S.S. Willis B. Boyer Museum Ship
In the shadow of the Toledo skyline, moored alongside the rolling landscape of International Park, a splash of history and romance await aboard the S.S. Willis B. Boyer.
Upon her launching in 1911, the ship, then called the Col. James M. Schoonmaker, was proclaimed “The World’s Largest Bulk Freighter.” She maintained her crown as “Queen of the Lakes” from July 1, 1911 to April 14, 1914, establishing multiple cargo records for iron ore, coal and rye cargoes.
Now celebrating its hundredth year, the Boyer serves as a floating testament to Toledo’s rich maritime heritage. Retired in 1980 and opened as a museum in 1987, visitors will be awed by the massive engine room, posh officer's dining room, stainless steel galley and the captain's quarters. The Boyer opens for the season May 1 and remains open until October 31.
International Park, 26 Main St., Toledo
Toledo Firefighters Museum
Tales of firefighting 150 years ago come alive at the Toledo Firefighters Museum.
Located in the “Old Number 18 Fire House,” the display includes many large pieces of vintage firefighting equipment, including an 1837 Neptune – Toledo’s first fire pumper. Lovingly restored by Toledo firefighters, the hand-pulled, hand-operated Neptune required a 20-man crew and could deliver about 300 gallons of water per minute.
In addition, visitors will see sweat sticks used to sweep lather from horses, fire gongs, antique fire toys, vintage uniforms and more.
918 Sylvania Ave., Toledo
The Historic Brandville School, 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.
A replica of a carriage house was constructed at the complex to display the Oregon-Jerusalem Historical Society’s growing display. The first floor houses a replica of a local general store, while the second floor has vignettes of a doctor’s office and a living area displaying sections of a bedroom and a parlor. Farm implements are also on display, in addition to a one-horse sleigh and many tools and devices used by local tradesmen in bygone eras.
Open 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Thursdays (excluding holidays). Call to arrange tours for groups of four or more. No charge; donations accepted.
1133 Grasser St., Oregon
The Town Hall looms over the village of Genoa, its bell tower visible for blocks. Originally built as the Genoa Opera Hall, it was constructed in 1883 and housed its first performance in 1886. 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. 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.
Elmore Depot & Matti Heckman Log House
The Elmore Historical Society purchased 1860s Elmore Depot in 1981, along with 2.5 acres of land. The society undertook an extensive renovation, and the building now houses memorabilia from Elmore’s past.
The Society also owns and maintains an 1840s log house; Matti Heckman, who taught third grade to many in the area, lived in the house. In 1983, society members dismantled, relocated and rebuilt the Heckman log house, adding an elaborate flagstone fireplace and porch, and furnishing it with artifacts from its era.
Rice Street, Elmore
Woodville Historical Museum
Woodville Historical Museum, 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.
Among the items on display is a collection of Native American artifacts believed to go back thousands of years, pictures of early Woodville, a complete collection of school yearbooks and copies of the local newspapers from 1927 through 1978.
Museum visitors can learn about the 1900s oil boom, Indians in the Woodville area, lime plants, early schools, the Lake Shore Electric rail system that once traveled between Toledo and Cleveland and more.
Open March through December, Wednesdays and Fridays 2 – 4 p.m. Additional hours: June through August, Wednesdays 6 – 8 p.m. and by appointment.
107 E. Main St., Woodville
Northcoast Veterans Museum
The Northcoast Veterans Museum is a tribute to those who have served in the uniformed service of the United States, especially those who have lost their lives in combat or training.
The dramatic and colorful military displays include weapons, uniforms, pictures, memorabilia, military accessories, tents and first aid from the Civil War to present. The museum is also working on a collection of books that details information about Ohio veterans.
Open 5:30 – 8 p.m. Mondays and 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Memorial Day, July 4 and Veteran’s Day. Group tours by appointment.
Williams Park, 411 North Main St., Gibsonburg
419-332-5912 or 419-332-4812
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Original White House gates lead the way to the nation’s first presidential center and museum, – a tribute to 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.
The facility is built on 25 acres of the President's beloved “Spiegel Grove” estate and includes his 31-room Victorian mansion, museum, library and burial site. The exhibit galleries house nearly 1,800 artifacts on permanent display, including exhibits devoted to President Hayes’s military service, his political roles an details of his personal life.
