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Bethany Resident Wins Preservation Hero Award

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Martha BoiceBethany Village resident Martha Boice recently earned the Preservation Hero Award from Heritage Ohio. The award will be presented in October during a special ceremony.

Martha has dedicated much of her adult life to preserving historic buildings around Washington Township and Centerville.

“I’m very pleased to have the honor,” says Martha. “This has been the main focus of my adult life.”

The Preservation Hero award commemorates an individual, organization or business that has shown outstanding leadership in revitalizing and preserving Ohio communities. It is a lifetime achievement award.

Martha’s most recent historic preservation undertaking was the instigation of a National Register nomination for Erma Bombeck’s house, located in Centerville. Over the years, Martha has fought for several buildings, including the David Watkins- George Sears House (originally built in 1826). Martha’s research on Centerville’s historic stone houses led to the creation of the Centerville Historic District. That district earned a spot in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Martha worked hard and helped secure National Register markers for The John Belville House (Centerville) and the Frederick Smith House (Washington Township). Not stopping at bricks and mortar, Martha also directed the effort to have two historic markers dedicated along Mad River Road, noting the last intact segment of the earliest road connecting Dayton to Cincinnati way back in 1796. Drive the area between Washington and Miami Townships today and you’ll see a marker from Ohio History Connection.

A prolific writer, Martha authored A Sense of Place in 1977. The book focuses on historic homes in Centerville and Washington Township. In 1997, she wrote Maps of the Shaker West. In between these books, she wrote several National Register nominations and Ohio Historic Inventory forms.

We congratulate Martha on this well-deserved award and can’t wait to learn about her next big project.

Read the entire entry booklet with history on Martha’s entire preservation career and advocacy work.

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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