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WELCOME TO THE GARST MUSEUM

The Garst Museum, a historical museum with roots in the American experience, houses over 300,000 artifacts on display in 35,000 square feet of exhibit space within six major and two minor venues. The Garst House, which earlier served as an inn, has six additional building wings. The house was donated to the Darke County Historical Society in 1946 by the Garst family.

Major Exhibit Venues & Highlights Include

 
  • The National Annie Oakley Center

    • Personal and Professional Life ​​

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  • Crossroads of Destiny

    • The Treaty of Greene Ville

    • Anthony Wayne, Little Turtle & Tecumseh

    • Meeting of Lewis & Clark

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  • Lowell Thomas with Lawrence and Beyond

    • Lawrence of Arabia

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  • Keepers of Freedom

    • Commander Zachary Lansdowne

    • Darke County Veterans

  • The Village Wing

    • Longtown

    • Early Main Street Experience
    • Kay Brown Photo Gallery

  • Americana Wing
    • Currier & Ives Collection
    • Period American Furnishings

  • Pioneer Wing
    • Early Agricultural Equipment
    • Early Domestic Equipment

  • Darke County Research Center
    • Genealogy

  • Garst Museum Store

 

GARST NEWS & EVENTS

 

Annie’s G.A.L.A Hits the Bullseye for Garst Museum

Thanks to the creative thinking and diligent work of devoted volunteers, Annie’s G.A.L.A. proved to be a success story! Annie’s Star-Spangled Gala has been a

long-standing annual fundraiser for the Garst Museum and normally takes place in June. Due to circumstances surrounding COVID, many things had to change in order to keep the fundraiser on the calendar for 2020. This included the new date of October 3, a different name—Annie’s G.A.L.A (Garst Alternative to the Live Auction), an event website, and pre-ordered dinners that were picked up in the new Garst Museum parking lot.

 

But, the energy and anticipation did not change. Eager bidders filled the Lowell Thomas Gallery watching the final offers for items mount before the auction closed and waiting for the beach-house drawing winner to be announced. Much excitement of the auction surrounded the competitive bidding on a Bob Brubaker painting, donated by Park National Bank, depicting a fort scene of what might have occurred in the days of General Anthony Wayne.  And, the lucky winner of the drawing for the one-week Florida stay in the Ft. Myers’ home, donated by Mike and Sherri Jones, was Bonnie Perry!

 

It is the enthusiastic support of the people of Darke County and the generous corporate sponsorships and donations that made Annie’s G.A.L.A. a success. The Garst Museum wishes to thank Aim Midwest Media for their Premier Sponsorship.

1995 Bicentennial of the Signing of the Treaty of Greenville Time Capsule Exhibit

In 1995, the year of the 200th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Greenville, the bicentennial committee placed in a time capsule, 106 items which included historical documents, medals, past newspapers, and others articles. The time capsule was to be opened twenty-five years into the future (the year 2020). 

 

The capsule was opened in downtown Greenville on August 23, 2020, and many of the items are now exhibited in the Lowell Thomas Meeting Room at the Garst Museum.

Garst Museum Announces New Marketing Director

Garst Museum is pleased to welcome Katie Gabbard as the new marketing director and chairperson of the Gathering at Garst. She replaces Jenny Clark, who has stepped down to spend some deserved time off in northern Michigan devoting many days to fishing, painting, and relaxing. The Garst Museum applauds all that Jenny has spearheaded for the community and wishes her the very best.

 

Katie Gabbard has been a familiar face at the Garst Museum as a volunteer for the Gathering at Garst since its inception in 2011. For this new role as marketing director, Katie brings specific insights into engaging social media, promotions, and events. “Prior to accepting this position, I spent 15 years as the owner of a small business in downtown Greenville. The lessons that I’ve learned about community engagement, outreach, and dynamic marketing are invaluable. I’m thrilled to apply those skills to this new adventure at the Garst Museum,” states Gabbard.

 

Wasting no time and already working on ideas for the Garst Museum, Gabbard says, “With COVID-19 affecting nearly every facet of business and life, I think it’s important to get a strong plan in place for 2021.  I’m looking ahead to hosting a stellar 2021 Gathering at Garst, bringing more awareness about the dynamic volunteer opportunities at the Garst Museum, and drawing visitors from across the Midwest to experience all that the Garst Museum has to share.”

