Friday, February 19, 2010

Rayen High School Time Capsule

In late August, the Youngstown Board of Education approved a resolution allowing the School District to donate the Rayen High School time capsule from 1921 to the Historical Society. This time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the new building at Benita Avenue when it was dedicated on June 7, 1921, and it was recovered when the building was recently demolished.

The capsule consisted of a sealed copper container roughly the size and shape of a shoe box, which was manufactured by the John R. Squire Company, 355 East Wood Street, in downtown. In it was a 1920 silver quarter dollar and numerous paper documents from 1921 including a list of school board members, lists of faculty and administration for Rayen High School, lists of the members of each graduating class from 1914 to 1921, copies of the student magazine The Rayen Record, and recent editions of the Youngstown Vindicator and the Youngstown Telegram—the two daily newspapers at the time.

Another interesting piece in the time capsule is Charles F. Owsley’s business card. Mr. Owsley was the architect for the new Rayen School, and he wrote on this particular card that he was an 1899 Rayen School graduate.

Most of these materials, along with the time capsule container, are now on exhibit in the new aquisitions area of the Arms Family Museum.

The Vindicator published a nice story on the time capsule and it's significance.

Read it here.

Youngstown’s First High School

When William Rayen died in 1854, his will set aside $31,390 for a public academy to be known as “The Rayen School.” P. Ross Berry, an African American brick and stone mason, built the four-room brick building at the corner of Wick and Wood in the Greek Revival style of architecture. It opened its doors in 1866 with forty students and a predominantly female faculty. It graduated Youngstown’s first high school students several years later. The Rayen School was the city’s only high school until 1911.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

African-American Women in the Civil War

African American Women
During the Civil War

A free program from the Ohio Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.

They were young and old, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers. Some were well-to-do, others were slaves. All resolved to be a part of the War that would ultimately determine the status of the Black man in America. This talk focuses on women of African descent—Susie King Taylor who nursed with Clara Barton; Elizabeth Keckley, dressmaker and confidant to Mary Todd Lincoln; Charlotte Forten, college graduate and first African American to teach freed slaves in the south, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and others—and their unique contributions to the war effort. Dr. Jefferson discusses how such women, without access to political power and often lacking material and/or financial resources, acted with strength of character and will to make meaningful contributions to the war that impacted the world and changed a nation.
Thursday, March 4th
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Youngstown Historical Center (Steel Museum)
151 W. Wood Street, Youngstown

Annette Jefferson holds an MA in Black Studies and a Ph.D. in Social Work, and works as a development officer in Human Services. She has spent more than 20 years developing her presentation and performing as Sojourner Truth across the state, including as part of Ohio Chautauqua 2001. She hopes that people are uplifted by Sojourner’s story and will use that inspiration to bring about positive changes in their own lives.
This program is sposored by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, YSU Center for Applied History and YSU Women's Studies. Funding for the program was made possible by the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.