Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Sep 09

Back to School! Highlights of Greene County Educational Programs

Posted on September 9, 2021 at 10:13 AM by Melissa Dalton

School is back in session for all of our local Greene County districts, and this is a great time to highlight the educational programs and resources we have available here at the Greene County Archives!

As we are still in the grips of a pandemic, returning to in-classroom programming wasn’t much of an option. Instead, we have continued to focus on virtual programming. As you may remember, we took the opportunity last year to record all of our current educational programs, and they are available on our YouTube channel. These programs cover various local history topics, and are suitable for a range of ages. Below you will find a synopsis of our programs, along with links to the recordings and program materials.

Slavery in AmericaManumission Record (JPG)Emancipation Record for Godfrey Brown, 7 March 1820 (Greene County Archives)

Slavery is an unfortunate part of America's history and was a reality, especially in the southern states. Ohio's original state constitution (1802) banned slavery; however, by 1804, the Ohio General Assembly enacted the Ohio Black Codes to govern African Americans residing in the state. These Codes required free African Americans to register their names with their local court. This registration process required one to provide emancipation papers or witnesses that could corroborate a person's "free" status. Many free African Americans migrated to Greene County, Ohio where there was a strong abolitionist movement and cheap fertile farmland. Several families settled around the Wilberforce area and established prosperous communities.

4th – 5th Grade Program Video (via YouTube)

4th – 5th Grade Program Materials (via Archives website)

8th Grade Program Video (via YouTube)

8th Grade Program Materials (via Archives website)

High School Program Materials (via Archives website)**

**The high school program does not have a video as the students work directly with the materials, although the content in the first half on the Piper family is the same as the 8th grade program. However, as this is self-guided, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Coming to AmericaGiuseppe Mazzolini Declaration of Intention (JPG)Declaration of Intention for Amos Mazzolini, 24 March 1930 (Greene County Archives)

Students will learn why many immigrants migrated to the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. To correspond with this discussion, the program features a “show and tell” activity where the speaker will bring in a suitcase and discuss items that many immigrants brought with them during their long journey. We will discuss the immigrant’s journey before boarding, on the ship, and the inspection process afterward. Students will work in small groups on the activity utilizing primary resources concerning a particular immigrant. Overall, students will learn the reasons why many immigrants came to the United States, they will understand the difficult journey many of these families had to make, and the circumstances they faced once they arrived.

4th – 6th Grade Immigration Program Video (via YouTube)

4th – 6th Grade Immigration Program Activity Video (via YouTube)

4th – 5th Grade Immigration Program Materials (via Archives website)

5th – 6th Grade Immigration Program Materials (via Archives website)

The 1913 Flood and the Move of Osborn

1896 Map of Osborn (JPG)1896 Map of Osborn (Greene County Archives)

In March 1913, the state of Ohio experienced a substantial amount of flooding and damage, with the Dayton region experiencing the worst flood in its history. In order to avoid future catastrophic destruction, the Miami Conservancy District was established and the District purchased parts of land throughout Montgomery and Greene Counties to construct dams. The original town of Osborn, located in Bath Township (Greene County), was situated on a flood-prone basin of the Huffman Dam. To finish constructing the dam, the ENTIRE town of Osborn relocated two miles southeast next to the village of Fairfield. In 1950, both towns merged and became the city of Fairborn.

4th – 6th Grade Osborn Program Video (via YouTube)

4th – 5th Grade Osborn Program Materials (via Archives website)

4th – 5th Grade Osborn Program Activity Video (via YouTube)

5th – 6th Grade Osborn Program Materials (via Archives website)

5th – 6th Grade Osborn Program Activity Video (via YouTube)

A Glimpse into the Past: Using Time Capsules to Learn about Local HistoryJamestown Postmaster Stamps from 1901 Greene County Courthouse Time Capsule (JPG)Stamps from Jamestown Post Master deposited into 1901 Courthouse Time Capsule (Greene County Archives)

Time capsules are containers designed to hold items that inform future generations about the history of today. They provide a snapshot of everyday culture and society, and are usually created at an important time – maybe the building of a structure, creation of an organization, or during a period of great change. This program looks at two time capsules from Greene County and explores why certain items were selected, as well as what the viewer may learn about that time by the contents of each capsule. Students then discuss what items are important to them and to think about what they think their life will be like at different stages. This discussion will lead to the selection of items for their own class time capsule, with a description of why those items were selected. The final product will be a class time capsule to be opened at a time designated by the teacher.

4th Grade Time Capsule Program Video (via YouTube)

4th Grade Time Capsule Program Materials (via Archives website)

5th – 6th Grade Time Capsule Program Video (via YouTube)

5th – 6th Grade Time Capsule Program Materials (via Archives website)

Other Resources

In addition to our educational programs, we also have several resources and activities put together by us and other organizations, and all are available on our Educator’s Resources page. For younger children, we have activities on our Student Resources page, including a word search, coloring book, crossword puzzle, and digital puzzles. We also have three activity packets on learning about maps, genealogy, and biographies, which can be downloaded as a PDF and printed.

Lastly, we would like to invite you to look beyond our educational programs as you may find something of interest in our other resources! Over the past year, we have recorded several virtual public programs (which cover a variety of local topics), as well as virtual tours of our facility, recordings of the 1925 Victrola, and genealogy how-to videos. All these resources are available on our YouTube Channel. We hope you will take advantage of some of our many resources, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.


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