The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 25, 2013

The Old Brick Historical Society looking for new members

For the Star Beacon

ORWELL — The Old Brick Historical Society is looking for people to help save the building and preserve a piece of local history.

Twenty-eight years ago The Old Brick Historical Society was formed for the purpose of saving the local historical structure.

Over the years, thousands of volunteer hours have been spent at the Old Brick.

New roogs, boilers, ceilings, windows, gutters, foundations, insulation, septic and well systems, repairs of the porches and inside and outside painting has been done at the building.

Local organizations have used the building and grounds for Christmas parties, dinners, barbecues, picnics, craft shows, wine tastings, car shows, Civil War encampments, historical talks, art shows and weddings, among others.

The number of initial members has dwindled over the past 28 years to a point that the Old Brick Historical Society has just a handful of active members.

The active members can only maintain the present structure to a state that is only open a couple of times a year and the structure can not continue to be maintained by the present membership.

The group is looking for new members who would like to see The Old Brick live on as a local historical site that can continue to not only preserve the local history but to serve as a host site for other activities.

If there isn’t enough interest or effort put forth by new individuals or groups, The Old Brick Historical Society will come to pass and the building and land sold, possible to a party that would tear it down.

The Old Brick was built in 1828, before the present center of Orwell, intersection of Route 322 and Route 45 was present.

It was buildt when Route 45 was a turnpike known as the “Woods Road” as it cut through a dense woods from Warren to Lake Erie.

It was a safe haven for the weary traveler as an Inn from 1828 to 1832, to a comfortable stop for James A. Garfield who was a friend of the Pratt family, who owned the Old Brick from 1831 to 1985.

The brick portion of the structure was built from bricks fired on the property and the building is a reminder of the early and proud heritage of the Western Reserve.

Anyone who is interested in keeping the Old Brick from being just a memory and to keep it as a place that the community can still enjoy is welcome to attend a new organizational meeting on Sept. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Brick, 7358 Route 45 N, Orwell.