By Melody Vallieu
People came out by the hundreds to help kick off Troy’s bicentennial year celebration on Saturday at the Troy ITW Food Equipment building.
Organizers said they couldn’t be happier with the participation from the community, as a steady stream of visitors passed through the booths located on the first and second floors of the ITW building.
Jody Davis, a member of the Troy Bicentennial Committee, said despite the cold, windy day, he couldn’t be more happy with the turnout.
“It was a success as far as I am concerned,” said Davis, who passed out cupcakes and punch to event-goers. “I’m very happy. When you plan something in January, you don’t know what is going to happen with the weather. It was a well planned event and turned out even better than we expected.”
Davis, along with committee members Doug Tremblay and Stan Kegley, said they believe between 500-800 people were in attendance during the four-hour long event. Members also all said they couldn’t thank ITW enough for hosting the event at its Ridge Avenue location.
Davis, a 23-year employee of ITW, said many of his former co-workers were in attendance at the Saturday celebration and he was able to reconnect with them, which also was enjoyable.
Such was true throughout the event, as people could be heard chatting with each other about the past, after seeing the many historical displays available.
Amanda Smith of the Miami County Park District said she heard about the event from committee member Judy Deeter and decided it was an event the park district staff would like to be a part of.
“There’s so much history within the parks in Troy that it was a great fit to have a booth,” said Smith, who mentioned Twin Arch Park, which has the historic twin arches from the Miami Erie Canal extension, and Lost Creek Reserve, where the original cabin and cemetery date back to the early 1800s.
Event attendees said they enjoyed the good mix of historical items available for viewing.
Richard Graef, 89, of Troy, who was working in the Troy Masonic Lodge booth on the first floor, said he too was excited to see so many people in attendance.
Graef saw a display on a tornado that hit the Troy area in 1955 and remembered that he was on his honeymoon when it touched down. He said he actually saw the coverage on the national news and had to check home to see if all was OK.
Karen Church of Troy said a display showing Troy’s infamous “Bathtub Murder” was of interest to her. She said following the death of the wife, her aunt purchased a jewelry box at the Nesbitt auction, which her aunt passed down to her.
Her daughter, Sally Church, also enjoyed seeing all of the exhibits.
“I just like to be involved in things that Troy does,” said Sally Church, who said she is employed at the Hobart Institute of Welding, also in Troy.
Nevin and Donna Elleman of Troy came to see what the event had to offer. The couple have lived in Troy all of their married lives — all 5o of them. Donna Elleman’s parents both worked for Hobart and she enjoyed seeing some of the historic information.
“We’re just walking around reminiscing,” Donna Elleman said. “It really jogs your memory.”
City of Troy Mayor Mike Beamish said he was thankful to everyone that came out to support the Troy Bicentennial Committee and take a walk down memory lane.
“It says something about the pride and the history of this great city that so many people came out,” Beamish said.
He also reminded that more celebrations are to come.
“There are so many great events yet to come, but you just got to have a birthday celebration to kick it off,” he said.