Welcome To Our Home Page
Welcome to the Home Page of the Brookville Historical Society and Genealogy Research Library. Below are short descriptions of our various buildings and the research library. We hope you will read through them, then follow the links or go to the menu items to learn more about our society, what we do and what we have to offer our visitors and clients.
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Our next Open House this year will be Sunday, June 12, 2022. The Spitler House Commuity Museum as well as The Depot Museum/Caboose/Railway Maintenance Car will be open from 2-4 pm that day. We also hope the Exhibit Building and Research Library can be open pending completion of the street construction on Hay Ave. See Events section for more details.
Our Beginnings And Our Growth
The Brookville Historical Society had its beginning in 1973. Several community members learned that an old Queen Anne Architecture House that had been build in 1894 was going to be demolished to make room for a parking lot. The owner agreed to donate the building if it could be moved from the lot. As a result a "Save The Spitler House" campaign began. Subsequently the house was donated to the Historical Society and funds were raised to purchase a lot and move the house across an alley. The society then began the task of renovation. The Spitler House Community Museum at 14 Market Street was opened to the public in 1976 and has on display items from the time period when the house was a home for the Spitler Family. It is open March to November on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. There are guided tours through the building - the last one beginning at 3:00 pm. The building is not handicap accessible and is not air conditioned.
The Society became interested in the Railroad Depot building located at the corner of Hay and Cusick Avenues which had been abandoned in 1979 when the railroad ceased train service to the area and it was no longer needed for storage. It had been opened in 1900 and added onto in 1918. In November 1980 the building was purchased and restoration began the following year. It was opened on June 6, 1987 and has on display many railroad memorabilia items as well as larger items donated to the society. Then in 1991 we acquired a 1961 Chessie System Caboose which was placed on train tracks opposite the depot. It has also been restored. These areas are open April to October on the second Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. The building is not heated.
The latest acquisition is a former funeral home at 3 Hay Avenue which was purchased in 2007 and opened in 2009 as an Exhibit Building. This made it possible for the society to bring from storage many items that had been donated to us. Inside the building are rooms displaying military memorabilia, a medical room with items from local medical doctors, dentists and optometrists, school memorabilia, a community room with displays depicting many Brookville and surrounding area businesses and an agricultural area with tools and information about farm life. The building is open March to November on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Tours are self-guided. It is handicap accessible and has air conditioning.
The Genealogy/Research Library had it's beginnings in the Library Room at the Spitler House Community Museum. As more donations were received and more persons wished to do family research a bigger facility was needed. In 1995 it was moved to a house across the street from the Spitler House. Recently the Genealogy Research Library was moved to an area in the Exhibit Building and has been renamed the Wayne and Dorothy Watkins Research Library. The library holdings include surname family files, a wide variety of research books, high school graduate files, picture files and information about local businesses, people and events. For a complete listing see Genealogy/Research Library in the menu list or click on the above link. The library is open by appointment. Call 937-833-0285 and leave a message. We do request about a 1 week notice so that a volunteer can be available to assist the researcher.
About Our City
Brookville, Ohio is located in the northwest corner of Montgomery County, Ohio adjacent to Interstate 70. Our population has grown from a few pioneers about 1814 to being incorporated as a village on September 9, 1874 and finally to city status on May 1, 2001 which requires a population of 5,000. We continue to grow and now have nearly 6,000 residents in a thriving family and business community. We have a variety of stores for shopping, restaurants, banks, post office, new fire station, and a library. In addition we have an excellent school system, several churches, a park system, a community theater, retirement facility, as well as several industries. Ours is a suburban community and includes a variety of housing options making us an ideal place to call home.