Two major quilting events are being held in Ohio this year and the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont has pieced together a special exhibit that combines history and a colorful display of more than 30 quilts.
“Patterns from the Past: Quilts of Northern Ohio,” which runs from June 17 through Jan. 4, 2009, brings together quilts made by northern Ohio residents during the 19th century and the histories of the individuals who created them. The exhibit offers a chance to see both a colorful art form and a part of history created by Ohio’s early residents.
The American Quilting Association hosts its annual Quilt Show June 19-21 in Columbus. In October, the American Quilt Study Group will hold its annual seminar from Oct. 3-5. The Hayes Center staff hopes the “Patterns from the Past” exhibit will prompt those who make and are fascinated by quilts to stop by the center at Hayes and Buckland avenues.
Now through June 8, visitors can see “The Golden Age of American Political Cartoons,” a special exhibit chronicling the rise and development of political cartoons in America’s newspapers and magazines from 1868-1900. Original sketches and published political cartoonists show how cartoon symbols became instantly recognizable images to the American public. Thomas Nast, widely considered America’s first great political cartoonist, is credited with popularizing several symbols, including the donkey for the Democratic Party, the elephant for the Republican Party, Uncle Sam, Boss Tweed, Santa Claus, Miss Liberty.
The exhibit also features works of James A. Wales of nearby Clyde, Ohio. He was the first U.S.-born American political cartoonist.
The Hayes Center, at Buckland and Hayes avenues in Fremont, is the nation’s first and largest presidential library set on the 25-acre Spiegel Grove estate of the late president. The center includes the 31-room Victorian home where President Hayes and his wife, Lucy, retired after his term in the White House, the three-story Hayes Museum and Library, and the Hayes tomb located at the end of a trail that was once part of the Scioto Indian Trail and the Harrison supply trail during the War of 1812.
The Dillon Victorian House, located across the street from the Hayes estate at 1329 Buckland, is also operated in connection with the presidential center and hosts a series of Victorian tea programs from spring through fall. The 2008 series includes these programs, with special children’s oriented teas marked by asterisks:
May 7 – Victorian Fashion by JoMarie Sosyznski;
June 4 - harp music by Karen Svanoe Westgate
June 11* – Victorian Children’s Games by Jim & Kay Miranda
July 2 – acoustic guitar music by Dave Lester
July 9*- A Visit with Abe Lincoln by Ralph Borror
Aug. 6– Lucy Webb Hayes by Nikki Locker
Aug. 13*- puppeteer Ruth Brown
Sept. 3– tea leaf readings by Retha Martin
Oct. 1– a program on Crazy Quilts by Gretchen Schultz
Nov. 5 – tea leaf readings by Retha Martin
Tea time is 1-3 p.m. Seating is limited and advance reservation is required. Cost is $20 per adult and $12 per child. Guests have their tables reserved for the afternoon, allowing them time to tour the Dillon House and visit the Hayes Center.
During the late spring and over the summer months, the Hayes Center hosts vintage baseball games as well as free outdoor concert events presented from the 80-foot verandah (porch) of the Hayes home. Each concert begins at 6:45 p.m. with an old-fashioned ice cream social. Musical entertainment starts at 7 p.m. and lasts about an hour. The 2008 season series includes these performances:
June 11 – the Fremont Community Theatre presenting excerpts from the musicals Guys & Dolls and A Grand Night for Singing
June 25 – a performance by the Fostoria Community Band
July 4 -- A special Independence Day concert by the Toledo Symphony Band from 2 to 3:30 p.m. that includes the “1812 Overture” with cannon fire from Civil War era cannons.
July 9 – traditional and historic folk songs by The Unexpected Party
July 23 – the music of Scotland as re-created by the Zenobia Highlanders bagpipe and drum corps
Aug. 13 – a selection of musical styles performed by the Terra Brass Choir
Aug. 27 – the sounds of the ‘Greatest Generation’ presented by the North Coast Big Band
The Hayes Center also holds an annual Civil War encampment that includes live mock battles on Oct. 4-5, an operating model train display Nov. 30 through Jan. 4, 2009; and from Dec. 26-31, sleigh/carriage rides through Spiegel Grove.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and some holidays. The library is closed on Sundays and the entire complex is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter.
Admission to the Hayes museum or the home is $6 per adult, $5 for seniors, and $2 for children ages 6-12. For $1.50 more per adult, you can add both facilities to your ticket price. Call 1-800-998-7737 or visit www.rbhayes.org for more details or information.
Back to Wood County’s origins
Ohio’s vital role in the Civil War will be highlighted in a special exhibit during May at the Wood County Historical Center and Museum, located on the site of the former county infirmary.
The exhibit contains entertaining educational presentations about Ohio’s sacrifice, Andrew’s Raiders, the Confederate prisoner’s camp on Johnson Island along Lake Erie and at Camp Chase, the battle of Buffington Island, and how one Civil War officer from Ohio later became one of our nation’s presidents.
