Ada's Leland Crowe poses next to the front page of a framed old Ada Herald front page at a "Ada Historical Society" booth at the "Farmers & Merchants Picnic" last weekend - Ada Herald
Ada's Leland Crowe poses next to the front page of a framed old Ada Herald front page at a "Ada Historical Society" booth at the "Farmers & Merchants Picnic" last weekend.

ADA —There’s some absolutely phenomenal ‘history’ behind this story.

Twist of that phrase intended.

Ada’s Leland Crowe grew up in the village here.

He graduated from AHS in ’66, liked the area, stayed, and went on to work at Ford Motor Company in Lima. After three decades, or so, he retired.

Now he had time on his hands.

So, he decided to study it. “Time,” that is.

And not just TIME time, but rather “time in Ada,” across a looooong continuum.

He started with the year 1888, and he’s up to the year 1991. And Mr. Crowe is not just studying it, he’s chronicling it in a book that’s stored in a computer data base at present.

The book is up to (Are you ready for this?) 1600 pages!

Oh, and Mr. Crowe doesn’t just input things, he collects things too. In fact, his home on Rte. 81 is a veritable Ada Historical Society Museum.

Something (an “Ada Historical Society”), by the way, he formally started about a year ago. Ada Public Library Director, and admitted “history buff” himself, Rhett Grant, is the current president. Mr. Crowe is on the Board.

Why is he doing all this?

“For one, kids don’t know village history much,” he said.

What’s more, Mr. Crowe said he wants to develop a user-friendly data reference for, well, everyone. He used the example of, say, a relative five times removed coming to Ada to learn about their great, great grandfather.

Instead of having to go through reel after reel of micro-film, or whatever, a click of a button on Mr. Crowe’s computer would, most likely, bring up this man. (He is using a chronology of old Ada Herald newspaper editions for many of his references.)

As far as “Ada collectibles,” if you will, Mr. Crowe is replete with them. He gets them off the internet, buys them at garage sales, people give him things…

He then cleans them, categorizes them, frames some… and puts them on display in a large room in his home.

For instance, one of the things that’s framed is a March 10, 1939 “Purple & Gold” Ada High School newspaper, one of the school’s first editions!

He also has some boxing gloves that were manufactured by the former Ada “Ohio-Kentucky Manufacturing Company,” which was located in the factory Wilson is now in.

Also framed are hundreds of Ada postcards, “…no two the same,” he smiled.

Mr. Crowe, 72, has been doing this for some eight years. It’s a hobby that’s grown, and grown… into, again, the Ada Historical Society.

Incidentally, Mr. Crowe said he’d welcome any visitors to his home to see his collections, look up stuff on the “running history” data base, and so on. Just call before you come, he says: 419-230-7584.