Medina. Also hear about her love of libraries and her involvement in Ohio Libraries along the way she'll also share a bit about her family and culinary skills.

Colonial Williamsburg Raffle & Victorian Feast Raffle!!!

Tickets are available NOW for our 2 raffles! Enjoy a Victorian Feast! Three winners will receive dinner for 4 at the John Smart House and a tour of the museum. Tickets are $5 each or 4 for $15. Dinner is December 1, 2018.

Enjoy a 2 night stay in Historic Colonial Williamsburg! Winner receives a 2 night stay at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites, 2 length of stay tickets to Colonial Williamsburg, credit for dinner at one of the Taverns in colonial Williamsburg and more! Tickets $20 each

Tickets are available at the John Smart House Museum. We are open Tuesdays 10 a.m. -2 p.m. and the first Sunday of the month 1p.m. - 4p.m. Or call us at 330-722-1341, email Good Luck!!!!


Cyndi McClintock, could not attend so Shirley Scott was the 2nd draw for table 1. 
Eileen Chiaramonte for table 2
Patrick Bernado for table 3


The John Smart House is a Victorian Queen Anne style home. This was a popular design in the 1880s and 1890s, and is characterized by an irregular form. It has bay windows, a two story tower, a second story airing porch, and an irregular roof line. Even the surface is irregular. There are scalloped shingles and clapboards, cornices and boards that define the different floor levels. The porches are not original, but they are a duplication of what was there based on early photographs of the house. The original slate roof has been replaced with a shingle that simulates shingles.

More Information

Medina County Specialty license plate

Medina County is celebrating its Bicentennial this year and will be selling Bicentennial/historical license plates. We will start selling the license plates in April. Once this plate is created, funds from the BMV in 2018 and beyond will be allocated to all the 501c3 Medina County historical societies. This program will assist all the township, village and city museums in our county. Please think of us when purchasing your plates!

Medina Plate

Officers and Board Members

Brian Feron President
Farrell McHugh Vice-President
Laurel Glaze Secretary
Carole Feron Treasurer
Laurel Glaze Administrative Assoc.

Board Members
Mary Jo Palmer, Tony Giovanazzo, Lila Lehrer, Linda Limpert, Barb Praisler, Judy Davanzo, Brad Grubb,Katie Palmer

Become a Member!

Membership dues schedule and policy:
Student/Senior $ 10.00
Individual $ 20.00
Senior Family $ 20.00
Family $ 25.00
Organizations $ 35.00
Patron $ 50.00
Corporate $100.00
Life (one-time payment) $300.00

Dues received September 1 or after will receive credit for the following year. Dues not paid by January 1 will receive a letter from the Membership Chairperson. Dues not paid by the end of the first quarter will terminate membership.

2019 Membership Form

Links to other Historical Societies

Other Societies

Medina County Schools


The Medina County Historical Society is very fortunate to have in its museum an amazing artifact. It is a collection Civil War soldier ambrotypes and tintypes framed together. There are 94 images in total, which are ambrotypes (images on glass) and 28 tintypes. Where did they come from and who donated them to the MCHS? We wish we knew.

More Information

Save-A-Soldier submission form