Coming February 1st— Utopia: A Visual Storytelling of Our Home to showcase Wood County.

The Wood County Historical Museum opens the 2020 museum season on February 1st with a new exhibit, Utopia:  A Visual Storytelling of Our Home.  

The 2020 bicentennial celebration of Wood County naturally encourages people to look back upon our community’s accomplishments. Excited about our county’s future, photographer Taylor Houpt Ayres traveled across Wood County on a quest to create a visual storytelling of our home highlighting beautiful landscapes, vibrant cityscapes, and a multitude of back road barns and farm fields. 

This exhibit is supported by American Frame.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. Historical Society members receive free admission as well as a gift shop discount. The museum offers free admission to all visitors on the first Friday of each month, courtesy of the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau. The museum is handicap accessible and group tours are welcome. 

A grand opening celebration & open house for the exhibit will take place on Friday, February 21 with a ribbon cutting at 4:00 PM followed by a public reception and self-guided tours until 7:00 PM. Exhibit photographer Taylor Houpt Ayres will share remarks at 5:00 PM about her journey around Wood County. 

All events detailed at or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. 

New Publication on North Baltimore History

Written by Dr. William H. Roberts, published by Bill Roberts and Tom Boltz……

Dr. William H. Roberts, a North Baltimore, Ohio, native who died in 2014, practiced medicine in his hometown from 1953 until 1990. After his retirement, Dr. Roberts documented his memories about growing up in North Baltimore in the 1920s and 30s on paper and in oral history interviews. Those memories have been compiled and edited  by his son Bill Roberts and Tom Boltz in a new publication entitled What I Remember: Recollections of A Small Town Doctor.

Dr. Roberts’s father, Charles, was a North Baltimore pharmacist and drugstore owner and his mother, Nellie York Roberts, was the first female North Baltimore postmaster and was very active in local politics.
Dr. William H. Roberts practiced medicine in his hometown, North Baltimore, Ohio, from 1953 to 1990.

In addition to Dr. Roberts’s childhood memories, the book describes the Roberts family’s life during the Oil Boom Era in southern Wood and northern Hancock Counties and presents many never-published local history pictures from the Roberts family archive.

Book Cover of “What I Remember” by William Henry Roberts, MD. Copies for purchase are available at the North Baltimore, Ohio Area Historical Center

The book can be purchased at the North Baltimore Ohio Area Historical Society and at the Wood County History Museum in Bowling Green, Ohio. Copies are also available in the North Baltimore Public Library.

Do You Know Who was Born on January 21st?

Read more to learn some North Baltimore History……….

Thanks to the North Baltimore Area Historical Center for providing this information that is an important part of North Baltimore history.

Dr. Gene Sharp was an American political scientist.  He was the founder of the Albert Einstein Institution (New York City), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action, and professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 (winner was Barrack Obama), 2012, 2013, and 2015.  AND, HE WAS BORN IN NORTH BALTIMORE, OHIO on January 21, 1928!  You can see a display of some of the 30+ books he wrote in the North Baltimore Area Historical Society!

Become a Member of NB Area Historical Society

Did you know: One NB native was nominated 5 times for the Nobel Peace Prize! Learn more…


     The North Baltimore Area Historical Society is having a membership drive for 2020.  Our goal is to have 50 new memberships.  The members will receive a quarterly newsletter and other benefits.  You can join or renew your membership by mailing a $10 check to NBOAHS, P. O. Box 174, North Baltimore, OH 45872-1213 or drop off your $10 check made out to NBOAHS at the NB Public Library.

      The NB Historical house is used by many different groups for meetings including:  the Questettes, NB Garden Club, the Quilters, Jr LL,  hosting of Good Ole Summertime open house, and tours for individuals and students from Powell School.

    In the last two years we had a book published on the most remarkable man to ever live in NB–The Adventures of George Monroe Pilcher.  The book sells for $15 plus shipping.    We have completed much research on many NB events and individuals.  Here is a partial list:  

     (1)  Daisy Perkins a NBHS 1896 graduate, the first female African-American attorney in the State of Ohio.  We successfully had a fund-raiser to repair her family’s tombstones at Maplewood Cemetery.

