The current building of the Ukrainian Museum Archives (UMA) located in the Tremont neighborhood, was, in the 1950’s the original home of the Cleveland branch of Plast . Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine (Пласт Національна Скаутська Організація України – Ukr.), frequently referred to simply as Plast, is the largest Scouting organization in Ukraine.
The three founders of Plast are generally considered to be Petro Franko, Ivan Chmola, and Dr. Oleksander Tysovskyj (DROT). The organization was established in Lviv, Ukraine on April 12, 1912 at the Lviv Academic Gymnasium.
Postcard from 1957 with a photograph of the UMA building, which was at that time the home of Cleveland Plast, with the signature of Dr. Oleksander Tysovskyj (DROT), one of the founders of Plast.
One of the founders of the UMA, Leonid Bachynsky, was a pioneer and activist in Plast in Ukraine and in the United States. He established Plast in the Transcarpathia region of Ukraine, continuing to communicate with his colleagues in Lviv, Dr. Oleksander Tysovsky, and Severyn Levytskyi, moniker Siriy Lev, Plast’s first Chief Scout (Начальний Пластун – Ukr.).
Leonid Bachynsky at the Plast campground, Pysanyj Kamin, October 31, 1971
Photo by Petro Fedynsky, UMA Collection
At the building in Tremont, Mr. Bachynsky began a collection of books, magazines, and materials about Ukraine, Plast, and Ukrainian history and literature. His goal was to provide resources for Plast leaders as they developed activities and led meetings. The collection grew as parents and other supporters donated items to the collection.
During the 1960s, Ukrainian families began to move from the Tremont neighborhood to nearby Parma. When they established a new Plast center (домівка – Ukr.) in Parma, the UMA bought the building and part of the Plast collection. The remaining items became part of the collection of the Plast Museum.
The UMA’s robust collection of Plast materials includes color and black and white photographs, books, journals, postcards, manuscripts, stamps, and other written and digital materials.