July 3, 2003



Moving forward, celebrating past

This weekend’s events celebrating the bicentennial of Yellow Springs are the result of a lot of hard work by many fine community members. The Yellow Springs Historical Society has been the driving force behind the celebration, organizing many of this weekend’s events, as well as numerous other activities this year centered on the history of Yellow Springs. The Historical Society has been assisted with financial support from the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, as well as contributions and support from several businesses and other local groups.

Certainly not everyone can be named here who has had a hand in organizing an event, activity or reunion this weekend, or who has encouraged friends and family to return to town. But local residents can acknowledge the efforts of these people by attending the festivities and thinking about what makes this community the place that it is.

That should be part of the point of the bicentennial celebration —- to recognize the successes of Yellow Springs and why so many have chosen to make it their home. This weekend provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Yellow Springs’ community groups, its school system, local governments, public servants, businesses, Antioch, the Glen, its spiritual groups and the many volunteers who do make a difference. It is also a time to think about moving forward, making Yellow Springs an even better place to live, perhaps by creating community projects. Because, we need to ask, where do we go from here once the celebration is over?

While it’s been 200 years since the first known white settler, Lewis Davis, came here, 2006 will mark the sesquicentennial of the incorporation of the Village of Yellow Springs. It’s premature to call for another community celebration, let alone start planning for one now, but the latter date should be acknowledged in three years for its historical significance.

The key is what we do with the community spirit generated by such celebrations. It would be a shame not to capitalize on these efforts. After all, in another 25 or 50 years, more celebrations will be held, and the merits of today’s efforts will truly be measured.

—Robert Mihalek