Licking Valley Heritage Society
The Licking Valley Heritage Society originated in 2001 when Duane Flowers, the Mayor of Hanover, Ohio in eastern Licking County was talking with Dean Edie, former manager of the Bowerston Shale brick factory in Hanover. Edie looked across the road at an old barn belonging to Warren Mears and commented that the Licking Valley area needed a museum to house the area’s history. Mayor Flowers held the first community meeting on September 16, 2005 to organize an historical group to make that happen.
The barn was slated to be torn down, so the group considered moving it to use as their museum, but that was not to be. The costs were too exorbitant. It did, however, later become part of the group’s logo, since it represented the rich agricultural heritage of the area. A Board of Trustees was elected in February 2006. Jeff Gill, minister, archaeologist and local historian, joined the group in September 2006. He suggested basic themes around which a museum could be formed. He also created a slogan: “The Valley—a good place to live for 12,000 years.”
In early 2007, Aaron Keirns, author of the book, Black Hand Gorge; A Journey through Time, created the logo, which included the barn, a flint point arrowhead and a book. Later that year the 501 (c) 3 non-profit tax status was approved by the IRS.
Dan Fleming, librarian at the Licking County Library, produced the group’s first quarterly newsletter in January 2009 called the Licking Valley Ledger. In early 2009, the Licking Valley Heritage Society entered into a contract with the Ohio Historical Society to manage Flint Ridge Memorial State Park. The OHS and the park have both changed their names since then to Ohio History Connection and the Flint Ridge Ancient Quarries and Nature Preserve, but the contract remains in force. This provides the primary funding for the Society as a whole from operation of the museum and gift shop, and collection of parking fees for the annual Spring and Fall Knap-Ins, which draw flint knappers from all over the country.
In 2010 the group obtained the use of an abandoned Methodist Church in Hanover, which had been donated to the Licking Valley School District. Finally, exhibits could be set up in the new museum, which was called the Licking Valley Heritage Society Museum and Learning Center. It is up the hill from the Elementary School and across the road from the Middle School. This new alliance with the school system would help ensure the involvement of area children.
A soft opening was held on June 25, 2011, but no regular hours were established until more work was done to the block building. The official grand opening was on May 21, 2016.
- Deible, Jacqueline Warner. “Flint Ridge State Memorial, Now Officially Managed by the Licking Valley Heritage Society,” in the Licking Valley Ledger, Vol. 1, No. 3, July 2009.