MEDINA — The Medina County Historical Society achieved one of its longterm goals with the recent paving of the parking lot at the 132-year-old John Smart House.
“For 20 years or more we’ve talked about this, but we didn’t have the funds,” Tom Hilberg, volunteer and past president, said.
The project was made possible by a grant from the state, secured with the help of Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, and state Reps. Steve Hambley, R-Brunswick, and Darrell Kick, R-Loudonville.
“They are very supportive of historical things in the county,” society Treasurer Carole Feron said.
Feron and Hilberg said the old gravel parking lot was inconvenient and a safety hazard.
“You can slip on those stones. It gets a little dangerous, especially people that have a hard time walking,” Feron said.
The project, which cost just more than $30,000, involved 90 yards of concrete, she said.
The work was completed by 880 Construction Co. Inc. of Liverpool Township, Feron said.
Hilberg said the concrete was poured May 3.
In addition to the new parking lot, crews created a flat transition from the lot to the curb leading to the front door.
“Now we have it smooth right up to the steps,” Feron said.
The parking lot isn’t the only improvement the society has in mind for the museum at 206 N. Elmwood Ave. during Medina’s bicentennial year.
“This year we are going to paint the house, which is not a cheap endeavor either,” Feron said.
The house has served as a headquarters and museum to the Medina County Historical Society since 1984, when the organization did a land swap with the city in an effort to create more parking space downtown.
“We’ve got probably four times the space that we had before,” Hilberg said. “The house that we had, the Munson House, was moved.”
Hilberg said the John Smart House was a private residence for four different families before becoming the Medina Eagles clubhouse during the 1930s. It later was purchased by the county, and used to house smaller government offices, including the county board of education.
The John Smart House is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday, and also during the first Sunday of each month.
For more information about the house and upcoming events, visit www.medinahistorical.com.