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Cutler fundraising for historical marker

At the end of July, heritage and history will be celebrated with bingo and a cause.

“Cutler had been a station of the Underground Railroad,” explained Kay Harris, 77, of Cutler. “We’ve been working on the history of Cutler for a long time and thought it would be neat to have a sign here… we’re going to include information about the first school teacher and his father (who) was one of the colored troops from Washington County injured in the Civil War.”

The fundraising event, raising money for a historical marker, will be held on July 27 and is sponsored by the Cutler Heritage and Legacy Society. Doors will open at 11 a.m. with bingo beginning at noon in the Cutler Community Center.

“We need $2,500 and we usually have bingos for our seniors and for the community center, but this will be an extra one for the sign,” explained Harris.

Harris is married to that teacher’s grandson, Clayton, 82, and said the marker will laud not only the area’s multi-racial history but also the history of William Cutler bringing the first physical railroad through the community.

“Esau (Harris) wasn’t only a school teacher but carried mail on his back, and he was so good to the community,” explained Harris. “And the Smith farm had the underground railroad, they still have descendants around Lancaster. And we want to highlight Doctor Harsha who bought the land, he was the first one to come to the area. Then when William Cutler came, he was the one who helped get the railroad through.”

The society is working locally with Sewah Studios to create the sign, a venture which owner Brad Smith said he’s proud to be a part of.

“We try to guide historical societies and groups to be as direct and to the point with their signs as possible while inviting the public to learn more,” he said. “Historical societies are such a wealth of information, so this opens up a conduit to that in a way that can catch someone’s eye and make them want to learn more as they walk or drive by.”

Smith said often local civic organizations like Rotarians will offer to sponsor or match funding for the signs, too.

“That way the civic organization is getting some namesake branding but also celebrating local history whether it’s about a house, a public figure or an event that happened in a place,” he explained.

The sign will also include information about James and Margaret Smith, who gave aid to more than 150 escaped slaves during the mid-1800s, and will consist of information on how commerce grew in Cutler surrounding the railroad which operated until 1916 in the community.

For more information on the bingo event or to make a donation towards the sign, contact the society at P.O. Box 32, Cutler, or call Harris at 740-989-2127.

If you go:

• What: Longaberger Basket Bingo fundraiser for a Cutler historical marker.

• When: 11 a.m. July 27.

• Where: Cutler Community Center, 4550 Two Mile Run Road, Cutler.

Source: Kay Harris.

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