Wood County Historical Center & Museum
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WOOD COUNTY DRIVING TOUR
Wood County Driving Tour

Welcome to the
Wood County Driving Tour!

This project was a joint effort from the many different historical and cultural agencies throughout the county that want to shed some light on how the swamp and the settlers shaped this community rich with heritage.

Whether you are a long-time resident or a visitor to Northwest Ohio, you can enjoy a scenic driving tour through Wood County’s past and present. Notice the impact the Black Swamp left on the land. Learn about the adventurous lives of heroes buried in our cemeteries. Take a deeper look at the architecture and natural resources.

This Driving Tour doesn’t quite cover all 617 square miles of Wood County, but you will surely drive down roads and past Historical Markers that are new to you. There is no particular order or time frame for this tour. Start where you like. End where you like. Tackle a few towns today, and a few more next weekend.

We encourage you to carve out your own adventures, and when you reach your destination town, stop, look, and listen! Grab your smartphone or your tablet computer and hit the road!

 

Learn more about the Wood County Historical Society

Educational Resources for Schools, Talks & Tours

Preserving History through donations, research & exhibits

Museum Events & Programs

Museum Exhibits

Driving Tour Map
[download PDF]

 

Wood County Driving Tour Map

DON’T GET STUCK IN THE ROAD!
Visit www.buckeyetraffic.org/ for ODOT’s up- to-date road closures and detours.

For additional detail, pick up a Wood County Highway Map at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum.

 

USEFUL RESOURCES
National Register of Historic Places
Ohio Historical Society

 

Wood County Driving TourLIBRARY LOAN

The CD version of this Driving Tour is available on loan from the Wood County District Public Library, Way Library, Pemberville Library, and Rossford Library.


 

 

 

Many thanks to all of the individuals and agencies that helped make this tour a reality:
Mary Mennel, The 577 Foundation; Earlene Kilpatrick, Main Street Bowling Green; Mike Sibbersen, Wood County; Bernie Scott, Custer Homestead; Tony Allen, Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce; George Gray and Leonard Skonecki, Fostoria Area Historical Society; Richard Finch, Ft. Meigs; Beckie Finch, Toledo Metroparks; Bonnie Knaggs, North Baltimore Historical Society; Kathy Barnes, James Barnes, and Todd Sheets, Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society; Robert & Christine Columber, Pottertown; Pam Menchaca, Wood County Park District; Dick & Martha Kudner, Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor; Melinda Gilpin and William Obenour, BGSU; Craig Lammers, Stephen Merrill, and Ashley Paessun, WBGU-FM, Stacie Miles, Kelli Kling, Christie Raber, Randy Brown, and Michael McMaster, Wood County Historical Center & Museum; Dorsey Sergent, Ann Householder, Tom Bamburowski, Delbert Brown, Conni Johnson, and James Miller, Wood County Historical Society; Judy Justus, Perrysburg Area Historic Museum; Larry Nader; Gordon Wenig; Cathleen Newlove Wenig; Paul Herringshaw; Kellie Greer; and R.K. Clark. Cover photo from the collection of the Wood County Historical Society. Cover inset and interior photos courtesy of J.D. Pooley. Live music performed by The Diamonds in the Rough (Debra Watkins on mandolin and guitar, Jack Schilb on guitar, Bruce Brodie on guitar and banjo, Eddie Podolsky on bass, Carrie Stuckert on fiddle, and Vickie Stuckert on dulcimer), Root Cellar String Band (Lucy Long on fiddle, Steve O’Regan on banjo and mandolin, David Strickler on guitar, and Tom Goodwin on bass), and Ian & Andrew Bova (Andrew on fife and Ian on drum). Additonal music recorded and arranged by Stephen Merrill and Ashley Paessun, WBGU-FM, Bowling Green State University.

 

 

WOOD COUNTY DRIVING TOUR
AUDIO TRACKS

1. The Rise of Wood County (3:16)
An abundant agricultural resource from the Great Black Swamp. For more information about Wood County: www.co.wood.oh.us.
Narrated by Kelli Kling
Music: “Westfork Girls” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour


PEMBERVILLE

2. Pemberville Town Hall and Opera House (1:37)
The quaint brick road quickly sets the tone of the late 1800s. A historical marker provides additional insight. For more information on Pemberville Opera House: www.pembervilleoperahouse.org.
Narrated by James Barnes
Music: “Shoofly” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

3. The Village of Pemberville (1:16)
The railroad depot is down the road at the intersection of Main and Hickory Streets. For more information: Village of Pemberville: www.pemberville.org. Pemberville Library: 375 E. Front St., 419.287.4012; www.pembervillelibrary.org.
Narrated by James Barnes
Music: “Nail that Catfish” composed by Steve Rozin, performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

