OCTOBER 2014 THE JOURNAL
DEDICATION OF THE NELSON McCoy POTTERY COMPANY HISTORIC MARKER
By Tony Harrington
I have to start this article by saying what an amazing day this was! As the President of the Society I was moved by the effort it took by many individuals to create, plan, organize, communicate and then implement the dedication events on this exciting July morning.
In the previous Journal editions we have given a glimpse of the process we had to go through to get the marker created and the many individuals it took to approve and place into production. I would be remiss if I didn’t again thank our Committee Chair Edward Alexander for the year spent on the marker and all that lead to the Dedication Day.
Roughly one month before the unveiling in Roseville the foundry called and said we have your Marker ready so where would you like it delivered. Being we were all out of town the only place we thought to send it was to Jeff Koehler’s house! Jeff so graciously accepted the marker delivery and housed it in secret for the month.
One of the most important aspects of this process was the placement of the Marker in the correct space. Many have asked, “What was the determining factor of where the marker was to be placed?” In connection with the Village of Roseville and the Ohio Department of Transportation, an appropriate place had to be determined that was on State Maintained Roadways and had an appropriate amount of easement for traffic to stop and gain access safely to view off of the street. Out of the many entrances to Roseville considered, the site at the corner of HWY 93 and W. Athens road was chosen and approved by the Department of Transportation.
As we got closer to the Dedication day we worked closely with Roseville officials, Joan Spring with the Roseville Historical Society and Jeff Koehler to make sure all the necessary details were taken care of. Mowing of the grass onsite, grading the lot, installation of the post and sign, arranging police coverage for traffic, arranging press coverage presence, chairs, tent and podium were just some of the basic details to arrange. The day before the dedication Ed Alexander and I were onsite to make sure all was going according to plan only to find out that someone had parked a car onsite and we could not find out who the owner was. I immediately envisioned a dedication tent with a car in the middle of it. After a nice visit with the Mayor of Roseville and activating the entire staff at town hall, we located the owner of the car and well… no one knew the difference.
Dedication morning was perfect with the weather cooperating. Upon arrival Jeff Koehler and his crew had the tent in place, chairs aligned and ready for what would be a memorable day. A Dedication Bulletin was created for attendees and were handed out by Board members in attendance (See last page of article for a scan of the program). Attendees included the Honorable Bill Hayes from the Ohio House of Representatives, Kimberly Dixon-Mayor of Roseville, OH, Jeff Tilton-Mayor of Zanesville, OH Molly Uline-Olmstead, Project & Grant Writer Ohio Historical Society & Joan Spring with the Roseville Historical Society. Nelson & Billie McCoy were present with family in attendance. In addition to the above mentioned we had over 50 people in attendance including McCoy Pottery Collectors’ Society Members and public community members and neighbors.
The Ceremony began with opening remarks from myself with a welcome to the attendees and a recap of the process of the journey that lead to Dedication Day. An introduction was made to Molly Uline-Olmstead to speak on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society. In her remarks she presented the Society with a commendation certificate for efforts in creating the Historic Marker. Speaking points were about the process, creation and historical significance to Ohio with regard the preservation of historic landmarks. This was certainly a proud moment for our Society.
Introduced in tandem with Mollie was the Honorable Bill Hays. Representative Hayes spoke to the attendees and congratulated the Society in the creation and placement of the marker. The Ohio House of Representatives & the Ohio Senate both conveyed certificates honoring the achievements of the Society.
Our next speaker introduced was Edward Alexander, Chair for the creation of the Marker. Ed shared with the attendees the process and creation of the marker and thanked individuals for their assistance. Our next speaker was our own Jamie Melton. Jamie, being a collector of McCoy and a Member of the Society, shared thoughts and praise on behalf of Collectors and past employees. His heart felt remarks were moving to the attendees.
Last but not least was a reading of the Historic Marker text with an invitation for all dignitaries and Nelson & Billie McCoy to come forward for the unveiling. With all present the Society dedicated the Marker to the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company, the Village of Roseville, past Presidents, employees and collectors alike. The dedication ended with joyful photo taking and posing with the sign. Nelson & Billie graciously autographed the Dedication Booklet which I now think will become treasured memento for years to come.
Upon completion of the Dedication Event we still had not reached our fund raising goals in order to complete the fees involved with the process. At the Society Auction on Friday evening, Jeff Koehler, without a discussion with us, started the bidding in the auction for “Something for Nothing” item! Everyone looked around not knowing what was going on and then realized he was raising bid funds for the marker project. We raised over $600+ that evening in “Something for Nothing” bids! Thank you Jeff and thank you bidders!
And……. On the night of our Banquet Dinner we had another surprise. Jamie Melton was scheduled to speak on a topic and before he started he pulled out a $100 bill and challenged the group to “Let’s get this done”. Within 5 minutes we had the marker fund paid for and “officially” designated complete. Thanks again to all who generously gave not one but time again to see that this historic moment was taken care of. While we would like to list everyone who contributed we were simply unable to do so.
Thank You to All Who Organized To Make This Day Possible:
Nelson & Billie McCoy
Joan Spring-Roseville Historical Society
Kimberly Dixon-Mayor of Roseville, OH
Edward Alexander & Historic Marker Committee
Ohio Historical Society & Historic Markers Program
Ohio Department of Transportation
Past Employees of the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company
Membership of the McCoy Pottery Collectors’ Society
The Nelson McCoy Pottery Company Historic Marker was sponsored by the McCoy Pottery Collectors’ Society.