Travel documents please
by Whitney Randolph
Ohio was founded in 1803 and has had quite a history since its founding. Though some Ohioan’s might be familiar with Ohio’s 200-plus years of history, there are others who might still be learning. The Ohio Historical Society has come up with something that will help get the knowledge of the state out there.
To get people more involved with the history of the state of Ohio, the Ohio Historical Society came up with a bright green booklet called Passport to Your Ohio History. This passport contains 58 sites across the state. Tuscarawas County is fortunate to have three sites enclosed in the document; Zoar Village, Schoenbrunn Village and Fort Laurens.
The passport is in alphabetical order and gives a short summary of the historical sites. It also gives the location and all the contact information.
Jess Rothacher, communications manager for the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said, “The document is like a journal. Once you visit a site, there is a place for you to write about your experience and what you learned at the site. It is also like a scavenger hunt because there is a question concerning something about the site and it is your job to find the answer. This is to help keep people engaged on the tours.”
Dee Grossman, executive director of the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the passport has only been available for the last 10 days and they have already had to call for another shipment. “There have been people stopping in that we have never met before,” said Grossman.
The only problem that Grossman has found with the passport is its lack of a map. However, the bureau has other pamphlets that have maps of the specific regions in Ohio and they have the sites on the map. This is great because if traveling to a specific area, the pamphlet has the historical sites listed for that region making them easy to find.
Despite not having the map, Grossman said, “This is great advertising by the state for our county and great marketing in the other counties to bring people in to see the historic sites here in Tuscarawas County.”
For even more incentive to use the passport, the Ohio Historical Society has created the Passport to Your Ohio History Hall of Fame. Rothacher said that to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, one must go to all of the sites inside the passport and get a sticker from the site. Also they have to fill out the part about their experience and get the answer to the challenge trivia question.
The Ohio Historical Society is also having a photo contest. The contest will be going on until Sept. 4. Contestants have to take pictures at the sites and the winner’s photo will be featured on the cover of the 2013 Ohio History Calendar and the 12 runner-up photos will be on each calendar month. Questions and submissions may be sent to: Ohiohistoryphotos@ohiohistory.org.
The summer has just begun, so do not let it go to waste. Get acquainted with Ohio history and take day trips to these historic sites. To know where the future leads one must know the past so get out there and learn more about our history. If interested in picking up one of the passports, visit the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 124 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia or call 330-602-2420.