Statement on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Situation

As a public venue, the Garst Museum is closely following the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health and local health officials. The safety and health of our patrons, staff, and volunteers are forefront in our COVID-19 policies.

 

Updated October 23, 2020

 

The Garst Museum is OPEN to the public!

New Garst Museum Covid-19 policies include:

  • Masks are required for all patrons to tour or visit the Garst Museum 

    • Children three and under are not required to wear a mask

  • The temporary admissions station is located in the Lowell Thomas Meeting Room, located directly off the parking lot 

    • The Garst House entrance is currently closed

  • Garst Museum patron capacity is 35

    • Social distancing is enforced

  • Due to its small size, the Darke County Research Center/Genealogy Library is closed to the public.

    • Starting on June 16, 2020, researchers can make requests by phone (937-548-5250) or via email at genealogy@garstmuseum.org.

  • We are currently not able to accept artifact or genealogy donations

  • The Garst Museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays

    • Our current operating hours are: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • The Garst Museum Store is open for in-person shopping​

 

The Garst Museum Online Store is able to take and ship orders. Please visit here to place your order.

Bargains Galore Inside Garst!

It’s July and everyone is talking about sidewalk sales. Capturing this excitement, Garst Museum is having an “inside” sidewalk sale. It does not cost anything to come in and look!  Bargains, bargains, and more bargains—over 200 items have been reduced in price!  Commemorative plates, books, mini crocks, postcards, prints, and replica pioneer toys are just a few items to mention, and more can be spotted on the merchandise tables featured in the photos on Garst’s Facebook page.

 

You could find yourself engrossed in a book of historic tours of Ohio that describes and pictures the homes of the U.S. presidents from Ohio. As most of us are experiencing staycations this year, these would be perfect getaways for a day.  Do you know someone who is curious about the fascinating life of Buffalo Bill?  You can snatch up his autobiography from the sale as a surprise gift.

 

Get started early shopping for those unique stocking stuffers. The Museum is open Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and masks are required.

Annie Oakley Masks Are Now Available Online!

These handcrafted Annie Oakley masks are custom-designed, non-medical masks made from 240-count cotton with a white lining.  They can be laundered in cool or warm water. Annie Oakley masks are exclusively available through the Garst Museum Store. Adult sizes only.

 

Order yours today at our online Museum Store by clicking here

2020 Garst Museum’s Heritage Award Honors Darryl Mehaffie

Recognized, once again, for “for significant contributions” to the community, Darryl Mehaffie has received another prestigious award.  At the July 9 meeting of the Darke County Historical Society (DCHS) operating as Garst Museum, Darryl was surprised as this year’s Heritage Award recipient.  Having served since 1987, he was also recognized that evening as a now emeritus member of the DCHS.

According to museum CEO Dr. Clay Johnson, the DCHS’s Heritage Award was created to recognize outstanding citizens or organizations for their distinguished contributions or actions of unusual excellence that help connect people to Darke County’s past. Dr. Johnson added, “Darryl’s experience and unique insight into the administrative needs of the DCHS has been an integral part of our success and his guidance in moving difficult projects forward has assisted in the museum’s growth over the years. On a more personal level, I have benefited from his tutelage on the political process for nonprofits and always enjoy our conversations. Darryl’s legendary support for the Darke County community goes far beyond his decades of dedicated assistance to Garst Museum and it is an honor to present the Heritage Award to him.”

Of special note in his 30-plus-year impact as a trustee of Garst Museum, Darryl worked to secure legislative passage of state Capital Improvement Funds for Phase 1 of a parking lot.  Construction is soon to begin.  While most of the lot will be across from the Museum (off Wilson Drive) in the former Buchy Foods lot, the extension of the present parking spaces will occur closest to the building near the Lowell Thomas Wing.  It is fitting that the lot is next to this wing as Darryl served as co-chair of the building committee for the construction of the Lowell Thomas Meeting Room Wing, which broke ground in 1998.

