The 200-year story of Jonathan Hale’s farm, from acres of Western Reserve wilderness to a one-of-a-kind living museum will be the subject of Hudson Heritage Association’s December meeting.

Historic Hale Farm

HHA will welcome Hale Farm & Village Director Jason Klein to Barlow Community Center on Thursday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Klein will explore the history of Hale’s farm, from before Jonathan Hale’s arrival in 1810 to its transformation into one of Northeast Ohio’s beloved tourist attractions.

Learn how a program termed “Preservation Through Relocation” turned the 125-acre property into a collection of architecturally significant structures and an inspiring center of historic preservation.

Klein will also explain how the property’s historic structures are used as a platform for a robust offering of education programs and experiences.

“Hale Farm & Village – like Hudson’s Historic District – should remind us all about the power of preservation,” says Inga Walker, HHA co-president. “The history of the Western Reserve is a unique story of courage and perseverance. That history lives on through historic structures and streetscapes. It’s no coincidence that tourists flock to Hale Farm and Hudson to soak it in.”

In 1810, Jonathan Hale arrived in the Western Reserve from Glastonbury, Conn., becoming the first legal settler of Bath Township. In the decades that followed, his land became a thriving farm and then a showplace and destination for visitors, who stayed at an inn on the property.

The Hale Farmhouse, circa 1936

Clara Belle Ritchie, great-granddaughter of Jonathan Hale, inherited the property in the 1930s and oversaw restoration of the original buildings. Upon her death in 1956, she bequeathed the property to the Western Reserve Historical Society, instructing it to “establish the Hale Farm … as a museum … to the end that the greatest number of persons may be informed as to the history and culture of the Western Reserve.”

Movers carefully prepare the Jonathan Goldsmith House, built in 1831, for its 1973 journey from Willoughby, Ohio, to its new home at Hale Farm and Village.

During the second half of the 20th century, numerous historic buildings and homes from around the Western Reserve were saved from demolition and moved to Hale Farm, creating the village that now serves a living museum.

What: Hudson Heritage Association’s December meeting
Who: Jason Klein, director, Hale Farm and Village
Where: Barlow Community Center, 41 South Oviatt Street, Hudson, Ohio
When: December 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m. – free and open to the public, refreshments to follow presentation

Photo credits: Western Reserve Historical Society.