     (2)  A display of NB native, Gene Sharp, who was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize and was founder of the Albert Einstein Institute (New York).

     (3)  1938 NBHS graduate Carl Stoner who was involved in the Manhattan Project and a champion hydroplane driver.  We have copies of letters he received from Robert Oppenheimer (“Father of the Atomic Bomb”) and Lieutenant General Leslie Groves (Director of the Manhattan Project). 

     (4)  Also, we have the national magazine article on Clark Gable hunting in NB area and his friendship with NB’s Pete Hawk and Margaret Bobb’s articles on “A Fiendish Murder in Hoytville”.  

     We are completing articles on President Warren G. Harding funeral train passing through NB; the NB Airport located at the corner of Oil Center Road and Mitchell Road; Cole Younger, Jesse James’ partner living in Hammansburg; the rumor that Jim Jefferies, the “Boiler Maker”, world champion boxer worked on the oil fields in Henry Township; and the NB native who changed the automatic washing machine to the appliance we know today.  We also just completed an article for our newsletter on the   1938 NBHS Tiger basketball team that qualified for ’38 state tourney.What a remarkable bunch of players! This is only a partial list of what we are doing. 

    We are looking for volunteers, too!  If you have a few hours to spare we would love to have you join our group.


Fundraiser Blends County Home History with Birthday Festivities

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the County Home at the Birthday Gala Fundraiser, at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum, 13660 County Home Rd. in Bowling Green on Saturday, December 14 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

Come together at this annual event to enjoy the celebration of the 1869 opening of the County Home with hors d’oeuvers (provided by Penta Culinary Arts Program), cocktails & mocktails from around Ohio, root beer floats, enjoy a candy & popcorn bar and live entertainment by Timmy C & the Game Changers! Guests will also be able to tour the Museum’s award winning exhibit For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio by Way of the Poor Farm.

There will also be a silent auction featuring a variety of themed gift baskets with local experiences from artists, merchants, and restaurants. Some of the items include: a Zamboni ride & tickets to the Toledo Walleye, Art Package from Toledo Museum of Art, Animal Safari Lovers Package (including a VIP pass to the Port Clinton African Safari Wildlife Park), and Sue Shank Cookies. An additional 50-50 raffle will also take place during the event.

Gala tickets are $55/person through the end of November and $60/person starting December 1st. Walk-ins welcome or purchase tickets in advance by calling 419-352-0967 or online at All proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the Wood County Historical Society.

Support for this event is provide by: Judy Ennis, Edwin & Irma Wolf, Penta Culinary Arts, Dolores Black, Harold A. Brown, Tim Brown, Pam & Ken Frisch, Mike Sibbersen, Skylight Financial Group, Lynn & Betty Wineland, and H.O.T. Printing & Graphics.

NB Pioneer Days Series IV:  A First-Person Account

Indian children the Only Playmates—A Disastrous Frost—Boiled Sugar All Night—Indian Shot by a Settler and Thrown Under a Log

NB Pioneer Days Series IV:  A First-Person Account

By Tom Boltz and North Baltimore Ohio Area Historical Society

In the late 1890s and early 1900s, George W. Wilkinson, the editor of the North Baltimore Beacon, encouraged elderly local residents to write about their experiences in the settling of Henry Township and the founding of North Baltimore, Ohio.  He published their letters in a series of articles which he titled “Interesting Pioneer Sketches.”

 The following article was written by Minerva Decker (born 1818–died 1907).  It describes the early life of the men and women who first settled in Wood County.  This article is directly transcribed from the North Baltimore Beacon of October 18, 1901.


 Gives Some Interesting Facts and Experiences

 Indian children the Only Playmates—A Disastrous Frost—Boiled Sugar All Night—Indian Shot by a Settler and Thrown Under a Log

 Mrs. Minerva Decker

 Upon being asked whether I could relate any of the early history of this country and the hardships which the early settlers were faced with, I will endeavor to give all the information in my power that can be of any possible interest.  I will not describe the country so much but will describe the manner in which the settlers lived and labored in their endeavor to make a home for their families.