The center and museum are located at 13660 County Home Rd. in Bowling Green, a half-mile east of the U.S. 6/I-75 interchange, is loc south of Bowling Green. The history of the infirmary is on display among the 30 rooms, which also include memorabilia about the county’s origins, the native American Indians of northwest Ohio, the Great Black Swamp that once covered most of northwest Ohio, various clothing and decorating styles such as the Victorian period, a government room with political memorabilia from local and national campaigns as well as a working farm and a working oil well derrick that demonstrate the county’s oil and gas boom days.
Besides the special Civil War exhibit, the center annually offers a variety of special programs, including a series of Victorian teas, Wood County Day, and holiday decorating. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31. The center is closed on Mondays and holidays as well as during November in preparation for the Old Home Holiday Tour that will run this year from Dec. 6-21. The center will then close again Dec. 22 and remains closed until April 2009.
Admission is a suggested donation of $4 per person or $1 per child 10 and under. For more information, call 419-352-0967 or visit www.woodcountyhistory.org.
A soldier’s life
If you’ve ever wondered what life was like for America’s early soldiers during the American Revolution, the War of 1812 or the Civil War, you should visit Fort Meigs State Memorial located along S.R. 65 (River Road) in Perrysburg.
A replica of America’s largest walled fort, Fort Meigs offers several re-enactments featuring soldiers in period costume, such as Drums at the Rapids May 16-17; Memorial Day Commemoration May 26; Muster on the Maumee June 14-15, 1813 Independence Celebration July 4-6; Drums Along the Maumee July 26-27; Frontier Skills Weekend Aug. 23-24; Garrison Ghost Walk October 17 - 18 & 24 – 25; and Holiday Open House Dec. 14. The fort is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the monument built on its grounds on Sept. 6.
Under the command of future President William Henry Harrison, Fort Meigs helped defend the Northwest Territory against attacks by the British and the Native Americans during the War of 1812.
If you’re an adult who prefers to find out what a soldier’s life was like first hand, then you have the chance to do that too the weekend of May 17-18. Throughout your hands-on immersion weekend in the “militia” you will drill with soldiers, learn how to fire muskets and cannons, participate in "fatigues," cook a period meal, and stay with the soldier re-enactors on Saturday night in a period tent – or you can book your own lodgings if you prefer. This hands-on immersion program is for adults only. Cost is $100 per person ($90 for Ohio Historical Society members). Pre-registration is required by calling (800) 283-8916.
Hours for Fort Meigs are Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The fort is open April to October and the museum is open year-round. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors age 60 and older, and $3 for students age 6 and older. Kids 5 and under are free. Prices may vary for special events; discounted rates are available from Nov. – March.
Call 419-874-4121 or visit www.fortmeigs.org for more info.
On the waterfront
In the shadow of the Toledo skyline, moored alongside the rolling landscape of International Park in East Toledo, a splash of history and romance await aboard the museum ship S.S. Willis B. Boyer.
The Boyer, a 617-foot freighter ship, now serves as a floating museum and tribute to maritime operations on the Great Lakes from its berth located off Main Street to the west of The Docks restaurant complex or off Miami Street beneath the Anthony Wayne (High Level) Bridge.
Formerly the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, the freighter was built in 1911 and “retired” in 1980 after 69 years of service. For many of these years it ruled as “queen of the lake freighters.” Today, the S. S. Willis B. Boyer is polished, repaired, and welcomes visitors. The S.S. Willis B. Boyer is open from May 1 through Oct. 31. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5.50 for senior citizens, $4 for children under 16 and no charge for preschoolers. Visit www.willisbboyer.org or call 419-936-3070.
Tucked away at 1133 Grasser St. in Oregon, the Historic Brandville School, originally built in 1882, has been refurbished and now houses the Oregon-Jerusalem Historical Society. Local history memorabilia, artifacts and a Civil War collection, including the refurbished 19th century oil painting of the 1864 Volunteer Light Artillery Group are featured. Call for tour arrangements and additional info at 419-693-7052.
Pemberville’s historic Pember-Furry House and One-Room School at 324 E. Front St. take visitors back in time to the early 1900s. Believed to be the community’s oldest frame residence, the Furry House was built by village founder James Pember, and eventually was home to long-time residents Jacob H. Furry and his daughter, Minnie.
Featuring unique architectural details and authentic period furnishings, the house sits adjacent to the One Room School, where Pemberville’s youth learned “readin’ and writin’” at the turn of the century. Admission is free. The Pember-Furry House and One-Room School are open by appointment from spring through fall. Call 419-287-3274 for info.
The Town Hall looms over the village of Genoa, its bell tower visible for blocks. Originally built as the Genoa Opera Hall, it was completed Jan. 2, 1883, and had an opening with the play, “The Three Wise Owls,” by A. O. Miller. The building immediately became the hub of activity in the village and council meetings are still held there.
