DOVER (WJER) (July 5, 2023) – The Warther Museum is getting to celebrate a big achievement more than two years in the making.
Director Kristen Harmon says the former home of Master Carver Ernest “Mooney” Warther is now included in the National Register of Historic Places.
“It’s definitely a huge recognition just of what he was able to accomplish in his lifetime as an artist to be honored and recognized at the biggest level by our National Park Service. He was recognized not only as important to our state of Ohio but also to our nation.”
To get to this point, the museum had to compile an extensive bio explaining how Mooney’s carvings transcended geographic boundaries and touched people all over the country.
“I had two individuals helping me because they’ve done this process before so they certain things that the National Park Service looks for in these applications. So I had to get it approved by the state, and then they submitted it to the National Park Service and defended it to move forward to be approved finally at that level.”
The task was especially meaningful for Harmon, who’s Mooney’s great-granddaughter.
“My generation didn’t get to meet him and know him but my mom and her generation did I think so for me it’s a lot more I need to work on preserving this, sharing this story, historical accuracy, those types of things.”
The recognition came as the museum marked the 50th’s anniversary of Mooney’s passing and opens up new funding opportunities to help preserve his legacy.
“Things like his workshop, the family home, the original museum – which we all know as the button house, those are quite old buildings, and so they need repairs and this opens up doors to be able to apply for grants that will help us keep them as accurate as possible as time moves forward”
Residents of Tuscarawas and surrounding counties can check out the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens for free with Travel Tusc tickets from the local convention and visitors bureau. Harmon says they recently updated their display of carvings from Mooney’s retirement years and will be unveiling a new exhibit in September.