Adding to his list of recognitions, Darryl received the local Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA) William L. Combs Patron of the Arts for his work in getting the same capital improvement dollars for the latest renovation of Memorial Hall. Greenville and Darke County have benefitted greatly from his service on the Board of the Ohio Arts Council.

While Darryl taught 5th and 6th grades at Northmont City Schools for 30 years before retiring, he also served on the Darke County Fair Board for 27 years.  Often, he would donate items for the Garst Gala that he had purchased from performers at the Fair.

Remaining committed to education, Darryl served for 20 years on the Edison State Community College Board of Trustees (vice-chairman or chairman), the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, the Ohio School Board Association, and the State Board of Education.  While serving on the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, Darryl received the Maureen C. Grady Award for Special Achievement, which recognizes the extraordinary leadership and contributions of those trustees recognized.

Unofficially known as a “kingmaker,” he has been instrumental in working with our Republican politicians and legislators over many years.  He received the Darke County Republican of the Year Award in 2015 and has served for a long time on the state GOP Central and Executive Committees, even meeting the Ambassador to Cuba.  According to Jim Buchy, “Darryl and I worked on many issues together during my 12 terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, and his input was always needed and so valuable.” Darryl was also inducted into the Association of Ohio Commodores in 2016.

Daryl and his wife Mary Ann live in Greenville.  A long list of service to this community and his extraordinary contributions to connect people to the history of the county and the arts support all accolades that are bestowed on him.

Longtown and Juneteenth

With Juneteenth this Friday, we must remember Darke County's Longtown played an important part in African American history. In our Village Wing, we have an exhibit that explores this unique community. 

 

If interested in learning more, there is a great film available that is free to view:

Remembering Freedom: James Clemens and The Longtown Settlement: 

Link: https://imdb.com/video/vi2762643993 

2020 Gathering at Garst Rescheduled to 2021

Garst Museum and the Gathering at Garst Committee have decided, after much deliberation, to cancel the Gathering at Garst for 2020. This is a rational, yet very emotional, decision; it is the right decision.  The event planners foresee that it would be impossible to enforce social distancing among the crowd, and people will most likely choose not to wear masks in the heat during the last weekend in July.  Safety for the visitors, exhibitors, vendors, and workers is the primary concern during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The 10-year anniversary of the Gathering at Garst will be celebrated next year!  Everyone can anticipate amazing artists and crafters, inviting garden exhibits, nostalgic antiques, once-a-year favorite foods, and talented entertainers in the year 2021. Across the street, the living history encampment will have reenactors in period costume and the thundering boom of the cannons.  This year all will be quiet on the museum grounds, but in 2021 on July 24–25, the crowds will be returning and the cannons will be firing again. In the meantime, explore the many interesting exhibits and artifacts inside the now open Garst Museum.

A Great Way to Support Garst Museum

Dear Museum Supporter:

The Garst Museum owes our success to people like you that have supported our efforts to Educate, Preserve, and Share the history of our region. Whether you have donated your time or supported us through your Garst Museum Membership and general good will, we want to thank you! We hope you will continue to support our efforts at the Garst Museum.  

Unlike our Membership Program, which is earmarked strictly for operations costs, the Garst Museum Annual Fund will help us maintain and grow our Education Programs and the museum’s Artifact and Exhibit Preservation efforts as well as help build our Community Outreach efforts.

We hope that you will consider helping us build on our success by making a tax-deductible gift of $100 or more to the Garst Museum Annual Fund. Gifts of any amount are always welcomed. Please share the news with your friends, family, and others like you who understand the value of the award-winning Garst Museum.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our Education, Preservation, and Share programs or how you can get involved with our Volunteer and Outreach Groups.

We truly appreciate your loyal support.

Sincerely,

Clay Johnson, Ph.D.

Garst Museum CEO

 

It is easy to donate to the Garst Museum! Just visit garstmuseum.org/donate and click the Donation Button under Annual Fund.

The Speaker Series for March 22, 2020, Has Been Rescheduled

The lecture on The Other Trail of Tears by Mary Stockwell, Ph.D. has been rescheduled to a later date.

We hope to bring back our Speaker Series starting in October 2021.

