STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – Marian Kutlesa of Struthers founded the city’s historical society more than 25 years ago.
She has worked tirelessly to preserve the city’s history, which is why she has been nominated as this week’s Hometown Hero.
“I worked for the journal during the bicentennial time and saw that a lot of the elderly were passing away and large garbage cans of what I thought might have been history just discarded,” Kutlesa said.
The Struthers Historical Society is located inside the old Frankfort home.
“Alexander Frankfort and Louisa had three daughters, one remained in this house for her entire life, nearly. She said she lived to be 100 and she did. Alma made her day as a seamstress,” Kutlesa said.
The society receives visitors from near and far who are all looking to put together pieces of their past.
“The newspaper files like the fallen soldiers are studying that, also looking up parents in the high school yearbooks,” Kutlesa said.
The Struthers Historical Society contains a variety of newspapers. The newspapers range from the 1920’s to the 2000’s. Kutlesa also collects photographs of industry, businesses, people and homes and other memorabilia.
“It runs the gamut from the military uniforms to communion dresses to music and programs from events at the high school and different clubs and organizations,” Kutlesa said.
Most of the donations are from the community.
“Along with Dr. White who gave us the artifacts from the Hopewell furnace,” Kutlesa said.
Her hard work is appreciated by many, but especially Betty Kossick-DeCesare and Linda Skrinyer, who nominated her.
“I just feel she’s done a wonderful job, and it’s good. We have to preserve this for our children, so that they see where they came from and what was here before,” Skrinyer said.
Kossick-Decesare believes that without Kutlesa, much of the city’s history would be lost.
“Because she’s worked so hard for this building and to preserve this stuff for posterity. my goodness. It’d be in a dumpster, if it hadn’t been for Marian,” Kossick-Decesare said.
Kutlesa will be remembered in history as a WYTV Hometown Hero.