Arcanum News: Month of May has come


The Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society welcomes Fred Shaw, also known as Neeake, to share stories from his Native American ancestors. A retired Methodist minister, Fred is a Shawnee descendant and a traditional storyteller of the culture; he has shared stories in a variety of national and international venues.

Fred is one of 10 American Indian storytellers invited to share in the first-ever National Native American Indian storytelling Festival. AWTHS welcomes you to join them on May 12 at 7 p.m. when Fred shares the stories, a part of an oral tradition that has been handed down from one generation to the next for centuries and include history, music, humor, cultural perspectives, words as art and ecology.

Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society will be open during The Old Fashioned Days held in Arcanum. Hours at the historical society will be: May 20 from 6-8 p.m.; May 21 noon-8 p.m.; and May 22 noon-6 p.m. The historic house was originally built in 1894 for Louis Deitrich who operated a saloon and hotel until 1899. The establishment was many businesses and used for many functions over the years including Beck’s Hotel and the Arcanum Wayne Trail Grange. The Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society purchased the building and it has been home since 2004. It has been designated as a historic site by the AWTHS and is a part of the walking tour of other designated historic sites in downtown Arcanum.

Pick up a map while visiting. They are pleased to announce the wall portraits of Louis (Lewis) Deitrich (Dietrich) and wife Christina are on loan to us by the Dietrich family at the historical house along with Lewis’ obit and family history. Lewis lived in New Bremen prior to moving to Arcanum and had nine children. He owned a farm on Grubbs-Rex Road in Monroe Township and moved to Pitsburg after retiring. Along with the Dietrich portraits, we also have our school photo displays and maps of the old one- and two-room school house locations in southern Darke County. Various other displays are throughout the historic Victorian house. Stop in and see us during Old Fashioned Days! Summer hours at 123 W. George St. will begin June 4 in which we will be open every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon to visit, tour, and research the reference library. Appointments for research are recommended and those can be made by calling 937-417-3746 or [email protected]. Visit their web site for more details and information at

If anyone has an old I-phone they would like to donate to the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society, please call 937-417-3746. This would be used to scan the old Arcanum Times newspapers so copies of articles could be printed out and would be a pretty easy way to go for volunteers (must be a smart phone).

Fellow Arcanum graduate Linda Castillo’s (Coble) New York Times Bestselling novels are available on or Some of you may recall that she has written multiple bestsellers and SWORN TO SILENCE was adapted into a two-hour original movie re-titled AN AMISH MURDER and starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder. She currently resides in Texas with her husband, two rescued Blue Heelers, and two Appaloosa horses. She’s currently at work on her next novel, a thriller set in Amish Country and featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder.

Don’t forget to stop by and wish Joan (Hunt) Bechtol-Carter a happy 90th birthday! Her family will be hosting a party for her this coming Saturday at the AWTHS from 2 to 4 p.m. The family requests your presence, no gifts please. Should you be unable to attend and want to wish Joan a happy birthday, please send her a card to 10 Park Drive, Arcanum, Ohio.

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.” ~ Sir Thomas Malory

By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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