Clinton County Historical Society Welcome

The Clinton County History Center
149 E. Locust Street
PO Box 529
Wilmington, OH 45177 (937) 382-4684

Museum and Library
$5 non-members

Office Hours
Wed-Fri, 9:00 - 4:00 Tues by appointment

Kay Fisher, Director/Curator

Deborah Edgington, Collections Manager


Clinton County Historical Society

Thobaben to Speak at History Center

Thursday, May 14, 2015, 7:00pm

at the Clinton County History Center
corner of Lincoln and Locust, Wilmington

Bob Thobaben, Master Bird Bander and President of the Ohio Bird Banding Association, will present a program about the identification of feathers, the effect of the early millinery trade on birds, and the preservation laws that saved many birds from extinction.

Mr. Thobaben recently donated his time and expertise to identify the plumage on the hats in Center’s new exhibit, Furs & Feathers: A Culture of Fashion. He is a retired biology and chemistry teacher, with 33 years in the public school.  He was an adjunct instructor at Wright State for 11 years and Wilmington College for 2 years. 

A $5 donation is appreciated. 



Furs & Feathers: a Culture of Fashion

Lynx Chinchilla Beaver


A new exhibit at the Clinton County History Center, “Furs & Feathers: A Culture of Fashion,” explores changes in the culture of fur and feather fashion from the late 1800s to the early 21st century,  with a display of hats, coats, jackets and capes.

The wearing of fur provided warmth for early mankind.  As fashion and culture changed, the wearing of furs took on new meanings.  They were symbolically worn during ceremonies; used to distinguish the aristocracy from common man; provided deep pocketed raccoon coats for hiding flasks at football games; became symbols of luxury, glamour and sexuality; and gave evidence that a woman’s husband or “friend” had become a success.

Unlike fur, feathers provide no protection from the heat and no comfort from the cold.  For millennium, mankind has used feathers for adornment and symbolically in spiritual ceremonies.  Before her untimely beheading in 1793, Marie Antoinette introduced the wearing of plumage in the French Court.  As this fashion custom made its way throughout Europe and the United States colonies, thousands of birds were killed for their plumage by the millinery trade.



Foos Building, Wilmington

Commercial Club

Whether you called it the Foos Building, the Commercial Club, or the old Eagles Building, you can read the entire history of this former landmark building via our Local History page.