ASHVILLE, Ohio – An 80-year-old Ohio man is on a mission to save old and odd pieces of history in his small town, from the transitional 17-star U.S. flag found in a local attic to the futuristic traffic light that hung over an intersection for decades.
Charlie Morrison and a group of volunteers put together Ohios Small-Town Museum in Ashville, about 20 miles south of Columbus. Hes always on the lookout for more Ashville artifacts for the increasingly full space.
I cant say no, the former mayor and 37-year council member told The Columbus Dispatch. History is made every day.
The exhibits at the Ashville Area Heritage Society museum reference people such as entertainer Roy Rogers, who lost his job at a local cannery for singing instead of working, and tidbits of times long past – the 1902 Edison phonograph, the German helmet from World War I, the 1920s perm machine. Basically, if it has a link to Ashville, Morrison wants it for the museum.
On most weekdays, Morrison is found telling town tales at the site, a former silent-movie theater.
Hes in here every day, said Dorothy Cormany, the volunteer librarian at the museum. He can tell you everything there is to know about Ashville. Hes saved so much history.
Morrisons quest began more than 50 years ago at the mom-and-pop grocery store he took over from his parents. He wondered about his hometowns history and started asking customers to bring him old photos to turn them into film slides. With the pictures came the memorabilia, and eventually it grew into a historical display starting in 1978.
For some reason, I love to dig into the old past, said Morrison, who still lives in the Main Street home he and his wife, Mona, built in the 1940s. Hes urged other small towns to make an effort to save pieces of their history for future generations.
Charlie and some other folks of his generation have really made sure that Ashville is not just another small town, said village Councilman Brian Stewart, 28. Theres a pride people take in living in Ashville and being part of the community. Unfortunately, thats been lost in some other small towns.