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Boardman Historical Society to host speaker on local architecture

September 11, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Sept. 14, the Boardman Historical Society will start its fall schedule of speakers at 10 a.m. in the Boardman Library on Glenwood Avenue. The speaker this month will be Bob Mastriana of 4M Architects, a firm that specializes in architectural design and historic preservation. He will speak on "The Architecture of the Western Reserve."

Mastriana is a graduate of Boardman High School and the Kent State University School of Architecture. He also studied in Florence, Italy. Some of the many projects he has worked on include the Mahoning County Courthouse, the Mercer County Courthouse, the Poland Library, and the Poland Clock Tower.

The Boardman Historical Society meets on the second Saturday of each month from September through May at 10 a.m. at the Boardman Library for a lecture on some aspect of local history. Visitors, new members, and guests are always welcome according to Rick Shale, Co-president of the society.

Shale said the speaker series draws a good crowd, but getting speakers is difficult.

"Our first speaker was in October 2017, so the Sept. 14 talk will mark the start of the third year of our speakers series," Shale said. "For the first two years, we had speakers September to May. For 2019-2020 we have (at least for the moment) decided to hold no meetings in January and February."

He said the speaker series is the key project for the society, but that has become a challenge. He said there are too many organizations searching for too few speakers. Many smaller societies have cut back. Even Canfield Historical Society is down to just four speakers per year. Finding speakers has become a very difficult task.

"There is a group of locals (I call them the usual suspects) who are constantly giving talks to one group or another (examples are Tom Welch, Sean Posey, Traci Manning, Bill Lawson, Richard Scarsella, and me)," Shale said. "The Boardman Historical Society has used Mahoning Valley Historical Society staff several times. We're after the same people that Traci Manning books for the MVHS monthly Bites and Bits Lecture Series. Finding speakers is by far the hardest part of running the Boardman Historical Society."

At present the Boardman Historical Society has 28 dues paying members. They average 20 to 65 people at the monthly talks.

Besides the speaker series, the society does have a collection of historic artifacts. At present the artifacts are housed in the historic Detchon House in Boardman Park. The society owns the collection and the park owns the Detchon House.

"The house is not presently set up for tours, and unfortunately we don't have volunteers to act as tour guides anyway," Shale said. "The folks involved in the Southern Park Historic District have mentioned the goal of building a Boardman Historical Museum on the Sonny Smith property. If they can get funding and actually get that built, we have thought about donating our collection to that museum."



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