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FOUNDERS DAY

Whitehouse joins together to celebrate 150th birthday

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    Volunteer firefighter Assistant Chief Ernie Gehrke tends to the grilled chicken during Whitehouse’s sesquicentennial celebration.

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    Civil War re-enactor Tyler Bury gives a presentation about loading a musket during the Whitehouse celebration. The village was founded in 1864.

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    Xander Lewis, 6, of Whitehouse relaxes in the wheel of a John Deere 8760 tractor to play with his yo-yo during Founders Day in the village on Saturday.

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    Aubrey Gemuenden, 4, of Twinsburg is decked out in patriotic regalia. The village’s celebration included live music and pie, singing, and beard competitions.

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Civil War re-enactor Tyler Bury gives a presentation about loading a musket during the Whitehouse celebration. The village was founded in 1864.

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Enlarge | Buy This Image

While most of America commemorated Independence Day on July 4, the village of Whitehouse waited a day to observe its own birthday.

The village celebrated its 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial, on July 5 — Founders Day. The celebration included tours of the town’s historical log home and its downtown, a pie-baking contest, an antique car show, a parade, and fireworks.

“I feel that it’s important to celebrate our history because it’s what we build on every day when we’re planning for our future,” Mayor Angela Kuhn said.

Whitehouse was founded July 5, 1864, when Edward Whitehouse, his wife, and Toledo-Illinois Railroad director John Osborne donated what is now Whitehouse Village Park. Small but thriving, Whitehouse has a population of about 4,300, according to the village’s Web site.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for more photos from the sesquicentennial

6n1barbecue-1

Volunteer firefighter Assistant Chief Ernie Gehrke tends to the grilled chicken during Whitehouse’s sesquicentennial celebration.

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Enlarge | Buy This Image

“It was just a good area to migrate to, and since the railroad went right through there it was a natural spot,” said Nancy Bucher, whose family has lived in the area since 1851.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, (R., Bowling Green) and state Sen. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green ) made appearances and said a few words to their constituents.

“I’m a former history teacher, so I especially like historic events,” Mr. Gardner said.

Sheri Luedtke won the pie-baking contest with a blueberry pie that auctioned off for $120, money that will support the local library and Whitehouse Historical Society.

“The thing I really like seeing is the multitude of ages,” Mrs. Luedtke said of the festival. People of all ages were present, from teens to families to senior citizens.

6n1aubrey

Aubrey Gemuenden, 4, of Twinsburg is decked out in patriotic regalia. The village’s celebration included live music and pie, singing, and beard competitions.

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Enlarge | Buy This Image

She also praised Whitehouse for its community atmosphere. “There’s just a lot that’s done for the community, for the people in the community,” Mrs. Luedtke said.

Ms. Kuhn agreed: “It’s a nice day for people to get together and enjoy the community.”

A little while after she spoke, festival attendees sang “Happy Birthday” to Whitehouse and cut a birthday cake.

Whitehouse showcased different eras of its history, with Civil War re-enactors on one side of the park and the car show on the other. There was something for everyone.

“It’s pretty neat,” Whitehouse resident Alex Raymond, 17, said. “I like the band. I also like the antique cars, that’s actually really cool.”

Contact Stephen Gruber-Miller at: smiller@theblade.com, 419-724-6050, or on Twitter @sgrubermiller.

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