A Heritage of Harvest: The Industry of Agriculture in Western Stark County

Aultman Health Foundation Gallery

The Massillon Museum will present A Heritage of Harvest: The Industry of Agriculture in Western Stark County from June 22 through October 13, 2019, in the Museum’s Aultman Health Foundation Gallery. The exhibition will highlight ways in which agriculture has shaped the physical, cultural, and economic landscape of this region from its early days of inhabitance by American Indian settlers, through the industrial revolution, to present-day business and ways of life.
The exhibition will open with a free public reception from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. Refreshments will be served and reservations are unnecessary.
Photographs, farm equipment and tools, interactive components, and other artifacts will be assembled to reflect the rich history of agriculture’s role in our community. While there will be loans from businesses, museums, and private collections, the contents will be sourced mostly from the Museum’s collection. These materials will engage viewers through the visual display, hands-on components, and well-researched written content to instill a greater appreciation for this aspect of Stark County’s cultural heritage.  

A Heritage of Harvest will coincide with the debut of MassMu’s new arts garden, a component of the current 18,000-square-foot expansion project. A key feature of the garden will be its role as the permanent location for the Museum’s 1916 Russell and Company traction steam engine, which has always been stored in an offsite location due to its enormous size and weight of nearly eight tons. The 1916 Russell Steam Engine is among the Museum’s most prized artifacts and represents an important agricultural industry and era in Massillon and Stark County history.  

Russell and Company—Massillon’s largest employer during the late nineteenth century—was known worldwide for its production of farm machinery. Three of the Russell brothers—Thomas, Nahum, and George—lived on Massillon’s historic Fourth Street. Flora and Walter McClymonds, who built the Five Oaks mansion that is now home to the Massillon Woman’s Club, represented the second generation of the Russell family on Fourth Street. All four homes remain today, protected with National Register status, as architectural testaments to this city’s grand industrial and pioneering achievements,.  

Educational programming for all ages in the form of lectures and workshops, paired with special events like Celebrity Chef Showdown, will complement the exhibition as well as the countywide celebration of food—ProjectEAT—in which MassMu is a founding partner. Working with other organizational partners like StarkFresh, the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, and Walsh University’s Food Design Institute, the Museum has planned a robust presentation of programs to highlight the exhibit themes, which include: Native American agrarian societies; pioneer to production farming; transportation and its impact on agricultural industries; tools and equipment; livestock; the industrial era of Russell and Company and others; and contemporary industries in Western Stark County.

The Stark Community Foundation and Massillon Plaque are supporting A Heritage of Harvest. The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark.

Guests on June 22 can also enjoy an opening reception in the Museum’s Studio M for States of Waiting by sculptor Treacy Ziegler. The Fred F. Silk Community Room Gallery exhibition, Massillon Woman’s Club: A Century of Sisterhood; The Paul Brown Museum, and the Immel Circus will also be open.

During construction in downtown Massillon, it will be most convenient to find free parking spaces in municipal lots accessed on Second Street SE and First Street NE and in the city parking deck accessed on Erie Street South. Visit massillonmuseum.org/hours-and-directions for a parking map and updates.

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in Massillon. A visit to the Museum is always free, and free parking is available on adjacent streets and in nearby city lots. For more information about the Museum, call 330-833-4061 or visit massillonmuseum.org.

Upcoming Events Complementing A Heritage of Harvest

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Author/Artist Walter Tyler reads “The New Barn” at Family Storytime
@ Massillon Public Library • 10:30am • Free

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Brown Bag Lunch—Walter Tyler presents “Let’s build a barn together!
A conversation about the art of barn raising and bookmaking”
12:10–12:50pm • Free

Sunday, July 28, 2019
Container Planting Workshop with StarkFresh
3:00pm • Register @ 330.833.4061 • $12/$10 member (includes take-home supplies)

Saturday, August 3, 2019
Do the Mu—Fruit and Veggie Prints with Angelina Verginis
Noon–2:00pm • All ages • Free

Saturday, August 17, 2019
A Day in the Life of a Dairy Farmer
10:30am • Register @ 330.833.4061 • $10/$8 member
Interactive, family-friendly workshop with Patti Schmucki

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
History Happy Hour—
Photographer/Artist Tom Persinger presents “The New American Farmer”

Doors at 5:30pm • Program at 6:00pm • Cash bar • Free


Past Events

June 22, 2019
Heritage of Harvest Exhibition Opening
5:30–8:00pm • Free • Arts garden debut • Complimentary homemade ice cream

June 29, 2019
Celebrity Chef Showdown
6:00–9:30pm • $20—includes small bites and audience interaction         
Register: massillonmuseum.org/celebritychef

July 6, 2019
Do the Mu—Mini Scarecrows with Gary Spangler
Noon–2:00pm • Free



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