reopens to tell Fowler’s story | News, Sports, Jobs


FOWLER — The Butts Family Museum at the intersection of State Routes 193 and 305 at the Fowler Center reopened this year after a two-year closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fowler Historical Society, which features historic artifacts in the museum, will hold an antique car and tractor display, bake sale and basket auction on Sunday on the museum grounds.

Donations of baskets, gift cards, or anything for the auction, and baked goods for the bake sale can be dropped off at the museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The museum will be open to the public from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The show is scheduled for Sunday noon with the draw of the baskets from 3 p.m. The public can bring garden chairs.

On Memorial Day, the museum opened for a short time to display military exhibits. Museum curator Karen Dahman said it was the first time it had opened since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Dahman said she and curator Richard Orsborn and other members of the Fowler Historical Society secured more than 500 items cataloged for planned future online viewing.

Denise Rising, secretary of the society, said a grant was obtained from the Trumbull County Historical Society for cataloging.

“We have reached over 500 items being cataloged”, she says.

Rising said the cataloging was done during the pandemic.

“When we thought about Memorial Day services at the center, we thought now would be a good time to reopen. We felt we should reopen as people will be away. People could enter after the parade and the service,” Rising said.

Military artifacts from World War I and World War II were displayed in May. Dahman said there was also a display of his father, George Croft Jr., who served in World War II, and his grandfather, George Croft Sr., who served in World War I. Croft Jr.’s military diary was also featured from his time serving on a ship.

Dahman said soon the items will be linked to the Trumbull County Historical Society for public viewing and the Fowler Historical Society will eventually have its own site. Dahman said much of the computer work was done by her and Osborn, who took photos of the objects.

She said that David Cover, president of the company, had a lot of information available on many articles. Each photographed object includes its history.

Rising said she wanted the museum to be open once a month.

“We would like to capture the interest of a younger generation, to be able to come in and learn the history. We are learning ourselves and would like that to continue,” Rising said.

Dahman said the company receives donations for the house from time to time, often finding a box of items dropped off.

Orsborn said taking photos of the items was very time consuming.

“The most important thing was to take the photos so that we didn’t have any reflections in the photo. We haven’t finished yet. We have over 1,000 more items yet to be made. It will be a project, he said.

Dahman said the preservation grant required 500 items to be made.

Kelly Burns of Jamestown said it was nice for the public to have the opportunity to see local history in the museum’s collection.

“It’s very interesting. You can learn a piece of the history of this community,” she says.

Esther Westfall from Howland is working on her thesis in history.

“It’s a great opportunity to see local history and what’s on display here,” she says.

Rising said the house had a kitchen, dining room, living room, bedrooms and a basement.

Orsborn said he moved to Fowler in April 2020 and became interested in being active in the historical society.

“It’s a very nice house with lots of beautiful items inside. It will be good to start bringing more people inside,” he said.

The next society meeting will be September 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the community center.



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