Toronto observes its 200th birthday

Bruce Barcus purchased a commemorative T-shirt from Dorothy Blaner. -- Janice Kiaski

Cake and ice cream, and hospitality and history were offered to those who visited the Main Street Museum at 210 Main St., Toronto, on Saturday.

The occasion was the 200th birthday celebration of the founding of Toronto, originally Newburgh.

What a gem of a museum in a Jefferson County community known as the Gem City!

Officials with the Historical Society of Toronto welcomed visitors to explore the one-floor museum admirably categorized to show aspects of the city’s history — from its people, their homes and businesses to schools, churches and industry.

President Carolyn Walker graciously took me through the museum, sharing what is obviuosly a vast knowledge of local history, something to truly be appreciated.

Walker explained how the museum tells the story of Toronto from its early beginnings in 1818, when it was laid out as Newburgh by John DePuy to the years following the arrival of the railroad (Sloane’s Station) to its incorporation as Toronto in 1881 and to its present city growth of today.

The museum is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 pm. Memorial Day through Labor Day.

A special T-shirt was designed for the event and is being sold by the society at a cost of $15 each – $17 for 2X and 3X sizes. For shirts to be mailed, the cost increases by $4 for shipping.

Out-of-towners can order a shirt via e-mail to with a check made out to Historical Society of Toronto, P.O. Box 163, Toronto, Ohio 43964.

“We are asking that everyone who purchases a shirt send in a picture of yourself wearing it and tell us where you are living now,” according to information in the July historical society newsletter. “We plan on putting the pictures on a display board in the museum window.”

For information, contact Walker at (740) 632-6708.