Whitehouse sesquicentennial offers full lineup

The historic log house will be the last stop of the Whitehouse sesquicentennial parade featuring many floats on July 5.
The historic log house will be the last stop of the Whitehouse sesquicentennial parade featuring many floats on July 5.

Whitehouse officials are sending out a call for participants on July 5, when the village celebrates its 150th birthday with events from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The day kicks off with a parade, and “we are looking for floats, vehicles, pedestrians, animals, bicycles, and anything else to participate,” said Barbara Knisely, Whitehouse’s community development coordinator.

The lineup starts at 9 a.m. on Oak Brook Drive, with the parade beginning an hour later. The route goes east on Waterville Street, north on Providence Street, and ends at the historic log house, which is owned by the village and operated by the Whitehouse Historical Society as a museum.

Businesses, civic groups, churches, schools, families, and neighborhoods are welcome to participate. Slated to ride in the parade is Laura Miller Clauson, 95, whom lived in the log house with her family until 1924, when it was last used as a residence. Anyone interested in participating should call the Village Hall at 419-877-5383.

Also needed for the sesquicentennial celebration are participants in the beard-growing, pie-baking, and singing contests. Rules and forms are available at whitehouseoh.gov. A softball game using Chicago 16 rules will be played if there are enough players. For more information, contact Steve Pilcher at the village offices by calling the above number or email him at spilcher@whitehouseoh.gov.

The day includes a full schedule of events in Village Park, including a chicken barbecue or pig roast, live music, an antique car and tractor show, and re-enactments.

From 8 to 9:45 p.m. there will be square dancing and contra dancing. The day finishes up at 10 p.m. with a fireworks display in the field by the library.

Brad Burkhart, a public service department employee, even wrote a sesquicentennial song, “My Hometown of Whitehouse,” to commemorate the anniversary. It begins:

“My hometown of Whitehouse, long may you endure. Your citizens are honest, your government is sure. Your sights are fair, and everywhere you look you see a friend. I’‍m proud to live in Whitehouse, my hometown ’til the end.”

Harry Daugherty, a watercolor artist and village resident, spent hours studying old photographs of Providence circa 1900 and used what he absorbed to paint a view of the downtown in that era.

The artwork, which Mr. Daugherty calls a “reminiscent sketch,” is to convey a sense of the Whitehouse scene from that time, including a train arriving at the depot, and a view of the grain elevator, Central Hotel, and Pythian Castle.

It has been turned into a 15-foot-by-30-foot digital transfer that will be affixed, like a decal, to the south wall of the Cycle Werks shop on Providence, across the street from Village Park. The wall has been power-washed, spackled, and painted, and the mural will be in place in time for the sesquicentennial festivities, Ms. Knisely said.

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.