Preserving The Rich History Of Brownhelm


The Brownhelm Historical Association works to preserve the rich history of Brownhelm, Ohio. This dedicated group of volunteers is restoring local landmarks, saving historic tombstones and plans a variety of community events throughout the year.

The mission of the Brownhelm Historical Association is to honor Brownhelm’s rich heritage by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of its people and the area. The Brownhelm Historical Association currently maintains three historic sites: the Historic Brownhelm School & Museum,  Brownhelm Heritage Museum and  Brown’s Lake Road Cemetery. The organization hosts opens houses, parades, workshops, programs, potlucks, auctions, tag sales, cemetery walks, holiday events and the annual Civil War Days featuring demonstrations on period cooking methods, medical practices, uniforms, music and more.  

The Brownhelm Historical Association is renovating the former Brownhelm School (1889-1988) located at 1940 North Ridge Road. The Historic Brownhelm School & Museum offers a place for meetings, hosts the annual Brownhelm Community Christmas, provides events for the community, and hosts fundraisers such as the annual Grandma’s Attic Sale. Upstairs classrooms house museum space displaying historical artifacts from the school’s past and from notable historical locations such as Swifts Mansion and the Light of Hope Orphanage.

The Brownhelm Historical Association maintains the Brownhelm Heritage Museum at 1355 Claus Road, Vermilion. Built in 1870, it was formerly the German Evangelical and Reformed Church and was given to the association by its last 3 remaining members. The church was restored and it now houses many artifacts of Brownhelm history. The December Christmas Meeting is held at the Brownhelm Heritage Museum.

The 'lost forgotten cemetery', located at 1863 Liberty Avenue in Vermilion, is no longer forgotten. Through much time and legal effort, the BHA managed to gain ownership to protect, renew, maintain and honor the cemetery site. Now known as Brown’s Lake Road Cemetery, it was named after Col. Henry Brown, founder of Brownhelm and who established the first ‘burying ground’ in the new township. His daughter Charlotte Brown, young wife of Ezekiel Goodrich, was one of the first to be buried there. Many of Brownhelm’s early settlers were also laid to rest there, including a Revolutionary War veteran, Bildad Belden.

Brownhelm Historical Association's Cemetery Preservation Committee is working to restore the historical headstones in the Brownhelm Cemetery. Historical Brownhelm Cemetery, located at North Ridge and Sunnyside roads, is the resting place of early settlers and prominent residents of the area.

The Brownhelm Historical Association holds meetings the first Wednesday of each month beginning in February, March, April, May and June; off July and August; resume September, October, November, and December. Meetings are held at the Historic Brownhelm School and Museum at 1940 North Ridge Road, Vermilion. The December Christmas meeting is held at the Brownhelm Heritage Museum (formerly the German Evangelical and Reformed Church) at 1355 Claus Road, Vermilion.

Doors open at 6:15 for those who wish to attend the business meeting from 6:30-7 pm. Those wishing to only attend the program should arrive between 7-7:15 pm for refreshments and socializing. Programs start at 7:30 pm.

Brownhelm Historical Association is always happy and grateful to welcome new members interested in learning about the history of Brownhelm and helping to preserve it for future generations.

For more information, visit www.brownhelm.org.