I was born in Pennsylvania in the year of 1818 where I lived but two years when my father decided to move to the wilderness in Ohio and chop out a farm and home.  We settled in Crawford County which was at that time one great massive forest and here made our home.  The game was plenty yet and especially the turkeys.  I remember one day my mother was sitting by the window writing a letter and I was out on the porch when I discovered a flock of wild turkeys coming toward the house.  We sat quiet and they went right over the corner of the porch and on past the house to the Sandusky River for water.  Many were the times that whole dish pans full of fine wild turkey meat would be thrown away.

During my childhood days in this country with wilderness abounding on every side I had no playmates except the Indian children who were in our neighborhood.  They always carried small bows and arrows and would shoot at a mark.  An Indian woman near us was confined to her tepee with sickness and mother went over to see her quite often; taking her biscuits, etc.  When the woman got well and able to be about again she made me a pair of fine white moccasins which I would give a great deal for now.  We were very poorly clad in those days and they were a very thankful addition to my wardrobe and were therefore immediately put on and worn out.  The Indians were quite thick around us, but were always friendly.

Just one more incident that happened in my pioneer days in Crawford County and I will then take up the beginning of Wood and Hancock counties as seen and experienced during my early life.  My father received a very hard fall one day in which he broke his collar bone and otherwise injured himself and he was confined to the house for a long time.  He grew impatient as the days passed and he was still unable to get out.  Telling mother to get his gun and come on he started for some turkeys being unable to carry the gun himself.  He shot one, but by this time he was so tired he could hardly get back to our cabin.

I married in Crawford County to Mahlon Decker.  My husband purchased a track of land out here and came here with the purpose of building a cabin and preparing a home for his family before bringing them.  The dismal outlook was too much for him however and he returned to us without having done anything in view of making that trackless wilderness the future home of his family.  He then endeavored to sell the land he had purchased and give up the idea of settling in this vast timberland.  It seems that others as well as he were not favorably impressed with the prospect and his every effort to dispose of his purchase seemed fruitless.  Being unable to dispose of the land, he finally decided move on it.  We packed our belongings in wagons and started on our long journey, which before we reached our destination, we thought would never end.  Great trees lay across our path and those we were unable to move had to be bridged by piling dirt up on each side.  I will not attempt to describe this long and perilous journey, but let it suffice to say that it was an undertaking that we ll might make a brave man’s heart weaken when he sighted the hardships to which his family would be exposed. 

Arriving at last at our destination we stopped at the cabin of an acquaintance who succeeded in making room for us until we could erect our cabin.  The family decided then to take a visit and we stayed in their cabin and took care of their children.  While they were away, we succeeded in clearing three acres of our land on which we planted wheat and also built our cabin.  This was the year the settlers suffered the loss of almost their entire crops and we only got three bushels, half of which we again sowed, leaving one and half bushel for our winter supply.  The settlers suffered much this winter for food and they had no money and no crops.  In cleaning our wheat, we would put it in a sheet with one end tied to the wall and shake it, turning it round and round.  I can well remember also of boiling sugar water many a time all night.  We had to work in those days and there was no fooling around about it.

I never worked in the field helping to clear or farm while my husband lived unless I had no work for my loom.  I remember at one time the children of the people for whom I was to weave cloth were compelled to sit around the fire almost naked until I could weave their cloth.  A lady ahead of them being acquainted with this fact came to my cabin and told me that they could have her turn and she would wait.  When my husband could not work in the fields, he would help me weave.

There were some Indians here yet and I remember one in particular who had ninety-nine scalps hanging at his belt and swore he was going to make it a hundred.  A neighbor vowed to himself that this Indian would never take that final scalp.  A short time after Brown passed my husband with the remark “he had shot a bear and had thrown it under a log.”  The Indian was never heard of after this and we all understood.

