CHILO – After a nation-wide search, the Clermont County Park District hired Ben Morrill as the new site manager at Chilo Lock 34 Park Visitors Center.
One of the immediate benefits of the hire is – starting Nov. 13 – the museum will operate six days a week instead of five, open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
“We’re glad to have the position filled and that Ben has joined our team,” said Mark D. Motz, community relations manager. “He comes to us with a master’s degree in history as well as experience at several other museums, including the Cincinnati Museum Center.
“Having both Ben and our attendant Johanna Huddleston on site will go a long way toward fulfilling the potential of our so-called hidden gem. It’s already unique among river museums in that it’s actually on the river, but now we’ll be able to share different sides of how special that is to the community.”
Morrill said that was one of his goals, to weave elements of Chilo history into a much bigger story that connects to all of Clermont County, the Ohio River valley region and the entire county.
“The history and the location are tied together,” he said. “The lock and dams are a big part of westward expansion and creating a national economy.
“The Ohio River and commerce played such an important role in shaping the area, interpreting that history and trying to incorporate a broader scope of that history will play important role in why this site is so significant.”
Another goal is engagement. Having both Morrill and Huddleston will help the Park District offer presentations and programs on site as well as in schools, libraries, historical societies and the like.
“I’d like to expand the site’s ability to interact with our audience, however and wherever we can do that,” Morrill said. “I also want to find new ways to engage our existing patrons and continue attracting new people to our site.
“History is important because it tells people how we’ve gotten where we are. It’s a source of pride for a lot of places. That can play a big role in how a community sees itself and how it moves forward.”
Interested in scheduling a museum visit and tour? Contact Ben Morrill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-876-9013.
Mark D. Motz is the Community Relations Manager for the Clermont County Park District. A native Cincinnatian, he has worked for more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. Away from work, he enjoys photography, theater and spending time with his nine godchildren.