The mission of the Sheffield Village Historical Society is to promote the appreciation of our Village's rich heritage by discovering, collecting, preserving, interpreting, and presenting the history of Sheffield. One of our main avenues of communication is the Society's quarterly journal, The Village Pioneer, which presents authoritative articles on Sheffield's history as well as features on current activities.
The concept of a historical society for Sheffield Village had its origin in 2003 when villagers participated in a Lorain County-wide exhibit of pioneer life held at the French Creek Nature Center located in the village. A formative meeting of about 20 interested citizens was held at the historic Jabez Burrell House in 2005 to plan the organization of the Society. The group decided to call itself the Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on July 13, 2006 and a Constitution and Bylaws were adopted on October 11, 2007. The Society is an all-volunteer organization with an enthusiastic membership. As of December 2014 the Society has enrolled a total of 611 members.
Sheffield Village is a traditional farming community of nearly 4,000 inhabitants in northeastern Lorain County, Ohio. The Village was settled by New England families in 1815 as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve and was organized as the first township in Lorain County in 1824. Today, Sheffield Village is in a period of transition as residential and commercial development spreads westward from the Cleveland metropolitan area. With a focus on Sheffield’s rich heritage, the Society was created to discover, archive, preserve, and interpret documents and other materials, which illustrate the history of Sheffield and its environs, thereby engendering civic pride in our community for old and new residents alike.
The Society has obtained and renovated an early 1900s farmhouse for offices, meetings, archives and artifact exhibits, known as the Sheffield History Center (4944 Detroit Road, Sheffield Village, Ohio 44035). Many descendants of the early settlers still live in the region and they have graciously contributed many documents, photographs, and artifacts to the History Center. The Society’s officers have formulated a set of guidelines for the Sheffield History Center, titled Accession Policy and Procedures for Historic Artifacts and Documents. Volunteers transcribe, electronically scan, and digitally record historic documents, maps, drawings, photographs and artifacts, while preserving the original materials. Members are perfecting techniques for the preservation of physical artifacts from the mid-1800s, including wooden, leather, and textile objects, as methods are developed for the proper storage, climate control, display, and handling of delicate historic artifacts. Recently a group of Society members restored the Village’s 1946 fire engine.
Dr. Charles E. "Eddie" Herdendorf, President and Director of the Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center, is Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences at The Ohio State University where he directed the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. He is a certified professional geologist and nautical archaeologist. Dr. Herdendorf is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Historical Society and the Lorain County Historical Society. Dr. Herdendorf is responsible for the care of collections housed in the Sheffield History Center. He is experienced in the recovery and preservation of marine artifacts and has documented several shipwrecks in the Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes. Dr. Herdendorf also serves as editor of the Society's quarterly journal, The Village Pioneer.
John "Jack" Hoag, Vice-President of the Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center, is Chairman of the Society’s Archives and Collections Committee. Mr. Hoag, a graduate of Miami University, is a Certified Public Accountant. He recently retired as the chief accountant of the Church of the Open Door. Mr. Hoag served as a member of the Sheffield/Sheffield Lake School Board and the Sheffield Village Council. In the 1960s and 1970s he operated Hoag's Greenhouse on Abbe Road.
The Sheffield Village Historical Society has initiated a history outreach program that is composed of distinct but related projects, which include: (1) Sheffield History Center facility, (2) The Village Pioneer, a quarterly journal, (3) North Ridge Scenic Byway [Ohio Route 254 in Lorain County] designation, (4) Scenic Byway Tour for Northeastern Lorain County, (5) Garfield, Pioneer, and St. Teresa Cemeteries mapping and database, (6) Sheffield Village Hall official records inventory, (7) Daniel Garfield Barn preservation, (8) Sheffield Village 1946 fire engine restoration, (9) Federal Register of Historic Places, Ohio Historic Inventory, and Lorain County Landmark designation for the Avon Isle Dance Pavilion, Ferguson House, and William Day House, and (10) book publications: (a) Guide to the North Ridge Scenic Byway, (b) Images of America: Sheffield Village, (c) Natural Vegetation of Sheffield Ohio and the Factors Contributing to its Development, (d) Capt. Aaron Root (1801-1865): Life of a Great Lakes Pioneer Mariner, (e) Historic Garfield Cemetery 1817-2011, (f) Historic St. Teresa Cemetery 1853-2011, and (g) Sheffield Through Time. Additionally, the Society gives presentations on various historic topics to our members and for other organizations throughout the region. The Society holds quarterly Board of Trustees meetings at the Sheffield History Center that are open to members and guests.
