Tom Haas, who recently portrayed his grandfather George Monnot in the play based on the book “A Secret Gift” visited the Ramsayer Research Library last week. He is very knowledgeable about his native Canton. George Monnot owned Monnot & Sacher on Market Avenue South. It was in the same building that houses the Canton Classic Car Museum. Tom shared with me this building was two stories in the early 20th century, and the cars his grandfather sold were partly assembled on the second floor, and the showroom was on the main level. He helped to identify some of the Monnot photographs we have in our collection. Here is a picture of the dealership after the fire destroyed the second floor, c.1943 from Tom’s collection.
George Monnot wrote to B. Virdot that Xmas of 1933, hoping for $5.00 to help his family. Tom shared that his grandfather’s family had lost everything. It is likely that Sam Stone knew George Monnot, and they ran in the same social circles.
Tom shared that E.T. Heald’s protege, Gervis S. Brady, became the first director of the Stark County History Center in 1963. Tom worked for the Bicentennial Committee in Canton, for two years. Then moved here to the History Center as the Director of Education. Leaving the Historical Society for WHBC where he worked in advertising for the next 35 years.
Thank you Tom, for your visit, and your insight into the history of our organization.