Exhibit examines Valley’s contributions to U.S. conflicts



THE HISTORIC BARNHISEL HOUSE ON North State Street in Girard offers a view to area life in the past and for several months will focus on how area residents contributed to wars fought by the United States.

Newspaper clippings, military clothing, small tools and weapons, war rations books, posters and pictures from the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Spanish-American War line virtually every wall in the two-story wood-frame house.

Colette Chuey, a member of the Girard Historic Society, which operates Barnhisel House, said the society decided to present the display to show the area’s in the country’s past wars and show the historic value of the house.

“We just thought this would be of interest to people, something new,” she said. “We wanted to collect and show as many things as possible and hopefully bring as many people to the house as possible.”

What’s on display

The first room visitors see is dedicated to the Spanish-American War, complete with a map of what Girard looked like during the time and a chair engraved with a battle scene from the war. There is also a set of photos showing local soldiers who fought in the Spanish-American War.

The room dedicated to the Spanish-American War also includes literature on Frank E. Bunts, a descendant of the Barnhisel family who once lived in the house and is said to have served in the military in some capacity during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I.

Another room holds the memory of a Girard serviceman killed in action during World War II. Sitting on a small table in what is normally the living room is a small picture of Harold “Hack” Stanley, who served in the Navy during World War II until he was killed in 1945 at age 19. The display also includes Stanley’s medals and the flag presented to his family.

The second floor holds a room dedicated to Civil War memorabilia, including a scrapbook filled with the names of and various information about many of the Civil War soldiers from Girard, Liberty Township and Weathersfield. There’s also a Civil War-era military uniform and battlefield artifacts.


According to Chuey, every aspect of the display is meant to keep in line with the teaching of history.

“We want people to learn the history of the periods, the history of the area and the history of this house. This is all about history,” she said. “This is not just for Girard, but for the entire county and Mahoning and Columbiana counties too.”

Ralph Chuey, Colette Chuey’s husband and a society member himself, said the house was once on the verge of being destroyed, but is now mostly restored and should be enjoyed by the community. Ten years ago, he said, some were calling for the house’s demolition; now it’s valued at more than $228,000.

The house is open to the public every second and fourth weekend Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The war memorabilia will be on display through the end of summer.