CANFIELD – The Canfield Historical Society will open by appointment only, but not for tours – only for researchers.

“We only started the researchers’ appointments last week,” said curator Laura Zeh-Vazquez. “We have been closed since March.

She said the company had a program for third graders at Canfield. Each year towards the end of the school year, third graders take a walking tour of the city and visit the Bond House and the Mahoning Dispatch, both of which are museums run by the Canfield Historical Society.

Because the pandemic has stranded all the children at home, Zeh-Vazquez offered an alternative. She called in one of the third grade teachers with a video camera.

“We recorded a visit as I went from room to room,” she said. “The teacher then let the third graders take a virtual tour of the museum.”

Zeh-Vazquez said it was nice to be able to share the Bond House and Dispatch building with the students, even if only through a computer screen.

In addition to doing the virtual tour, Zeh-Vasquez did a lot of homework as she records the museum’s accession records in Google Docs. She said that when done, she will be able to access the files on her smartphone.

When Zeh-Vazquez spends time at the Bond House, she’s usually upstairs to manage another project that will forever preserve the story of the Mahoning Dispatch.

“We are working with the Ellsworth Historical Society and a handful of volunteers to digitize old copies of the Mahoning Dispatch newspaper,” she said. “These items will then be placed in the Library of Congress as part of the ‘Chronicling America’ project.”

She said the project is to digitize full period newspapers page by page. To manage the project, she said the Ellsworth Historical Society helped obtain a large format machine capable of scanning an entire page of diary into one piece. Some of Dispatch’s documents are already online at chroniclingamerica.gov.

The only other activity will be to change the window of the Bond House.

“Camp Stambaugh is going to receive an Ohio Historical Marker later this year, so we’ve removed all of our old Boy Scout gear for an exhibit,” Zeh-Vazquez said.

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