FAIRBORN — A group of individuals from Fairborn hope to revive, preserve and share elements of the city’s past with the recently-launched Fairborn Historical Society.
“We [hope we] can get enough interested citizens together to preserve and archive this stuff, so that years from now people can access it and learn about Fairborn’s history,” Fairborn Historical Society Chairperson Mary Pacinda said. “We would like to have a group that goes on and on. Ideally, if the world is still here 100 years from now, we hope the Fairborn Historical Society is still here.”
The society is currently within its infancy stages, but has been in the works over the preceding months of this year. Pacinda said three of its officers have been elected, and 40 people have joined its mailing list. It additionally has a Facebook page, and is currently seeking volunteers, including individuals who would be willing to research, interview and transcribe oral history, monitor its social media accounts and website, practice photography and videography, host fundraisers, recruit members, announce activities, write newsletters and assist with administrative tasks.
She said the society is modeled after a similar group in Enon, which has existed since the 1970s.
“There are a lot of things that are being lost,” Pacinda said. “For example, the older people in our community are dying before we have the chance to get their stories … We interviewed a man who grew up in a neighborhood that no longer exists in Fairborn, it used to be toward Wright State (University) and is called [Dyway] Park – it’s gone, but he grew up there and he has photographs and memories. That’s the kind of thing we want to capture and preserve.”
Its first meeting will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 within the basement at the Fairborn Library, and will focus on Fairborn’s roots and how it came to be.
Fairborn was born after the convergence of Fairfield and Osborn in 1950, following the condemning of Osborn due to the 1913 flood and the subsequent efforts made by citizens, according to a press release by the Fairborn Historical Society. Since the birth of Fairborn, it is the only town in the world with its name. The meeting will begin with a video produced in 2010 by Wright State University Graduate Student Matthew Peek, which will explain the story of Osborn.
Future meetings may focus on other aspects of the city’s history, such as the Wright Brothers Flight School, and the story behind the local cement plant.
“There’s so much stuff out there that people have that they don’t know what to do with,” Pacinda said. “They’ve got old newspapers, artifacts … we’re not ready to start collecting anything yet, but we would like to know who has these things and would be willing to donate them should we ever get a permanent facility to keep those things in.”
The Fairborn Historical Society is a 501 (c)3 organization, which offers tax deductions for donating. For more information or to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532.