GALION — Supporters gathered to celebrate the rebranding of the Galion Historical Society, which is now known as the Galion History Center. The event was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 1 at Brownella Cottage on South Union Street in Galion.
Established in 1955, the then-Galion Historical Society was tasked with a mission to preserve and promote the history of Galion and surrounding areas through historic preservation and education. More than 65 years later, the organization boasts the same important mission, but leadership decided a new look and name were needed to enhance marketing and outreach efforts.
“Just like other historical sites and museums, we were closed during the pandemic,” said Executive Director Tanesha Pickering. “We used the time wisely by evaluating where we are currently and then creating a strategic plan for the future.”
According to a press release from the Galion History Center, a public survey was conducted in the fall and a rebranding committee of community members was mobilized to provide additional feedback. The committee spent several months taking a look at the logo, branding, and activities to make sure that it matches the evolving historical programming and preservation trends. Grant funding for the rebrand and newly designed website was made possible thanks to financial awards from the Robert & Esther Black Family Foundation and the Arthur J. Freese Foundation.
“It was very important for us to get feedback from our members, donors, and just residents of the community,” said Amber Wertman, president of the board of directors.
Wertman noted that state and national research was also a factor in making the decision to update the organizations name. Research indicated that an overwhelming majority of people enjoy the programs and historical sites in Ohio, but those same people felt the words “historical” and “society” were too exclusive and antiquated.
“We have grown from a one room cabin at our inception, to a campus with five properties for visitors to explore,” Pickering stated. “We believe our new name and logo system communicates how far we have come and the many experiences we have to offer our members and visitors.”
Those properties include the former Koppe-Skinner house (Galion History Center office and archives), Brownella Cottage, Carriage House Museum, Historic Grace Church, and the Hayden-Helfrich Annex.
“When we started digging in and designing the rebrand, it became really important to us that we incorporate a logo system, meaning that each of our locations, whether it be a historic building or a museum space, have their own individual icon, but is also cohesive and have brand recognition within the whole,” Pickering said.
The Brownella Cottage icon is a rising sun, which “is a prominent feature within decor of Brownella Cottage and on the cover of Bishop Brown’s books,” Pickering said.
With Brownella Cottage’s reputation of being a paranormal hot spot, officials decided to designate a moon as the icon for the Galion History Center’s paranormal investigation programs. Pickering noted that the moon is “a long-standing symbol for mystery and mysticism.”
The Grace Church icon features the building’s beautiful stained-glass windows.
The icon for the Hayden-Helfrich Annex, which is home to a collection of industrial equipment and vehicles, is an image of the spoked wheel of the museum’s 1922 Galion Ironworks steamroller.
For information about the Galion History Center, visit www.galionhistory.com, or follow the organization on Facebook @GalionHistoryCenter.
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