Working with the Sheffield Village Council and Mayor’s Office, the Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center developed an ordinance to preserve and maintain historic structures within the Village. In September 2008 Mayor John D. Hunter issued a Proclamation designating Detroit Road (State Route 254) within the Village of Sheffield as the North Ridge Historic District.
In conjunction with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Firelands Archaeological Research Center, the Sheffield Village Historical Society co-sponsored an archaeological project on a National Register Archaeological Site (Burrell Orchard Site, Ohio 33-LN-15) located in the Sheffield Village. Initiated in 2008 and resumed in 2014, further work on this project is planned for the next four years.
The Sheffield Village Historical Society is collaborating with the City of Sheffield Lake, the Village of Sheffield, and Sheffield Township to celebrate our Bicentennial—the 200th anniversary of our founding in 1815. These three communities have established the Sheffield Bicentennial Commission charged with commemorating, celebrating, memorializing the founding and accomplishments of the individuals who have resided and endeavored there. Dr. Herdendorf, present of the Society is serving as chairman of the Commission. For more information on the 2015 Sheffield Bicentennial visit www.sheffieldbicentennial.org.
As part of the Bicentennial Celebration, the Sheffield Village Historical Society is preparing a book titled, Bicentennial History of Sheffield. In addition to ten chapters documenting the history of the three communities, the book will contain an appendix titled, Timeline of Milestones in the History of Sheffield Village. The book will be generously illustrated with both black & white and color images.
The Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center is a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) and educational organization dedicated to discovering, collecting, preserving, interpreting, and presenting Sheffield’s rich heritage. An application for Society membership can be found on this website [www.sheffieldvillage.com ] by clicking on the Sheffield Village Historical Society logo.
Membership is open to anyone who wishes to support the Society’s mission. For more information about the Society contact Eddie Herdendorf, President (440-934-1514 firstname.lastname@example.org); Jack Hoag, Vice President (440-934-4624); or Patsy Hoag, Secretary (440-934-4624 email@example.com).
The collections of the Sheffield Village Historical Society are housed in the Sheffield History Center at 4944 Detroit Road. The Center is open on most Tuesdays (11.a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Thursdays (6 to 8 p.m.) to members and guests and by appointment— (440-934-1514 firstname.lastname@example.org). Quarterly Board of Trustees meetings is held at the History Center. All members are welcome to attend these meetings.
Back issues of the Society’s journal, The Village Pioneer, can be found on this website by clicking on the Sheffield Village Historical Society logo. Society members are encouraged to submit items for the journal. Please send your stories or ideas to the Editor (Garfield Farms, 4921 Detroit Road, Sheffield Village, OH 44054).
Preamble. This organization, recognized by the Village of Sheffield, Ohio (Resolution No. 469), is a nonprofit, unincorporated historical and cultural society organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code, or any future federal tax code.
Article I – Name. The name of this organization shall be the Sheffield Village Historical Society and Cultural Center, herein known as the Society.
Article II – Purpose. The purpose of the Society is to discover, archive, preserve, and interpret documents and other materials that further establish and illustrate the history of Sheffield and its environs. The Society is established to promote the heritage of our village by (1) making historic information available for research and general interest, (2) providing educational opportunities, and (3) encouraging the preservation of historical structures, artifacts, and monuments. The Society recognizes that developing cooperative programs and projects with other civic, educational, recreational, and historic organizations can best achieve these goals.