In 1874, at which time we had begun to be a little more cheerful, my husband was taken ill with stomach trouble and died.  Left alone with my children to support, I went into the field and farmed, cleared more land, and built fences.  This was the hardest part of my battle and required a great deal of hard labor.  In the meantime, my children were fast becoming old enough to help and things again ran a little better after the discouragement following our cruel blow in the loss of our husband and father.  I am eighty-three years old and am the mother of sixteen children, eight of whom still live.  I think by the above the readers will be fairly well acquainted with my history although this is but a brief description of the early life of the men and women who first settled in what is now a progressing country.  I will close by adding that I am still able to be out and around and take care of myself.

Wood Co. Historical Society TEA & TALK Series

“A Global Conversation: A worldly look at poor relief ”……

The Wood County Historical Society welcomes Amilcar Challu, from Bowling Green State University’s Department of History, as the guest speaker for the November Tea & Talk Series on November 14th, 2:00-4:00 PM, at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum, 13660 County Home Road, in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

The November Tea & Talk Series will discuss how Ohio’s signature system of poor relief compared to relief in Latin America. Come and join in for this global conversation!

Amilcar Challu is a professor and department chair in the History Department at Bowling Green State University. His field of studies includes Latin American history, inequality and human well being (including health & nutrition), and environmental history and environmental humanities.

Reservations & payment are needed by Friday, November 8th by calling 419-352-0967 or visiting Admission is $23 for adults and $18 for Wood County Historical Society members. Admission includes tea, light refreshments, and the program. The Museum is handicap accessible.

This program is part of a monthly tea series hosted by the Wood County Historical Society. The November Tea & Talk Series is sponsored by The Lubrizol Corporation. A complete list of teas and other programs can be found at

All events detailed at or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media.


Wood County Historical Museum Awarded Public Education & Awareness Award…..

Bowling Green, OH –  The Wood County Historical Center & Museum received the Ohio State Historic Preservation Award for Public Education and Awareness honoring the current exhibit For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio By Way of the Poor Farm.

This exhibit explores the administrative story about public charity in Ohio that dates as early as 1816 using photographs, ephemera, and interpretive panels.  It also explores the rise of the Ohio State Board of Charities in 1867, its transition in the 1930s to the Ohio Department of Public Welfare, Division of Aged, and how the preservation of former Wood County Infirmary as the current Wood County Historical Center & Museum impacts the story of public charity in Ohio.

With the help of local photographer Jeffrey Hall, a journey of over 5,000 miles to all 88 counties documented the current condition of each former poor farm site.  These photographs connect past and present, bringing the history of the poor farm system to the forefront as a catalyst for conversation about the situations and policies that led people across Ohio to be housed in these places.

The exhibit was made possible by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Humanities Council, with a generous in-kind donation of photography services by Jeffrey Hall. 

This is the second award for this exhibit; the museum was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Local History Alliance on October 5, 2019.

For more information, contact the Wood County Historical Center & Museum at 419-352-0967 or visit

FREE Family Fun at the W. C. Historical Center & Museum


Enjoy free family fun at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum on Saturday, October 5th for a Demonstration Day featuring the Northwest Ohio Blacksmiths Association, as they keep the art of blacksmithing stoked in heart of Wood County with an Open Forge Demonstration from 9 AM – 2 PM. Watch seasoned blacksmiths or try your hand at this lost art. In addition to the blacksmithing demonstration, the log cabin will also be open for za loom weaving demonstration. The Wood County Historical Center & Museum, located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green, Ohio, will offer free admission from 10 AM – 4 PM on Saturday.

The Wood County Historical Museum hosts historical demonstration days throughout the year with a full schedule and details at Demonstration Days showcase historic activities such as log cabin life, amateur radio, farm & tractor demonstrations, and blacksmithing.

The Northwestern Ohio Tractor Pulling Association is the proud sponsor the 2019 Demonstration Days.

All events detailed at or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media.


