For information regarding the
click the following links:
This page describes some of the Steering Committee's efforts to publicize the Darrtown Bicentennial.
August 10, 2012: Darrtown.com website article: "Darrtown begins to spruce up for the 2014 celebration"
The following images of Darrtown's town square were taken on Sunday, August 5, 2012. On that date, workmen, who had been contracted by the Milford Township trustees, at the request of the Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee, took down and removed five dead or dying trees in the southwest and northwest quadrants of the public square.
Two images before the tree removal began.
Two images during the tree removal.
This image show the two west quadrants after the tree removal.
At the time of the tree removal (August, 2012), the Bicentennial Steering Committee members envisioned an upgrade of the village square that would include new trees and shrubs, paved walkways, and a new veterans' monument...all to be completed in time for the 2014 Bicentennial.
Images of the park, after the Bicentennial, may seen at: Village Square (scroll to Section C).
ABOVE: Onlookers included (left to right): Sandy (Ward) Jolivette, Paul Gillespie (Milford Township Trustee), Joe Pater, John "Jack" Daniels, Ron Wiley, and Betty (Daniels) Lindley
During the tree removal, Ron Wiley collected tree limbs that he will use for the creation of Bicentennial walking sticks. Expanding on a hobby that he took up several decades ago, and using the wood that he salvaged from the
tree removal in Darrtown's village square, Ron will produce walking sticks, that feature inscriptions to mark the 2014 Darrtown Bicentennial. Ron will donate these commemorative walking sticks,so that they may be sold before and during the Bicentennial celebration, as part of a Bicentennial fund-raising campaign.
ABOVE: Ron Wiley appears with one of his finished walking sticks and one of the village square tree branches that he will use to craft commemorative Bicentennial walking sticks.
August 14, 2013: Oxford Press news article: "Darrtown gears up for bicentennial, with pavers, big plans"
By Bob Ratterman - Contributing Writer
DARRTOWN — Residents of this Milford Twp. community are already at work organizing a celebration of its bicentennial next year with a very visible sign of that effort already in place in the central part of town.
Blank pavers have been installed in the Milford Twp. Community Park, which is actually property of the Milford Twp. trustees. The installation was completed, but sale of lettering for the commemorative pavers is still under way. The Bicentennial Steering Committee is planning a dedication ceremony for the park next month and all pavers ordered by the past Monday will be in place by that time. The sale will continue, however, so that anyone wanting a commemorative paver will be able to have one lettered.
Pavers will accommodate up to three lines of 14 characters each, including spaces. The pavers cost $50 and that money will benefit the Darrtown Bicentennial Fund.
“We’ve sold 130 so far,” committee member Ron Wiley said last week. “All those will be in place at the unveiling.”
The park is actually the four corners of the intersection of Miami and Oxford streets in Darrtown.
“Conrad Darr established four half-lots as a park,” Fred Lindley, another member of the committee, said. “The two lots on the west side (of S.R. 177) are where we have the pavers. The northwest quadrant is for military members and everyone else will be in the southwest quadrant.
The pavers are designed to commemorate Darrtown and Milford Twp. families, events and organizations.
“We are trying to reach out to people with long ties to Darrtown,” Lindley said, citing some names long familiar in the community like Mee, Kyger, Ogle, Bufler, Weiss, Wiley and Teckman.
One of the most famous Darrtown names — Walter “Smokey” Alston, the late long-time manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers — is commemorated with a standing memorial in the park, surrounded by the pavers.
While the park is located in Darrtown and it is Darrtown marking its bicentennial in 2014, Lindley said they are keeping in mind that it is a Milford Twp. park and hope all residents of the township will take advantage of the paver mementoes and join in the festivities July 5-6, 2014.
“Part of the paver project plan is to make it a memorial to veterans of Darrtown and Milford Twp. We focus on Darrtown, but the four corners are township property and anyone in Milford Twp. can buy a paver, especially for veterans,” Lindley said.
A host of activities are being planned for the bicentennial weekend, including a parade, live music, an auto cruise-in, vintage tractors and the finals to a pitch card tournament.
