Annual Meetings of the Society



Caroline Welling Van Deusen - Lincolnphile

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on September 20th at 2::30 p.m. as a virtual event due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Caroline Welling Van Deusen offered a fascinating insight into her great-great-grandmother's relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln and the Lincoln family. She was witness to a significant historical event -- the assassination of Abraham Lincoln   

Local resident Caroline is a Lincolnphile who collects books and artifacts about Abraham Lincoln.  Van Deusen’s Lincoln roots run deep. Her great-great-grandmother Elizabeth L. C. Dixon was a close friend to Mary Todd Lincoln, who summoned her for support on the night the president was assassinated.  Dixon comforted Mrs. Lincoln as the president lay on his deathbed that night in April 1865. Dixon’s husband, James, was a Connecticut senator whom Lincoln often consulted.  Van Deusen shared her family’s historical connection with the Lincoln family in this fascinating presentation.

An audio recording of the entire webinar can be accessed on our website here.

A video recording of the meeting and presentation can be accessed at the Society's YouTube Channel at


2019 Home Tour

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Sunday, October 6th at the High Bank Distillery as part of a special event preceding the 2019 Home Tour.



Leslie Blankenship, Trustee for the Franklinton Historical Society

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Sunday, October 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Grandview Theater & Drafthouse.

Leslie Blankenship, a Trustee for the Franklinton Historical Society, presented Franklinton: Where Columbus Began. The Franklinton Historical Society was founded in 1993 by two women - one the president of the Franklinton Board of Trade and the other the president of Columbus’ downtown Neighborhood Association and the Chair of the Franklinton Area Commission. They believed a knowledge of local history could instill in residents a pride of place and could rekindle a community’s spirit.

At that time, Franklinton was known as the "Bottoms", a topographical term that had become a derogatory nickname angering residents. The women recharged the image of the “near west side” into “Franklinton - the first settlement”, given it was established 15 years before Columbus was founded.


Diane Runyon, author of Secrets Under The Parking Lot

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Sunday, October 22 at 2 p.m. at the Grandview Theater & Drafthouse.

Runyon is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Ulster Foundation in Northern Ireland. She was a teacher for 30 years and was awarded 2011 Ohio History Teacher of the Year. She has continued post graduate studies in early American life at Yale University. As a lifelong historian, Runyon studies the lives of those who have gone before us.

At the meeting, Runyon revealed what she has found in her research of the Pleasant Litchford family, all freed slaves, who settled in Perry Township (currently Upper Arlington) in 1832 and what happened to the family in 1915.


Angela O'Neal - Who Do You Think You Are?

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Sunday, October 23 at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of Grandview Heights Public Library.

Angela O’Neal shared interesting genealogical searches, explained how the Columbus Metropolitan Library can help you search your origins, and encouraged attendees to dig into their past and find out who they really are. Ms. O’Neal, a graduate of Kent State, is manager of the Local History and Genealogy Division at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She served as Director of Collections for the Ohio Historical Society and established The Ohio Memory Project. Her article “Remembering the Maine: Spanish-American War Veterans in Elyria, Ohio” was published in Ohio History.



Diana Bergemann, Producer/Editor at WOSU Public Media

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Thursday, October 18th at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of Grandview Heights Public Library.

WOSU Public Media Producer Diana Bergemann talked about the making of the Columbus Neighborhoods:Tri-Village public television documentary focusing on Grandview Heights, Marble Cliff, and Upper Arlington. The presentation was co-presented by the Grandview Library.


Ryan McDonnell, Grandview Heights Public Library

TThe 2014 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Sunday, October 19th at 2 p.m. in the meeting room of Grandview Heights Public Library.

Ryan McDonnell showcased the Society’s new online Timeline, an interactive display of local historical events, pictures, and stories. This new resource replaced the timeline created by Lorna “Skip” Karlovec and Margie Wilson in 1996 to mark the 90th Anniversary of Grandview Heights' incorporation. Users will be able to view the electronic timeline, then click on points of interest to read and listen to information and stories of community history.

There was also a special display of unusual artifacts from the society archives in the display case in Grandview Heights Public Library.


Tim Sells, author of When Dublin Wasn't Doublin'

The 2013 Annual Meeting of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was held on Thursday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of Grandview Heights Public Library.