Sunday, 8/25/2019 16th Annual Living History Program Highlights the Wood County Home residents

The 16th annual Wood County Living History Day is Sunday, August 25 at 2:00 pm at the Paupers’ Cemetery on the Historical Museum grounds, Bowling Green, Ohio. Local residents portray citizens buried in the Wood County paupers cemetery.  2019 honorees were chosen to coincide with the “For Comfort & Convenience” exhibit at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum. 

This event is free and open to the public.

“A Joyful Noise” will provide music before the event. Parking is available at the Museum parking lot. The Wood County Sheriff’s Auxiliary will provide free rides from the parking lot to the cemetery where the program will be held.  Chairs are available, although those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. 

In case of heavy rain, the program will be moved inside the Museum in to the meeting room.
2019 honorees are:
CATHERINE ANDELFINGER  (1815 – 1902) – She lived at the County Home for 30 years. Known as “Old Mother Come and Go”. She has the only tombstone in the Paupers’ Cemetery with a name on it. 
Portrayed by September Killy
GEORGE BICE (1844 – 1927) – Lived at the Infirmary for 3 years. He was listed as a widowed and left behind several children. Known for a wooden leg. 
Portrayed by Thomas Edge
(Not buried in the Paupers’ Cemetery) 
Originally from Hancock County, Frank came to work as a laborer at the Wood County Infirmary where he met Lottie Farmer. Upon her father’s death in 1904, Frank and Lottie became the Superintendent and Matron of the Infirmary for 45 years. 
Portrayed by Keith Guion
CHARLIE CRUSA (1880 – 1955)
(Not buried in the Paupers’ Cemetery)  
Helped with digging graves in the Paupers’ Cemetery.
Non-speaking part. Portrayed by Daniel Hergert
SALLY LEGRON – Born in Pennsylvania, lived in Bloom Twp. before coming to the Infirmary. She was known for smoking a pipe.  
Portrayed by: Cassie Greenlee
AUTHER PALMER MOORE (1904 – 1927) Married to Laura Bella Short. Shot and killed during a suspected robbery. 
(Was never a resident of the Infirmary). 
Portrayed by Geoffrey Howes
FRANK RAKOVAN  (1881 – 1938) – Worked at the Edward Ford Glass plant in Rossford, OH. Came to the Infirmary in March 1933. 
Portrayed by Bob Midden
MARY ELIZABETH RHODES  (1848 – 1933) – Came to the Infirmary in 1883 and lived at the County Home for 50 years. She was known as “Bess”. 
Portrayed by Kelly Wolbert
UNKNOWN YOUNG MAN  (unknown – 1941) – Italian or Syrian man who was murdered near Cygnet and buried in the Paupers’ Cemetery. 
Portrayed by Bob Walters
Event details and past honorees can be found at
This event was made possible with a generous donations fromthe Bowling Green Kiwanis Club, Exchange Club of Bowling Green, Portage Center Arbor Gleaners 524, Delphos Granite Works, Montessori School of Bowling Green, Wood County Genealogical Society, Mike Sibbersen, Wood County Historical Society, This program was funded in part by a grant from the Frisch Family Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation. With additional support from: City of Bowling Green, Wood County Sheriff & Auxiliary, Way Public Library, DBD Sound Reinforcement, and the Living History Day committee.       

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Questions about the event can be made at [email protected]org or 419-352-0967


Last day for Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives exhibit will be August 11, 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019 will be the last day to take a tour of the exhibit Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives. The exhibit features photographs by Riis, a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer in New York at the turn of the twentieth century.


This Riis exhibit is a companion piece to the current main exhibit, For Comfort and Convenience. Visitors to the exhibit will experience immersive life-size photographs, as well as artifacts and personal documentation. This exhibit is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Library of Congress, and Edwin & Irma Wolf. The exhibit was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by Mid-America Arts Alliance.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM and weekends from 1 PM – 4 PM (closed on government holidays). Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts for seniors, students, and military. 

All events detailed at or by following the Wood County Historical Museum on social media. The Museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green.