Northampton Historical Society offers reward for return of stolen items
CUYAHOGA FALLS — The Northampton Historical Society wants back items it owns after a trailer they were stored in was discovered stolen in early October. The group said it is willing to pay for them.
“We’re more interested in getting the contents back than getting the trailer. Trailers are replaceable,” said Ken Starcher, the historical society’s vice president, on Wednesday.
Starcher said the historical society is offering a $1,000 reward for the contents return, no questions asked. He can be reached at 330-475-2630.
According to a police report, Starcher reported the theft of the trailer from outside Community Vineyard Church at 2543 State Road on Oct. 3. Starcher said he believes the theft occurred the night before though the report said it could have occurred as long ago as Sept. 19.
Police Capt. Chris Norfolk, also on Wednesday, said the theft is under investigation but there are currently no leads.
The historical society was founded in 1967 and focuses on the history of the former Northampton Township, which merged with Cuyahoga Falls in the mid-1980s.
Starcher said the bulk of the items in the trailer were “textiles.”
“Dresses and quilts and things like that,” he said. “We had two school desks from the original Northampton elementary from like the 1920s or 30s or whatever,” he said. “A Flexible Flyer sled, there were several large diplomas for people who had graduated. Several large photographs.”
Starcher said the historical society, which does not have a building of its own, stores much of its collection in members’ homes when they are not being displayed at various events.
“The Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society has graciously given us one small wall where we have things displayed,” he said. “We change that out periodically.”
He said the church has allowed the trailer to be stored in its parking lot.
Starcher estimated that in terms of the number of items, what was stolen represents about 7% of the historical society’s overall holdings, but as much as 12% when it comes to how much space they occupy.
Despite the reward and the police investigation, Starcher said he is doubtful the items will be recovered.
“Obviously, these things are irreplaceable and there’s quite a bit of history there that we’re not going to see again,” he said.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.