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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Col. James H. Schoonmaker
In the shadow of the Toledo skyline, moored alongside the rolling landscape of International Park, a splash of history and romance await aboard the museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker.

Upon her launching in 1911, the ship was proclaimed to be “The World’s Largest Bulk Freighter.” Built at the Great Lakes Engineering Works of Ecorse, Mich. she was unsurpassed in both size and elegance. Maintaining her crown as “Queen of the Lakes” from July 1, 1911 to April 14, 1914, the Schoonmaker established multiple cargo records for iron ore, coal, and rye cargoes.

Renamed Willis B. Boyer in 1969, retired in 1980, and opened as a museum in 1987, the “Boyer,” as she came to be known, served as a floating testament to Toledo’s rich maritime heritage for nearly 25 years.  After undergoing a complete restoration in early 2011, the vessel was rechristened to her original namesake and fleet colors at the exact moment of her launching 100 years earlier.

As the future centerpiece of the Great Lakes Historical Society’s National Great Lakes Maritime Museum, the meticulously restored vessel will allow all who visit to witness the proud lifestyle experienced by centuries of Great Lakes sailors.

Open through Sept. 2, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
International Park, 26 Main St., Toledo
419-936-3070, www.willisbboyer.org


Toledo Firefighters Museum
Tales of firefighting 150 years ago come alive at the Toledo Firefighters Museum. located in the “Old Number 18 Fire House” in Toledo.

Displays include 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.
419-478-3473, www.toledofiremuseum.com
 

Brandville School
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. to 2 p.m. Thursdays (excluding holidays). Call to arrange tours for groups of four or more. No charge; donations accepted.
1133 Grasser St., Oregon
419-693-7052, www.ojhs.org


Historic Genoa
The Town Hall looms high over the village of Genoa, its bell tower visible for blocks. Built as the Genoa Opera Hall in 1883, the hall opened its doors to the 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.
Downtown Genoa
www.genoaohio.org


Elmore Depot & Matti Heckman Log House
In 1981, the Elmore Historical Society purchased 1860s Elmore Depot, 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 once inhabited by Matti Heckman, who taught third grade to many in the area. 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
419-260-1282, www.elmorehs.tripod.com


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 are 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, and 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
419-849-2349


Northcoast Veterans Museum
The Northcoast Veterans Museum at 411 N. Main St in Williams Park, Gibsonburg, 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.

For hours and group tours, call 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 at Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont 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.

Through Aug. 14, the center will feature “The Wildlife Art of Bob Hines,” showcasing the work of Ohio native Bob Hines, who has the distinction of being the only National Wildlife Artist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Hines developed his love of nature growing up along the verdant banks of the Sandusky River in Fremont, Ohio.

Despite almost no formal art training, his innate talent led him to become an internationally recognized wildlife artist and a pioneer of the conservation movement. His work illustrated a weekly newspaper feature, and numerous wildlife guides and books.

Through Sept. 16, “The Gilded Age of Haviland China” will be on exhibit, showcasing some of Haviland's earliest pieces (1850-1890). 

From Sept. 11 through Jan. 27, 2013, the center will feature “Tales of Travel from the President’s Attic,” an exhibit chronicling the world travels of President Hayes’ descendants.

A number of special events and exhibits are presented, including Verandah Concerts and Ice Cream socials in the summer months, an annual Independence Day concert (July 4), a Civil War re-enactment (Oct. 6-7), a special Hayes train display (Nov. 25-Jan. 6, 2013) and sleigh rides on the grounds (Dec. 26-31), weather permitting.
800-998-PRES (7737), www.rbhayes.org


Pemberville highlights
Pemberville’s historic Pember-Furry House and One-Room School take 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
419-287-3274
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, Old Home Holiday Tours (Dec. 8-21) and more.

Open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 31. Closed Mondays and holidays, and in November and January. Special extended holiday hours are available from Dec. 8-21.
13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green
419-352-0967, www.woodcountyhistory.org


Fort Meigs State Memorial Park
Fort Meigs, a War of 1812 battlefield in Perrysburg, features a reconstructed fort and museum to help bring history alive.

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 Independence Day 1813 (July 4); Life in Early Ohio (Aug. 25-26); Garrison Ghost Walk (Oct. 19-20 & 26-27); The World at War: Miniature War Gaming Day (Nov. 3); and Holiday Open House (Dec. 9).

The fort is open April through October Wednesday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 to 5p.m. Museum open year-round.
29100 W. River Rd., Perrysburg
800-283-8916, www.fortmeigs.org


Canal Experience
Step back in time at the Canal Experience at Providence Metropark, located in what was once the canal town of Providence, Ohio.

Visitors can discover what life was like along the Miami and Erie Canal in 1876 aboard The Volunteer, a 60-foot replica of a mule-drawn canal boat. Other highlights include the Isaac Ludwig Mill, The General Store, Scenic Providence Dam and Lock #44, one of the last functioning 19th century limestone locks.

Providence Metropark, US 24 at SR 578, Grand Rapids
419-407-9741, www.metroparkstoledo.com


The Keeper's House at Marblehead Lighthouse
Built in 1822 by the same stonemason who built the Marblehead Lighthouse., the historic house was home to Benajah and Rachel Wolcott, who were among of the first settlers on the Marblehead Peninsula The home was also the residence of the first three lighthouse keepers for the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes.

Open through Labor Day, Monday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays when the Lighthouse is open to visitors. Check online for additional hours.
9999 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead
419-798-9339, thekeepershouse.org


Johnson’s Island Confederate Officers Prison Cemetery
The historic cemetery is the final resting place of more than 200 of 9,000 Confederate soldiers once imprisoned here. Cemetery open year-round, daily dusk to dawn. 
Gaydos Drive, Marblehead
www.johnsonsisland.org


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
419-732-2237


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 May through November Wednesday through Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; call for hours or to schedule an appointment.
514 Birchard Ave., Fremont
419-332-0303, www.sanduskycountyhistory.org


Merry-Go-Round Museum
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.

The Museum’s “Grab the Brass Ring” exhibit provides an intriguing look at carousel animals from 1895 to 2011.

Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. through Labor Day; Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. in the off-season.
301 Jackson St., Sandusky
419-626-6111, www.merrygoroundmuseum.org


Sauder Village
Connect with the past at Ohio's largest living-history village at 22611 SR 2 in Archbold. Enjoy guided tours, period craftsmen, hands-on activities like arts and crafts and several annual events including an Old-Fashioned 4th of July  celebration, Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm (July 7), Annual Doll & Teddy Bear Show & Sale (Aug. 4-5),  Annual Apple Butter Making (Sept. 26-29), Fall on the Farm & Scout Day (Oct. 13), Annual Woodcarvers’ Show & Sale (Oct. 27-38) and Holiday Lantern Tours late November into early December. Other amenities include a restaurant, inn, campground, bakery and on-site shopping.
800-590-9755, www.saudervillage.org


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 mementos.

Tours offered February through December. Hours vary.
9 Edison Dr. (off SR 113), Milan
419-499-2135, tomedison.org


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.

Open 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
419-483-4949, www.lymevillage.com


Toledo Police Museum
Visitors The Toledo Police Museum, located in beautiful Ottawa Park, are invited to follow a timeline of the history of the Toledo Police Department, view a collection of historical artifacts and participate in interactive exhibits, which include entering a mock jail cell and having a mug shot photo taken from a 1920s-era booking camera.
Open Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
2201 Kenwood Blvd., Toledo
419-720-2485. www.toledopolicemuseum.com

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Christmas spending

Are spending more, less or the same amount this year for Christmas?
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