History buff continues to build Oxford Museum Association

Longtime Oxford resident Michael Case is heading toward the end of his second year as the Executive Director of the Oxford Museum Association.

His education began at Miami University as an anthropology major. He decided that the museum field would be a good direction to move toward.

“Luckily the museum studies classes at Miami were classified under anthropology,” Case said. “I worked an internship at the Miami University Art Museum in the ethnographic collections before going to the University of Kansas to pursue a MA in Museum Studies. While in Kansas I worked for Baker University in their art collections. After graduation, the Executive Director position at the Oxford Museum Association opened and I was hired.”

He began working right before the 2017 Apple Butter Festival, the largest annual fundraiser for the organization. This will be the 55th year of the October Apple Butter Festival.

“Other than getting larger, bringing in musicians, a wide range of demonstrators, and possibly food trucks this year, much stays the same,” said Case.

Case said his family is supportive and his father, Eddie Case, has always been a big history buff.

“My wife, Kelly, and son, Ian (Wilson), are always willing to help set up and run events when there is time available,” he said.

He said, his mother, Hendrika, always comes out to the big fund raisers.

The OMA and Hueston Woods work together to preserve the historic properties. The land itself belongs to Hueston Woods though the buildings have been leased to OMA to caretake and use for furthering its mission.

The Doty Homestead was a family farm for 125 years until it became a part of the developing Hueston Woods State Park in the mid-1950s. As Acton Lake was being created, the Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation renovated the old brick farmhouse for use as a park office. The house was made available to the Oxford Museum Association through a state lease in 1959.

“So, though we are on Hueston Woods State Park property we are an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and demonstration of 19th- and early-20th-century agricultural life in southwest Ohio,” said Case.

“I, in actuality, have no employment connection with the Hueston Woods State Park though I have been enjoying Acton Lake and the trails since I was about 8 years old. With my position here as the Executive Director there is a very wide range of tasks that I am in charge of.”

This includes the creation and implementation of educational summer programming, grant seeking and reporting, website and social media, being a representative within local museum collaborative groups, donation and membership drives, quarterly newsletters, management and curation of the collections, hiring and supervision of interns and volunteers, and the upkeep and preservation of their historic structures.

The OMA puts on a number of free educational programs every summer that are often funded by community donations. This year’s programs were funded by the Woman’s Club of Oxford, except the Frontier Treats Ice Cream Day, which was funded by First Financial Bank.

Some programs that run every summer are: Laundry Day, when kids do laundry the 19th-century way, and Frontier Treats Ice Cream Day, which involves churning fresh ice cream, and Early American Crafts, candle dipping and pocket doll crafting.

Contact this contributing writer shirl54bel@gmail.com

WHAT: Pioneer Day at the DeWitt Log Homestead by the Oxford Museum Association. Pioneer music with Larry Wayt, crafts, candle dipping, corn shelling, hearth-cooked apple pies with Kelsey Stryffe, and kid's games

WHERE: 4830-4868 Oxford Trenton Rd, Oxford, OH —- gravel lot leads to log home

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 28th, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

COST: Free

CONTACT: Oxfordmuseumassociation@gmail.com—-513-523-8005

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