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McCutchenville teen planning a big makeover for the tiny town

The first phase of 16-year-old Annie Klepper’s beautification project will include flowers, flags and signs.
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 6:43 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - McCutchenville is about to get a bit of a makeover. The tiny town sits on the line of Wyandot and Seneca counties. Only a couple hundred people live there, and the town transformation is happening thanks to a local high school student.

16-year old Annie Klepper has called McCutchenville home since she was born.

“McCutchenville is not even a town or a village. We are known as a census-designated place,” says Klepper. “Over the last couple years, our population has dropped from 400 people to 233. My family makes up six of those 233 people.”

Like most towns and cities around America parts of McCutchenville could use a facelift, so Annie decided to take action.

“We always drive through town and say that it would be cool if we could make some changes,” she says. “I decided why not, and there are plenty of people willing to help.”

Annie’s parents have been amazed by the support from the community. Her mom, Shannon, says they are very proud of the movement she’s started.

“It’s truly been a snowball effect,” says Shannon. “It is so neat that it all started with the ideas of a 16-year-old girl. She’s been inundated with emails and messages saying what about this idea or how can I help? It makes us proud to call this place home. We travel quite a bit, but it is always so good to be home.”

Annie says the plan is to start small. “We want to do some flower pots and flags, and someone just donated a sign for the other end of town,” she explains. “Everyone is as excited as me. That’s what is fun to see. Everyone is just as excited about improving the town as I am.”

McCutchenville has a rich history. Annie says one of the buildings here is one of only two Ohio stagecoach stops still standing. It even has a tie to Charles Dickens and his travels through Ohio in the 1840s.

“There is a local legend at the Overland Inn that Charles Dickens stayed there,” says Annie. “After a bad meal, he had nightmares, which inspired him to write A Christmas Carol. We take a lot of pride in that.”

The town can also take a lot of pride in Annie and her efforts to change the place she loves.

“I think this is such a great place to be and to live,” she says. “Maybe with some changes, people will start to see their home in a new light.”

The plan is to have the first phase of the McCutchenville makeover ready for the holiday season. If you’d like to learn more or help out, click here.

On a side note, Annie is an accomplished equestrian. She and her horse compete around the county. She also owns a successful business that sells riding clothes called Annie’s Equestrian Apparel.

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