The Greenfield Historical Society, formed in 1949, is non-profit and exists to further historical preservation and education in Greenfield and the surrounding area. To this end it owns and maintains all the society’s properties for collecting, preserving and interpreting archival materials and artifacts indigenous to the Greenfield area; encourages historical research; sponsors programs, displays and special events; is concerned with the preservation of historical buildings and cooperates with other organizations interested in historic preservation.
The Greenfield Historical Society is headquartered at 103 S. McArthur Way in Greenfield. Also known as the Travellers Rest and built in 1812 by Nobel Crawford as an inn, it originally stood at the present site of Burger King. It houses the society’s library, meeting room and display area.
The society’s other sites include the Grain and Hay Building. Originally used as a lumber mill, grain elevator, appliance store, and lumber yard, it includes displays, newspaper library, storage and a meeting place. The Smith Tannery was built in 1821 by Revolutionary War veteran William Smith and his son Samuel as a home with space for their tannery business in the basement. The Smiths were strongly against slavery and this building was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The B&O Depot, built about 1854, originally stood near the railroad at South Washington Street. It presently houses the society’s train and military displays. The Concerned Veterans of Greenfield is an important supporter of the military museum. The Old Stone Schoolhouse Konneker Education Museum, built about 1835 as a church by a congregation of Associate and Reformed Presbyterians, was later used as a two-room schoolhouse. It has been restored and has space for meetings and will house the Konneker Education Museum.
The historical society hosts several yearly events, including first Sundays in January, February and March Sunday Dinners. April is its spring tea, June is the cemetery stroll and July is the Greene Countrie Town Festival. In October there is a History Day along with a Ghost Walk. In the month of December, the Tour of Homes is a must. For a full calendar of events and dates, visit the website at www.greenfieldhistoricalociety.org. Hours of operation are Thursday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. March 1 through Nov. 30. Other times are available with prior arrangements by calling 937-981-7890.
The historical society volunteers over the last few years have been preserving the monuments in the Old Burying Ground adjacent to the Travellers Rest. Much progress has been made, and there’s plenty of work left to do.
Membership is available to support the Greenfield Historical Society. Members receive “The Greene Countrie Towne Crier,” the society’s newsletter, three times a year and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping the society with its important work.
Stop at Southern Hills Community Bank Greenfield, 134 N. Washington Street to see the beautiful display honoring the historical society of Greenfield. Also available in the lobby are brochures and membership forms.
Submitted by Angie Trefz, branch manager, Southern Hills Community Bank.