TWINSBURG — The public can learn about some of the area’s earliest settlers and recently donated antique items at the Twinsburg Historical Society’s April 29 open house.
Historical society secretary Beverly Klimas said four pieces of silverware owned by early township settler Ethan Lewis Alling — whose family once purchased 400 acres in 1816 — has been donated by David Alling, a direct descendant of Ethan.
Alling, who lives in Boxborough, Mass., near Concord, has been researching the Alling and Herrick (another Twinsburg pioneer family) heritages and blood lines. He also has donated Ethan’s wife’s wedding dress and embroidered night gown to the historical society.
"The silverware was produced in Cleveland in the early 1800s," said Klimas. "It will be on display [at the museum on Route 91 just south of Route 82] for the open house, which will run from 2 to 5 p.m."
Alling said the pieces include two silver monogrammed spoons and two silver monogrammed forks. He came to Twinsburg recently to deliver the wedding dress and night gown.
"The silverware, along with the research about the Alling and Herrick heritages that David has been working on, will be the focus [at the open house]," said Klimas.
"Our museum has so much to see, and we have many stories to tell about our founding fathers and all the other items on display. We invite everyone to come out to the open house."
Refreshments will be available, and Klimas said visitors should not forget about "our wonderful gift shop," which features T-shirts, books, twins stationery and drawings of historical places around town.
On June 23-24, the historical society will host a celebration to honor Twinsburg’s "Old School," with memorabilia to be sold. The weekend will focus on the history of the building at Routes 82 and 91 which was torn down earlier this year.
David Alling, 47, said the impetus for him donating family heirlooms was a letter his father Peter received in 1970 from M. Leland Zahniser, an attorney representing the Twinsburg Historical Society.
The letter states:
"We would be most interested in keeping in touch with your family since, certainly, Ethan Alling was perhaps the most outstanding of our early citizens and made many contributions to the town.
"We would encourage you or your family to think of the historical society in the event that any records or papers of the Alling family are to be disposed of."
David said he’s a history buff, and that’s why he started the quest to learn more about his family heritage. He noted his middle name is Ethan, which comes from Ethan Lewis and his father Ethan.
The Herrick heritage in the United States dates to the early to mid 1600s, when many family members were born and lived in Massachusetts. Some of the family later moved to Connecticut.
The Alling heritage in the U.S. originated when Roger Alling came to New Haven, Conn., in 1639, where he was a deacon, blacksmith, farmer and the first treasurer of the Colony of New Haven.
Ethan Alliing, Ethan Lewis’ father, was born in 1800 in Milford, Conn., and came to Ohio in 1817, becoming Twinsburg’s first settler. E.L. and Electra Herrick were born in Twinsburg in 1837 and were married in the town’s Methodist Church on Thanksgiving Day 1859.
David said he is not sure what occupation E.L. was engaged in when the couple lived in Twinsburg until the late 1860s, but they ran a restaurant after moving to Akron. E.L. was a member of the Knights of Pythias.
David has a tattered newspaper clipping written on the occasion of their 54th wedding anniversary in 1913.
Several of Electra’s earlier family members were associated with the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts in 1692-93, including one named Sarah Solart, who was hanged for practicing witchcraft.
The uncles of Sarah’s husband helped to convict her, Henry Herrick was a juror at the trials and Joseph Herrick was a constable and testified at several of them, including against Sarah.
Between 1691 and 1693, more than 100 men, women and children were charged with practicing witchcraft, and 19 were hanged.
David said after his father passed away recently, he inherited a trunk full of old family items such as photos and documents, some of which he could donate to the local historical society in the future.
"I’m willing to share certain items I have with the society," David said. "It all depends on what they want."
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org