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Mark & Rebecca McVay

Two weeks ago we had the pleasure to assist a researcher named Rebecca from Indiana.  She spent two days with us, and Archive Assistant, Tom Haas helped her find some of the resources she needed. Rebecca was here in the fall of 2015 with her father researching the story of the Hoover Evacuees during World War Two.  At that time she interviewed Neva Shocksnyder of North Canton, Ohio who attended school with the “English” kids who came to live in the United States from 1940 to 1945 to escape the horrors of war.  Rebecca returned to continue researching this event in our local history for a book she is writing.


Neva Shocksnyder in 2016

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Rebecca hard at work on her research

We referred Rebecca to many people and organizations including the North Canton Heritage Society, the Genealogy Department at the Stark County District Library, and the Plain Township Historical Society.  While standing in the McKinley Library Rebecca expressed to me how she wished there was a pamphlet or map of North Canton sometime around 1940.  Rebecca is creating a story of how a host family from North Canton took in a young boy from England whose family worked for the Hoover Company.  She is researching North Canton, Ohio in the 1940’s to create a historical backdrop to her story.  Thanks to an initial inventory  by Archive Assistant, Rosemary Shaheen we were able to find a Sanborn Map of North Canton, Ohio in 1948! The very thing that Rebecca was looking for! She was overjoyed that we found such a treasure! I told her:

We Seek the Threads that Connect the Past & Present to Inspire Others in Their Quests..
This is WHY we do what we do…

Rebecca told me “You certainly have inspired my quest.”  


Sanborn Fire Insurance Map North Canton, Ohio 1948


When Rebecca was in the fifth grade she entered a writing contest.  The piece she entered was too long.  From this incident she decided to write a book, and found the subject of the Hoover Evacuees in North Canton intriguing.  She made a promise to her “Aunt” Becky, her namesake that she would write a book and she promised to finish it.  When she was a little older she decided that she was not going to get this book completed and asked her Aunt Becky to let her out of her promise.  Her aunt simply said “No!”

Rebecca will keep her promise, and she will finish her book, and let us all in on a version of what it was like to live in North Canton, Ohio in the 1940’s.  We hope to have a copy of this book in our Stark County Archives someday.  When it is finished we will have the satisfaction knowing we did our part in helping Rebecca share our local history and help her make her story as historically accurate as possible.

February 2, 2019
Mark G. Holland
McKinley Presidential Library