Fall and Winter 2019/2020 Speaker Series

We hope to bring back our Speaker Series starting in October 2021

October 20, 2019, at 2:00 pm: “A Greene Ville Map 1793”

 

November 10, 2019, at 2:00 pm: A special Veterans Day program focusing on the end of World War I with featured speaker Dr. Jonathan Winkler of Wright State University.

 

February 23, 2020, at 2:00 pm: Moving off the Farm and Trying to Stay Amish with Susan Trollinger, Ph.D.

 

Rescheduled: The Other Trail of Tears: The Removal of the Ohio Indians with Mary Stockwell, Ph.D.

*Support for the Garst Lecture series comes, in part, from the Stephens Foundation.

Garst Museum's New Parking Lot is Open!

Something new in the neighborhood? Indeed there is!

 

On Friday, August 14, 2020, Garst Museum celebrated the near completion of its new parking lot by recognizing the people who helped make it a reality. Invited guests were Jim Buchy, Eunice Steinbrecher, Keith Faber, Darryl Mehaffie, Pete Hemer, Rodney Oda, John Marchal, Steve Gruber, Darren Reeves, and Tim Flora.  Keith Faber, Ohio Auditor of State, presented Dr. Clay Johnson, President and CEO of Garst Museum, with a certificate of dedication for the new parking lot and also recognized Darryl Mehaffie, emeritus board member of the Darke County Historical Society, as one of Ohio’s finest citizens, for his many years of devoted service to his community and the state of Ohio. Garst Museum will be forever grateful to all those involved because it is clear that the scope of the project took many hours of planning from start to finish.

 

But, when did the project actually begin? Standing vacant, the century-old Buchy’s plant was razed in 2012. On March 23, 2015, five years before the pandemic brought activities to a standstill, John Marchal and Pete Hemer met with Louis Bergman at Mote and Associates to “get down and dirty” about a parking lot at Garst Museum. And hence, the project is launched.  Garst Board Committee members led by Pete Hemer, Darryl Mehaffie, Steve Gruber, and Garst CEO Dr. Clay Johnson prepared for the project and secured funds from grants and donations to finance it.  The Ohio Facilities Construction Committee awarded $150,000 to partially fund the project; a private benefactor, who wished to remain anonymous to direct the focus to the future of the community and the Museum, donated monies; and the Buchy family made a valued contribution to the project adhering to their decades of commitment to the community. The Museum worked closely with the Darke County Park District and County Engineer’s Office to assimilate the parking facility into the surrounding lands to benefit future generations through calculated foresight and employed local businesses to bring the project to fruition. The comprehensive plan will make efficient use of the property and enhance the aesthetics of the North Broadway thoroughfare. Today, just a few final touches need to be added and then the parking venue will be an essential part of the Museum’s operations and events.

Garst Museum Volunteers Recognized 

Garst Museum volunteers enjoyed a delicious volunteer appreciation lunch on Friday, October 25. Garst Museum is grateful to all the volunteers who help at the Gala and the Gathering along with those who volunteer as docents and help with all the different museum functions. We couldn't do it without you! 

Gathering at Garst Welcomes New Encampment Chairperson

Garst Museum and the Darke County Park District are pleased to welcome Deb Shiverdecker as the 2020 Living History Encampment chairperson for The Gathering at Garst.  Deb has worked as the administrative assistant at the Darke County Park District for 15 years. During that time, she has helped organize history-related and other large events that the Park District hosts including Prairie Days, Candlelight Dinners on the Prairie, Maple Sugarin’ and the annual Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland. Deb was instrumental in the organization and planning of the bicentennial celebration of the Treaty of Greene Ville that the Park District hosted in 2014.  She has served as a co-organizer of the encampment at The Gathering for the past several years.  Jenny Clark, chairperson of The Gathering at Garst, states, "We are confident with Deb's leadership and the help of our committee members that the encampment will continue to be an exciting part of The Gathering. We are all looking forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Gathering at Garst in July 2020 as we welcome Deb to our team."

 

The Living History Encampment at The Gathering at Garst has become a premier living-history event receiving statewide attention. The encampment is staged under the shade of 300-year-old oak trees on land owned by the Darke County Park District. The partnership between Garst Museum and the Darke County Park District helps ensure the longevity of the encampment. It is the excellent leadership over the past nine years that has helped the encampment grow in popularity. Hank Steinmetz and Galen Delk, his successor, were both instrumental in starting and making the encampment the success that it is today. Their hard work and dedication along with help from loyal committee members are deeply appreciated.  It is the hope of Garst Museum, Darke County Park District, and The Gathering at Garst Committee that the encampment continues its success.