The Society is committed to engaging in diverse fund-raising activities to fulfill its mission.
Article III – Membership. Membership in the Society shall be open to anyone interested in furthering the purposes of the Society by payment of annual dues in amounts and categories of membership as established by a Board of Trustees.
Article IV – Trustees. The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees shall be to govern, operate, and guide the direction of the Society. The execution of this responsibility shall be consistent with the Constitution, Bylaws, and terms of any other agreement into which the Society may enter.
Article V – Officers. The officers shall be members of the Board of Trustees, and shall consist of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and immediate past president. The Board to Trustees shall elect from and the officers.
Article VI – Meetings. The Annual Meeting of the membership shall take place once each year at a time and place selected by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall meet at least quarterly. Additional meetings of the membership and invited guests to conduct business and to present educational or informational programs shall be held from time to time at places determined by the Board of Trustees.
Article VII – Amendments. Amendments to the Constitution shall be proposed by the Board of Trustees or through written petition by the Society’s membership with at least 10 percent of the signatures of members. The Constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the either the Board of Trustees or the Society’s members. Notice of the proposed amendment shall be presented to the Board and membership in ballot form thirty days prior to the meeting where the votes will be cast.
Article VIII - Rules of Order. Standard parliamentary procedure shall be followed for the meetings. Questions or conflicts in meeting procedure shall be resolved by reference to Robert’s Rules of Order, so long as the solution is not in conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society.
Article IX - Code of Ethics. The Sheffield Village Historical Society, its trustees, officers, members, and any staff or volunteers shall be committed to responsible performance both professionally and ethically.
Article X – Discrimination. The Society shall not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or national/ethnic origin.
Article XI – Dissolution. In the case of dissolution, the Board of Trustees shall take appropriate action to transfer its collections, funds, and other assets to one or more not-for-profit organizations having a similar mission and having exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code, or any future federal tax code.
Adopted October 10, 2007
Article I – Membership. Any person, family, or business/organization may become a member of the Society by agreeing to be bound by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society, and by paying the annual membership dues established by the Board of Trustees. Charter membership dues shall be set at $10.00 for individual members, $15.00 for family membership, and $25 for business/corporate or organization membership. Each individual member shall have one vote. A family membership is defined as all those persons living in a single family dwelling; each individual shall be listed on the membership roster and each family membership shall have the equivalent of one vote. Business/organization memberships shall indicate a representative and have the equivalent of one vote. The Nominations and Membership Committee will prepare a roster of members annually for distribution by the Board of Trustees. Non-payment of dues by a date specified by the Board of Trustees shall be deemed voluntary resignation from the Society.
Article II - Meetings of the Board and Members. Quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees shall typically be held on a consistent time, day, and week each quarter as determined by the Board. The meeting shall consist of a business meeting and from time to time a program open to the membership. The Education and Program Committee shall be responsible for arranging educational or informational presentations. The Board of Trustees may elect to suspend a quarterly meeting to accommodate other activities of the Society or for other substantive reasons. A least one general meeting of the membership shall be held annually.
Special meetings may be called at any time by order of the Board of Trustees or the President. Special meetings may also be called upon the written request of 20 or more of the voting members. The following Order of Business shall be adhered to at Society meetings:
Article III - Election and Voting. The Nominations and Membership Committee shall develop a slate of candidates for an uncontested election to the Board of Trustees. Each candidate shall have agreed to abide by the terms of office prior to the election. Nominations of Trustees for election shall be announced at the monthly meeting immediately before the Annual Meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the announcement meeting, however, the nominee(s) must have agreed to the duties and responsibilities of a Trustee. A member of the Society, may, through a written proxy, authorize another to vote for him, or her at meetings, but the person so authorized must himself or herself be a member of the Society, and such proxy must be filed with the Secretary before the authorized person votes.
