Sunday, March 19, 2000

Committee plans cultural center

Historic site under review

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WAYNESVILLE — A local group hopes to turn a historic site for Butler and Warren County Quakers into a community cultural center and museum.

        A citizens committee is considering the old Friends' Boarding House, 115 Fourth St., as a place to celebrate community heritage.

        “Right now we're talking more about a cultural center than a straight museum, which would require a lot of cataloging and things,” said Village Manager R. Kevin Harper. “There is more interest in celebrating the small towns that surrounded us — towns that don't exist anymore — as well as our Quaker and farming heritage. In addition to current material, we could have displays of historical stuff.”

        Bill Stubbs, an antiques shop owner who also serves on the boarding house committee, said the building was erected in 1905 as a retirement home for Quakers. It stands empty today.

        The brick building with white trim is a part of the Quaker Friends' Miami Monthly Meeting Historic District, which went on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

        The site also includes the White Brick Meeting House, built in 1811 and used today by the religious group. The two-story, 3,200-square-foot building features a gabled roof. Nearby is the Red Brick Meeting House, built in 1836 by the Orthodox branch of the Religious Society of Friends. The building is one story with a simple gable roof. It stands on the site of the original log meeting house from 1803.

        The district property also includes the Friends Home and the Friends Cemetery.


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