Sept. 7 Main Street Free Press Museum

The Central Ohio Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists
Invites You to Our September Program

COMING THURSDAY SEPT. 7: Back to the Grass Roots
• Tour Central Ohio’s own grass-roots First Amendment center, founded and operated by members of our Chapter — the Main Street Free Press Museum.
• Celebrate the institution of the hometown newspaper and the craft of letterpress.
• Smell some real printer’s ink.
• See an antique press roll.
• Have a genuine Knox County Porkette sandwich, a bowl of Presbyterian bean soup and a scoop of Methodist ice cream on a slice of Baptist pie and experience the annual Fredericktown Tomato Show.
• And learn something you didn’t know—how Kenyon College rolled up its sleeves and created in Knox County what could be a community-action model for the nation.

Our third nearly annual Fredericktown getaway at the Main Street Free Press Museum will feature speaker Howard L. Sacks, director of the Rural Life Center at Kenyon College in Gambier. He will speak about “Building Good Communities.” Behind the titles is a compelling story our members likely haven’t heard. To those who grew up in Knox County in the mid-20th century, Kenyon College may have seemed elite and aloof, distant from the county at large on its picturesque hill in Gambier. Things have changed. With the center led by Dr. Sacks, Kenyon has become vitally involved in the life of the county. Dr. Sacks and Kenyon’s interest in the mission of the Main Street Free Press Museum led to his acceptance of the Chapter’s invitation to share Kenyon’s story with us. The event is scheduled to coincide with the Fredericktown Tomato Show, held on Main Street on the museum’s doorstep, and which will offer festive a la carte food and drink before and after Dr. Sacks’ presentation.

The Schedule
Tours of the Museum will begin at 6 and 6:30. Dr. Sacks’ presentation will be from 7 to 8 at First Presbyterian Church, a block south of the Museum at 17 South Main Street, on the southwest corner of the village Square, next to the town Gazebo. After that program, the Museum will reopen for more tours, browsing and socializing. Tomato Show food and drink (to be consumed out-of-doors) and exhibits will be available all day and evening for those who wish to come early or stay late. Rest rooms will be available at the church.
6:00 p.m. – Museum tour—first showing. Food available at Tomato Show booths.
6:30 p.m. – Museum tour—second showing. Food available at Tomato Show booths.
7:00 p.m. – Presentation by Howard Sacks, one block south at First Presbyterian Church.
8:00 p.m. – Museum reopens for more tours and browsing. Food available at Tomato Show booths.

Howard L. Sacks
Howard L. Sacks is National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Rural Life Center at Kenyon College, where he has taught American studies and sociology since 1975. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to the President. His articles have appeared in American Quarterly, American Music, the Journal of American Folklore, Contemporary Sociology, Social Forces, Symbolic Interaction and the John Edwards Memorial Foundation Quarterly, as well as in numerous magazines and newspapers. His book, Way Up North in Dixie: A Black Family’s Claim to the Confederate Anthem (Illinois Press, 2003[1993]), was hailed in the Nation as “the fullest, most finely detailed account of the musical life of a nineteenth-century African American family anywhere in the United States,” and received a 1994 Ohioana Book Award. Dr. Sacks has served on panels of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as on the board of directors of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. He is the recipient of more than 40 grants and fellowships for scholarly research and public programs, including four award-winning projects on regional life: Seems Like Romance to Me: Traditional Fiddle Tunes from Ohio; The Community Within: Black Experience in Knox County, Ohio; and The Family Farm Project, and Life along the Kokosing, for which he received numerous state and national awards. Dr. Sacks is currently working on a community study of blackface minstrelsy, funded by an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers.

The Main Street Free Press Museum
The museum was founded in 2000 by Rarick W. Long, who was a member of the Central Ohio Chapter for more than 40 years, until his death in March 2001, and by his sons, John C. Long of New York City, and Harlan B. Long of Indianapolis, and by his daughter, Rebecca Leakey of Pittsburgh. John, who is directing the development of the museum, is a copy editor at The Wall Street Journal and a 34-year SPJ member who is a former president of the Louisville and New York City chapters. He is a member of both the New York City and Central Ohio chapters, both of which support of the museum’s objectives:
• To foster freedom of the press under the First Amendment at the grass-roots level.
• To celebrate the role of the small-town newspaper.
• To demonstrate the craft of letterpress printing.
• To restore and preserve the museum’s historic building and antique equipment.
Rarick Long published Fredericktown’s weekly newspaper, the Knox County Citizen, for 35 years, from 1942 to 1967 and continued to run his accompanying letterpress printing shop into the 1990s in the building, erected in 1836, that is now the museum. The museum is in full operation each year during the Tomato Show, a community celebration held annually on the Wednesday through Saturday following Labor Day. The museum is also open for tours year-round from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays through the town’s nearby Historical Museum.

Driving and Parking Directions
From Columbus and points south, take I-71 to the Ohio 95 Mount Gilead-Fredericktown exit (the third exit north of Polaris Parkway). Turn right (east) onto Ohio 95. Drive 10 miles to Fredericktown. Ohio 95 becomes Fredericktown’s Sandusky Street. At the edge of town, drive straight ahead through the interchange with Ohio 13, staying on 95. Drive on past any partial warning barrier you may encounter in the middle of the highway at the edge of town and continue into the village until you reach a full barrier at Chestnut Street. Turn right on Chestnut, and in one block turn left into the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church or of the Church of the Nazarene. If the parking lots are full, circle back to Sandusky Street by making two right turns, turn left (west) on Sandusky and park on the right (north) side of Sandusky Street. (No parking will be allowed on the south side of Sandusky Street.) From the parking lots, walk back to Sandusky Street and then up the hill one block to the village Square and turn left on Main Street. The museum is one block ahead on your right, at Second and Main streets (42 North Main Street). If you arrive just in time to go directly to the 7 p.m. presentation at the Presbyterian Church, it is the large red-brick building with a steeple a few steps from either parking lot, at 17 South Main Street on the village Square, a half-block south of Sandusky Street, next to the town Gazebo. From Cleveland and points north, take I-71 south to the Ohio 13 Bellville-Mansfield exit and take Ohio 13 about 15 miles south to the Ohio 95 Fredericktown exit. Turn left and follow directions above, beginning with “Drive on past any partial warning barrier.” If you get lost or need help, call John Long at 917-693-7664.

Reservations and Cost (It’s Free!)
The program and museum tours are free and open to the public. Food and drink may be purchased a la carte from Tomato Show refreshment booths and consumed outside (not in the museum or the church). Reservations aren’t required, but are desired as a courtesy for planning purposes. For more information, or to let us know you plan to attend, please call John Long at 917-693-7664, Chapter President Brian Ball at 614-220-5442 or Program Chairman Mike Lorz at 614-443-1877. Or e-mail them at [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]