Lake County History Center
The newly renovated event barn at the Lake County History Center is the perfect place to celebrate your special occasion.
By Deanna Adams
Looking for something different to do this summer? How about a visit to a museum with an array of exhibits, a library to dive into the past, a gift shop with unique items, even the perfect venue for your special occasion?
The Lake County History Center, located in Painesville Township, is not only a fascinating place to spend a day, it’s also historic in its own right with 84 years of capturing our county’s local past, as well as hosting activities, special events, and permanent and temporary exhibits honoring those Lake County stories.
Did you know the LCHS holds approximately 3,000 surname files or boxes in its genealogy room, plus 10,000 digitized photographs, period maps, and old telephone directories? The research library also has a collection of reference books covering local city and township histories that include businesses, clubs, various associations, churches and schools. The 13-room museum is indeed a treasure trove for those seeking out their family stories.
“We’re a well-hidden gem,” says Amy Kapostasy, History Center director. “We’re hoping to get the word out for people who haven’t yet discovered us. Many don’t realize how big the house is and all the relics that we have.”
The center provides educational programs to groups of all ages. This summer, the facility has a lot planned for history buffs, both young and old, all the way through the end of the year.
While many events take place at this eight-acre complex, the center also holds off site activities, such as the “Wine Around: Marine Mishaps,” which will take place at the Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry on Wednesday, June 9 at 6pm. Here, you’ll learn the stories of shipwrecks on Lake Erie and enjoy a barbeque dinner.
Then, on Saturday, June 12, it’s time for Brats with Pops, from noon until 4 pm. German bratwurst, Italian sausage and other choices, such as BBQ pork and hot dogs, will be provided by Frank’s “brat mobile” food truck, from the Westside Market, with music by singer/songwriter, Steve Madewell. Beer and wine will also be available.
Kapostasy is especially excited to bring the United States Air Force Band of Flight, Flight One ensemble to the museum on Sunday, June 27 at 6 pm. “It will be their first time here so we’re really looking forward to it. It’s a great musical event for families and it’s free.” She emphasizes that you must RSVP to keep within the capacity limits as they are still honoring CDC rules for safe distancing.
Details on these and more upcoming events are at www.lakehistorycenter.org/programs-and-events.
The recently renovated event barn, located behind the museum, is sure to be a hit this year now that special occasions are in full force. The air-conditioned building and picturesque grounds, including a gazebo, are currently available to rent for weddings, showers, class reunions and other parties of up to 100-plus people.
“The full kitchen and both men’s and women’s restrooms are brand new, and the interior has been completely redone,” Kapostasy says. “We realize a lot of events had to be canceled last year and many venues are booked up. We still have some open dates, and with these beautiful grounds, this is an especially perfect location for an outdoor wedding.”
LCHS is also a great place to spend some volunteer time. The center’s mission is to preserve, educate and learn about Lake County, Ohio history, and they are always in need of volunteers, including teens. Volunteers help with varied events, work with children in school programs, can aid in grant writing, do light clerical work, and help out with site maintenance.
The center is now back to normal operating hours, which are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am–4 pm. However, it’s best to call 639-2945 to confirm the day’s museum hours.
“When people visit, they often say how amazed they are at our collections,” Kapostasy notes. “They leave here much more connected to Lake County.”
Admission is $5 for individuals and $8 for guided tours, which must be arranged in advance. Children 5 and under are free. Prices for group events vary based on the program.
The Lake County History Center is located at 415 Riverside Drive in Painesville.
For more info, call (440) 639-2945 or visit www.lakehistorycenter.org.