Article IV - Board of Trustees. The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees shall be to govern, operate, and guide the direction of the Society. The execution of this responsibility shall be consistent with the Constitution, Bylaws, and terms of any other agreement into which the Society may enter.
The Board of Trustees shall consist of at least nine (9), but not more than fifteen (15) members, who are active members of the Society. Three Board members shall represent specific aspects of the Village of Sheffield and the remaining members shall be elected at large. The designated members shall be (1) a representative of the Village of Sheffield nominated by its Mayor (2) a representative of the Lorain County Historical Society nominated by its Executive Director, and (3) a representative of Lorain County Metropolitan Park District nominated by its Director. The Founding Director of the Society shall appoint the inaugural members of the Board of Trustee for a term of three years.
All elected members of the Board of Trustees shall serve a term of three (3) years. The immediate past president shall be an ex-officio member of the Board. All Committee Chairs, who are not regular members of the Board, shall be ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees. Any vacancy on the Board of Trustees caused by death, resignation, or removal shall be filled by appointment from the Society membership by the Director with the concurrence of the Board of Trustees.
A quorum for a Board of Trustees meeting shall consist of five (5) members of the Board. The Board of Trustees shall meet at least quarterly. The Board of Trustees shall manage the affairs of the Society and administer the policies of the Society in accordance with Civil Law, and the Society’s Constitution and Bylaws. The Board of Trustees shall designate those persons authorized to conduct financial transactions for the Society. The Board of Trustees shall also make recommendations to the members at regular and special meetings concerning matters requiring decision of the membership. Board members are responsible for attending board meetings, financial support of the Society, and serving on at least one committee. Without Board of Trustee approval, no Society member shall contract anything on behalf of the Society.
A board member may be removed from office, for a demonstrated cause, with a two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees.
Article V – Officers. Officers of the Society shall include President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and immediate Past President. All officers shall serve a term of two (2) years, being elected from and by the Board of Trustees. A vacancy in the officer ranks shall be filled from among the remaining Board members.
The duties of the President are to serve as Director of the Society, to preside at all meetings of the Society and the Board of Trustees, and to manage the affairs of the Society. The President, in consultation with other Board members, shall develop a Strategic Plan for the Society. This Plan shall be reviewed and updated every two years. The duties of the Vice-President are to discharge the duties of the President in the event of absence or disability of the President, and to assist the President in executive duties. The duties of the Past President are to provide continuity from one administration to the next and to preside over meetings in the event the President and Vice President cannot attend a meeting.
The duties of the Secretary are to keep a record of the proceedings of the Board of Trustees and meetings of the Society, and to maintain a file of the business correspondence and other official documents of the Society. The Treasurer will serve as Business Manager of the Society and keep an account of all monies, credits, accounts, and property of the Society. The President and the Treasurer are authorized to make payment for routine Society expenditures from Society accounts. Major expenditures require approval of the Board of Trustees
The initial organizer of the Society, to be known as the Founding Director, shall serve as the Society’s inaugural President for a term of three (3) years and shall appoint the inaugural Board of Trustees and its Officers.
An officer may be removed from office, for a demonstrated cause, with two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees.
Article VI – Committees. All committee members shall be appointed by the President in consultation with other members of the Board of Trustees. All Society members are encouraged to serve on committees by making their desires known to the President or a Board member. Each committee shall provide quarterly reports too the Board of Trustees. Committees shall elect a chairperson if the President does not appoint one. Committees shall form sub-committees, as they are needed, to fulfill their charge. The following standing Committees shall be established:
Article VII – Amendments. An amendment to the Bylaws may be proposed by resolution of any Committee and must pass with a simple majority approval of the members of the Board of Trustees. Notice of proposed amendments shall be presented to Board one month prior to the meeting at which time the action shall be taken.
Adopted October 10, 2007