Explore Alliance History at the Greater Alliance Carnation Festival
Area residents and visitors to Carnation City will have numerous opportunities to delve into the rich history of Alliance during the 63rd Greater Alliance Carnation Festival. This exciting event will run from Aug. 3 to Aug. 13 and will showcase various historical sites and tours.
The Alliance Historical Society, Alliance Preservation Society, and the Castle Crusaders have all organized open houses and guided/self-guided tours of Alliance City Cemetery as part of the festival.
Mabel Hartzell Home
From Aug. 6 to Aug. 11, Alliance Historical Society will be offering tours of the Mabel Hartzell Historical Home and the Alliance History Mini Museum. These tours will take place daily from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors are kindly requested to make a $5 donation per person, while children under 12 and society members can enter for free.
Situated at North Park Avenue and Vine Street, the Mabel Hartzell Home is a charming Victorian house that celebrates its 156th anniversary this year. Constructed in 1867 for Matthew and Mary Edwards Earley, the house was originally located in the old village of Freedom. The Earleys, who also owned the land adjacent to the home, eventually donated the property to the Alliance Historical Society.
The Mabel Hartzell Home is adorned with original furniture and items from the Earley-Hartzell family, along with donated artifacts that have been collected by the society since its establishment in 1939. Designated as a National Register of Historic Places in 1987, this beloved local landmark serves as a testament to Alliance’s rich heritage.
During the Grand Parade on Aug. 12, the Historical Society will proudly showcase Shawn Watson and his 1966 DIVCO milk truck from Twin Meadow Farm. They will also be joined by Jim and Karen Perone, who will drive the “Marking Time in Alliance” Mini.
The Haines House
Alliance Area Preservation Society invites festival-goers to explore the Haines House, which will be open for tours from Aug. 6 to Aug. 11, between 1 and 4 p.m. each day. A $5 donation per person is kindly requested, while children 10 and younger can enter for free. The Haines House, located at 186 W. Market St., was built in stages between 1827 and 1842 by John and Nancy Grant, who were among the earliest settlers in Stark County.
During the years leading up to the Civil War, the Grants’ daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Ridgeway Haines, used the house as an Underground Railroad station. Their son, John Columbus Haines, fought in the Civil War and, together with his brothers, played an active role in the growing Alliance community in the latter half of the 19th century. In 1859, they even founded the Alliance City Band.
Today, the Haines House serves as the Haines House Underground Railroad Museum. Visitors can explore the restored mid-Victorian parlor, early 19th century kitchen, hands-on child’s room, Grant bedroom, attic where fugitive slaves were hidden, and herb garden. The museum also hosts changing historical and preservation exhibits, including a compelling “Timeline of Slavery and Abolitionism in the U.S.” Recognized by the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program and the Ohio Underground Railroad Association, the Haines House is a true testament to the region’s history.
For those who are interested in self-guided tours, the Castle Crusaders invite you to explore Glamorgan Castle. These tours will be available from noon to 4 p.m. on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6. A suggested donation of $10 per person is appreciated. Glamorgan Castle was originally built in 1904 by Col. William Henry Morgan as his private residence. This impressive structure, constructed at a cost of $400,000, remained in the Morgan family until 1938.
During the challenging years of the Great Depression, Mrs. Morgan sold the castle to the Elks organization for $25,000, and they utilized it as their lodge until 1964. Subsequently, Merrick Lewis purchased Glamorgan Castle for $51,000, converting it into the corporate headquarters for Alliance Machine. Several renovations occurred during this time, including the addition of a wine cellar.
In 1972, Alliance City Schools purchased Glamorgan Castle for administrative offices after constructing a new high school on a portion of the castle’s grounds. Thanks to a federal grant and the generosity of Merrick Lewis, this transition became possible. Located at 200 Glamorgan St., Glamorgan Castle continues to be a prominent fixture in Alliance’s landscape.
For those who prefer a more guided experience, Frank and Michal Barret will be offering tours of Alliance City Cemetery at 2 p.m. on Aug. 6 and Aug. 13. Self-guided tours will also be available using the Clio phone app. The cemetery, located at 541 W. Vine St., offers a final resting place for many who perished during the Civil War. Spanning 52 acres, around 33,000 individuals have been interred there, with space for an additional 30,000. The cemetery features ten private family mausoleums, a main cemetery mausoleum, and ten sarcophagi.
This joint initiative by the Alliance Historical Society and Alliance Area Preservation Society allows visitors to uncover the fascinating history within Alliance City Cemetery.