Navarre museum open for season

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NAVARRE, Ohio – The Mathews House Museum, the childhood home of artists Alfred and William Mathews, and the Navarre-Bethlehem Township Heritage Education Center have reopened for guided tours through November on the first Sunday of each month from 1- 4 p.m.

Visitors can tour the restored home and museum where they can learn about the history of Navarre and Bethlehem Township.

The Mathews home, built in 1836 by Joseph Mathews, has been furnished to depict the domestic lifestyle of a family at the end of the canal era from 1890 to 1913.

McKinley exhibit. The heritage education center has a special exhibit of campaign items to honor President William McKinley, who had a close association with the history of Navarre. The J. D. Define Building was the site of his first lawsuit and he often visited the community when campaigning. The only known photograph of the president taken in Navarre, two weeks before his death, is included in the exhibit.

Businesses spotlighted. A new exhibit for this year will show artifacts from Navarre and Bethlehem Township businesses, both past and present. Past businesses include artifacts from Bixler & Arbaugh, City Dairy, Muskoff Drugs, and Heestand Lumber.

Another exhibit commemorates the United States flag and shows some of the many artifacts that have included the flag in the design of the item. The son-in-law of Francis Hopkinson, who is credited with designing the first United States flag, was Jonathan Condy, founder of Bethlehem, now Navarre.

Visitors will also be able to see paintings by Rev. Wilmer Gruenwald and James Hill that feature scenes in and around Navarre.

The society has also included an exhibit to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the historical society and the 20th anniversary for the opening of the Mathews House Museum.

The Mathews House Museum and heritage education center are located at 123 High Street in Navarre. Both are operated by the Navarre-Bethlehem Township Historical Society. Admission is free.

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