There was a time when Myers Inn Museum curator Polly Horn would take schoolchildren on walking tours of historic Sunbury Village Square, describing the many businesses that once lined the square along the four sides of Town Hall.
But Horn did those tours when Sunbury was a quiet little village. However, increased traffic, the growth of the village, ambient noise and traffic dangers have made the walking tours impossible.
Horn still does the tours in a more modern, virtual style by going into classrooms and using images from the Myers Inn Museum archives to show how Sunbury grew and changed over time. An added benefit of virtual tours is Horn is no longer limited to the changes that occurred over time around village square. She can go to any place in the village and use images to illustrate Sunbury’s growth and development.
At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, Horn will present one of her virtual tours, “Sunbury Off-the-Square,” during a meeting of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society at the Myers Inn Museum.
“Not everything happened around the square in Sunbury,” Horn said. “Just a block away in any direction, there were many changes over the 200 years of Sunbury’s history. During this virtual tour, I’ll use old photographs from The Sunbury News, photographs by local photographers from the museum archive, and images that local residents have allowed me to scan so we can watch the community grow and change.”
Horn said the virtual tour would answer many questions, like: Where do highways 3-CCC, 47, 61, and 30 meet? How did those roads impact the development of the village? Why do houses sit up on the hill on SR 37? Where were gas wells located in Sunbury? What did Sunbury’s Nestles plant originally make? Why do village residents get so much water in their basements?
Horn’s family owned The Sunbury News from 1915 until 1994. She said many of the photos used in virtual tours went through her hands for scanning and preservation when she worked in the family business. Her love of history eventually led to the formation of the Burrer Memorial Room that houses Community Library’s archive of historical documents and photographs.
Horn said all meetings of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society are free to the public.
The Myers Inn Museum is at 45 S. Columbus St. in Sunbury. The museum is open from noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturdays.
For additional information, go the bigwalnuthistory.org.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093