Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker
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64-48 Wakeman Hall and Marker prior to dedication

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Side A: Wakeman Hall. Henry Hanford Wakeman (1840-1879) of New York came to Waterville and became a successful businessman. He conceived the idea of a local Masonic Lodge, which became Wakeman Lodge No. 522 Free and Accepted Masons in 1879, and bequeathed $1,000 toward the construction of a meeting place. In 1880, a cornerstone was laid and this building was dedicated on October 21, 1881. For over 100 years, the Masons held their meetings upstairs while the lower floor was often rented out to a succession of businesses or used for public gatherings. Rising maintenance expenses and lower membership numbers caused the Masons to put Wakeman Hall up for sale in 1995. The Waterville Historical Society purchased the building in 1997 and spent several years rehabilitating it to serve as a local history archive and the Historical Society's meeting place. Side B: Waterville Historical Society. In 1964, thirty-four citizens concerned about preserving the history of Waterville organized the Waterville Historical Society. Members held meetings in churches and homes. The second floor of a commercial building at 19 North Third Street served as a small museum displaying donated artifacts and memorabilia. The Historical Society opened the Robbins House Museum on South River Road in 1986 after five years of fundraising and restoration. A capital fund drive and a matching grant from the France Stone Foundation helped purchase the Sargent House next door to the Robbins House in 1991. WHS saved Wakeman Hall from destruction in 1997 by purchasing and restoring it. The all-volunteer historical society hosts a variety of educational activities for the community.