Tom O’Grady

Executive Director

They say “Elephants never forget.” Neither does Tom O’Grady. We are constantly amazed at the length and breadth of his knowledge of our area’s history, stories and architecture. Tom has lived in Southeast Ohio since 1980. He attended graduate school at Ohio University, fell in love with the place (as many do) and stayed. Tom has been teaching Astronomy at O.U. for more than 30 years where he not only imparts wisdom about the stars and the universe to students, but also the importance of protecting our natural and cultural heritage and why keeping history alive enriches us all.

Tom’s interest in history was awakened by working to clean up roadways and streams and stumbled into the remnants of the Hocking Valley Canal while running the Athens County Recycling and Litter Control program. He also had the unique experience of living at the Athens Asylum during his college years which gives him a valuable perspective on one of the biggest historical sites in Southeastern Ohio.

Tom has been a board member since 1999. In 2014, he became our Director and has been a bastion for local history and historic preservation ever since.

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Jessica Cyders

Curator

Jessica has been the curator at the Southeast Ohio History Center since June, 2011. She works to preserve and catalog the more than 70,000 artifacts, 13,000 photographs and over 5,000 paper archival materials in our collection. In addition, she designs and builds exhibits as well as conducting educational outreach for students of all ages.

Her favorite part of being Curator is managing our professional internship program, which gives students from Ohio University and Hocking College the opportunity to develop hands-on curation skills.

Jessica’s love for history started as a child visiting the dinosaurs at the Cleveland and Houston Museums of Natural History.

“My background is in history and communications, so everything that I’ve learned about curation and exhibit design I’ve learned on the job. I may not have followed the usual path to a museum career, but I have wonderful mentors, and I’m grateful every day that I get to do what I love.”

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Bosha Green

Museum Coordinator

Bosha joined our staff in 2012 as the Front Desk Manager. A year later she was promoted to Museum Coordinator where she now works hard as the financial and administrative manager as well as a plethora of other tasks.

Bosha grew up on the west side of Athens on Elizabeth Drive. She brings valuable local insight and information to the History Center. Her ancestors have lived in this area for many generations. The log cabin her Grandmother was born in still exists back in the woods located near Sugarcreek, also now known as “St. Augustus.” Bosha is Native American and a member of the Shawnee tribe. She also has ancestors that came from "across the creek" that date back to early settlement of Europeans in our area.

“As a Townie I grew up amidst two worlds; the University with all its wonderful opportunities, and local Appalachia, which fed my love of nature and my cultural heritage. We have such a unique history here and I’m committed to preserving and sharing our story.”

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Elias Jablonski

Front Desk Manager

Eli joined the Southeast Ohio History Center back in August of 2014 when it was still The Athens County Historical Society and Museum.

His fondest early memories of a museum were of attending The Cleveland Museum of Art. He manages our gift shop/ front desk area and enjoys helping people appreciate history. He also is a professional illustrator. Eli lives in a historic home on the same street as the History Center.

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Cyrus Moore III

Ohio History Service Corps Cyrus Moore III is the newest member of staff, but has previously served The Southeast Ohio History Center as a board member, a volunteer and is a strong advocate for saving historical buildings. He is currently serving as our Ohio History Service Corps representative for the next year. Cyrus's has a Masters Degree in military history and brings with him a treasure trove of information about conflict in America and specifically in our area. He is building a new exhibit for our Grand Opening that will showcase the effect war had on southeast Ohio leading up to and during WWI. In his Service Corps position, Cyrus also serves other local area historical societies and organizations like Little Cities of Black Diamonds and Meigs County Historical Society.

Lynne Newell

Special Projects Manager Lynne Newell is currently serving as Special Projects Manager for The Southeast Ohio History Center. During our construction, she acts as liaison between the contractors, board and staff. Lynne has served on our Board of Trustees and has been a special volunteer, giving much of her time to see our Southeast Ohio History Center become the best it can be. Lynne hold a PhD. in Archaeology and was instrumental in starting Archaeology Month here at the History Center.
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