The Waterville Historical Society has been awarded an Ohio Historical Marker to commemorate Wakeman Hall and to celebrate the historical society’s 50th anniversary. The public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. April 27.
The Wakeman Lodge 522 F&AM constructed Wakeman Hall in 1881 and served as the meeting place for more than 100 years. When the building was put up for sale in 1995 and then threatened with destruction, the historical society purchased it with a bequest and a loan from the village, now a city. It opened to the public in 2003 after several years of fund-raising and restoration. The downstairs is used for programs and has a replica of a turn of the century general store at the front of the building. The upstairs is an archival area for Waterville area history.
The Historical Society was organized in 1964 by 34 citizens. Over the last 50 years the all-volunteer organization has played a significant role in the community.
During the dedication ceremony, state and local officials will give brief remarks. Waterville third-grade students will take part in a presentation of a Time Capsule Chest. Tours of the building will be offered as well.
Administered by the Ohio Historical Society, the Historical Marker Program enables Ohioans to celebrate local history and to learn more about the state. The Wakeman Hall Marker will be placed near steps leading up to the building at 401 Farnsworth Rd., with the Waterville Historical Society text on the reverse side. The Waterville Community Foundation contributed $1,000 to the society, half of which to be used to help pay for the $2,580 marker’s cost. Donations to the historical society would be welcomed.