A great crowd gathered at Medway Elementary School on Aug. 6 to celebrate the two hundredth birthday of the founding of Medway in 1816 in Clark County, Ohio.
Folks came from all over Clark County and the United States to spend the afternoon sharing memories and making new ones. Old-Timers reminisced fondly about everything from their hijinks at Tecumseh High School, to going on a first date with their sweetheart at the old Tavernette Inn. Youngsters shared fresher memories, such as playing with friends on local playgrounds, fishing with their families at Crystal Lakes, and playing in the Tecumseh Marching Band.
Even to those who have never lived nearby, the overall feel of the day-long celebration was one of “coming home.”
“This seems like a such a neat place. For being such a small place, there are a ton of people here celebrating. It makes me want to come back later and check out the town,” commented Carly Sparrow, who tagged along with a friend to the festivities.
Medway Area Historical Society members, Scott Suther, Herman Schiller, Roberta Schneider and Ethel Blue spent more than a year working to prepare a fun-filled day for the Bicentennial celebration. But even Schiller was somewhat taken aback at the great number of people who took part in the cruise-in and in the festivities in general.
“We’ve had a wonderful turnout today!” says Schiller, “We have about 200 cars here for the cruise-in and, from what I hear, most of them are locally owned. There are a lot of families here and everyone seems to be having a great time. The whole (event) has turned out really nice. We really appreciate everyone who has come out today.”
Suther is a locally famous area historian. He helped prepare the extensive collection of 200 years’ worth of Medway-area memorabilia displayed in the Medway Elementary School library. People meandered through, taking their time to read forgotten documents and look at old pictures. Some photos prompted discussions of who lived where, and when, and for how long. Giggles could be heard as people recognized themselves or other family members in old black and white photos from days long gone by.
Area residents had great things to say about the event and their community.
Ciara Dunn will soon a fifth grader at New Carlisle Elementary. She has lived in the Medway area her whole life. She says the Bicentennial festivities were “really fun,” especially getting her face painted and participating in the other kids’ activities. Dunn also says her favorite part of living in the area is getting to be with her family.
Nicole Stamper graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1991 and has always lived in the Medway area. Stamper says she thought the Bicentennial Celebration was “fabulous” and that her favorite thing about the event was the cruise-in. As a lifetime resident of the area, Stamper comments, “I really love how the community will just come together and how everybody knows everybody.” She regularly encourages people to move to Medway.
Bethel Township Deputy, Alan Cox also grew up in the area. He comments, “Medway is Clark County’s best kept secret. So many people don’t know much about the Medway area, which is a shame. (Medway) is just a wonderful community with great residents who really try to support and look out for one another.”
If the Medway Bicentennial Celebration is any indication, the Medway community’s tradition of caring will carry on into the next 200 years.