4. Pemberville: William Henry Harrison Park (0:45)
A historical marker provides additional insight.
Narrated by James Barnes
Music: “Baby-O” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

5. Pemberville’s Most Legendary Citizen (0:40)
The Pemberville Cemetery is on Fish Road, south of Alexander Road.
Narrated by James Barnes
Music: “Banish Misfortune” performed by Carrie Stuckert

Wood County Driving Tour


FOSTORIA

6. Fostoria (2:17)
When the swamp was filled between neighboring towns Rome and Risdon, Fostoria found its name from Charles W. Foster. For more information: Village of Fostoria: 419.435.0404; www.fostoria.org. Fostoria Area Historical Society and Museum: 121 W. North St., 419.435.4664. The Glass Heritage Gallery & Museum: 109 N. Main St., 419.435.5077; www.fostoriaglass.com.
Narrated by Larry Nader; Introduction by Stephen Merrill
Music: “Chase That Squirrel” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour


NORTH BALTIMORE

7. The Great Black Fire of North Baltimore (1:32)
The Great Black Fire destroyed much of the thriving downtown.
Narrated by Craig Lammers
Music: “Wayfaring Stranger“ performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour

8. North Baltimore Area Historical Center (1:29)
A historical marker provides additional insight to the Queen Anne style Dirk/Richcreek House, built in 1879. For more information: North Baltimore Area Historical Center: 229 N. Main St., 419.257.2266; www.wcnet.org/~nbahs/main.htm.
Narrated by Craig Lammers
Music: “Shove that Pig’s Foot Further in the Fire” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

9. The Murder of 1932 (2:44)
The plaque honoring Police Marshall Ray Davis is at the entrance of the alley that runs behind the library. For more information: North Baltimore Public Library: 230 N. Main St., 419.257.3621; nbpubliclibrary.org.
Narrated by Randy Brown; Introduction by Ashley Paessun
Music: “Star of the County Downs” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour

10. North Baltimore: The Oil & Gas Boom (2:47)
A tribute to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Narrated by Kelli Kling
Music performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour


JACKSON CUTOFF

11. Jackson Cutoff (0:38)
A lasting impression of Wood County’s drainage system. You can see it as you drive though Milton Center on Mermill Road.
Narrated by Delbert Brown
Music: “Cowhide Boots” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour


POTTERTOWN

12. Pottertown (3:45)
Faced with too many conflicts, this pioneer town succumbed to disaster and now marks a ghost town’s history.
Narrated by Robert Columber; Introduction by Kelli Kling
Music: “Red Rose” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour


GRAND RAPIDS

13. From Gilead to the Canals (4:08)
Drive down Front and Second Streets to admire historical markers and the restored canal town. From RT 578, cross the Maumee River to take a canal boat ride or visit Providence Metropark and the Isaac Ludwig Mill. For more information: Village of Grand Rapids: 419.832.5305; www.grandrapidsohio.com. Providence Metropark: 419.407.9741; www.metroparkstoledo.com/metroparks/providence. Seven Eagles Historic Center: 16486 Wapakoneta Rd., 419.509.0095; www.seven-eagles.com.
Narrated by Conni Johnson
Music: “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving TourWood County Driving Tour

14. Dominick Labino (0:38)
You will find this historic marker on RT. 65 just east of RT 578. It overlooks a beautiful view of the Maumee River.
Narrated by Conni Johnson
Music: “Spring in the Midwest” performed by Jack Schilb

Wood County Driving Tour

15. Nazareth Hall (3:32)
Once a boys' boarding school, this stately site is now a premiere wedding facility. For more information: www.nazarethhall.com.
Narrated by R.K. Clark
Music: “Swannanoa Waltz” composed by Rayna Getters, performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

16. Grand Rapids: The Missionary School (1:25)
This historic marker is on RT. 65, east of RT 582 and the Weir Rapids Access to the Maumee River.
Narrated by Conni Johnson
Music: “Sally Ann” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour


TONTOGANY

17. Tom Custer and the Custer Homestead (4:02)
In 1871, the last member of the Custer family moved from the family farm in Tontogany to Michigan.
Narrated by Gordon Wenig
Music: “Washington’s Artillery March” and “Yankee Doodle” performed by Andrew and Ian Bova

Wood County Driving Tour


PERRYSBURG

18. Fort Meigs (2:34)
The site of the largest wooden walled reconstructed fort in North America. For more information: Fort Meigs: 29100 W. River Rd., 419.874.4121; www.fortmeigs.org. Ohio Historical Society: www.ohiohistory.org.
Narrated by Cathleen Newlove Wenig
Music: “The Girl I Left Behind Me” performed by Andrew and Ian Bova

