Liberty Twp.’s historical society gets space to display artifacts

Liberty Twp. Historical Society and the township are embarking on a new partnership that will help preserve local history in several ways.

The historical society will utilize the former Liberty Twp. Fiscal Office at 6361 Princeton Road to display and house historical items as well as hold community meetings.

The new partnership gives the Liberty Twp. Historical Society dedicated space to expand their reach in the community, according to township officials.

The former fiscal office was built in the 1890s in the community known as Hughes Station, township officials said.

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“It’s presumed to have been built there due to its central location and proximity to the railroad,” said Christy Gloyd, the township’s marketing/communications associate. “In the early days, it served as the community’s voting hall. It later became the Liberty Township Town Hall, where public meetings were held for years until the township purchased property across the street.”

For the last two decades, the building served as the township fiscal office, Gloyd said.

Paul Stumpf, a charter member and historical society president who has been involved with the group since 1975, said the group uses the one-room Hughes School on Princeton Road, but that building is mainly dedicated to the authentic 1887 classroom scenario.

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Stumpf, the township’s former fire chief, said he first approached township officials about four to five years ago to inquire about using the building as a possible venue for a “township museum” once it was no longer needed as the fiscal offices.

“While the Hughes School is an excellent teaching tool we have been blessed recently with residents past and present that have approached us offering to donate old items and memorabilia,” Stumpf said. “We really don’t have to room to properly preserve, catalog and display these items.”

The new space also will mean more room for Liberty Twp. Historical Society to gather for meetings and events.

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“We have 23 lifetime memberships and many of these are family memberships,” he said. “Our normal meeting attendance has been increasing in recent months but we are averaging approximately 25 to 30 members. We have had meetings with upwards of 40 attend.”

Stumpf said the historical society’s members will need to develop a plan on exactly how best to optimize the space based on the historic items that we currently have as well the type of items they may anticipate in the future.

Liberty Twp. spokeswoman Caroline McKinney said an official agreement is in the works and will soon go before the board of trustees for its approval.

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