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The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from North Canton: A new door for a new home

  • North Canton Heritage Society is entering a new era in its 40-year history — moving to a new home. Now all it needs is an entryway.

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  • North Canton Heritage Society is entering a new era in its 40-year history — moving to a new home.
    Now all it needs is an entryway.
    The fundraising campaign “Open the Door to History” seeks to do just that.
    The Heritage Society, now housed in the former Middle School at 200 Charlotte St. NW, will move to Portage Street School at 301 Portage St. NW in the fall.
    Along with its 40th year anniversary, the Heritage Society will celebrate that move at its annual meeting at 7 p.m. March 20 at the Charlotte Street site. New board members will be elected and plans for the future of the society will be reviewed.  
    Those who attend the free public meeting can enjoy a birthday cake and hear Will Cooley, assistant professor of history at Walsh University, speak on “Communism and a Company Town: Labor Turbulence at Hoover in the 1940s,” a lecture which takes a look at the Hoover Co. strikes of the 1940s.
    Looking to the future, a presentation by Society Director Kathleen Fernandez will address the need for and kick off a fundraising campaign for the creation of a separate public entrance for the museum once it moves to Portage Street School.
    “Unless this new entrance is built, visitors will need to enter through the main school entrance, sign in and walk down three long hallways to reach the Society offices,” Fernandez explained.
    The Society, which has occupied space in the former Middle School since 1998, now will be housed in a former kindergarten classroom, with two smaller rooms being used for offices and storage space.
    “We have a great relationship with North Canton City Schools,” said Fernandez, who noted that the move is needed because of the planned abandonment of the former Middle School.
    A doorway in the classroom, leading to steps, was built as an emergency exit, Fernandez said. Those steps will be converted into an entrance with a wheelchair lift, she said.
    “We’ll build a vestibule over all of it, which will lead to the sidewalk that people can use to get to the parking lot,” said Fernandez.
    Although the school fronts Portage Street, the main entrance to the school now is off Ream Street, behind North Canton Public Library.
    A ramp, for which the school district will assist with the cost, will be built inside the school, making the route to the museum from the main entrance to the school handicapped-accessible.
    Cost of the project is estimated at about $115,000.  Contributions are being sought from local charitable foundations, but people can contribute to the “Open the Door to History” campaign by mailing checks to North Canton Heritage Society at 200 Charlotte St. NW, North Canton, OH, 44720.
    Page 2 of 2 - Information can be obtained by calling 330-494-4791 (mornings), emailing ncantonheritage@sbcglobal.net or visiting www.northcantonheritage.org.