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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Toledo Firefighters Museum
Tales of firefighting 150 years ago come alive at the Toledo Firefighters Museum, 918 Sylvania Ave., Toledo.

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 fire gongs, antique fire toys, vintage uniforms and more.
419-478-3473 (FIRE), www.toledofiremuseum.com

ToledoPoliceMuseum2b
Located at 201 Kenwood Blvd in Ottawa Park, in Toledo, the Toledo
Police Museum tells the story of the department through displays,
interactive exhibits as well as virtual exhibits.
Visit www.toledopolicenuseum.com for more information.
(Press photo by Ken Grosjean)


Brandville School
Brandville School, built in 1882, has been restored and is listed on the National Registry of Historical Buildings. It is now the cornerstone of the Oregon-Jerusalem Historical Society. In 2013, the Society is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding.

The complex houses local history memorabilia and artifacts. The second floor of Brandville School has an extensive military display with artifacts from every major conflict in which the U.S. has been involved, dating from the War of 1812 through the current war in Afghanistan. Of special interest is the original oil painting by Gilbert Gaul of the Civil War Volunteer Light Artillery Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, which was commissioned in 1894 by the local Ford Post of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic). The museum has an extensive collection of Civil War artifacts with over 400 items.

A carriage house was constructed at the complex to display the society’s display. The first floor houses a replica of Metzger's General Store, circa 1870, with many items from the original store, which was located at the present intersection of Wheeling and Navarre streets. The second floor features vignettes of a doctor’s office, a barber shop and a Victorian living area. Farm implements are also on display, in addition to a one-horse sleigh and many tools and devices used by local tradesmen in the past.

The third building is a restored one-room school, which includes a pot belly stove, blackboards, reading bench, primers and school desks from various periods of time.

Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays (excluding holidays). Call 419-693-7052 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 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.
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 which was once the home of 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.
353 Ottawa St., 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, 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


North Coast Veterans Museum
The North Coast 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. The museum is also working on a collection of books that details information about Ohio veterans.

Open Mondays 5:30-8 p.m., July 4 and Veteran’s Day 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.


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 and details of his personal life.

Through Oct. 7, 2013, the center is presenting, “Ohio in the War of 1812,” an exhibit that examines the crucial battles and strategic importance of the “Ohio frontier.” Through use of a timeline, the story of the War of 1812 is told chronologically, highlighting such battles as Hull’s Surrender (Detroit), River Raisin (Monroe, Mich.), Fort Meigs (Perrysburg), Fort Stephenson (Fremont), the Battle of Lake Erie, and the Battle of Thames (Canada).

A number of special events and exhibits are presented throughout the year, including Verandah Concerts and Ice Cream socials in the summer months, an annual Independence Day concert (July 4), a Civil War re-enactment (Oct. 5-6), a special Hayes train display (Dec. 1-Jan. 5, 2014) 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 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
419-287-3274

While in town, check out the restored railroad depot (circa 1881) at 215 Hickory St., 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 rich 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, Wood County Heritage Days (June 8-9), and Old Home Holiday Tours (Dec. 7-20).

A new exhibit, “Bowling Green 1913 Time Capsule,” includes newspapers, photos and trinkets from 1913 discovered when a time capsule was uncovered in August 2012 as workers were razing the former Central Administration Building on South Grove Street in Bowling Green. The items were preserved inside a 12"x8"x4" tin box.

“Wood County’s Role in the Civil War: The Homestead” takes a poignant look at Wood County's men and their roles serving our county and country in the Civil War. Read excerpts from real letters written between the soldiers and their families still in Wood County.

Open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. 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. It 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 throughout the year, such as Independence Day 1813 (July 4); Life in Early Ohio (Aug. 24-25); Garrison Ghost Walk (Oct. 18-19 and 25-26); The World at War: Miniature War Gaming Day (Nov. 2); and Holiday Open House (Dec. 8).

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


Canal Experience
Step back in time at the Canal Experience and discover what life was like along the Miami and Erie Canal in 1876.

Visitors can experience 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.

Other highlights include a visit to 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. Special events include a July 4th celebration (noon-4 p.m.); Canal Days Sept. 14 (1-4 p.m.); and a Ghosts of Providence Lantern Walk Oct. 19.
Providence Metropark, Old US 24 at SR 578, Grand Rapids
419-407-9741, www.MetroparksToledo.com


The Keeper's House at Marblehead Lighthouse
Built in 1822, the historic house was home to Benajah and Rachel Wolcott and the residence of the first three lighthouse keepers for the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. This structure was built by the same stonemason who built the Marblehead Lighthouse.
9999 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead
419-798-9339, www. 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
Located in Fremont, 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 and Sundays, 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 Merry-Go-Round 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 museum’s “Grab the Brass Ring” exhibit provides an intriguing look at carousel animals from 1895 to 2011. Featuring signed horses, menagerie carvings, and a new wolf, the exhibit display gives visitors insight into the three historic carving styles. Several of the artworks are in their original factory paint.

The stone structure, 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.

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


Sauder Village
Connect with the past at Ohio's largest living-history village located at 22611 SR 2 in Archbold. Enjoy guided tours, period craftsmen, hands-on activities like arts and crafts and several annual events including Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration, Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm (July 6), Annual Doll & Teddy Bear Show & Sale (Aug. 3-4), Annual Apple Butter Making (Sept. 25-28), Fall on the Farm & Scout Day (Oct. 12), Annual Woodcarvers’ Show & Sale (Oct. 26-27) 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 are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. June through August; Tuesday-Sunday 1.-5 p.m. September and October; 1-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday in November and weekends 1-4 p.m. in December.
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. and Sundays in September from noon - 4 p.m.
5001 SR 4 (south of SR 113), Bellevue
419-483-4949, lymevillage.com

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