Mill Creek MetroParks and McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory
Youngstown and Boardmand Township
During Ohio’s bicentennial, Mill Creek MetroParks focused on the history of Mill Creek Park. One of the initiatives was an
assessment of a bronze statue of Volney Rogers, a Youngstown attorney who wrote the legislation establishing township parks
in Ohio. Mill Creek was Ohio's first township park, established in 1891. A founding park commissioner, Rogers helped choose
the architects, landscape architects, engineers, and builders for the first 450 acres of parkland, drives, trails, and lakes
from 1891 to 1919. In celebration of his role in the creation and expansion of Mill Creek Park, a statue was proposed in 1918.
Funds came from a public campaign that included gifts from many Youngstown school children. In 1919, Rogers visited the
Chicago studio of sculptor Frederick C. Hibbard, where he modeled for the statue. It was dedicated in October 1920, ten
months after he died. When Tom Podnar of Oberlin’s McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Labroatory inspected the statue in 2004,
he found surface corrosion and crystalline growth, and pointed out the need for conservation. Funded by the Mill Creek Park
Foundation, the assessment, cleaning, and restoration undertaken by McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory restored
an important element of the Mill Creek Park landscape that is also one of few bronze statues in Mahoning County.
For a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office is Ohio's official historic preservation agency. A part of the Ohio Historical Society,
it identifies historic places in Ohio, nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places, reviews
federally-assisted projects for effects on Ohio's historic, architectural, and archaeological resources, consults on the
conservation of older buildings and sites, and offers educational programs and publications.