Sunday, June 29, 2003

Dunbar home to present 1900 exhibit

Butler County to cast its bell

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DAYTON-The Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial will participate in a living history experience called "Time Flies," running July 4-20 at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park's four sites.

During a special program on July 4 and on weekends, interpreters at the Dunbar home will engage visitors with word games, activities, 1900-era toys, croquet and outdoor period pursuits.

The Ohio Historical Society marks Dunbar's 131st birthday with the completion of the $2.8 million restoration of the memorial, his home from 1904-1906.

Dunbar was America's first nationally prominent African-American writer. He wrote hundreds of poems, and novels, stories and song lyrics.

Because he was a childhood friend of the Wright Brothers, his home is a part of the Aviation Heritage Park.

He bought a home on North Summit Street, where he lived with his mother. He died at age 33 of tuberculosis. The address of the home is now 219 N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St.

Hours for the "Time Flies" program at the Dunbar home are from noon to 4 p.m. July 4-20. The home and adjacent visitor center are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students (6 and older). Information: 937-293-2841, ext. 220.

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LIBERTY TWP.-Butler County's bicentennial bell - two feet high and 250 pounds - will be cast at 2 p.m. July 4 in a two-day festival at Lakota East High School.

State Rep. Gary Cates, R-West Chester, will break the mold at noon July 5, using a 16-pound sledgehammer. The bell will be dedicated at 5 p.m.

Later, it will be displayed in the township administration building, 6400 Princeton Road, until July 18. It will be taken to the Butler County Fairgrounds for display during the fair, through July 26.

It will be permanently displayed at the Government Services Center in Hamilton.

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LEBANON-Otterbein Lebanon Retirement Community, 585 N. Ohio 741, will hold its 35th annual Fish Fry and Open House from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26.

Actors from the outdoor drama Blue Jacket will perform at 1:30 and 3 p.m. Music, cultural events and arts and crafts will also be featured.

Information: (513) 933-5471.

Bicentennial Notebook appears periodically. Send news to Randy McNutt, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069.

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