African American News and Genealogy

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Vandalized monument may have to be replaced

2005-06-23 By David Laber Athens NEWS Writer Ohio University and Multicultural Genealogical Center officials are looking into replacing a Court Street monument installed last year to honor the founders of the old Berry Hotel.About one month ago, someone damaged the plaque by drawing facial hair on pictures of Edward and Martha Berry, the hotel founders."I just find it unbelievable that on Court Street, someone had the gumption to deface the monument," said David Butcher, president of the Multicultural Genealogical Center. The multicultural center, which is located in Chesterhill, is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting the contributions of multicultural and multiracial families in the Ohio River Valley.Butcher said the multicultural center and OU "will see to getting (the plaque) repaired or replaced."OU spokesman Jack Jeffery confirmed Tuesday that the university is looking into fixing the monument.In May 2004, OU, the Multicultural Center, and the OU black alumni association had an unveiling ceremony in front of the Court Street Diner, 18 N. Court St., where the hotel stood until it was razed in 1974.The hotel was built in 1892 and is credited as the first hotel to provide Bibles in the rooms. The hotel also used revolutionary items such as electric bells and gaslights.After the hotel closed, the university bought the hotel and used it as a student residence hall, known as Berry Hall.Butcher said it's a shame someone defaced the monument because it was a big challenge just to get the plaque placed. He credited the Court Street Diner ownership for allowing the plaque to be erected on its property.


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