Muskingum County History was founded back in 1890 but did not have a home of its own until 1970 when Mrs. F.F. Frazier bequeathedthe Dr. Increase Mathews House to the organization. By 1972 it was evident that some housekeeping would be necessary. A group of women met at the home of Jane Gale to discuss what should be done. The result was the birth of a new organization called the Women's Board, sometimes referred to as the Women's Auxiliary of Muskingum County History. Officers were elected and work began.
In addition to assisting in the operation of the Mathews House (and later the Stone Academy), the Women's Board operated a gift shop and sponsored open houses at Christmas time. When men began expressing interest in the organization the name was changed to the Friends of Muskingum County History and males were welcomed into membership.
The Friends meet monthly, September through November and March through June. Meetings feature a short business session, a program of historic interest, and refreshments. Over the years programs have featured doll, quilt, and antique appraisers, as well as speakers, musical presentations, and 1st person impersonators of historic figures like Martha Washington and Jonathan Zane. Luncheons are featured at the June and November meetings. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Even though the Friends is a separate organization, with its own by-laws, officers, and dues, monies raised are used to support Muskingum County History. One special project taken on by the Friends, with the help of the Muskingum County Master Gardeners, is the care and upkeep of the Memory Garden at the Mathews House.