On September 13, 2016, the Delaware County Home Economists had their annual meeting at The Barn at Stratford.
The meeting included a welcome and introduction by Donna Meyer. Donna then led the group on a tour of The Oberlander Barn and adjacent Meeker Homestead Museum. The meeting concluded with a healthy, green on provided by the twenty participants themselves.
Tour of Oberlander Barn and Meeker House Museum
The tour began in The Barn’s Gallery. Here, Donna chronicled the history of Garth Oberlander Barn (now The Barn at Stratford event venue) and listed events The Barn can host. These include weddings, parties, and celebrations. Donna noted the renovation plans that the Delaware County Historical Society has for The Barn, such as resurfacing the gallery’s concrete floors.
After the introduction, the group proceeded next door to the Meeker Homestead Museum. The group first saw an extensive exhibit of political campaign memorabilia filling two adjacent rooms. This exhibit is from the collections of Brett Carson and Roger Van Sickle.
The group witnessed the history of the 1820s house through the different renovations and additions to the Meeker House. The first addition provided a separate dining room and upstairs bedrooms to accommodate the growing Meeker family that eventually included 7 children. These new rooms have a lesser-quality fittings and furnish than the original rooms.
Donna noted that no two floorboards on the ground floor entrance are the same width. These floorboards could have been pulled up to hide slaves from prying eyes. Donna says that the house could have been a stop on the Underground Railroad. A future display is planned to show just where slaves could have been hidden.
Another exhibit that the society plans to display in the Meeker House concerns the Native Americans of Delaware County. As a sample, an arrowhead collection and a map showing all the Native American burial mounds in Ohio is on display in an upstairs bedroom.
The tour concluded on the manicured lawns surrounding the gazebo adjacent to the barn, overlooking Willis Creek.
The Delaware County Home Economists
The Home Economists invites all retired and practicing Home Economics, as well as Family and Consumer Science majors in Delaware County to join their activities. The name of the profession was changed to Family and Consumer Science in 1994. The profession still reflects the same skills and values that have raised generations of Americans. These are still quite valid and valuable today.