Opening of a new exhibit on Thursday, May 30, 2019.


The story of Butler County’s industrial contribution during World War II.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the U.S. entry into the war, companies large and small throughout the county sprang into action retooling for the production of armaments and supplies needed by the Allied forces in the struggle against the Axis powers.
It was estimated that over 200 companies in the county engaged in war-time production while an expanded civilian workforce adjusted to long work days, rationing and restrictions on food, clothing, travel and more.

The exhibit, designed by Sam Ashworth, features some of the significant contributions by Butler County industries such as the huge 140-ton Liberty engine, shown above, produced at the General Machinery Corp. for the Liberty ships that hauled equipment like tanks and Jeeps or the 90-millimeter and 120-millimeter anti-aircraft guns manufactured at the Herring-Hall- Marvin Safe Company.
In Middletown, Armco Steel Company manufactured products for every branch of the U.S. Armed forces, from super thin electrical steel for radar to a large casting of ingot iron for the core of the cyclotron used at Los Alamos for the first experimental atomic bomb.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had declared, “We must be the great Arsenal of Democracy” and the role that Butler County industries played toward that effort were significant.
The exhibit will open at 6:30pm, May 30th on the first floor of the Frederick G. Mueller Building followed by a presentation in the former Council Chambers by Maria and Helmut Bahlmann describing life in Nazi Germany during the war years.

Speakers for May 30, 2019.

Life in Germany during WWII

Maria and Helmut Bahlmann.

Maria and Helmut BahlmannHeritage Hall is pleased to announce our speakers for May 30, 2019. Maria and Helmut Bahlmann. The Bahlmanns lived in Germany during WWII in two different areas of the country. Helmut lived in the North Western part about 20 miles from an Air Force base. He says it was exciting as a young man watching the planes come and go from the base, However, it was also a little frightening watching the allied planes fly over and bomb cities close to where he lived.

One of the planes he saw come down was a Spitfire where the pilot jumped out and the people in the town marched him through the town.
Maria, Helmut’s wife, lived in the Czechoslovakian part of Germany. She was a little girl when the Russians came in and pillaged her town and raped the women. They were put in a Russian concentration camp called Kaaden. They were then taken in a cattle car to Bad Vilbel an American camp, where her aunt had a baby.
Please come to hear their amazing stories of life in Nazi Germany

Opening Friday Night November 9th, 2018  6:30 pm

The Temperance Movement and Prohibition.

Butler County Brewing History

This new addition to our present exhibit about The History of Breweries in Butler County will be available for viewing for at least six months. Please visit Heritage Hall Friday night November 9th, 2018 6:30 pm and enjoy the new exhibit.

With the rise of immigration after the Civil War, the brewing business boomed, and in the 1870s women began to protest and organize politically for the cause of temperance. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was organized on December 23, 1873, in Hillsboro, Ohio and held its first national convention in Cleveland, Ohio in 1874. Their goal was a prohibition amendment to the constitution.

The Anti-Saloon League (ASL), founded in Oberlin, Ohio in 1893, became the most successful single issue lobbying organization in American history, forming alliances with any and all constituencies that shared the goal of a constitutional amendment.

In 1917 the 18th amendment sailed through both houses of Congress and was ratified by the states in just 13 months. At 12:01 a.m. on January 17, 1920, the amendment went into effect and America went dry.

To find out more information come to Heritage Hall starting November 9th.
The exhibit was researched and designed by Sam Ashworth a member of the Heritage Hall Advisory Committee.


Friday Night November 9th, 2018  7:00 pm

Susan Spellman Speaker

Presentation: “The Devil’s Best Friend: Alcohol, Breweries, and the Temperance Movement in American History”

After visiting the exhibit November 9th, join us for a presentation entitled “The Devil’s Best Friend: Alcohol, Breweries, and the Temperance Movement in American History” at the third floor Council Chambers at 7:00 pm by Susan Spellman, Associate Professor of History at Miami University. Susan has held fellowships from Harvard Business School, the National Museum of American History, and the Massachusetts Historical Society among others.

September 14th from 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Hops and History

Heritage Hall invites you to Ohio Open Doors through the Ohio History Connection.
Pick up a beverage at your favorite watering hole and grab a pretzel bag as you tour Heritage Hall, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and the Pioneer Cabin to enjoy camaraderie and learn about history of the area.

Open on June 8th at 6:00pm

19th Century Butler County Breweries.

Butler County Brewing History

Heritage Hall is thrilled to announce the opening of our spring exhibit “19th Century Butler County Breweries.” The display, designed by Sam Ashworth, will feature the history of Butler County breweries. It will open on June 8th at 6:00pm on the first floor of the Frederick G. Mueller Building. The history of brewing in Butler County dates back to 1813, just a decade after the county was formed. A brewery was operated by a man known as R. Birch. He began brewing an English style beer before the more popular Bavarian lager was introduced. In 1839, the first traditional Bavarian beer became available locally when John W. Sohn converted a Hamilton saddle shop into a brewery.