A number of special events and exhibits are presented, including “Croquet: A Sport Story” (through Aug. 1); “CIVIL WAR: Battlefield and Homefront” (April 12 – Jan. 19, 2012); Verandah Concerts/Ice Cream Socials, an Independence Day concert; Civil War Re-Enactment (Oct. 1-2); the Hayes Train Special (Nov. 27 – Jan 8, 2012) and Sleigh Rides in Spiegel Grove (Dec. 27-31), among others.
Corner of Hayes and Buckland Avenues, Fremont
800-998-PRES (7737). www.rbhayes.org
Pemberville’s historic Pember-Furry House and One-Room School takes visitors back in time to the 19th century. Believed to be the community’s oldest existing building, 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; these highlights are open by appointment from spring through fall.
324 E. Front St., Pemberville
While in town, check out the restored railroad depot (circa 1881), with railroad and Pemberville memorabilia on display. Open May through October by appointment (419-287-4114) and during community events.
Wood County Historical Center & Museum
Several exhibits at the Wood County Historical Center and Museum help tell the story of the county’s history. More than 30 rooms cover historical elements from the native people of Northwest Ohio, the Black Swamp, Oil and Gas Boom, various clothing and decorating styles, and trends in medicine, politics and government.
The center also offers a variety of special programs and events throughout the year, including a series of Victorian teas, Civil War Encampment (April 16-17), Wood County Heritage Days (June 11-12), Halloween Folklore & Funfest (Oct. 15), and Old Home Holiday Tours (Dec. 3-18).
Open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. From April 2 to Oct. 30, also open Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. Closed Mondays and holidays, and in November and January. Special extended holiday hours are available from Dec. 2-18.
13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green
Fort Meigs State Memorial Park
Fort Meigs is a War of 1812 battlefield in Perrysburg, featuring a reconstructed fort and museum to help bring history alive. Fort Meigs is one of fifty-eight sites within the Ohio Historical Society.
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.
A replica of America’s largest walled fort, Fort Meigs offers several re-enactments featuring soldiers in period costumes, such as Drums at the Rapids (May 20-21); First Siege 1813 (May 28-29); Memorial Day Commemoration (May 30); Muster on the Maumee (June 18-19); Independence Day 1813 (July 2-4); Life in Early Ohio (Aug. 20-21); Ordinary History, Extraordinary Women (Sept. 23-25); Garrison Ghost Walk (Oct. 21-22 & 28-29); The World at War: Miniature War Gaming Day (Nov. 5); and Holiday Open House (Dec. 11).
Fort open April – October: Wednesday – Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12 – 5p.m. Museum open year-round.
29100 W. River Rd., Perrysburg
Bluebird Passenger Train - Toledo Lake Erie & Western Railway & Museum, Inc.
Board the train in Waterville for a 15-mile round trip on the Toledo, Lake Erie & Western Railway. The trip takes 40 minutes and includes a spectacular view from our 900-foot long bridge over the Maumee River and the old Miami and Erie Canal in Grand Rapids, Ohio.
Call or visit the website for information about the special excursion trains, including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Hobo Days, and the Haunted Halloween Trains.
49 N. Sixth St., Waterville
419-878-2177 or 1-866-63TRAIN, www.tlew.org
Step back in time at the Canal Experience and discover what life was like along the Miami and Erie Canal in 1876.
Learn what canal life was like aboard The Volunteer, a 60-foot boat replica of the time period. A two-mule team pulls the boat while the crew handles the ropes and opens and closes the massive gates of the restored lock. See characters in period attire throughout the park.
Visit Isaac Ludwig Mill, The General Store, Scenic Providence Dam and Lock #44, one of the last functioning 19th century limestone locks. Shelter rental and boat charters are also available.
Providence Metropark, US24 at SR 578, Grand Rapids
The Keeper's House at Marblehead Lighthouse
Built in 1822, the historic house was home to Benajah and Rachel Wolcott. It was the residence of the first three lighthouse keepers for the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. This house was built by the same stonemason who built the Marblehead Lighthouse.
