NEW PARIS — On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the New Paris Antique Mall became the most recent recipient of a historic plaque dedicated by the Preble County Historical Society, denoting the structure as a historic place in the county.
“Today, Oct. 3 of 2023, marks an important milestone in New Paris, Ohio as we dedicate the local historic plaque to the New Paris Antique Mall, formerly the Independent order of Oddfellows Lodge, which was built 150 years ago, in 1873,” Preble County Historical Society Executive Director Lisa White shared with those in attendance. “Wow, how remarkable that we are standing here 150 years later to honor this three-story brick structure.”
“This building was at one time an opera house with meeting rooms, singers and dancers, entertainment shows, traveling medicine shows and more. There was once a hardware store, a furniture store and a grocery store,” White continued.
“In 2008, Keith and Linda Kelly purchased the building and restored it and reopened it as the New Paris Antique Mall which has become quite a staple in New Paris and brings visitors from all over,” she said.
White thanked longtime Preble County Historical Society Members Mike and Jenny Raymond, whose financial contributions allowed PCHS to form a committee and award the plaques throughout the county.
“We hope that this historic plaque program will inspire generations of residents to learn and retell the story of our county’s history,” White added.
“I’d like to especially thank the Historical Society, for honoring us with this,” Keith Kelly said. “We’re flattered and totally surprised. It’s great for New Paris, it’s great for Preble County and it’s great for history in general.”
The historic plaque program began in 2020 with the first plaque being dedicated to the Jackson Township One Room Schoolhouse. The historic plaque program was created to celebrate the architecture, carpentry, and historic buildings of Preble County.
Anyone wishing to nominate a historic place in Preble County should email [email protected] or call 937-787-4256 on Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m. or Thursdays from 10-2 p.m.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.