A primer on the history of the Morback House
Once again, to recall the history and current happenings of our Heritage Center, here is a list of events of the building we call the Morback House Museum. It is located in the block of Veterans Memorial Park (First and Main streets). You might have noticed that there is lots of dust and mud flowing from the basement of the Morback House these days as workmen are trying to shore up the foundation of this 129-year-old structure being held up all these years by Sherwood Bricks. Here's the house's history:
1890: Matt Fitch, builder and brick factory engineer started the house. The basement was built with the original brick made at the brick factory, located in the area of Railroad and Pine Street today. Matt was married to Nettie Fitch nee Smock and Mr. Fitch built the house for J.C. Smock who sold it to Robert Alexander, one of the brick factory owners.
1892: House finished. As of 2021, it's 129 years old.
Oct. 6, 1899: Joe Morback purchased the house. He married one of J.C. Smock's daughters.
May 3, 1912: Mr. Morback becomes mayor. A water well for the city was drilled in the front yard of the house by Joe Morback's brother, Jack.
1916: The Morback brothers maintained the well and piped water into a 500-gallon tank in "The Water Room" on the second floor of the house. One morning Joe went out to fix the pump, got his ragged coat caught in the gears and lost his hand and forearm. Joe continued as mayor of Sherwood and managed the Sherwood White Socks baseball team.
1931: Rosa Morback nee Smock passes away in the House.
1935: Vera Fish marries Mr. Morback. Extensive remodeling of the Morback House with wrap-around porch and kitchen and dining room located upstairs done the same year.
1946: Mr. Morback passes away. By March, Vera sold the house to George and Edna Stiles.
September 7, 1962: The Stiles sold the house to Bradford and Dora Wilcox for $6,000.
Feb. 9, 1965: The Wilcox family sold the house to Lauren and Byrl Nichols.
June 10, 1966: The Nichols sold the house to the city of Sherwood for $13,000.
1966: Sherwood Library moves to the Morback House basement. Lyle Ulrich, who worked for city maintenance, hand-shoveled out a new entrance to the basement library. The police station moved in and the City Hall moved into the upper floors. City hall moved out in 1997.
2003 Summer: Sherwood Police move out of the Morback House.
2003 November: The Sherwood Historical Society moved into the Morback House and held its first open house in December.
April 2008: Mad Hatter Tea Party was hosted in "The Girl's Room" on the second floor. It was part of a cultural exhibit titled "All Things Tea."
June 30, 2008: Edogawa students and dignitaries from Japan come to see how volunteerism works in America.
2008 Fall: Nathanael Haggard presented his Eagle Scout project to the Morback House. The project was building benches for the porch and the Train Room.
March 2011: Porch redone with new planking and a to-code railing.
July 27, 2019: Siding, roof, and upstairs windows repaired. Top of house re-painted.
May 2021: Foundation of basement shored up.
We have not been given the go-ahead to open up the museum, but chances look good to open up by mid-June.
By then, hopefully the remodel will also be finalized. Follow us on Facebook for up-to-the minute announcements.
We are also starting up the pop-up book sales to raise money for publication of Volume 3 of the Sherwood History Book. They will be held on Saturday mornings on the porch of the Morback House.
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