By Martha B. Jacob –
The Brown County Chamber of Commerce met for its regular session on Thursday morning May 17, hosted by Child Focus in Mt. Orab.
During the meeting, local historian and with the U.S. Grant Homestead Association and historical society, Ned Lodwick was the guest speaker.
Lodwick updated the chamber on the upcoming Brown County’s Bicentennial Chautauqua coming up June 21-23, Thursday through Saturday. He explained what Chautauqua is all about.
“Chautauqua was an adult education movement held in the summer in the United states,” Lodwick said. “It was highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“This is Brown County’s 200th birthday, so the historical society decided that the best way to celebrate that was to do what we’re considering a re-enactment of the Chautauqua.”
Lodwick explained that Chautauqua simply means ‘meeting place’ and began as a summer school to teach Methodist Sunday School teachers how to do a better job, and that’s how it all began in 1873.
“The minister who started it was from Illinois. He wanted to find ways for more people to attend,” Lodwick said.
“The minister invited Ulysses S. Grant to come the following year and over 20,000 showed up.”
Lodwick said that it grew from then on and turned into adult education then to entertainment, which were a week long with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.
The Brown County Chautauquas were held at the Brown County Fairgrounds in the old wooden grandstands.
Lodwick invited everyone to attend the upcoming 3-day event which is free to the public. For more information visit www.browncountyhistory.com.
President of the Chamber Darrin Schneider talked briefly to chamber members who were in attendance about current finances and the upcoming Golf Outing scheduled for Friday, June 8 at White Oak Golf Course, sponsored by Rumpke. The Chamber is still looking for volunteers and raffle items.
Schneider said that five new sign-ups and renewals were added to chamber memberships and the chamber website was up and very helpful and informative for Brown County residents and it is helping to develop more developmental links.
He said that this years summer event, formerly called SummerFest will have a new name this year and only be a one-day event, and combined with Music in the Park in Mt. Orab.
Brown County Commissioner, Barry Woodruff commented that throughout the county, the commissioners continue to hear that businesses can’t find help.
“Even when these businesses do find help, they’re often underqualified and just can’t do the job,” Woodruff said. “This is an ongoing problem in our county.”
Kim Moore, account executive business Resource Network with Ohio Means Jobs spoke briefly to the chamber about how to get access to hard-to-find local job openings and other resources.
Moore said that Ohio Means Jobs has a goal to help people identify, understand and access the services businesses need.