The Fenton History Center is so excited to welcome our new Director Jane Babinsky. Jane started on Monday May 23rd. Her past experience and education make her very qualified to head the Fenton. We are looking forward to many years of new and exciting ideas as well continuing to care for the Museum and our extensive collection of artifacts and archives.
On a personal note, she fit in immediately with her open and friendly manner. As she met with the individual staff members and many of the volunteers, it became obvious that she has a love of history and the Fenton. Conversation with her, is always a wonderful exchange of thoughts and ideas. And now for Jane’s story in her own words.
I am grateful to have the opportunity of serving the Fenton History Center as the executive director. The museum reminds me of the Seneca County Museum in Tiffin, Ohio, where I did my internship during my senior year at Heidelberg University. My major at Heidelberg was American Studies and Museology (the modern term is Museum Studies).
I grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, surrounded by antiques in a century home and my grandmother was the town historian. As a small child my grandmother would take me on various museum visits, which instilled my love of history and museums. I was supposed to go to Cooperstown after graduation from Heidelberg, however, there was an economic crunch that effected museums at the time, so, I went in a different direction. I worked in several Ohio hospitals and nursing homes as a certified Activities Director and went to Kent State University Graduate School for a masters in Therapeutic Recreation and Administration. I also owned my own consulting business and K9Piper’s Place, a doggie daycare, training, grooming, and retail business.
Many years went by before I finally began my museum career! I was the director of the Chagrin Falls Historical Society & Museum before moving to Western New York. For many years I wanted to move to Western New York because I have family in Buffalo and own a house in Lily Dale. I moved to Lily Dale in 2018 and became the executive director of the Historical Society of Dunkirk.
My hobbies include playing bagpipes with the 96th Highlanders of Jamestown, playing ukulele with several groups and playing several other instruments. I train dogs and I am an AKC CGC evaluator and an evaluator for Therapy Dogs International, Inc. I also write (have published historical books, articles related to pets, and articles on Spiritualism) and frequently speak in church and work as a Healer. Because of my love of pets, I had to move to a larger house in Fredonia where I have six dogs, two cats, and a green cheeked Conure.
That’s my life in a nutshell! I hope to meet our members of the Fenton History Center, so please stop in at the museum and introduce yourself.