The Ross County Historical Society’s 2023 Spring Speakers Series begins Wednesday, April 19, with a program titled “General Ulysses S. Grant: The War Years—Fort Donelson through the Chattanooga Campaign.” Featured will be the country’s foremost portrayer of Grant—acclaimed living historian Dr. Curtis Fields, Jr., of Memphis, Tennessee. Fields returns for the third time after having played to a full house at both the society’s 2022 and 2019 Spring Speakers Series. His previous presentations have covered Grant’s early life growing up in Georgetown, Ohio, his exploits as a West Point cadet, service in the Mexican/American War, life on lonely western military outposts, and Grant’s desperate years as he struggled to earn a living following his resignation from the army in 1854. This time he will chronicle Grant’s unexpected successful return to the army at the beginning of the Civil War and follow him through the Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Vicksburg campaigns, the raising of the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, and promotion to Commanding General of all Union Armies in March
1864. Please join us as Dr. Fields continues Grant’s story through his convincing, true-to-life presentation of Grant as he actually looked, spoke, and acted.
The program is admission-free and will take place 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ross County Heritage Center, 45 West Fifth Street, Chillicothe. Refreshments will be served.
The Ross County Historical Society’s 2023 Spring Speakers Series will also include the following
• Wednesday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m.—the Ross County Historical Society will welcome back Gary Argabright for a program titled “Rediscovering Chillicothe’s Forgotten Prehistoric Mounds.” The area encompassed
by Ross County was once a center of prehistoric mound-building and geometric earthen construction. Hundreds of mounds and dozens of earthen circles, squares, and walls dotted the landscape, but today
many of these have been plowed down by farming or completely destroyed to make way for residential and commercial development. It would have been a truly awe-inspiring experience to behold this remarkable man-made landscape, but today we can imagine some semblance of its former glory. Join retired educator and local researcher Gary Argabright as he discusses his research into a line of mounds which once dotted the landscape known to early archaeologists as Chillicothe’s “northwest quadrant” in an effort to re-establish their now-forgotten locations and physical features.
• Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m.—the series will conclude with a program titled “Through Chillicothe Doors—A look at the clothing worn in Chillicothe in the 19th century,” featuring Ericka Osen, nationally recognized authority on historical textiles and clothing. Osen, who now lives in Chillicothe, was formerly the Manager of Clothing and Textiles at Conner Prairie Museum in Indiana and Period Clothing Manager at The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. She has lectured on historic
clothing at many nationally recognized museums including the Smithsonian Institution. Her presentation at the Ross County Historical Society will provide a fascinating look at the clothing worn by both the
women and men who built Chillicothe during its early years. If you enjoy Chillicothe’s downtown streets lined with beautiful historical buildings, this program will provide a terrific opportunity to see what the original people inside those buildings looked like the first time they stepped out their new front doors.
Each program above is free and open to the public and will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ross County Heritage Center, located at 45 West Fifth Street, Chillicothe. Refreshments will be served.