The Ogle family has agreed to display some of Walter Alston’s memorabilia and Kirk Mee III is offering some sports memorabilia for an online auction from his years in a variety of sports positions.
There will also be guided tours of the Darrtown Cemetery, which has a pioneer section where many of the early area settlers are buried.
There will be a cornhole competition and a vintage baseball game using the rules of the 1860s.
Members of the steering committee went door-to-door in Darrtown Saturday, distributing flyers with an update on the bicentennial plans.
A full schedule of activities and a lot more can be found on the committee’s website at www.darrtown.com. Interesting stories about the town’s history and its people can be found there, as well as a chance for people to add their own memories of community life and family history.
Pavers can also be ordered using the website.
The committee sponsored an essay contest for school students at two grade levels. The contest was based on the following prompt: “If you could go back in time and visit some part of Darrtown’s past, what event or time period would you choose and why would you choose it?”
The top three essays in each of two categories will earn cash prizes. The age categories were elementary and middle school. Judging is under way and winners are expected to be announced soon after the new school year opens."
October 4, 2013: Oxford Press news article: "Student essay contest winners announced"
By Bob Ratterman - Contributing Writer
"Essay contest winners focus on Darrtown history
OXFORD — Interest in the history of their community netted six Talawanda School District students some extra money last week after they were announced as winners of the Darrtown Bicentennial Essay Contest.
Three students from Bogan Elementary and three from Talawanda Middle School were surprised with the announcements they had won the prizes in the essay contest, sponsored by The Oxford Press and the Hamilton Journal News.
Elementary winners were Jeb Burton, first place winner; Taylor Cornett, second place winner; and Megan Minnielli, third place.
The top three in the middle school division of the contest were Rhonda Krehbiel, Stevie Walszy and Hanna Kresse, respectively.
The two first-place winners received checks for $100 each, with $60 going to the second-place winners and $40 for third place.
Fred Lindley, a member of the Bicentennial planning committee and former principal of Somerville School, made the presentations at each school Sept. 26. Also on hand for the presentations was Dale Bufler, former principal of Stewart Junior High.
The essays were written during the last school year and submitted to the Darrtown committee in May. The presentation was a surprise to the winners at both schools. Talawanda Middle School Principal Mike Malone invited the winners’ teachers to bring their present classes to the cafeteria for the announcement as well as the winners’ parents. The three were unsure what was going on when they saw those classes and several of their parents there. Lindley quickly put their minds at ease and announced the winners and then presented them with checks for their prizes. He reminded them that, ”teachers made it possible,” not only by encouraging them to enter the contest but also by teaching them the reading and research skills that they used in writing their essays.
Krehbiel’s winning essay was about a community Christmas party in the 1950s in Darrtown. “It was thrown every year,” she said. “It was a big crowd and they ran out of goodie bags so (organizer Earl “Red” Huber) gave them money. It was not a big thing but it jumped out at me.”
The second-place essay by Walszy was about the late Walter “Smokey” Alston, a Darrtown resident who managed the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 24 years. She said her family is interested in baseball and the choice of that topic was natural to her. “My grandpa passed away recently and he was huge baseball fan,” she said. “I looked on the website and it jumped out. It had a lot to do with my family.”
Kresse wrote her third-place winning essay about one of the early settlers of the community, a German immigrant who was a blacksmith and a contributor to the community’s life. “It was cool how he adapted to things,” she said. “I enjoy history. I just went to the (Web) page with a collection of names.”
Later that day, Lindley and Bufler visited Bogan Elementary with a little less fanfare, but announced that school’s three winners and again handed out checks. Principal Teresa Woodin sent for the three winners who came into the office area about the same time. It was intended as a surprise, and Taylor Cornett, the second-place winner, was concerned about it at first but figured out what was up when she recognized Lindley. “I was afraid I was in trouble but when I saw him, I thought he has something to do with the bicentennial,” she said. I love to write and I love to read. I was excited about this, not only that it involved money. I spent a lot of time on it.”
