CAMDEN – Ahead of its meeting on Thursday, September 15, Camden Village Council held a dedication ceremony officially acknowledging a plaque authorized by the US Department of the Interior, noting that Camden Town Hall and Opera House have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The ceremony was opened with brief remarks from Camden Archives volunteer Cherry Anderson.
“We are here today to observe something that actually happened about 25 years ago,” Anderson began. “In December, about a year ago, I received an email from a friend of mine, Mark Watkins, a former student of Preble Shawnee and fellow Camdenian, and Mark is a history buff, like me. He was “tweaking” the National Archives website and came across this 45 or 48 page PDF, and it was a request from Camden to have this building placed in the National Archives. And the first page of it was the approval that this building had been placed in the national archives.
Anderson went on to explain that although the request was submitted in October 1997 and subsequently approved in February 1998, the approval was forgotten until recently discovered by the Camden Archives. Anderson also added that the Village of Camden originally intended to fund the plaque in its entirety, but shortly thereafter received additional funding from the Preble County Historical Society as well as Miley Construction. .
According to Anderson, Ruthayn Dearth, secretary of the Camden Area Historic Preservation Foundation Inc., had signed the authentication certificate and speculated that with the stability and purpose of the building in question at the time of listing, it could have been a formality to save the structure from being demolished. Either way, the council was more than happy to add the plaque to the face of the town hall while further renovations are being planned.
Anderson concluded by expressing her gratitude to the “visionaries” who came before her and to the visionaries who persist in restoring the building and maintaining its significance in Camden.
Camden Archives and Camden Village Council expressed their gratitude to Harold Niehaus of the Preble County Historical Society, who was in attendance, and Chris Miley of Miley Construction, who also attended and is also a member of PCHS, for their generous donations to Marker. .
Chris Miley, Harold Niehaus and Cherry Anderson pose with Camden Village Council outside Camden Town Hall Thursday, September 15, following a ceremony recognizing the building’s historic status.
Camden Village Council held a recognition ceremony to acknowledge the historic status of Camden Town Hall on Thursday 15th September.
Contact Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow him on Twitter @NathanHoskins13.