Tim Sells, author of When Dublin Wasn't Doublin', and descendant of John Sells, founder of Dublin, Ohio in 1810, brought his wealth of story to the evening. "I wrote this book sociologically and economically speaking on the transition from a small village to metropolis," Sells said. "Many small villages lost their flavor and character by osmosis as they were consumed by cities. I wanted to capture what it was like growing up on the banks of the Scioto River."

Sells grew up on a family farm where Dublin Friendship Village now stands. Tim was one of eight brothers and his father was one of fifteen children, so siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, adventures and stories abounded. We will hear about Tecumseh, Chief Leatherlips, Revolutionary War heroes, the fabulous Sells Circus, and much more about life in an earlier Dublin.



Nostradamus was a French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Since the publication of this book, which has rarely been out of print since his death, Nostradamus has attracted a following that, along with much of the popular press, credits him with predicting many major world events.

Madame Josie Gonot is a French historian, language teacher, vocalist,and public speaker. She holds a French and has completed graduate courses at Ohio State and Ashland Universities. She presented "Nostradamus" a selection from her extensive French Music & Lecture Series, which explores all aspects of French history and culture.


Happy Birthday, Edison!

The annual meeting was held on Thursday, October 13th, and was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of Grandview Junior High School, now called Edison Intermediate Middle School.

A presentation of the history of the school was given by Historical Society Trustees Tom DeMaria and Wayne Carlson, and a tour of the school followed.


A Celebration of the Schools

Norma Goss was the Grandview High School valedictorian of her 1935 graduating class, and gave the commencement address for the June 6th ceremony that year. Norma chose to talk about the relationship between the schools and the community throughout the life of the two entities.After summarizing the history of the schools, her concluding comment was: "A splendid spirit of loyal cooperation toward our schools has always been a recorded characteristic in this community and if the same loyal attitude continues Grandview's educational institution is assured a successful future."

In fact, this loyal attitude has continued, and the level of cooperation has grown in scale and focus.This has never been more evident than this past year. The Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society devoted their annual meeting to the celebration of this spirit on October 3rd in the high school.The celebration brought together representatives from many of the community organizations to talk about their activities. The wall of class composites was dedicated, and a display was presented in the new display case, installed by the Society. A short business meeting of the Historical Society was held in the refurbished auditorium, and Wayne Carlson reprised Norma Goss' commencement address with a short presentation on the history of the schools in Grandview.


Jeri Diehl Cusack speaks on the Roosevelts

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Eleanor Roosevelt on October 11, 1884, Society Trustee Jeri Diehl Cusack shared her insights into the lives of "ER" and her intriguing family: husband Franklin ("FDR"), our only four-time elected President of the United States, his mother Sara Delano, daughter of a wealthy trader who made not one but two fortunes dealing in Chinese opium, Eleanor's Uncle Teddy ("TR") who gave her away in marriage for his deceased brother and even chose the wedding date, based on his commitment to be in NYC for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, and "TR"'s daughter Alice, Eleanor's first cousin who was eight months older, but whose life ran anything but parallel to ER's.

Jeri Diehl Cusack is a longtime collector of Roosevelt memorabilia, a frequent visitor to Roosevelt family historical sites, and a participant in Roosevelt commemorative events. In this presentation, she drew from her considerable knowledge and extensive book collection.


Weird Ohio

The Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday evening, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grandview Heights Public Library. In a departure from our traditional format, we partnered with the library to provide an evening presentation.

James Willis, paranormal researcher and an author of Weird Ohio, dipped into the popular book and recounted tales from spooky and disturbing to downright weird.The presentation included visuals and time for questions from the audience. The author’s appearance was funded by GH/MC Historical Society from donations given in memory of Patricia Paddock Todd.


Historic Preservation

Sunday, October 21 was the annual meeting of the Society and featured a presentation titled “Communities of Distinction” by Jeffrey Darbee. This was a discussion of how historic preservation makes a core contribution to creating livable communities today.

Jeffrey Darbee is founder, with his wife Nancy Recchie, of Benjamin D. Rickey & Co., providing a full range of historic preservation consulting services since 1980. Jeffrey Darbee is the author (with Nancy Recchie) of Taking the Cars: A History of Columbus’ Union Station; German Columbus; and the AIA Guide to Columbus (Ohio University Press, October 2007).

