In 1965 the town of Gahanna had just a few thousand residents when a small group of concerned citizens formed the Gahanna Historical Society. Within the first ten years the organization had completed the relocation and restoration of two historic buildings. The Log House is a beautiful example of pioneer architecture and lifestyle. The John Clark House is filled with treasures generously donated by the descendants of the town's founding father, John Clark. In the 1980s the growing organization purchased property across the street including a house lived in by a prominent Gahanna family, the Stones. The Lily Stone Bed & Breakfast was restored to represent the Victorian Era of history, and is operated by members of the historical society.
In the early 1970s the Gahanna Historoical Society started its herb gardens and encouraged the use of herbs in the community. This lead to a proclamation by the governor of Ohio designating Gahanna as the official Herb Capital of Ohio, a distinction that continues to be a source of pride and promotion throughout the city. In addition to its herb gardens, the historical society has cultivated the gardens, grounds, and wildlife surrounding the museums into a welcoming landscape of natural history and beauty. Most recently, the landscaping along Big Walnut Creek earned the organization the designation as a certified National Wildlife Habitat in 2007.
Many of the activities and events of the historical society have become traditions within the Gahanna community. For decades every third grade class in the Gahanna school system has had the opportunity to see and hear local history by visiting and touring the society museums. Each May the Historical Society hosts the May Herb Festival, and recently has joined with the Ohio Herb Education Center in making this a community-wide event throughout Gahanna. The Flea Market every September is a welcomed opportunity to shop for hidden treasures and reunite with neighbors and friends.
The Gahanna Historical Society continues to add new events, activities, and programming as our resources will allow. Whether teaching schoolkids, making apple butter, fixing porches, weeding gardens, researching history, or running a bed and breakfast, the organization relies on the tireless and generous efforts of its many volunteers. It is a group with a wide variety of interests and ages, and will always welcome new members, old friends, or interested strangers! The Gahanna Historical Society meets the second Wednesday of each month in the John Clark House at 7:00pm and would love to see you there!