Open June to August, Monday-Saturday 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays when the Lighthouse is open to visitors. Check online for additional hours.
9999 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead
Johnson’s Island Confederate Officers Prison Cemetery & Museum
During the Civil War, the U.S. Army leased 40 cleared acres of Johnson’s Island to establish a Prisoner of War Depot. During the 40 months of its existence, approximately 10,000 men were processed into the stockade. More than 200 graves mark the site. Open year-round, daily dawn-dusk. Gaydos Road. (off Bayshore Road.), Marblehead
The museum in downtown Marblehead features a scale model of the prison and many artifacts. Open Memorial Day to Oct. 1, weekends and holidays, 1-4 p.m. Contact the Johnson’s Island Preservation Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) for special arrangements.
3416 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
Ottawa County Historical Museum
Enjoy historical displays about Ottawa County including exhibits on Native Americans, early life and industries in Ottawa County, military history from the Civil War through WWII, Camp Perry, the “convict ship” Success and more.
126 W. Third St., Port Clinton
Sandusky County Historical Society Museum
The museum is housed in a Victorian-style home built in 1884 as a wedding present for Carrie June, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David June upon her marriage to Martin Holderman. For many years the home was known as the Holderman home, and remained in the family until 1942.
The Sandusky County Historical Society purchased the property in 1981, enabling the organization to house their various artifacts under one roof. Open April through December; call for hours or to schedule an appointment.
14 Birchard Ave., Fremont
The Museum’s “WILD!” exhibit displays rare and unusual carousel animals from several nationally known private collections. Located in the former U.S. Post Office, the museum celebrates the history of carousels, the carvers who made the intricate horses and other animals, and enthusiasts who enjoy them. There are only about 200 original wooden carousels remaining in the U.S. today.
The stone museum, which has a half-rotunda at the front and is listed with the National Register of Historic Places, features a restored 1939 Allen Herschell carousel that offers rides to visitors.
Spring and fall hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12 - 5 p.m. Summer hours are Monday - Saturday. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday noon -5 p..m.
301 Jackson St., Sandusky
Connect with the past at Ohio's largest living-history village. Enjoy guided tours, period craftsmen, hands-on activities like arts and crafts and several annual events including Spring on the Farm (May 7), Dairy Days (June 14-19), Focus on Fiber Arts (June 25), Old-Fashioned 4th of July (July 2-4), Fiddle Contest & Summer on the Farm (July 9), Preserving Our Memories (July 15-16), Explore the Crafts (July 22-23), 28th Annual Doll & Teddy Bear Show & Sale (Aug. 6-7), 15th Annual Rug Hooking Exhibition (Aug. 17-20), Barbershop Sing (Aug. 27), Celebrate our Artisans (Sept. 13-18), 35th Annual Apple Butter Making (Sept. 21-24), “All Aboard” Train Event (Oct. 1-2), Fall on the Farm & Scout Day (Oct. 8), 25th Annual Woodcarvers’ Show & Sale & Butchering Day (Oct. 29-30), and Holiday Lantern Tours (Nov. 26, Dec. 2, 3, 9 & 10). Other amenities include a restaurant, inn, campground, bakery and on-site shopping.
22611 SR 2, Archbold
Edison Birthplace Museum
Visit Thomas Edison’s 1847 birthplace; tour his boyhood home and see displays of some of his accomplishments as the world’s greatest inventor. The collection includes examples of many of Edison’s early inventions, documents, and family mementors.
Open April, May, September and October, Tuesday–Sunday 1–5 p.m.; June–August, Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 1–5 p.m.; March and November, Wednesday–Sunday 1–4 p.m.; February and December, Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. and groups by appointment on weekdays. Closed Mondays, January and major holidays.
9 Edison Dr. (off SR 113), Milan
Historic Lyme Village
Explore the past as you tour the 16 buildings in this 19th-century village. Tours include an 1880s Victorian mansion, an 1836 farm home, log homes, barns, a one-room school, a general store and more. The village is also home to the Schug Hardware Museum and the National Postmark Collectors Museum and Research Center.
June through August, Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Sunday 12–4 p.m.; September–October, Sunday noon - 4 p.m.
5001 SR 4 (south of SR 113), Bellevue