Preble County Historical Society.

Welcome to our Online Center. For our most current news updates, see below. To learn more about our operations, please use the navigation above. Thanks for visiting our site. We hope you come visit us in Preble County, Ohio! Soon!


Statement Concerning Indictment of former Director Melanie Jane Lightner:

Dear members and supporters of the Preble County Historical Society,
We wish to thank the office of the Auditor of the State of Ohio, Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel and Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson for all of their efforts regarding this matter. We have full confidence in the criminal justice system and await the outcome of this case.
In the past 24 months the Preble County Historical Society’s board has hired a new director, implemented a strict financial management protocol, and reorganized the board of trustees. PCHS has taken these measures to ensure the protection of the society assets and collections. The PCHS board values the efforts and contributions of our members, friends, sponsors and donors. PCHS will release a statement at the conclusion of the criminal case against our previous director.

Timothy Lane
Preble County Historical Society President



PCHS Contact Information

By Phone


By Email

Send us your questions, or comments, any time!

OR Visit US on Facebook!

Like US! If you DO!

2015 Summer Events Wrap-UP from the PCHS President, Tim Lane


On behalf of the Preble County Historical Society, I want to thank the Preble County Community for its response to our 2015 Summer Events Series. The Series included our huge Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration on July 5 which featured many local and regional participants including Cub Scout Pack 206 of Miamisburg, Buckeye Jake’s, Ullery’s Ice Cream, Johnston Family Foods, the Eaton Community Band, the Eaton Community Chorus, Sophia, Tess, and Grace Murphy, Justin Bryan, Chris Mowen, and the Worley Boys. In addition, we announced and honored the 2015 inductees into the Sara Swartsel Hall of Honor, sponsored by the Preble County Historical Society and The Register-Herald. Additional participants were Preble County Sheriff’s Deputies, West Alexandria Fire Department, and Rebel Saints Face Paints and Body Art.

On July 18, we welcomed the Preble County Idol Regional Finals in the afternoon and then rocked to the tunes of the Beatles as presented by the band Ticket to Ride.

August 15 bought good old country music to the Amphitheater in the form of Pure Grain, a country rock band out of southeast Indiana, and the Dallas Moore Band from southwestern Ohio, an old-school country band in the vein of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

We closed the season on August 23 with bluegrass and gospel from the Worley Boys and Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.

At each event the Preble County Historical Society volunteers staffed the historic buildings and the exhibit hall to provide educational opportunities and also staffed the information and refreshments tents to keep our guests well-informed and hydrated! The series is a huge volunteer commitment and we are so happy that the community responded with such enthusiastic participation. Over 40 volunteers assisted over 4,000 participants throughout the season! We appreciate and thank our volunteers – each and every one of them!

In addition, we want to thank our season-long sponsors – those organizations that provided financial resources to make the season so successful. Reid Hospital and Health Care Services, our sole diamond sponsor, provided funding for the magnificent fireworks display on July 5 presented by the American Fireworks Company. Platinum sponsors included Henny Penny and Thumb Up Productions/The Worley Boys. Gold sponsors include LawnPlus, Otterbein Senior Life Style Choices/Skilled Nursing & Rehab Neighborhoods, Mike & Judy Raymond, and Rodney Cobb Chevrolet Buick GMC. Silver sponsors included Jones Complete Carpet Care, Michael Murphy Insurance, the Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Preble County Development Partnership, the Preble County Medical Center, Remagen, Dr. and Mrs. David F. Sikora, Somerville National Bank, Summit Chiropractic, and TimkenSteel. Bronze sponsors included Eaton Hometown Furniture, Wm. Nelson & Janet L. Hardin, Craig Hewitt, DDS, Lowman Heating and Air, The Eaton Place Restaurant, Twin Valley Bank, Eaton Hometown Furniture, and the West Alexandria Lions Club. Dragonfly sponsors include Bullen Tech, Jim Hildebolt, LCNB, Tom & Karen McQuiston, and Seth D. Schlotterbeck.

And of course we want to thank the members of the PCHS Amphitheater Program Committee – Harold and Jean Fitzwater Bussell, Greg Arnett, Madeline Monnig, Wendy Stonecash, and Brian Jones, plus our executive director Misti Spillman and our farm manager John Hornbrook – for their enthusiasm and support throughout the season.

We look forward to beginning to plan the 2016 season very soon!

Tim Lane, Board President

Preble County Historical Society

Antique Study Group... Meeting Review and Schedule!

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 1st at 6:30 pm and the PCHS center. Our topic will be:

“The National Museum of the United States Air Force”

PCHS volunteer and longtime Air Force Museum volunteer David Edwards will cover the history of the museum and the current status of the museum and facilities. He will be focusing his talk and presentation on 13 displays that I’m sure we will all find very interesting and significant. David noted that many people might actually overlook these displays on a casual visit to the museum, many of which have a local connection. Several of these items are not what people would expect to find at the Air Force museum.
So if you want to learn more about the United States Air Force museum located in Dayton, join us on Tuesday, September 1st at 6:30 pm at the PCHS center and feel free to bring along friends!

I wanted to thank all of you that made it out to the Antique Study Group meeting last Tuesday, July 7th. Even though it was a rainy wet evening, the 1903 Model A did start up and it was driven on the Society grounds, so a little history was made! We even had Jeremy from the Register Herald make it out and take several videos and pictures.

That following Wednesday Sheryl and I made our way to Michigan and made a stop to the Henry Ford Museum. While viewing the museums 1903 Model A we were able to talk to a curator about our Model A; he was amazed that we even had a 1903 Model A, let alone a running Model A. He was able to set me up with access to their museum automotive website so I can access various pictures and information about their Model A to use as a reference for us. He also strongly encouraged us to trailer up our 1903 and attend one of America’s longest running Antique Auto shows on September 12th and 13th (see the link below) at Greenfield Village to celebrate early automobiles and talk to others about the vehicle. Once we get the car running top notch, it may be something to consider (with proper insurance coverage, etc.)


We will skip the August Antique Study Group due to it being the week of the Preble County Fair, but I will send a reminder out several weeks in advance for the September meeting.


The Aukerman Creek Restoration Project

The Aukerman Creek restoration project exemplifies our efforts in continuing this mission. Aukerman Creek was named after John Aukerman (History 1881). In 1804 he settled at the mouth of what since has been known as Aukerman Creek. His legacy has endured throughout the history of Preble County along with the creek.

Aukerman Creek, a tributary within the Twin Creek Watershed, travels through the Preble County Historical Society nature reserve . Sections of the stream have deteriorated and severe erosion has become a paramount concern, threatening infrastructure in the area. Several stream banks of Aukerman Creek are experiencing mass wasting. The rate of the erosion in this area is estimated to be at 1.04 tons per year for every linear foot of stream bank ( 2014).


Preble County Herb Society UPDATES

Herbal Tea Luncheon. April 11, 2015 PHOTO GALLERY: See all the photos from this great event. Presentation this year was "The Language of Flowers" presented by Janell Foust.

PCHS Annual Meeting 2015 • April 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the Preble County Fine Arts Center


The Annual Meeting WAS HELD Sunday, April 12, at the

The following service awards were presented: Lifetime Dedication Award; Years of Service Award; Sara Swartsel Volunteer of the Year Award; Business of the Year Award; New Volunteer of the Year Award.Preble County Fines Arts Center, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

•• Yearly Meeting Minutes 2014
••• Yearly Meeting Minutes 2015

The Guest Speaker, Monica Rakovan gave an excellent presentation and overview of the recent Aukerman Creek Restoration Project.

See the Photo Gallery of this Event!