HOWLAND - Howland Township this week will mark its 200th anniversary, and relatives of the original founders and early township settlers will be on hand to take part.
''It's like coming home,'' said Louisa Howland Miller of Vienna, formerly of New York, whose great-great-great-grandfather was Joseph Howland for whom the township is named. Miller provided reproductions of original portraits of Joseph and his family for display at a local art museum and the Howland Administration building on Tuesday.
The portraits show Joseph and his wife, Lydia, along with their daughter-in-law Louisa Meredith Howard, who is Miller's great-great-grandmother and was married to Gardiner Greene Howard. The artwork will be displayed at the Butler Institute of Art Howland Branch.
Louisa Howland Miller, left, of Vienna and formerly of New York, shows Trustee Matthew Vansuch, right, historic items about her great-great-great grandfather, Joseph Howland, for whom the township is named. A portrait of Joseph Howland, in the background, and others from his immediate family will be displayed in the administration building at 4 p.m. Tuesday as the township celebrates its bicentennial. Photo by Bob Coupland
Miller, who came to the area in 1970, said the bicentennial events at 4 p.m at the administration building and 5 p.m. at the Butler to honor Howland's founding families are very exciting.
''I'm very excited to be part of this,'' Miller said noting her brother, G. Dulaney Howland also will be coming from Dallas to join in the celebration.
The township of Howland or ''The High Land'' was established in 1812.
Joseph Howard bought a tract of land from the Connecticut Land Company in the area of the Connecticut Western Reserve on Jan. 31, 1789. Howland sold 1,600 acres of land to Captain John H. Adgate and in 1799 Adgate and his family arrived in the southwestern part of the area, building the township's first log cabin.
More settlers followed and in 1812 the Trumbull commissioners organized Howland as a separate township and election district.
Descendants of the Capt. John Adgate family also will be in town to mark the anniversary event and annual holiday parade.
In addition to the copies of three portraits, Miller also gave a tax record of the township land purchase by Joseph Howard.
''I am very grateful to the township for all they are doing. I have items, such as journals, the portraits and wanted a place like this for them to be displayed,'' Miller said.
Louisa and Dulaney Miller will be available to meet the public and share information during the celebration events.
She said her ancestors were record keepers with many detailed journals. Miller said she also has a purchase agreement between the Howlands and Adgates.
Connie Cera of Warren did the transcribing of the journals some from the early 1900s. The items will be displayed at the administration building under glass. Cera will be among the speakers at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the administration building.
Cera described Joseph Howland as a man who meant so much to the township.
''Joseph Howland was a ship builder and did so much,'' Cera said.
Howland Trustee Matthew Vansuch said the township is in the first steps of getting a historical center established at its administration building.
For the open house on Tuesday, there are more than 18 photos from the Howland Historical Society displayed.
Vansuch said the township has received some of the Earnie Hall collection from Harm Andrews who has been going over items to be donated to the township. Hall, was an aviator, known for the Earnie Hall Airport.
Plans are for the township to have an entire room downstairs at the administration building to be used as a historical center.
''We have a good start for our center,'' he said, noting they are hoping for other donations of photographs, memorabilia and artifacts from residents.
Vansuch said the Howland and Adgate relatives will be featured on a float at 10 a.m. Wednesday during the township's bicentennial parade. There will be bicentennial events from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. by the high school.