WHAT WE ARE DOING
The Brownhelm Historical Association currently has a major project underway in the renovation of the former Brownhelm School (1889-1988) located at 1940 North Ridge Road. In 2017 the school will be named the Historic Brownhelm School & Museum. The goal of the Brownhelm Historical Association is to create a place for their meetings, to host the annual Brownhelm Community Christmas, and to provide events for the community and fundraisers such as the annual Grandma’s Attic Sale. (In September 2015, the school also saw a historical play on its stage, the first one in over 30 years, followed by a community dinner afterwards.)
The BHA will also use additional upstairs classrooms to create museum space to display historical artifacts from the school’s past and from notable historical locations such as Swifts Mansion and the Light of Hope Orphanage. Through the dedication and hard work of a small group of members, the east classroom, former library, bathroom and hallway have now been completely and beautifully restored. The west classroom and gym, now near completion, should be ready for use in 2017. When many old schools are being demolished, the Brownhelm School still stands through their dedication and efforts!
WHAT WE HAVE DONE
The Brownhelm Historical Association also maintains the Brownhelm Heritage Museum at 1355 Claus Road, Vermilion. Built in 1870, it was formerly the German Evangelical and Reformed Church and was given to the association by its last 3 remaining members. The church was restored and it now houses many artifacts of Brownhelm history.
The 'lost forgotten cemetery' located at 1863 Liberty Ave, Vermilion, is no longer forgotten. Through much time and legal effort, the BHA managed to gain ownership to protect, renew, maintain and honor the cemetery site. Now known as Brown’s Lake Road Cemetery, it was named after Col. Henry Brown, founder of Brownhelm and who established the first ‘burying ground’ in the new township. His daughter Charlotte Brown, young wife of Ezekiel Goodrich, was one of the first to be buried there and where many of Brownhelm’s early settlers were laid to rest, including a Revolutionary War veteran, Bildad Belden.