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Smithville Community Historical Society Selected as an Organization of the Month for March

Smithville Community Historical Society

About MCTV's Organization of the Month

Charitable behavior can lead to psychological, spiritual, and emotional well-being benefits for the giver. Besides helping the community and being a part of a greater good, charitable donations are tax deductible, can give you a sense of purpose and can help keep you informed about issues of social injustice. Each month, MCTV highlights two local non-profit organizations. We have donation boxes set up in our lobbies and have information on our websites about each charity, along with links to their respective websites. MCTV’s commitment to charitable causes creates new ways for you to find, learn about, and support local charities. We try to make a bigger difference in the causes you care about the most and become partners with the organizations in order to bring about change. Donate with confidence to these organizations. They are low-risk organizations, have targeted goals, function with good governance and have transparency policies. To learn more, visit our community involvement page.

MCTV is pleased to recognize The Smithville Community Historical Society as our Community Organization of the Month. Please join us in thanking them for their efforts to improve the quality of life in Stark County. You can support them financially at our office or online at

Smithville Community Historical Society

The Smithville Community Historical Society operates and maintains a Pioneer Village that is open to the public. The village includes a Pioneer log cabin, the Sheller log house, a carriage barn with the Village Pottery, a Blacksmith Shop, Lydo barn exhibit, The Spring House, Caboose and Train Depot, Tin Shop and the Historic Church of God. The Mishler Mill fee is only $3 per person. The Pioneer Village fee is $5 per person, or $7 for a both buildings. Special rates are available for schools.

The most popular attraction is the Mishler Weaving Mill. Other than the group tours, the Mishler Weaving Mill is open to visitors on Wednesday afternoons 1:30 to 4:00 year round.

The Mishler Weaving Mill is an operating textile weaving mill using original mechanical looms, the oldest of which dates from 1895. One rug loom is an 1860 rocker beater barn beam loom. Items woven on antique mechanical looms include: dishcloths, place mats, and table runners.  Hand looms are used to weave rag rugs, rag place mats, and dish towels. Items produced are sold in our new Mill gift shop. Reception Center Exhibit Rooms include: the Mishler Memorial Room, a Photography Room, and the Heritage Educational Room. Interesting items are displayed in the Meeting Room.

The Blacksmith Shop - Aden Mast and his crew moved the old Rush Webner barn, donated by Cecil Karlen, to the historical society site to be restored as a blacksmith shop. This small horse and carriage barn originally belonged to Mr. Webner who was Station Master at Smithville RR Depot. It was probably built in the late 1800s and is made of hand hewn beams with pegged construction. 

The Pioneer Log Cabin gives us a glimpse into the world of our pioneer forefathers (and mothers) who settled this area when Wayne County was the wild, wild West! Early settlers made their way through the vast forests along Indian trails. When they found a plot of land they wished to claim, they faced the arduous task of clearing the land. It made sense to use some of the trees they needed to fell for their homes. Since blacksmith-forged nails were a pricey luxury, they fashioned wooden pins for nails and made wooden hinges and latches. There is a latchstring on the cabin's front door. The hearth was the very heart of this home. The fireplace provided heat in the winter, light and of course fire for cooking. Utensils were hung on the swinging crane to cook food over the open fire. To be certain that some firewood was always dry and ready to burn, the long wooden box stored wood and also served as a bed for a weary traveler. The family slept upstairs.

The Sheller Log House was originally located next to the former Lutheran Church (now the Independent Missionary Baptist Church) on East Main Street, Smithville (State Route 585). The 1856 Baker Map of Wayne County shows that it was owned by G. Sheller, a tailor. The exact year the house was built is not known. It was moved in 1929 from its original location to just across the street (from the north side to the south side of East Main Street). The Smithville Community Historical Society purchased the house and moved it to its present location. It was moved December 9, 1993. 

The Carriage Barn is located beside the Sheller Log House. This barn was originally behind the Sheller home on East Main Street. It is believed to have been built in the late 1800s. It is made of rough sawn lumber and pegged construction. At one time it was used as a horse stable for the stagecoach on Portage Trail [now St Rt 585].  The lower level is used for The Village Pottery -- a pottery demonstration area. The upstairs is exhibit space. A hand operated elevator, acquired from the Rutt & Amstutz Grain Elevator, has been installed.

The Tin Shop - The building was originally a summer kitchen on a farm located east of Smithville. Inside you'll meet Fred Wetshtein and Patty McFadden. Fred is the tinsmith and Patty is his apprentice.

The Lydo Barn - Circa 1840 barn, moved to the Village from a location west of Smithville. Lots to see inside.

The Historic Church of God - Dedicated in December 1867. Donated by the congregation to the historical society in June 2005.

The Caboose and Train Depot is a 1929 B&O Caboose that was moved to its present location shortly after the depot in 1975. The Train Depot was previously located on Route 585 at the railroad tracks here in Smithville – in the eastern part of the Village. The Farm Bureau was east of the railroad and the Rutt and Amstutz Grain Elevator was west of the railroad at the crossing locations for railroad shipments of needed supplies. The Depot was moved to the present location in 1975.

Purposes of Smithville Historical Society

“To do all within its power to discover and collect all the available historical material connected with the history of Smithville, Ohio Community and carefully preserve the same; collect, preserve, and diffuse such information as may be available in the field of genealogy connected with Smithville Community; to provide for the collection, preservation and display of historical relics, papers, books, records, museum materials, old church records, private papers, monographs, letters, and other things of historical interest; to acquire, hold, own, operate and manage any property, real or personal, necessary or desirable, for the purpose herein expressed and in general carry on all activities appropriate for the purpose herein expressed and in general carry on all activities appropriate for a historical society."

Smithville Community Historical Society
381 E. Main Street (State Route 585)
and on Eberly Drive, behind the Smithville Post Office
Smithville, OH 44677


The Smithville Community Historical Society welcomes group tours by appointment. Group tours can be arranged by sending requests to