Wood County Driving Tour

19. The Wood County Jail (1:31)
Now a private residence at 240 W. Indiana Avenue.
Narrated by Michael Sibbersen
Music: “Nixon’s Farewell” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

20. Perrysburg: The Beginnings of Perrysburg (1:40)
Take Louisiana Avenue down to the Maumee River to admire the Commodore Perry statue. For more information: City of Perrysburg: www.ci.perrysburg.oh.us. Perrysburg Chamber of Commerce & Convention & Visitors Bureau: 105 Indiana Ave., 419.874.9147; www.perrysburgchamber.com; www.visitperrysburg.com.
Narrated by Dorsey Sergent
Music: “Wild Mountain Thyme” performed by Carrie Stuckert

Wood County Driving Tour

21. Perrysburg Architecture (1:43)
St. Rose Parish: 215 E. Front St. Sears & Roebuck box houses: W. 5th St. & W. Indiana Ave.
Narrated by Dorsey Sergent
Music: “Spotted Pony” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

22. Willard Way and His Legacy to the City (2:38)
Early books that furnished the Way Library came from his personal collection. For more information: Way Public Library: 101 E. Indiana Ave., 419.874.3135; www.waylibrary.info.
Narrated by Dorsey Sergent
Music: “Blackberry Blossoms” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour

23. The 577 Foundation (2:29)
Thanks to the foresight of Virginia Stranahan, this natural nook of Perrysburg preserves the flora of northwest Ohio. For more information: 577 Foundation: 577 E. Front St., 419.874.4174; www.577foundation.org.
Narrated by Christie Raber
Music: “Kansas City Rag” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour


ROSSFORD

24. Rossford: The Legacy of Founder Edward Ford (2:07)
The birth of the Northwest Ohio glass industry. For more information: City of Rossford: www.rossfordohio.com. Rossford Public Library: 720 Dixie Hwy., 419.666.0924; www.rossfordlibrary.org.
Narrated by William Obenouer
Music: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour


U.S. RT. 20

25. Mud Pike (US RT 20) (3:18)
How long would it take you today to travel this once muddy mess known as “the worst stretch of road in the county?”.
Narrated by Ann Householder
Music: “Swallow Tail Jig” performed by Carrie Stuckert

Wood County Driving Tour


STONY RIDGE

26. Stony Ridge: The Empire House (1:19)
One of 31 inns along the 30-mile stretch of road from Perrysburg to Fremont.
Narrated by Paul Herringshaw
Music: “Forked Deer” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough

Wood County Driving Tour


DEVILS HOLE ROAD

27. Devil’s Hole (0:28)
Devil’s Hole Road runs west to east through Middleton, Webster, and Troy townships, but you might not see a road sign! Rumor has it that the city stopped putting them up because too many signs were stolen.
Narrated by Ann Householder
Music arranged by Stephen Merrill

Wood County Driving Tour


BOWLING GREEN

28. Zimmerman School (2:42)
One-room schools once dotted the landscape, but today, this 1892 school is a unique learning tool. 17901 Carter Road. For more information: Wood County Park District: 419.353.1897; www.woodcountyparkdistrict.org.
Narrated by Thomas Bamburowski
Music: “Pig Ankle Rag” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

29. Hull’s Trace (Route 25) (0:26)
The route followed by General William Hull.
Narrated by Delbert Brown
Music: “Cleveland Marching to the Whitehouse” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

30. Wood County Courthouse (3:53)
The clock tower and intricate carvings are just two of courthouse's interesting features. For more information: www.co.wood.oh.us/auditor/courthouse-history.htm.
Narrated by Michael Sibbersen
Music: “Claudia’s Tune” performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour

31. Bowling Green Historic District (4:47)
Deep ditches along the road are clues to the once Great Black Swamp. For more information: Downtown Bowling Green: 121 E. Wooster St., 419.354.4332; www.downtownbgohio.org. BG Chamber of Commerce: 163 N. Main St., 419.353.7945; www.bgchamber.net. BG Convention & Visitors Bureau: 119 E. Court St., 419.353.9445; www.visitbgohio.org.
Narrated by Kellie Greer
Music: “The Paring Glass” and “Boneparte” performed by Carrie Stuckert

Wood County Driving Tour

32. Wood County Historical Center & Museum (3:34)
The former County Infirmary comes to life through educational programs, events, & exhibits. For more information: Wood Co. Historical Center & Museum: 13660 County Home Rd., 419.352.0967; www.woodcountyhistory.org.
Narrated by Christie Raber
Music: “Winderslide” composed by Joe LaRose, performed by Root Cellar String Band

Wood County Driving Tour