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City of Piqua Press Releases
 Release Date: July 3, 2013
From the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency - 
Ohio Historical Area:
A Major Upgrade for the Johnston Farm
Forty years ago this spring the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency museum was opened. Nobody anticipated 5,000 student visits each year, a variety of programs and dinners, not to mention the growing number of public visitors each year enjoying the museum. All of these visitors, as well as an increased focus on Ohio's canal story; has led to an outgrown facility.

In January, the Johnston Farm Friends Council Board entered into an agreement with the Ohio Historical Society to co-fund an exciting renovation project that will convert the existing patio to a state-of-the-art 1,300 square foot education center. This new space will be the new home for the exhibits that trace the construction, use, and eventual decline in Ohio's canals. The new space will be a classroom with audio-visual capabilities, meeting room, program room, and community gathering place complete with catering facilities. With a view overlooking the Miami and Erie Canal, what better place is there to share the story of our first major transportation system?

The cost of the project is $167,000.00. The Ohio Historical Society has earmarked $42,000.00 to support the project and the Duke Foundation has made a lead grant of and additional $25,000.00 to help make this a reality. The Johnston Farm Friends Council has launched a campaign to complete the funding. The Friends Council has partnered with the Piqua Community Foundation to be the fiscal agent for the campaign. The Foundation will collect the funds and place them in an account for the museum project.

The Johnston Farm Friends Council is actively working to complete the funding to make this project a reality by looking locally, regionally, and beyond for the required support. To date, in addition to public support already being received; the Miami County Foundation and the Canal Society of Ohio have committed support to the project.

The Friends Council is very pleased to recognize Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio as a supporter of the new energy-efficient education center. Thanks to Vectren's support, the new addition will provide a comfortable setting for visitors while keeping energy usage low. Colleen Ryan, president of Vectren said, "The Johnston Farm & Indian Agency provides a great opportunity for educating visitors of all ages about the rich history of the region. The new education center will enhance the educational abilities of the museum while keeping the museum's environmental impact low."

The Johnston Farm & Indian Agency aims to increase the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of its history and the broader cultural environment. The Johnston Farm & Indian Agency serves as a popular location for students to experience Native American, frontier, and canal history.

"The new education center adds more exhibit and interpretive space in addition to serving as a location for community meetings and special events," said Andy Hite, Site Manager for the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency.

The timeline of the project is for construction to begin in November 2013 after the last school visit and to be completed before the first schools visit in early April 2014. For information on how to become a supporter of one of the most visited historic sites in Ohio; contact the Piqua Community Foundation at 937-615-9080 or the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency at 937-773-2522.
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