History/Tourism, Sunbury

Landmarks Of Delaware County: Sunbury Town Hall

5 Dec , 2022  

By 1808Delaware

The Town Hall sits proudly in the middle of the square in the heart of Sunbury, just as it has for over 100 years.

In fact, this past week the building turned 154 years old!

The structure, which has come to be an icon for the city, was constructed after $6,500 was raised by the community. The Town Hall was built to house the Sunbury Institute, a school facility, with the third floor added to serve as a meeting place for area Masons, who contributed an additional $1,500.

Town Hall was dedicated on December 1, 1868. Its opening represented one of three major local investments of the period, the others being for a new road to Delaware and a rail line.

Bishop Edward Thomson

The primary address for the occasion was delivered by Bishop Edward Thomson, a name well-known to students of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan University history. Thomson, a native of England, was a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. For several years he also held the position of President of OWU.

In addition to his religious work, Thomson attained strong respecc as a lecturer and an editor, writing for periodicals and authoring papers. He died in 1870, just two years after his remarks, and is buried in Delaware’s Oak Grove Cemetery.

The Delaware Gazette shared the following about the Town Hall dedication:

“The good people of Sunbury…have manifested unusual energy and perseverance, and a commendable interest in the education of their youth, in erecting by volunteer contributions, a large and noble building for school purposes.”

Over the years, the building has been used for numerous purposes and has been updated on several occasions. Uses have included service as a home for the community library, a jail, village offices, public meeting spaces, and farmers institutes.

Photo: Public Domain

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