LIMA — The Allen County Historical Society and Museum received new funding on Friday, thanks to a COVID relief grant through Ohio Humanities. The museum was given a check for $25,995 that will ultimately help update exhibits and help grow the museum’s virtual archives.
“The big thing that’s going to happen as a result of some of the funding is the transfer of our current exhibition that’s the wall of fame to an online format, and we are going to reinstall a painting by John Singer Sargent of Senator Calvin Brice,” said Allen County Historical Society and Museum Director Amy Craft. “It’s going to take some time and hopefully given all of the stuff with the pandemic and setbacks from things (like) shortages, all of those pieces are still going to come together.”
Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp and Senate President Matt Huffman were both at the museum to celebrate the occasion. Both echoed the importance of the historical society and museum’s role in preserving Allen County’s history as well as keeping it well funded.
“It’s really nice to see not only that it’s a fixture in the community, but that (Amy) and the new folks who are running this are really preserving the past and making it a fresh experience for new visitors,” Huffman said. “So part of this is what we should be doing anyway, part of it is acknowledging that money is best spent with people who spend it well.”
Allen County became part of the bigger mission for Ohio Humanities, which is a state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Executive Director Rebecca Brown Asmo said that the relief funding allowed them to expand their funding from about 20 Ohio counties per year to 60 counties in 2021, including the museum in Lima.
“A few things that made this organization special and made us want to fund them is that it’s a great example of a public-private partnership,” she said. “They’re doing a fantastic job of telling the story of Allen County, in a way that helps us better understand our American story, and they’ve got incredible treasures in their collection.”
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398