ENGLEWOOD — The public is invited to a trifold celebration from 2 until 4 p.m. on July 15, when the Randolph Township Historical Society celebrates its 20th anniversary and the History Center’s 10th anniversary and holds a symbolic mortgage burning.
The event will feature speeches by the mayors of Clayton, Englewood, and Union, comments by Glynn Marsh on the history of the society, snacks and entertainment.
Fourteen people incorporated the Randolph Historical Society in January of 1998 to preserve artifacts and records of life in Randolph Township and the three cities occupying the geographical township. One of the major artifacts preserved is the church at 114 Valleyview Dr., Englewood, that now serves as the History Center.
About 1861, David Rasor, one of the founders of the town that became Englewood, donated land for the church. The Swankites and the Wengerites shared the church for several years. Around 1920, the Dunkard Brethren took it over. Over the years the building was rebuilt after a fire, an annex was added on the south side to serve as an office, and a full basement, with a kitchen and small restrooms, was dug under the building.
In 1992, the congregation added a foyer that included larger, handicapped-accessible restrooms and a gentler staircase to the lower level. With the congregation’s numbers declining in 2008, it came on the market.
The first RTHS budget allowed $400 to start a fund to find a permanent location. After 10 years of fund-raising, during which the RTHS met in the Janice Ward Center, the Society bought the Dunkard Church in March of 2008 and set about turning it into a History Center. The Society was able to pay off the mortgage in 2016.
The Center is open from 2 until 4 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of the months from April through October, and by appointment.