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MARION—On Saturday December 7, from 1:00 to 4:00pm, the Marion County Historical Society will host our Annual Book Signing featuring Ohio authors including many from Marion. Held at Heritage Hall at 169 E. Church Street in Marion, the event provides an opportunity for visitors to shop for books covering a wide range of topics and, in several cases, to meet the authors and have them sign their books!


As an added bonus, admission to Heritage Hall and the Wyandot Popcorn Museum will be free for the event. Visitors can view the current exhibit “What is Civil about this War?” which tells the story of the Civil War through contemporary letters written by Marion County residents, and enjoy a box of freshly popped popcorn while shopping for holiday purchases in the Museum Gift Shop.


Among the authors expected to be participating are:


Randy Winland, historian and longtime MCHS member, will be present to autograph his latest book on Marion Postcards. Winland is a member of the Marion County Historical Society who has served in numerous MCHS Board positions including president, and is now a trustee. He has also authored or edited several other local history publications, including the Marion Activity book, an activity book used in local schools to educate children on local history.


Phil Reid, local radio personality and also a member of the Marion County Historical Society, is the author of The Mystifying Murder in Marion Ohio, the story of an incident in 1919 that sparked racial tension and violence. In Marion, Ohio, Mrs. Rose Belle Scranton was found dead at a coal pile, west of the Erie roundhouse on January 29, 1919. Up to this day, the murder case is still unsolved despite the wealth of evidence and information gathered and presented. Phil Reid extricates the 1919 Marion murder case almost a century later.


Maxine Marshall, author and editor of a multitude of Marion County Genealogical Society publications will be bringing: Pleasant Hill-Big Island Twp. Cemetery, Bowling Green Twp. Cemeteries, Silver Street School History, 1872 History of Marion Co. Ohio, Soldiers & Sailors Chapel, World War II Memorial Book, Historic Marion Cemetery, Marion County Deaths – Vol. I, Marion County Bible Records, Marion Cemetery Records, Marion Twp. Records, Marion County Wills, Montgomery Twp. Cemeteries, Sheriff’s Log – Vol. I.


Carroll Neidhardt, author of several books on local folklore including A Vanished Past – Traditional Tales of Central Ohio, Ghosts, Grave Walking, & Mysteries and The War of 1812-Fort Morrow and Block Houses, will be in attendance as well. Carroll has long been known for his quality pen and ink illustrations of notable landmarks in the Central Ohio area. The artist-historian was raised in an Old German Kolonie farming community in Pleasant and Richland Townships in Marion County, Ohio and credits his interest in history, folk art and lore to those unique surroundings.


Scott Fields, an author of fiction novels who once lived in LaRue, will be at Heritage Hall. Scott will debut his most recent book, The Mansfield Killings. This novel is based on true events that are often considered the worst two-week killing spree in Ohio’s history. In 1996, with a lifelong dream of becoming a writer, Scott Fields started writing short stories. Within two years, he had four of his stories published. Since then, he has authored five novels including All Those Years Ago, A Summer Harvest, The Road Back Home, Last Days of Summer, and Summer Heat. Scott and his wife, Deb, live in Mansfield, Ohio. He has also written a crime novel called Cold-Blooded Murder and is similar to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. The book is based on Ohio’s bloodiest killing spree: during a two-week period in the summ er of 1948, two ex-convicts—John West and Robert Daniels—brutally murdered six people. Three of the slayings were thefts gone wrong (a bar, a gas station, and a truck). The remaining three victims were a married couple and their beautiful twenty year-old daughter; they were taken into a cornfield, requested to remove their clothing, and murdered at point blank. The rampage ended in a shoot-out where West was killed and Daniels was captured. Daniels was put on trial and electrocuted on January 3rd, 1949.


Ruth Cowgill will also be in attendance with her latest book On Grandfather’s Farm. The book provides the central location for Ruth Moloney Cowgill’s true story of her childhood growing up on this farm when a bond of family love was created as they struggled for survival during the Great Depression.


