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The Suburbanite
  • Stark County's Most Interesting People: Margy Vogt

  • Margy Vogt is often referred to as “Miss Massillon.” She has become the resident expert of all things Massillon and shares her passion for the history of the city with others through her walking tours, her writing and through her commitment to numerous community and arts initiatives.

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  • Margy Vogt is often referred to as “Miss Massillon.” She has become the resident expert of all things Massillon and shares her passion for the history of the city with others through her walking tours, her writing and through her commitment to numerous community and arts initiatives.
    ABOUT MARGY VOGT
    Age  63
    Occupation  Historian, author, graphic designer
    Hometown  Massillon
    Family  Joel, husband; Steve and Amy Vogt, son and daughter-in-law; Isabel McFadden, mother
    Education  Kent State University
    Hobbies  Photography, travel, visiting art shows and galleries, collecting and cooking new recipes
    1. You do so many different tours and programs. Where do your ideas come from?
    “Working at the Massillon Museum, I learned about incredible people who shaped our community — presidential candidates, suffragettes, military heroes, inventors, athletes, Underground Railroad facilitators, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. I learned about landmark events, industrial feats, and significant structures and sites. Massillon offers endless topics of interest and pride!”
    2. Your cemetery tours have become very popular. What’s the fascination?
    “For me, the fascination of Massillon Cemetery is the people memorialized there: Caroline McCullough Everhard, who led the movement to enfranchise Ohio women; Jacob Coxey, who led the nation’s first protest march; inventor Joseph Davenport; three Civil War Medal of Honor recipients; pioneer photographer Abel Fletcher; and Mayhew Folger, who rediscovered Pitcairn Island, the refuge of the mutineers from The Bounty. The architecture, sculpture, symbolism and inscriptions on the headstones are beautiful. It’s local history encapsulated. The people who tour seem to love the history, the markers and mausoleums, the lovely rolling hills and ancient trees, and the feeling of being balanced between history and the unknown.”
    3. How did you become the walking encyclopedia of Massillon history?
    “For the Massillon history part, my dad, who chose Massillon as his adopted hometown, loved the colorful stories of Massillon’s past and impressed me with their importance: the massive flood control project, Coxey’s March, the rise and fall of the canal, iconic businesses, the town’s rich amalgamation of ethnic origins, and Tiger tradition. For more than a quarter century, I worked at the Massillon Museum, where the archives and collections provide boundless background. And people often share their memories and images with me. I’ve researched, written and published three Massillon history books; written many history features for The Independent; and organized dozens of programs and tours. One amazing fact about Massillon leads to another. For the walking part, when I’m not on the beautiful Towpath Trail, I love to walk in the cemetery, downtown, or on historic Fourth Street to share Massillon’s marvelous past ... a perfect match.”
    Page 2 of 2 - 4. What makes you so excited about the city?
    “Massillon is the perfect place to live! It grew from a glorious past — industrial power, football supremacy, trail-blazing citizens, and canal and railroad heydays. While we retain many architectural and historic treasures, we continue to move forward. With the positive energy of the Massillon Public Library, the Massillon Museum, the Lions Lincoln Theatre, the City of Massillon, the Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Parks and Recreation Department, our calendar is loaded with arts and entertainment opportunities, yet we’re near big-city sports, cultural, dining and shopping venues. Above all, it’s the people. Massillonians cherish their past and their traditions. They rally together to cheer for the team, to honor veterans, to support community causes. I’m inspired by the spirit of our community.”
    5. Name one thing about yourself people would never guess.
    “Eleanor Roosevelt said you should do one thing every day that scares you. I ‘save up’ and ‘scare myself to death’ once a year: driving an open-wheel, open-cockpit race car; flying in an ultralight; changing careers; self-publishing books; bicycling in challenging places.”