Benjamin D. Rickey & Co. is currently under contract as a consultant to Grandview Heights City Council.The firm has worked primarily in Ohio (e.g. OSU’s Thompson Library, Ohio Statehouse, Ohio Judicial Center) and South Carolina, with additional projects in Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Jersey.


Historical society celebrates Grandview's 100th birthday

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 Society members and the public took part in a hands-on exploration of our community's history. There were informal presentations and displays of artifacts, as well as an overview of the year's activities of the Society. Attendees learned how to be involved in future projects highlighting the fascinating past of what was once called the "Millionaire Suburb."

Historical Society publications were available for purchase, featuring our newest title, Between the Rivers. The celebration included a 100-candle birthday cake!


Between the Rivers

Sunday, September 11 saw a celebration of the release of the society's newest publication, Between the Rivers: The Story of Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff. Authored by society trustee Wayne Carlson and published by, the book provides a pictorial representation of the 100 year development of the two communities between the rivers and tells the stories of the people who believed in the possibilities for the future of what was once called the "Millionaire Suburb." The program for the annual meeting included a visual presentation on Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff architecture and how the new book addresses that topic, among others. The program was prepared by Wayne Carlson and was presented by Tom DeMaria.

The new book recounts the history of Grandview Heights (1906) and Marble Cliff (1901) through short vignettes and images that describe the contributions of many pioneers who settled and expanded the area. The story is as rich and varied as that of the diverse backgrounds of the families who became early residents. Originally conceived as a summer getaway from the heat, noise, and dirt of the downtown Columbus industrial area, the woods and farms were soon converted to homesites for the wealthy. At first railroads and, later, trolleys provided access to and from Columbus.


Historical society focuses on vintage clothing

The Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society held its annual meeting at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 in the meeting room of the Grandview Heights Public Library.

The featured program was "Corsets to Pantaloons: What Early Ohioans Wore 1800-1810." The presentation by authors Mary K. Inman and Louise E. Pence of Threads Thru Time, Ltd., and included narration by Pence while Inman models recreated clothing of the period during the early years of Ohio's statehood.

The authors' two books, The Fowler Family Gets Dressed and The Fowler Family Celebrates Statehood and a Wedding, were available for purchase, after their presentation. The women also signed books purchased.


adena - home of thomas worthington

The GH/MCHS President introduced Carmelita Brown, a representative of the State Bicentennial Committee who described some of their activities over the past year and announced that the final event will be held October 24-25 at COSI.

The President then introduced Grandview resident Grant Douglass, who is Chairman of the Ohio Historical Society. Mr. Douglass introduced our feature speaker, Mary Ann Brown, site manager and curator of Adena, former home of Thomas Worthington, and one of the premier sites of the Ohio Historical Society which recently completed a major refurbishment of this facility in recognition of the State Bicentennial.



dick Barrett - vintage ostcards

Dick Barrett presented his wonderful historical postcard collection. Mr.Barrett has recently published a book entitled: Columbus,Ohio 1898-1950 in Vintage Postcards. At the meeting, it was announced that our technology expert and Board member, Dr. Wayne Carlson, has received an award of excellence for his creation and maintenance of our website.


carol stewart - franklinton history

The 2001 annual meeting was held on September 15, 2:00-4:00 in the GH Library. The speaker was Carol Stewart with the Franklinton Historical Society. She gave a wonderful presentation of the history of Franklinton.



Caroline Welling Van Deusen - mrs. lincoln

The 2000 annual meeting was held on September 10, 2:00-4:00 in the GH Library. Grandview resident Caroline Welling Van Deusen reflected on the life and times of her great grandmother Elizabeth Dixon, a close friend of Mary Todd Lincoln (shown here in this painting at the foot of the bed of the dying President Lincoln.)

For more information, see the article in the 8/9/2000 issue of Grandview This Week.)


Anniversary of the HS founding

Board members presented a special program related to the anniversary of the Society. Win Keller introduced founding members, Pat Mooney presented a slide show of the early meeting, Tom DeMaria presented a slide show of historical slides from the Fridenstein collection, and Wayne Carlson presented the updated Web site. Volunteers from the GHMS 8th grade FCS class of Mrs. Benson assisted in hosting this meeting.


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