Danielle Thamasa, a motorcycle riding librarian, earning her motorcycle endorsement in the summer of 2010. Then, in 2011 she graduated with her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. Her first book was self-published in July 2013. In her free time Danielle does a lot of reading and writing. She is also very involved with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where she is one of the co-leaders of the Marion region.


Dr. Scot Gray is the owner and director of The Ohio Neck & Back Pain Relief Center in Marion. He has been featured on NBC, ABC, Lifetime Television, and several other programs for his expertise in eliminating back pain, neck pain, and headaches. He is the Author of GOOD BACK, BAD BACK: The 10 Things Women Must Know To Eliminate Pain and Look and Feel Younger. The book is a guide to eliminating and preventing back pain through normal daily activities.


Marilyn Schraff will be here with her recent publications. Marilyn Thornton (Thompson, Schraff) was born in San Francisco. She paints and writes nonfiction about the beauty of Appalachia, Ohio and its people. Marilyn and her two daughters, Michal and Malissa, moved to Marion in 1984 where she wrote Appalachian Childhood, Moonshine, and Applachian Journey. Marilyn’s Appalachian Journey begins where Appalachian Childhood ends, yet entwines some of its and some of her Moonshine’s characters. Readers travel with the author through Ohio and life meeting many wonderful people who have inspired her along the way while feasting upon her sense of humor, researched factual information and admiring the heroines and heroes. The author dispel s negative myths about Appalachia while praising numerous wonderful Ohio and Appalachian famous citizens and peers, as well as the profiles of the 15 heroines and heroes who have lived their lives making Ohio and the world a better place.


Ben Ditmars will be here with two books of poetry, a collection of plays, and a novel. Ben muses from his home in Marion. He is aspiring to become a teacher and is always writing. He was first published in his college publication, The Cornfield Review, in 2010. Ben attends the University of Findlay and hopes to start teaching next fall. Find him on: Twitter: #benditty and Facebook at facebook.com/benjaminditmars He also Blogs at niceoldspice.blogspot.com


Ben’s Night Poems takes on the seasons at every hour of the dark. There’s a subtle energy, bordering malaise and mystery that comes to life.


Ben has also published: Haiku in the Night. Explore free-verse haiku like never before as Haiku in the Night takes you on an unforgettable emotional journey. The seasons divide themselves by color in the different sections, bringing emotion to the greens, reds, grays, and blues of life.


Ten Minutes in Heaven. Imagine, if you will, a different world; one of free-love and pirates; burglary and Noah’s ark. A world that takes you anywhere and everywhere; the bedroom of a murderous couple; two men fighting for a dumpster in the midst of a recession; the ultimate showdown between Socialism and Capitalism; all to end with the actors from the Wizard of Oz reunited in heaven. Take the escalator or the stairs on this unforgettable journey of ten minute plays.


Gnomes of Coyul. Motty is a melancholy gnome, seeing little purpose in his humdrum life and dead-end job. Things seem finally too much for him until he meets a human named Theo, who rescues him from a barrage of attacking elves. They become fast friends as the elders confine Theo to live within the boundaries of the tree-city forever. But fate has more in store for them than this. As the same forces chasing Theo unite to assault the gnomes’ tree the man and gnomes are forced to flee toward safety. Their journey begins, as they discover the only way to save their civilization, and the world at large from further conquest, is by defeating a demented Elf-Queen living far away. Through fairy prisons and realms of unicorns the gnomes and man must battle past vicious trolls, winding tunnels, and other harrowing villains and locations to finally end up in the elfish city itself and accomplish the task of destroying an Elf-Queen and her magic staff.


The Heritage Hall Gift shop has a large selection of other books available for purchase including: Haunted Marion by Josh Simpkins; My Not So Ordinary Life by the late Trella Romine, historian and longtime MCHS member, who also authored or edited several other local history publications including Day Before Yesterday; Tales from the Sage of Salt Rock by the late Judge Charlton Myers (a treasure of forgotten Marion County history and trivia based on his WMRN Radio programs in 1960); The Life and Loves of Catherine Loudenslager (the reminiscences of a farm wife in the mid-twentieth century); Jim Thorpe and the Oorang Indians by Robert Whitman of LaRue, and many more.


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