Stemtown Museum’s new location celebrated with ribbon cutting

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Local residents packed the Stemtown Museum to celebrate its new location on Kansas Street in Green Springs on April 4. The ribbon cutting was hosted by Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce.

When a waning congregation forced the closure of Calvary United Methodist Church in Green Springs, parishioners closed the door on decades of memories. Now, the Stemtown Historical Society is preserving memories of the entire village inside the church walls. The historical society purchased the building, and on April 4, it celebrated its new location for the Stemtown Museum with a ribbon cutting.

The event was hosted by Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce staff, including Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Bryce Riggs; Marisa Stephens, who serves as Director of Marketing for the chamber and Destination Seneca County; Director of Internal Operations Deb  Martorana and Marketing Specialist Judy Dezse.

State Rep. Gary Click presents a proclamation to Stemtown Historical Society President Megan Knieriemen.

Among the packed crowd that attended the ribbon cutting were Mike and Marylou Bordner, who were married in the church on July 1, 1989. Mike attended the church for about 40 years, and he is grateful the building is being preserved by the Stemtown Historical Society.

“I grew up in the church,” he said. “I’m absolutely happy to know it will be maintained.”

The former church was transformed into the Stemtown Museum by the volunteer historical society board which includes Board President Megan Knieriemen, Vice President Stephanie Rutherford, Secretary Brenda Engeman, Treasurer Andrew Jones and Curator Brenda Rando.

Megan’s husband, Green Springs Mayor Derek Knieriemen, is very proud of the work his wife did at the museum.

“She is amazing. This museum is amazing,” Derek said. “She’s a good leader, and this is a fresh start for the museum.”

Several dignitaries attended the event in addition to Derek, including State Rep. Gary Click; Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart; District Director for J.D. Vance, Tim Schneider; Tiffin Mayor Lee Wilkinson; and Bud Rutherford, whose generous donation, given in memory of his wife Maxine, helped sustain the museum.

Among the dignitaries at the ribbon cutting were Bud Rutherford, left, and Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart.

“Without his support, we might not have had the opportunity to purchase the church and continue our mission,” Megan said.

Click talked about the importance of looking back at history to help define the future, and he praised the society board for their inexhaustible efforts as they designed the new museum site.

“I want to congratulate you on all the hard work you put into this,” Click said.

Frankart recognized Rutherford for a lifetime of dedication to area children. Rutherford’s devotion to youth will live on for years to come as local children learn the history of their village inside the museum walls. Frankart also thanked the board for their “dedication and fortitude” as they worked through many challenges in the past year.

“On behalf of the Seneca County Commissioners, we want to congratulate you,” Frankart said. “We’re always here for you.”

Megan thanked the dignitaries and the many local residents who attended the event, and she expressed deep gratitude for her board and the many volunteers who helped move the museum to its new site.

Marylou and Mike Bordner stand inside Stemtown Museum in the former Calvary United Methodist Church. The couple were married at the church in 1989.

“Today is not just about a physical space. It’s about the resilience and generosity that define our community,” she said. “It truly takes a village, and Green Springs is a testament to the strength that comes from a united community.”

Under the care of the society board, the museum has become a sustainable caretaker of the village’s history and the memories of its people.

“As we reopen the doors of our museum, we do so not just for the present but for future generations,” Megan said. “Our vibrant history and the incredible people of this community deserve to be remembered and celebrated.”