The Downey Pioneer Visitor Center, originally built in 1830, will welcome visitors to Pioneer Village. History buffs will find rotating exhibits on the main floor and interesting historical items on the second floor.
In 2016, the Irvin Pioneer Cabin was renamed in honor of Joseph Irvin, the "Founding Father of SCHS" serving as its President for the first 20 years.
The 1836 log cabin and its furnishings illustrate life during the westward expansion into the Connecticut Western Reserve. Wayne County in those days was a dense hardwood forest which provided the lumber for the construction of cabins, barns and fences.
The fireplace was truly the center of the home. It provided light, heat and the means for cooking for the family.
Welcome to one of the original log cabins in Smithville built about 1850 by G. Sheller, the town tailor. Notice the plastered walls, hand forged locks and windows made of cylinder glass. Local cabinetmakers of the mid-1800's built much of the furniture displayed, A period clothing exhibit can be found on the second floor.
The timber framed Carriage Barn built in the late 1800's features pegged construction. It is home to the Village Pottery where our potters produce traditional clay vessels. The pottery may be purchased here or at the Mill.
The village blacksmith was one of the most important tradesmen in the community of this era. Village smiths made and repaired farm and garden implements, fabricated door locks, hinges and cooking utensils. You can watch our smiths demonstrate these same skills.
The Wheekright Shop sits to the right of the Blacksmith Shop. A wheelright makes and repairs wheels often working together with a blacksmith. On occasion, our wheelright will demonstrate his craft.
John Winkler, an early settler to the area built this two story springhouse about 1845. On the first floor, a stone trough filled with running water cools milk, butter and other perishable food.
The second floor was devoted to food preservation. To provide her family with ample meals during the long winters, the housewife of the 1800's spent many summer days putting up the garden's bounty by canning and drying fruits, vegetables and even meat.
Tinsmiths made functional items for the home in the early 1800's, some of which are on display here. Visitors can watch items being made and purchase them.
This "Yankee" barn featuring hand hewn beams, with mortise and tenon construction, was built about 1840.
Featured artifacts on display are a McCormick Dairy Reaper, a 1900 Champion wood threshing machine made in Orrville, Ohio, and a stationary hay baler.
Organized in Smithville's earliest days, the congregation built a log church in 1838. The present building was dedicated in December of 1867. This church is credited with beginning the first Sunday School in town as well as popular summer camp meetings. The exterior stucco finish was added in the 1920's.
Once located at the east end of Smithville, along the tracks, the 1882 depot served the Wheeling & Lake Erie rail line which transported iron ore and coal from Toledo to Pittsburgh and the Ohio River. It also provided passenger service. Today, it houses the collection of RR memorabilia and a cabinet maker's shop featuring hand powered equipment. The railroad mural is adjacent.
Our 1926 era Baltimore & Ohio caboose houses a collection of toys from earlier times.
Not Handicap accessible.
In 1882 John and Rosina Beveler Mishler and three children left their home in Schwarzenberg, Canton Bern, Switzerland for the New World. They arrived in New York with a small trunk (on display in the Heritage Center) containing their personal belongings, $5 and train tickets to Dalton, Ohio. John moved the family to Smithville and began weaving rugs for local residents.
Weaving demonstrations and an opportunity to buy textiles are available weekly and during special events.
The Mill Is Open Wednesdays
In cooperation with the Greater Akron Model T Club, we have an exhibit of several Model T's, a cut-away engine that illustrates how simple internal combustion engines work, as well as artifacts associated with the birth of the "Tin Lizzy".
The Heritage Center is housed in the building that once served as the Mishler family garage and workshop. Permanent displays are featured in the community center, the Mishler Heritage Room and the one-room schoolhouse exhibit.