During the 19th century, breweries in Hamilton and Middletown became major industries, brewing tens of thousands of barrels of beer each year. Like the well known Cincinnati brewers, several German immigrants settled in Butler County and brought with them the desire to make traditional Bavarian beer. Peter Schwab & Company operated for more than 30 years selling their Schwab’s Cincinnati Brewing Company workers pose in front of their location at South Front and Sycamore, 1892. Pure Gold Beer in cities like Washington, D. C., St. Louis, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

In Middletown, the native German William Sebald, began brewing along the Miami-Erie Canal in 1866, and by 1900 was producing 20,000 barrels each year.
During the next century, Prohibition shut down
the production of beer throughout the county from 1919 to 1933. Following the repeal of prohibition, the Hamilton Brewing Co. resumed operations for another eight years. Local production of beer never returned to pre-prohibition levels.

Fifty years later, in 1991, large scale brewing returned to Butler County when the
Miller Brewing Company facility opened near Trenton. Today, the production of craft beers throughout the county has revived the ancient process carrying on a tradition of creating unique local brews.

To tell the full story
of Butler County brewing the spring exhibit will feature photos, biographies and stories of breweries large and small. There will be breweriana artifacts from several companies, some of which have never been on public display.

A presentation by Jim Goodman will follow the opening of the exhibit
at 7:00 pm on the third floor in the former Council Chambers.

Admission is free.


Talking Beer With Jim Goodman At Heritage Hall


Jim Goodman will be the featured speaker for our Spring event on Friday, June 8th. Jim is a Hamilton resident and part owner andco-founder of the Municipal Brew Works located in the Frederick G. Mueller Building. Jim is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and has been actively home brewing for 20+ years. He is also the only Butler County
certified Cicerone, the beer equivalent to a wine Sommelier.

Municipal Brew Works brought new life to the former Hamilton Fire
Department Station 2. The former fire station sat dormant for decades until the group founded their brewing operation in 2016. In less than two-years, Municipal Brew Works has provided a huge
boost to the Butler County community and the revitalization of downtown Hamilton; providing high quality hand crafted beers in a family and pet friendly environment. The brewery has helped raise over $20,000 for local charities and philanthropic organizations through donations, sponsorship, and charitable events.

Municipal Brew Works is committed to three objectives: 1. Making great beer. 2. Establishing strong community roots and 3. Educating people about craft beer.

Jim’s presentation will begin at 7:00 pm in the former council chambers on the third floor of the Frederick G. Mueller Building.


Vetran’s Day, Saturday, November 11th

Over Here, Over There: Butler County Soldiers in WWI

New WWI Material on Display

The day after America entered World War I, George M. Cohan wrote the song Over There. The melody and lyrics revealed America’s fighting spirit with the chorus, “Over there, over there. Send the word, send the word over there. That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming.” As it turned out, some 2 million Yanks were being shipped to Europe to fight in the Great War. The mobilization included more than 200,000 draftees, volunteers and National Guardsmen from Ohio. Our state provided the fourth largest number of troops of all states in the United States. More than 2,000 soldiers from Butler County answered the call to join the Army to fight in World War I. Many rose to the challenge, earning medals and acclaim while others quietly did their duty, fought and mostly survived. Soldiers in World War I would face the horror and carnage of a new, technological warfare that utilized such lethal innovations as the machine gun, poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks, submarines, airplanes and long-range artillery. One hundred years after the end of hostilities there are no Butler County veterans alive to tell the story of WWI. Part two of the World War I exhibit at Heritage Hall will focus on the stories of a few local soldiers who served in the Allied Expeditionary Force in France. At the beginning of 2017, Over Here, Over There: Butler County Industry During WWI, highlighted the contribution Butler County industry made during the nationwide war effort. If you missed part one, don’t worry, you still have plenty of time to view the exhibit spotlighting the 100th anniversary of World War I with, Over Here, Over There: Butler County Soldiers in WWI. During WWI, local newspapers regularly published letters from local soldiers serving overseas. These letters added a unique perspective to the war that a journalist writing from here was incapable of capturing.


Kathy Creighton Speaks


Please join us for our fall program on Saturday, November 11th at 1:00 PM in the third floor council chambers at Heritage Hall where Kathy Creighton will share some of these stories. Please note the change in day and time for this event.

Many of our members will be familiar with our fall featured speaker, Kathy Creighton. Kathy has been the Executive Director of the Butler County Historical Society since November 2010. A native of Illinois, Kathy grew up in the Chicago suburb of LaGrange and graduated from Western Illinois University with degrees in political science and history, and post-graduate work in history. She spent 31 years in Springfield, Illinois, working for Governor Jim Thompson and for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. During that time, volunteering was a big part of her life, serving as a docent at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and Lincoln’s Historic New Salem State Park. Hamilton, Ohio became her home in March 2008, when she married a native of Cincinnati. Kathy and Ed Creighton purchased a farm on Reily Millville Road, where they breed and raise Morgan horses. They also share the farm with a sundry of other animals, including chickens, turkeys, sheep, cats, dogs and alpacas.

On Saturday, November 11th at 1:00PM Kathy will be telling the stories of Butler County residents who fought in World War I. More than 2,000 Butler County soldiers fought overseas during the war. Many of them sent letters home detailing their experiences. Kathy will be sharing some of these stories at Heritage Hall in the third floor council chambers.