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Preserving History: Summit held at Robbins Crossing

by Tim Brunicardi on June 7, 2017


David Muran, RVC Archtects, Inc.,; Dave Sagan, Hocking College; Colin Widdoes, RVC Architects, Inc.,; Ron Black, former Hocking College employee; Tom O’Grady, Southeast Ohio History Center; Chris Black, Past Hocking College employee; Jason Szostek, Hocking College; Norm Fox, former Robbins Crossing site director and faculty member; Robert Schmoll, Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad; David McPherson, Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad; Kathy Temple-Miller, Hocking College faculty; Barney Grueser, Antique American Log Cabins; Lynne Newell, Southeast Ohio History Center; Sean Terrell, Hocking College; Trent DeBruin, Hocking College; Barbara Powers, Ohio Historic Preservation Office; and Tim Traxler, Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area.

Hocking College hosted a summit on May 22 to discuss options for preserving the Robbins Crossing historical area located on campus.

The goals of the summit were to gather information to create a historic structures report, investigate the possibility of National Register of Historic Places, and explore potential funding for preservation projects.

Several historical experts were in attendance to provide input on how to preserve and best utilize the location. 

After touring and inspecting the various building, the group met at The Lodge at Hocking College to discuss ideas and make recommendations.

According to Trent DeBruin, Hocking College Architect, the summit provided an opportunity to address and develop a plan for preserving an important part of the area’s history. “We were fortunate to welcome a wide range of experts to the summit who enthusiastically shared their ideas,” said DeBruin. “Robbins Crossing provides a prime example of the rich history and culture of our area. Preserving this valuable community resource is both necessary and worthwhile.”

The Southeast Ohio History Center provided the list of organizations and attendees that were invited to the summit. 

Robbins Crossing is mostly a collection of original log cabins built by settlers of the Valley in the 1850s. The majority of the structures were donated by landowners, and carefully dismantled at their original locations. The buildings were then reassembled at Robbins Crossing to form what might have been a typical village for the settlers.

The location includes a completely furnished one-room schoolhouse, a general store, and several one-story and two-story dwellings, including a cooper shop, blacksmith shop, and pottery station. An old barn and a vegetable garden provide an additional glimpse of what life was like back when cabins where the only form of shelter in the area.

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