Category Archives: Wilhelm Awards

Ohio Barn Conference XX – Licking County

Time is getting near that we will be open for registration!  But in the meantime let me give you some tidbits as to what to expect.

We are celebrating our 20th year anniversary!  Hard to believe?  I don’t think so as we have a very supportive membership base and a hard working Board of Directors.  So here is a snapshot of what we are planning.  Please check back for updates and watch for your newsletter in the mail.  If you are a member please know that you will get an email notifying you that registration is open ahead of the general public.  It will be your chance (only chance?) to secure your spot on the tour bus!

Barn Detective Workshop – Thursday, April 25th, 2019  1 to 4 pm  Pre-Regsitration required.

This registration is separate from the Barn Tour and Ohio Barn Conference.

The site of our Thursday afternoon workshop was chosen because it is (in the words of Sir Winston Churchill), “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.  James McDonald has offered up his barn for our pre-conference workshop this year.  We have termed it our “head scratcher” barn so come on out and find out why.

Barn Tour – Friday, April 26th, 2019   Pre-Registration is required.

We have four stops on the tour this year with several barns to see.  Our first stop is a registered centennial farm with several outbuildings. The main barn on this farm is a perfect example of how barns have been adapted to changing farming practices.  Our second stop also has several barns but the change in farming practices didn’t affect the main barn, instead there is a visual  timeline in that they built more barns to suit their purposes.  With that in mind we can walk through time and see the old and the new.  Our lunch destination will be the Virtues Golf Club (also the site of Saturday’s conference).  From there we continue on to the Graham farms where there is a barn that measures 54′ by 140′ and has three stories and probably a lot of stories to tell as well!  Our last stop will be the Crawford barn at the Longaberger Homestead.   Another enormous barn at 12,000 sq ft it is a fine example of the barns built during the era of “scientific farming”.  The reason why our barn tours are the best?  Because we have the Barn Detectives, Rudy Christian and Dan Troth, as well as several members that are extremely knowledgeable and extremely helpful in pointing out interesting aspects of the barns.  And, as always, we will have locally knowledgeable and charming docents on board each bus for additional entertainment value between stops!


Ohio Barn Conference XX – Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – The Virtues Golf Club, Nashport, OH

Pre-registration is required

Interestingly enough there a lot of full circles, twists, and what appear to be coincidences but aren’t in this 20th year of FOB conferences.  But that is newsletter fodder.  For now here is the rundown of what to expect on Saturday.  Pamela Whitney Gray will start us off with the President’s remarks and then straight onto Mr David Wilhelm, son of the late Dr Hubert Wilhelm, as our keynote speaker with a talk titled “what would my father say?”  Chris Klingemier, an architectural historian from Trumbull County will help us to see the “evolution of preservation”, our theme for the year.  Our own Tom O’Grady, historian extraordinaire,  will speak about the Ohio Native American Earthworks in Licking County.  During our lunch break we will have our Annual Member Meeting as well as our Awards Ceremony.   This year we are very pleased to be presenting The Hubert Wilhelm Cultural Heritage Educators Award to a very deserving person while David Wilhelm is present.  This award was created by Friends of Ohio Barns to honor Hubert G H Wilhelm in recognition of his pioneering spirit and outstanding achievement in promoting the appreciation, significance and preservation of Ohio’s historic barns.  We have a couple other surprises during the Awards Ceremony as well.  After lunch the Barn Detectives, Rudy Christian and Dan Troth, will entertain us with slides and commentary with regards to the Friday Barn Tour.  There will be a presentation on the House Bill 12 to Senate Bill 86 to the passage into law as we want to recognize and honor the Genoa School students for their work in helping make the barn the official architectural symbol of the great state of Ohio.  And what would an anniversary be with out some kind of “look back”?  So Rudy, Laura, Ric, Dan and Tom will reminisce in panel form.  The Silent Auction will go on all day and it will all happen at the beautiful Virtues Golf Club.

So please keep you eyes open for emails and the newsletter and sign up early!  Remember last year????  We have limited seating on the buses and they fill up fast!


Wilhelm Award Presented to Namesake for Work on Ohio Barns

For more than thirty years Dr. Hubert Wilhelm, taught classes on cultural and settlement geography and the Geography of Ohio at Ohio University in Athens. Wilhelm spent untold hours poring over the 1850 census to determine where Ohioans came from. He tallied their origins by county and recorded the number from each state and each European country. He made maps and charts showing where these settlers put down their roots.

Wilhelm taught about the natural landscape of Ohio; the forests and soils and landforms; the early land claims and subdivisions; transportation routes into the new state; how each of these factors influenced those settlement patterns. Wilhelm examined the records and imparted his findings with enthusiasm and exuberance to his students. He taught us how to see the 19th century settlement patterns in the rural and urban landscapes of Ohio by observing the architecture, land-use practices, place names, and other characteristic attributes of the material culture surrounding us.

A very significant part of that lesson is the Ohio barn. He matched the people to the barns we see dotting the rural scenes we observe in our travels across the state. By merely glancing at many an Ohio barn we can know a great deal about the people who built them, their place of origin, and their cultural history. For many it has made a trip across the state an ongoing lesson in Ohio history and geography. Wilhelm’s legacy is marked by his infectious enthusiasm that has inspired many to learn more about the people who used local resources and cultural traditions to build the foundations of Ohio’s economy.

It is for these efforts, and this body of work, that the Friends of Ohio Barns recently established the Wilhelm Award, named in his honor.  The award will be presented on occasion for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the history and significance of Ohio’s barn heritage. The first presentation of that award was made to Hubert Wilhelm himself.

Wilhelm was recently presented this award in the presence of family members including his son David Wilhelm, daughters Suzanne Robinson and Diana Pollock, daughter-in-law, Degee, and his grandson Lukas.

In making the presentation, Rudy Christian, founding president of Friends of Ohio Barns, thanked Wilhelm for his work “which has taught us the real value of our historic barns is not as much in what we can learn about them, but what they can teach us about our self.” Wilhelm has made exceptional contributions to our understanding of our roots and our agricultural heritage.

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Image:  Photo by Dan Troth

01 Hubert Wilhelm, in the foreground, is presented the Wilhelm Award, established in his honor by members of the board of Friends of Ohio Barns; from left to right – Vice-President – Dan Troth, Treasurer – Laura Saeger, former President – Rudy Christian, President – Ric Beck, and newsletter editor – Tom O’Grady.

Wilhelm Award Established!

This year, Friends of Ohio Barns felt very privileged to establish and present this prestigious honor to Hubert Wilhelm. Mr Wilhelm was a pioneer in his studies of farms and barns in Ohio, the settlement patterns of immigrants into the area and the barn builders. It is in tribute to Hubert’s devotion, dedication, and detailed investigation of Ohio Barns, that we chose to name the award after him.

Read the full article here

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