Built in the Gothic revival style, the structure features eight ornamental chimneys, and a hand-carved sandstone mask of Dionysius, the Greek God of theater, which rests over the main entrance. An exterior renovation, including rebuilding of the bell tower and ornamental chimneys, replacement of the slate roof, and restoration of the window glass was completed in 1979. The century-old entrances were also made handicapped-accessible. The Town Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, houses the mayor’s office and the village council chambers on the first floor. The second floor is used by Genoa’s Civic Theater.
Genoa Privy, built to serve as Genoa’s first school, is believed to be the only brick outhouse on the National Register of Historic Places.
Board the Blue Bird train at Grand Rapids, Ohio, for a 15-mile round trip on the tracks of the Toledo, Lake Erie & Western Railway and Museum, Inc., once part of the Cloverleaf Division of the Nickel Plate Road. Passenger service for the 2008 season opened May 3.
The 60 minute round trip ride takes passengers back to a more casual time when passenger trains were a primary form of transportation. Sit back and enjoy the ride, which travels past a 185-year-old log cabin and a 100-year-old horse barn along the way. Special events planned include a Motor Car Rally, Mother’s Day Tea Express and the very popular Haunted Halloween Train Rides. Call 1-866-63-TRAIN or visit www.tlew.org for hours and ticket information.
Providence Metropark, located along U.S. 24 near Grand Rapids, offers an opportunity for visitors to step back in time and ride aboard The Volunteer, a working canal boat pulled by horses along a restored section of the former Miami and Erie canal. Historical reenactors operate the boat, staying in character on the first half of the 45-minute cruise to spin tales of life in mid-1800s Ohio while the boat passed through a restored canal lock. Along the way, the canal boat passes by the Ludwig Mill & General Store, which features a working, water-powered gristmill.
Hours before Memorial Day and after Labor Day are Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends, noon to 4 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 seniors (60 and over), $3 for children (3 to 12); and ages two and under free. Moms ride free on Mother’s Day and Dads ride free on Father’s Day.
Group trips and charters available. Call 419-407-9741 for fares and other info or visit www.metroparkstoledo.com.
Thomas Edison was born and lived in Milan during his first seven years of childhood from 1847-1854. Along with the Edison Birthplace home, a separate museum, the Milan Historical Museum has been the repository of Edison memorabilia.
The Milan Historical Museum is comprised of a seven-building complex on one acre of beautiful grounds. Visit the 1846 Galpin House featuring a 1,500 piece Mowry Glass Collection, 1843 restored Sayles Home, Doll & Toy House, international treasures and needlework in the Newton Building, General Store, Blacksmith Shop-Carriage Shed, gift store and visitors center. Call 419-499-2968 or visit www.milanhistory.org.
Then tour Edison’s Birthplace, which includes Edison’s boyhood home, displays of his accomplishments and more.
Hours in May and September are Tuesday through Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.; June, July and August hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 419- 499-2135 or visit www.tomedison.org.
Farm of yesteryear
Sauder Village, a working farm from the 19th Century, also has an historic village of working craftsmen from the period at a complex located at 22511 SR 2 off Ohio Turnpike exit 25 at Archbold.
The complex features “Little Pioneers Homestead,” which is a special “Please-Touch” area created especially for kids, as well as an inn, restaurant, exhibit hall, bakery, and campground. The village hosts numerous special events over the year, including a Gospel Music Concert June 14; Focus on Fiber Arts June 28; Fiddle Contest & Summer on the Farm July 12; Explore the Crafts June 25-26; Rug-Hooking Exhibition Aug. 11-15; Barbershop Sing & Vintage Baseball Aug. 23; Apple-Butter Making Sept. 23-27; All Aboard Trains Oct. 4 and 5; Fall on the Farm Oct. 11; and Woodcarver Show and Sale Oct. 25-26. Call 1-800-590-9755 or visit www.saudervillage.org for info.
Woodville Historical Museum, located at 107 E. Main St. (U.S. 20) and operated by the Woodville Historical Society, features materials and artifacts documenting the rich history of the small village located on the banks of the Portage River about 20 miles east of Toledo.
Once part of the Great Black Swamp, Woodville was founded in 1836 and has transformed from a wilderness trade and traveling stop in the Great Black Swamp highway to a bustling, modern village. Among other topics, museum visitors can learn about the 1900s oil boom, Indians in the Woodville area, lime plants, early schools, and the Lake Shore Electric rail system that once traveled between Toledo and Cleveland.
The museum is open Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Call 419-849-3920 for info.
Historic Lyme Village, 5001 SR 4, Bellevue, includes an 1880s Victorian Mansion, an 1836 family home, log homes, barns, a one-room school, general store and more.
The village is also home to the National Postmark Museum, the Schug Hardware Museum and a gift shop. Hours June, July and August are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. The museum is open Sundays only in September and October, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more info, call 419-483-4949 or visit www.lymevillage.com.