Arcanum secrets are not secret


By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

Have you ever heard “Arcanum is Ohio’s Best Kept secret?” Or another old name for Arcanum is a Secret Place? What does Arcanum mean? The word Arcanum is derived from the Latin word “arcanus” meaning secret. Arcanum is the pluralized form of the word “arcana”. One favorite teacher at Arcanum High School back in the 70s was Mrs. Winifred Menke, who taught Latin; maybe we should have all taken her class back in the day! During the Dark Ages that ended in the Renaissance, the word Arcanum was used to refer to the mysteries of the physical and spiritual worlds, subjects of heavy scrutiny and rethinking.

How did Arcanum get its name? Arcanum was laid out in 1849. The Greenville and Miami railroad arrived to Arcanum in 1852, connecting it to Dayton and much of the outside world. This helped contribute to the majority of its economic prosperity.

Arcanum received its name in November of 1848 when two engineers were given the task by John Gunder. Gunder instructed the men to “select a name and have one that is not on the map of the globe.” Between the first requirement and the dark, foggy November weather, the men chose “Arcanum,” which conveniently means “secret, hidden.” Much more information about the town and the name are published in several books including “Arcanum: A Secret Place”, “Arcanum: A Secret Place-The Sequel”, “The Secret Place”, “The Secret Town” by William Gunder, and “Arcanum Centennial Celebration 1949-1950.” (Copies of these publications are available at the research library at the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society).

We are very fortunate to have multiple organizations that are made up of volunteers to preserve and make Arcanum better. If you are looking to volunteer or get to know more people in Arcanum, please check out one of these local organizations; they include the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society, the Arcanum Preservation Society, the Arcanum Lions’ Club, the Arcanum Masonic Lodge; just to name a few. At the school there are many parent organizations that work to support our children and youth including the Arcanum PTO, Arcanum Athletic Boosters, the Arcanum A# Club, the Arcanum Kindergarten Parents Club, and the list goes on and on.

CORRECTION from last week’s column: The AWTHS has a QUARTERLY newsletter not a monthly newsletter. More information about the organization is available on their website: or email them at [email protected] or call 937-417-2966. The reference library is located at AWTHS building, 123 West George Street, Arcanum. The library is available when there is an Open House or by appointment. If you are interested in an appointment, please call Annette Stewart at the above listed phone number.

The Arcanum Alumni Association (AAA) would like to thank the community for your support of their fundraisers this year. Fan Gear items are still available to purchase and Chic-Fil-A sandwiches will continue to be available at all the Boys’ JV/Varsity home basketball games for the remainder of the season. Thanks also to the Arcanum Athletic Boosters Club for partnering with the AAA on this project. For more details check out their Facebook page: Arcanum Alumni Association or the alumni tab on the school website:

Congratulations AGAIN to Charlie Barry for breaking another Arcanum High School Swim record at the Bethel invitational on Sunday, Jan. 8!

Lifewise Academy invites everyone to come support the FM and Arcanum Lifewise Academy programs on Jan. 20 prior to the Arcanum Trojans versus FranklinMonroe Jets Boys’ JV/Varsity basketball contest. The game will be held this year at the FM gym in Pitsburg. Both programs are holding a joint fundraiser before the biggest rivalry basketball game in Darke County and everyone is invited to attend! The joint fundraiser will be hosted in the FM cafetorium with all proceeds going to help defray the cost of the bus they jointly own and use each week. Dinner includes: pulled pork, chips, bottled water and a dessert for $5.00. Dinner will begin serving at 5 p.m. Come join in on the fun promoting this wonderful program that is involved with both area schools.

Buffalo Wild Wings will support our Student programs with a fundraising and dinner opportunity on Jan. 30, from 4 to 9 p.m. BWW is located at 1485 Wagner Ave., Greenville and will award 15 percent of the total receipts that night to Arcanum Schools. You must present a ticket for the school to get the credit, to get your ticket check out this link on the Facebook page at:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~Roald Dahl

“A secret’s worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.” ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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