Film maker discusses new project about Bellville at OGS meeting

BELLVILLE — Rusty Farst, a former Bellville resident and videographer, was the featured speaker at the Bellville Jefferson Township Historical Society. Farst is making a documentary about Bellville that he plans to title “Main Street America: Bellville Ohio.”

The meeting was used for brainstorming topics and people to interview to make the documentary as authentically “Bellville” as Bellville people would like. The purpose is to give Bellville a teaching device for future generations.

Farst introduced newcomers to Bellville Don and Jennifer Van Meter who have purchased The Wishmaker House. The Van Meters are providing lodging for Farstin return for his making commercial videos for The Wishmaker House.

The Van Meters said they do not plan to change the format of the beautiful bed and breakfast except they have expanded the hours to Wednesday through Saturday, 4-10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Their intent is to add Sunday brunch sometime after the first of the year. In mid-November, they plan to introduce a new pomegranate wine named after Dr. Eli Stofer, who had The Wishmaker House built. Honoring Dr. Stofer this way is another way to reintroduce one of Bellville’s historical characters.

The books that have been written so far about Bellville’s rich history go back to the settlement of Bellville by pioneers who were given land grants after the Wars of 1776 and 1812. However, David and Jason Ireland informed the Historical Society there is evidence of people being in the area as long ago as 15,000 years.

The Clear Fork gravel is sifted after a heavy rain, and the possibility of finding ancient arrowheads still exists. (The museum has a collection of arrowheads from the area donated by Arthur Stuff last year.) Dave said that more Clovis points have been found here than in Clovis, New Mexico. Jason has written a book about the settlers along the Mohican between 1812 and 1814; it is named “The Devil’s Fork.”

Much of Bellville’s interesting history will be lost if someone doesn’t deliberately try to preserve it. Bellville’s past has noteworthy and thought-provoking characters who have played important roles in the success of Bellville.

If you have good ideas about who or what to include in the documentary, please call Lynn Fox at 419-295-0680 or email

The next meeting of the historical society will be Monday.


By Lynn Fox

Special to the Star