Eighty-five years ago this Saturday (September 2nd), Editor-in-Chief Arden McCoy was inking the press plates for the first time and preparing to print the first issue of ‘The Waynedale Press.’ With a press in his garage in the 6800 block of Old Trail Road, McCoy’s dream was to unite the small unincorporated town of Waynedale through the news from each week. The first issue was a single sheet measuring 15” by 10” and Nobel’s Home Store was the main advertiser. They listed Hershey Cocoanut, 1 pound for 17 cents and Camay Toilet Soap for 5 cents per bar. Potatoes were 7.5 cents a peck and 25 cents per bushel.
Since 1932, the peck of potatoes became a bit more expensive, but the tradition of the community newspaper lived on. Throughout all this time, the name went through many transitions, including Waynedale Press, The Herald, The Waynedaler, The Waynedaler Suburban, and finally The Waynedale News. It has had just seven owners and only four locations of its publishing office.
Begun during the Great Depression, it has seen the wars waged, space shuttles launched and men on the moon, 15 presidential changes, and all of the national history created over the past eighty-five years. But the Waynedale newspaper has always had a specific focus on what’s going on in our community. Whether it’s as simple as the “Smith’s are having the Jones’ over for Sunday brunch” (which really happened, as they used to have a family news report), or as heartbreaking as how the events of 9/11 had an impact locally, The Waynedale Newspaper has been there to connect and unify the community.
Also celebrating this Saturday is The Waynedale News’ current publisher, Alex Cornwell, who is celebrating his 8th year as publisher. Cornwell, in one of his first public statements about taking over the newspaper’s ownership was committed to assisting the community through the newspaper’s outreach. Since then, he has founded multiple community groups, including The Waynedale Business Chamber has led or been involved in just about every major community improvement project and event.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 years already, but I’m pleased to say that we’ve grown as an organization, not only in readership both in print (35,000 readers) and online (250,000+ monthly online views). But looking back, what I’m really proud of is that we’re truly and positively impacting our community… and it shows. We have sidewalks and trails coming on Bluffton Road, a weather siren, various community ‘togetherness’ events, business growth and variety, and many other things we’ve been a part of working on. And best of all our community branding remains. I think the newspaper on everyone’s doorstep with big ‘Waynedale’ lettering is a contributor to our very important identity as a community.”
Cornwell Continues, “We’ve been involved in a lot over the past 8 years, but we haven’t done it alone. We would like to thank all of our advertisers and private donors who believe in our mission, who help fund the large cost we incur to produce each issue and fund our community efforts. And thank you to all of our community partners who we’ve teamed up with to work on Waynedale projects. And, saving the best for last, a huge thank you to all of our readers and supporters who enjoy our publication whether online or in print.”
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