Volunteer Opportunities Are Available at Garst Museum!

Our history connects us to our past. Help preserve that history by becoming a volunteer at Garst Museum. Our patrons are interesting folks to meet. The children that visit are excited to learn and are so much fun. Come visit us and see what we have available for you!
 

Questions? Please contact:

Linda Newbauer

937.548.5250

linda.newbauer@garstmuseum.org

The Online Museum Store at Garst is Now Open!

The online Museum Store at Garst is now officially open! Check it out here!
 

Green the Garst Tree Donation Program

The “Green the Garst” tree donation program was created so the community can participate in beautifying the museum grounds and help create a lasting legacy. Since 2014, 33 new trees have been planted:
 

  • Drs. Chris and Clay Johnson and Blaine Baker for Sherlie S. Baker (24 trees planted April 10, 2014)

  • The Jasenski Family (planted December 4, 2014)

  • The Bankson Family Memorial Tree (planted June 26, 2015)

  • The Kagey Family Memorial Tree (planted November 29, 2016)

  • Dan Esarey for Ann and Patrick Esarey (two trees planted April 26, 2017)

  • In memory of Joan Hawley (planted May 1, 2018)

  • In memory of Victor Hauberg, Herbert Hauberg, and Arlene Hauberg Shiverdecker (planted July 3, 2018)

  • Gathering at Garst Committee in memory of Elaine Bailey (planted August 27, 2018)

  • In memory of Charles Rollin Fowble (Spring 2019)

  • In memory of Jim and Toni Seiler, Richard and Phyllis Seiler, and Jack and Kay Seiler (October 2020)

 

Spencer Landscaping, Inc. of Greenville helps administer the program. Currently, the program will focus on the museum’s main grounds, east of the museum between Garst Avenue and Wilson Drive. Trees donated throughout the year will be planted in the spring or fall based on the museum’s landscaping plan. The donation includes professional installation.

Following the donation of the former Buchy Food Service property in 2012, the museum grounds expanded to over nine acres. The Darke County Historical Society is actively planning to convert the former Buchy property into an attractive, landscaped property and to create additional parking for the museum. As the planning for the former Buchy property evolves, additional landscaping donation options will be made available.

 

For more information about the “Green the Garst” program, please contact the museum at 937-548-5250 or information@garstmuseum.org.

See What Patrons Have to Say about Garst Museum!

  • We live in Celina and had no idea such a wonderful museum was just 30 min away.  Be proud Darke County!

  • What a beautiful collection of your local history.  One of the best I have seen. [visitor from the Philippines]

  • We traveled from Southern Oregon just to see Annie Oakley.  Fabulous exhibit-I found so much more to admire about her and Frank.  Thank you so much, Eileen and Nancy for all your time and information.  I loved my visit.  Thank you.

  • This place is a grand treasure. It is a wonderful piece of this town I've called home all of my life.

  • The best original and informative museum we've visited. We want to return with our granddaughters.

  • Friendly Museum Keeper! Beautiful Exhibits.

  • I’ve been to many museums; this one is great because of so many true artifacts and not replicas.

  • We live in D.C. and I have always been obsessed with Annie Oakley that this was a wonderful experience to learn about.

  • Very nice and well-organized museum.  Well informed about Annie Oakley by the time we left.

  • Everything was so well organized.  Very informative and entertaining.  Great experience.

  • Wow!  What a great museum!

  • Best kept secret in the land!

  • Nicest museum I have ever been to of this size.

  • Fascinating, interesting, educational.  Thoroughly enjoyable to a couple from England.

 

​In 2019, the Garst Museum has had visitors from all 50 states except Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.  International visitors like us too! Many have come from Canada and 8 other foreign countries.

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When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
                                                                                    ~Tecumseh
 

Contact Us

The Garst Museum

205 North Broadway

Greenville, Ohio 45331

Phone: 937-548-5250

Fax: 937-548-7645

Email: information@garstmuseum.org

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