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Society celebrates 50 years of history

Society celebrates 50 years of history

T-L Photo/JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUGH The Sedgwick House Museum in Martins Ferry will be open to the public this weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of its parent organization, the Martins Ferry Area Historical Society. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and admission is free.

MARTINS FERRY — The Martins Ferry Area Historical Society is marking two milestones this weekend — its 50th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of the structure that houses its collections — after the celebrations were delayed by COVID-19.

The MFAHS, founded in 1970, arrived at its 50th anniversary in 2020 — right in the midst of the pandemic. That forced members to delay their plans to celebrate their five decades of service to the community.

The same year the group was organized, it established the Sedgwick House Museum at 627 Hanover St. inside one of the oldest remaining homes in the city, according to society members. The house was constructed around 1870 for the Henry Helling family and became the home of Leroy Sedgwick from 1900 to about 1960 and later donated to the city. Leroy Sedgwick in 1891 was a co-founder of The Evening Times newspaper, which later merged with another publication to become The Times Leader.

Inside the house today, visitors can find an extensive collection of artifacts related to Martins Ferry and the surrounding area, dating back to the 18th century and extending up to the days of the space shuttle. Included are relics connected to the pioneering Zane and Martin families, as well as period furniture, glassware, textiles, school and sports memorabilia and commercial and industrial materials, according to the city’s website.

Society members Tom Thomas and John Applegarth said they urge the public to turn out this weekend to tour the facility and to help the celebrate.

“You don’t turn 50 every year,” Applegarth noted.

In addition to hosting an open house at the museum, society members will offer tours, snacks, games for children on the lawn and will have the Martins Ferry Lions Club food truck on hand to feed hungry guests. Admission, games, tours and food will all be offered free of charge.

The museum will be open and offering all activities from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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