By MORGAN MANNS
Fostoria Area Historical Society has been showcasing pieces of Fostoria’s past to local residents for generations.
In an effort to foster a greater appreciation for the city’s history, the Historical Society will be opening a new annex at 105 N. Main St.
The Historical Society will be hosting an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, in conjunction with Fostoria SummerFest, in celebration of the opening of the new museum, Foster’s Museum on Main Street.
“We wanted to strike out in a new direction,” Leonard Skonecki, Historical Society president, said. “We’re very hopeful that this represents some growth and progress for the Historical Society and nice things for the Fostoria community.”
Foster’s Museum on Main Street houses a permanent collection of items owned by Gov. Charles Foster and his family, including his conference table, chairs, pictures, cabinets, books, pocket watches and a plethora of other family memorabilia.
In addition, the museum will feature temporary historical items that will be exchanged for other items throughout the year. Currently displayed are historical VFW band items, Fostoria Police Department patches and badges and rotating displays.
“Historically, Gov. Foster is one of the most significant Fostoria figures,” Skonecki said. “We wanted to honor him.”
Once located on the second floor of the Historical Society Museum, 123 W. North St., the items will be more readily available for viewing because the new annex building is handicapped accessible. There is also more space between items, creating an open and peaceful environment for viewers.
Skonecki said the society has not yet decided what will replace the items that were taken from the Foster Room at the West North Street museum.
“The purpose is a different and new way to try to foster an appreciation of Foster history and to add vibrancy to an increased number of people about his life,” Skonecki said. “This space will allow more people to have a chance to see the items.”
The building, donated by Don and Judy Miller, will serve as the first building dedicated solely to the Historical Society, other than the Fostoria Historical Museum. The Fostoria Historical Society was incorporated as a non-profit on Sept. 10, 1973.
The annex once served as an H&R Block tax service.
It also served as a setting for the filming of “History of Fostoria, Volume II: Pieces of Our Past,” which is available for purchase.
Skonecki said members of the Historical Society have been working on and off for six months, cleaning and moving items into the building. Employees of Roppe Corp. aided in the moving of larger items from the museum to the new annex.
Foster’s Museum will be open during the same hours as the Historical Society Museum: 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday.
Refreshments will be served during the open house and the event is open to the public.
“There’s a lot of history in Fostoria of which it’s citizens can be proud. Gov. Charles is one of them,” Skonecki said. “This is an opportunity for folks to learn about a lot of the things he did.”