TROY — A spin on the Overfield Tavern Museum’s annual Yuletide Christmas Dinner is coming early this year, in an effort to comply with social distancing and raise funds for restoration and preservation projects.
“Bryan Begg of Bakehouse Bread has been very supportive of the museum for several years now. In cooperation with him, we developed the Yuletide Christmas Dinners, and we had those for four years now,” executive director Chris Manning said. “It’s really grown, and it’s really popular in the community, but unfortunately, we can’t have it this year because of the very nature of our building. It’s small, it’s tight quarters, we kind of cram people in there. It’s just not conducive to social distancing, and we had to cancel it this year, so this Tavern Takeout is our alternative fundraiser to help make up that lost revenue.”
The museum, which is 212 years old, is Troy’s oldest surviving building and one of the oldest standing buildings in Miami County. The tavern portion was built in 1808 with the cabin portion of the building built around 1803. The building was the original courthouse in Troy and the second courthouse in Miami County.
“It served as a general gathering place for the community, so they would have religious meetings there, various types of possible Masonic Lodge meetings, things like that,” Manning said. “It’s set up as a house museum right now, and it has frontier history in Troy. We have a new exhibit that will be opening up in the next few months on the early history of Miami County and Troy. That will talk about everything from the Native Americans who were here, to pioneers of color, to what medicine was like on the frontier.”
The fundraiser, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will feature made-from-scratch to-go meals consisting of a grilled Duroc pork chop, corn salad made with Fulton Farm’s sweet corn, cornbread, and hot baked apples. Costumed volunteers will deliver meals curbside at the museum. The proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward preservation of the exterior of the Overfield Tavern Museum.
“We’re in the process of replacing the roof this month, and we did receive a grant for that from the Troy Foundation,” Manning said. “We are also having to do some serious exterior repairs; a number of the logs are in really bad condition. They’re rotting, with giant hand-sized holes in them, so we’ll probably have to do some log replacement, completely new siding, new paint, new trim—all that. It’s going to be about $185,000, to get the exterior of the building done.”
The exterior preservation is the main focus of repairs at the museum, and while the Tavern Takeout is the primary fundraiser the museum will be holding this year, Manning says that the museum is also in need of volunteers.
“We’re always looking to increase our volunteer base, and it can be anything from helping to give tours at the museum on the weekends, to helping with inventory of our collections, helping with museum design, data entry—there’s a whole bunch of different things we need help with,” Manning said. “If anybody has any interest in a topic, there’s probably something they can do to help out with the museum. Volunteers are probably our number one need, other than money to support the museum.”
Tickets for the Tavern Takeout are $30 each and may be purchased online through Eventbrite, or by mailing a check payable to the Overfield Tavern Museum at 201 E. Water St., Troy, OH 45373. The museum will also be selling commemorative amber glass mini-growlers that are 32 ounces for $10 each, or $15 and they will be filled with locally sourced apple cider. Meals can also be purchased and donated to the St. Patrick Soup Kitchen across the street from the tavern.
In addition to Bakehouse Bread Co., support for Tavern Takeout comes from Fulton Farms; J. Hall & Associates, CPAs; and Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance.