Every Thursday June through August, the city of Massillon closes Lincoln Way East from First Street East to Third Street East. Plan ahead for parking! The Museum is open normal business hours.
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Research Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find my relatives who lived at the Massillon State Hospital?

*UPDATE 2016: The Massillon State Hospital admission records do exist in the collection of the Ohio History Connection, but are sealed to the public and may only be accessed by close relatives, but are available after that person has been gone for 50 years. Here is what their research department has to say:

The Ohio History Connection holds some records from some of Ohio’s state institutions. Please be aware that Mental Health records in the collections of the Ohio History Connection that relate to patient records are restricted by state law. As per Ohio Revised Code 5122.31, these collections can be accessed by the staff of the Ohio History Connection at the request of the closest living relative of a deceased patient, or if the patient has been deceased for 50 years or more. All restricted collections in our holdings carry a restriction notice in our catalog records. These record books and files are restricted from public review, even by the closest living relative. For this reason, we would prefer that you refer potential researchers directly to us.

The following collections from the Massillon State Hospital are restricted:

  1. Index to Admissions, 1898-1911 (call#: State Archives Series 654)
  2. Record of Treatments, 1920-1923, 1926-1927 (call#: State Archives Series 663)   
  3. Superintendent’s Correspondence, 1927-1930 (call#: State Archives Series 667)
  4. Case Record Books, 1898-1919 (call#: State Archives Series 697)

Learn more about the Ohio History Connection Archives and Research Library here.

Other Resources available online:
For a full WorldCat listing of records related to the Massillon State Hospital, click here.

History clippings, articles, and book excerpts are available on our website here.

Massillon State Hospital 1908 Annual Report
by the Board of Trustees and Officers of the Massillon State Hospital to the Governor of the State of Ohio

The former State Hospital grounds are owned in part by the City of Massillon, Quest Recovery Services (CommQuest), and by Heartland Behavioral Center. Heartland only holds patient records for the last 10 years, and are not available to the public. The Massillon Museum does not have any records of residents. You may wish to read the Mental Health Records: An Introduction for Researchers by the Ohio History Connection.

If you are interested in the history of mental hospital facilities in the United States and Ohio, this is a great article from the Ohio Department for Mental Health.

Another way to track down your relatives' information is through the Stark County Recorder's Office. There is a complete listing of places to obtain vital information, including birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates. Please click here to visit their site.

Photographs of the State Hospital

The Massillon Museum preserves a small collection of photos of the Massillon State Hospital, which may be viewed here. Reproductions of these images are available upon request. Prices may be found here.

Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Investigations at the State Hospital

Some of the original State Hospital buildings are still standing, owned by the City of Massillon, Quest Recovery Services, and Heartland Behavioral Center. Heartland does not allow any access to their buildings, and previous attempts by Ghost Hunting groups have not received any permission from the city of Massillon.
 


How do I start my genealogy/family research?

Our suggestion would be to go to the Massillon Public Library. They have FREE use of Ancestry.com and many genealogy databases and wonderful staff members to help you get started.

Jill Wingard
Genealogy Specialist
Phone: 330-832-9831 ext. 337
208 Lincoln Way East, Massillon, Ohio 44646
To ask a genealogy question at the MPL, click here.


My relative attended the Charity Rotch School of Kendal. Do you have records?

Yes, the Massillon Museum holds many of the Charity Rotch School of Kendal in the archives. We are processing these, rehousing and digitizing. Once this project is completed, these records will be made available online.

Charity Rotch School of Kendal opened in 1829 and permanently closed in 1910. Students who attended school at that time became wards of the school until they reached an age of 18. After the school closed in 1910, the funds were managed by a foundation. That foundation still uses those funds to assist student programs that serve needy children in Western Stark County and the surrounding area.

The Massillon Public Library has started a database for Charity Rotch School of Kendal students, which may be viewed here.


How do I find birth and death records in Stark County?

The Massillon Museum does not hold records for birth and death. You may contact:

Stark County Health Department
Phone: 330-493-9904
3951 Convenience Circle NW, Canton, Ohio 44718


Where do I find land records?

While the Massillon Museum holds some historic deeds in the collection, these are not comprehensive. The best course of action would be to contact:

Stark County Recorder's Office
Phone: 330-451-7443
110 Central Plaza South
Suite 170
Canton, OH 44702-1409


I want to know more about football in Massillon. Where can I find information?

Our virtual exhibits feature both the Massillon Professional Tigers, and the Massillon Washington High School Tigers teams.

Current Massillon Tigers information, as well as some additional history, may be found here.

We have produced a short history of the Massillon Pro and High School Tigers teams. Click here for more history information.


I want to know more about Jacob Coxey's March on Washington in 1894.

The Massillon Museum holds thousands of letters, photographs, publications, and newspaper clippings surround the life of Jacob Coxey. These include the March of 1894, 1914, and 1929. We are continually scanning Coxey items for inclusion on our website. For online Jacob Coxey information, including publications and the 1994 film, please click here.

These may be requested through Archivist Mandy Altimus Pond. Click here to email her, or you may call: 330-833-4061 x 113.


Do you have a picture of my house?

The Massillon Museum cares for several hundred photographs of residences in Massillon, and more than 600 blueprints. They are listed by street name. We have approximately 80 photographs of Albrecht & Wilhelm homes.

To view the entire collection of residential photographs by street name online, click here.
To view lists of blueprints by name or by type, please click here.

These may be requested through Archivist Mandy Altimus Pond. Click here to email her, or you may call: 330-833-4061 x 113.


Do you have the blueprints to my house or business?

The Massillon Museum cares for more than 600 blueprints of the Massillon area. The major collections housed here are from Albrecht, Wilhelm, & Kelly (1920s-1950s), and Mallalieu, Ross, Roberts & Doll (1950s-1980s). These blueprints are inventoried and may be requested by special arrangement. Reproductions of these blueprints are not currently available. To view lists of blueprints by name or by type, please click here.

You may request to view a blueprint by contacting Archivist Mandy Altimus Pond. Click here to email her, or you may call: 330-833-4061 x 113.


I want to put my house on the historic register. How do I do that?

The Massillon Museum may be able to provide some documentation about your home, as far as blueprints, architect information, or photographs. The process of filling out the paperwork and applying is up to you. For more information, please visit the National Park Service's National Register FAQ.


How do I find a business in Massillon?

The best way to find a business is through the annual city directories. These are available at both at the Massillon Museum and the Massillon Public Library. You may also view and search the listings online at the Massillon Public Library. Some Massillon city directories have been digitized by the Massillon Public Library and may be found here.

If you wish to find more information or photographs, we do keep files on substantial businesses from the community throughout the history of Massillon, and hold extensive photographs from the Chamber of Commerce from the 1920s-1980s.

These files may be requested through Archivist Mandy Altimus Pond. Click here to email her, or you may call: 330-833-4061 x 113.


How do I preserve my family photos?

To learn more about preserving your photographs and textiles, please click here.


How do I preserve my grandmother's wedding dress?

To learn more about preserving your photographs and textiles, please click here.

 
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