The three received their checks and had pictures taken in front of the school. Burton’s first-place essay was about Lane’s Mill and included photos of the mill which is near his home. “Every day when I would go down the street, I would see it,” he said. He said he looked for information and photos on the Internet and wrote his essay looking back to the rebuilding of the mill and what he would expect to see if he could go back in time to visit the mill and its owner William Elliot.
Cornett used the inspiration of her grandmother and a daydream to recreate the visit of a circus to Darrtown for her second-place essay. She said she imagined a cornet band playing for the circus and that she likes that instrument because it is her last name. She said she sat on the steps outside the Hitching Post looking at an open area where the circus might have been and could imagine the band and the circus right there. “I heard the crash and it was the cornet band,” she said. “My grandma knew about. She told me about all that stuff.”
Minnielli, third place winner, said she wrote about wanting to go back to the 1830s to see life in the early days of Darrtown. Much of her research was done on the Bicentennial website created by the committee for the celebration. She encouraged area residents to look at the website. “I got it all on the website. I used that a lot. I got more information after they updated it,” she said. Lindley told the winners at both schools the celebration will be July 5 and 6."
February 21, 2014: Letter to Editor: "Oxford Community Fund contributes to Darrtown Bicentennial"
The following “Letter to the Editor” was published in the February 21, 2014 edition of the Oxford (Ohio) Press.
"Foundation grants aid Darrtown celebration
On behalf of the Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee, I would like to thank the Oxford Community Foundation Board of Directors, and all citizens who have contributed to the foundation for the two generous grants awarded to the Darrtown Committee. Plans for the Bicentennial Celebration include major landscaping and other improvements on the village property, owned by the Milford Township Trustees.
The first grant enabled us to begin a commemorative paver walkway honoring individuals, families, businesses, churches and events in Darrtown’s history. With the start of that project with foundation funds, people were encouraged to purchase engraved pavers, and enough have been sold that the entire paver project is paid for and further paver sales will enable other projects with the profits.
A second grant enabled us to commission a Milford Township Veterans Memorial monument to be placed behind the paver patio that is designated for area veterans. That monument will match in size and shape the Walter “Smokey” Alston monument that was placed in the village square earlier.
These generous grants emphasize the purpose of the OCF as a COMMUNITY foundation, serving all the townships of the Talawanda School District.
The Bicentennial Celebration will be July 5-6, 2014 at the eDot Ballpark area. Plans for the Bicentennial and much of the rich history of Darrtown can be found on the website, Darrtown.com.
Ron Wiley, Chair
Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee"
July 12, 2014: Letter to the Editor: "Thanks to those who attended celebration"
The following “Letter to the Editor” was published in the February 21, 2014 edition of the Oxford (Ohio) Press.
"Darrtown, One of a Kind!
There is only one Darrtown in the country.
How does a village of about 400 people grow to over 3,000 for a weekend? By celebrating the history, tradition, families, businesses, churches and school of 200 years! The Darrtown Bicentennial Celebration drew people from 29 states in the US, and Okinawa, Japan. While former residents are scattered throughout the country and the world, they hold dear the memories and family ties to Darrtown.
What does it take to put on a celebration of such magnitude? HELP! Our Steering Committee was just that - steering. We put a lot of time and effort into planning the event, but the real success depended upon the efforts of dozens of friends of Darrtown. Some of those had no previous direct tie to Darrtown, but supported us generously. Individuals and business owners contributed their money, time, skills, knowledge and artifacts to make the celebration a huge success.
We honored the foresight of Conrad Darr, who, in 1814 filed a plat in the county courthouse for the 128 lots of the village, setting aside four in the center of the village for a village square, overseen by the Milford Township Trustees. We have dedicated there a Veterans Memorial Monument and a flagpole flying the U.S. Stars and Stripes and a flag honoring the veterans of the military branches. People have honored veterans, families, friends, events, businesses and institutions with memorial pavers in a walkway leading from the Walter “Smokey” Alston monument to the veterans monument and flagpole.
In recognition of their ancestor, seventeen descendents of the Darr family attended the event. We are grateful for every one who attended, helped, contributed and supported us in so many ways.
The Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee: