Last Thursday was the Village of Sunbury’s 200th Birthday.
On November 9, 1816, Lawrence and William Myers filed a plat establishing Sunbury.
There has been a yearlong list of events commemorating the village’s Bicentennial, but officials and Bicentennial Committee members deemed it appropriate to recognize the exact birthday with a Reception held in the Big Walnut High School Auditorium.
Myers Inn Museum Curator Polly Horn presented a PowerPoint overview of village history, using historic photographs from the Myers Inn Museum Archives.
Horn said when settlers arrived in the Ohio wilderness over 200 years ago they found trees, water, and stone. They used those resources to build log homes and operate the area’s first gristmills.
“They turned those log homes and log businesses into frame buildings,” Horn said. “Churches grew with the village, and by 1866 there are 58 buildings in Sunbury, houses and businesses. In 1873 the railroad came to Sunbury and serve the village for 101 years.”
Horn also noted the importance of schools as the village grew from a wilderness crossroads served by stagecoaches; the first RFD Postal Route in the United States was established in Sunbury in 1897; in 1892 the Sunbury Co-op Creamery opened and in 1919 that became the Nestlé Company.
Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield said throughout Sunbury’s 200 years, it has been people who have made the community work and be the special place it is today.
“Everything has come down to the people of this community – the people in our neighborhoods, our schools, our businesses,” Hatfield said. “We live in a community where I always knew my children were safe; where we all cared about each other. When I think of progress I think of the future, but I also remember the people that put in the effort to get us here, their spirit and enthusiasm, the beauty of our town they preserved, and its rich history.”
Caeilen Lozano provided music to open the evening. Margaret Ann Ruhl, Ohio House of Representative 68th District, read a house proclamation recognizing Sunbury’s Bicentennial signed by Ruhl and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Sunbury Village Council member Dave Miller read a proclamation signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich, and village council member Len Weatherby signed a proclamation signed by Congressman Pat Tiberi.
Businesses recognized are Whitney Insurance, Sunbury News, Whitney Ink, Snyder-DeVore Funeral Home, Sunbury Cleaners, Sunbury Plumbing & Heating, Fuller Oil Company, Joe Schilder Attorney, Nationwide Insurance, Forman Realtors, Stemen Excavating, Anthony Dental, Sunbury Chiropractic Center, Sunbury Vision Care, Coffee Antiques, Wendell Davidson Realtors, and Great Midway Yacht.
Service organization recognized are Big Walnut Friends Who Share, Sunbury-Galena Rotary Club, BST&G Fire District, Big Walnut Area Historical Society, Ministerial Association, Community Library, Big Walnut Civic Association, Col. Benson Hough Post 457 American Legion, Sunbury Lions Club, VFW Post 8736 and the Post 8736 Auxiliary, Sunbury/Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 3614.
Government entities recognized are Sunbury Police Chief Pat Bennett, former Sunbury mayor and current village council member Len Weatherby, former mayor the late Harold Kintner, members of the Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education, the Delaware County Board of Commissioners, Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman, Delaware County Sheriff Russ Martin, and Tiberi.
Individuals that serve the community as educators and working closely with schools that were recognized are Steve Kessler, Red Edwards, Ron Lehman, Angie Stooksbury, Jim Hildreth, Penny Sturtevant, Susan Monfort, George Gray, Georgia Craig, Roger Roberts, and Matt Bale.
Recognized for their continued service to the Sunbury community are Dan Shaw, Lenny Lepola, Dave Martin, Polly Horn, Glenn and Donna Evans, Linda Griesse, Rob Stambaugh, Susan Allen, Rick Helwig, Linda Troyer, Gene Sparks, Mr. & Mrs. Townley, and Jim Krebs.
Recognized for providing Sunbury with a lasting legacy are the Burrer Family, the Fling Family, the Forman Family, the Whitney Family, and local veterans responsible for establishing and maintaining the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.