Wood County Driving Tour

The Wood County Driving Tour

  • Listen here or pick up a CD from any Wood County Library
  • To shed some light on how the Great Black Swamp and early settlers shaped this community, many different historical and cultural agencies throughout Wood County combined efforts to produce a 32-track Driving Tour.
  • 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 discover roads and 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 stop to enjoy today's scenery as well.
  • Listen here on your smartphone or tablet, or pick up a CD from any Wood County Library.
  • JUMP TO A TRACK: Wood County (1) | Pemberville (2-5) | Fostoria (6) | North Baltimore (7-10) | Jackson Cutoff (11) | Pottertown (12) | Grand Rapids (13-16) | Tontogany (17) | Perrysburg (18-23) | Rossford (24) | Mud Pike (U.S. Route 20) (25) | Stony Ridge (26) | Devil's Hole (27) | Bowling Green (28-32)
  • Credits | PDF Map of Driving Tour Route
Wood County Driving Tour

THE RISE OF WOOD COUNTY

  • Narrated by Kelli Kling
    Music: “Westfork Girls” performed by Root Cellar String Band
    Track 1 (3:16)
  • An abundant agricultural resource from the Great Black Swamp.
  • www.co.wood.oh.us
Wood County Driving Tour

PEMBERVILLE

Town Hall & Opera House

  • Narrated by James Barnes
    Music: "Shoefly" performed by Root Cellar String Band
    Track 2 (1:37)
  • The quaint brick road quickly sets the tone of the late 1800s. A historical marker provides additional insight.
  • www.pembervilleoperahouse.org

The Village of Pemberville

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

William Henry Harrison Park

  • Narrated by James Barnes
    Music: “Baby-O” performed by Root Cellar String Band
    Track 4 (0:45)
  • An historical marker provides additional insight.

Pemberville’s Most Legendary Citizen

  • Narrated by James Barnes
    Music: “Banish Misfortune” performed by Carrie Stuckert
    Track 5 (0:40)
  • The Pemberville Cemetery is on Fish Road, south of Alexander Road.
Wood County Driving Tour

FOSTORIA

  • Narrated by Larry Nader; Introduction by Stephen Merrill
    Music: “Chase That Squirrel” performed by Root Cellar String Band
    Track 6 (2:17)
  • When the swamp was filled between neighboring towns Rome and Risdon, Fostoria found its name from Charles W. Foster.
  • www.fostoria.org | www.fostoriaglass.com
    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
Wood County Driving Tour

NORTH BALTIMORE

The Great Black Fire of North Baltimore

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

North Baltimore Area Historical Center

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

The Murder of 1932

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

The Oil & Gas Boom

  • Narrated by Kelli Kling
    Music performed by The Diamonds in the Rough
    Track 10 (2:47)
  • A tribute to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Wood County Driving Tour

JACKSON CUTOFF

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

POTTERTOWN

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

GRAND RAPIDS

From Gilead to the Canals

  • Narrated by Conni Johnson
    Music: “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough
    Track 13 (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.
  • 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

Dominick Labino

  • Narrated by Conni Johnson
    Music: “Spring in the Midwest” performed by Jack Schilb
    Track 14 (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.

Nazareth Hall

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

Grand Rapids: The Missionary School

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

TONTOGANY

Tom Custer and the Custer Homestead

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

PERRYSBURG

Fort Meigs

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

The Wood County Jail

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

The Beginnings of Perrysburg

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

Perrysburg Architecture

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

Willard Way and His Legacy to the City

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

The 577 Foundation

  • Narrated by Christie Weininger
    Music: “Kansas City Rag” performed by Root Cellar String Band
    Track 23 (2:29)
  • Thanks to the foresight of Virginia Stranahan, this natural nook of Perrysburg preserves the flora of northwest Ohio.
Wood County Driving Tour

ROSSFORD

The Legacy of Founder Edward Ford

  • Narrated by William Obenouer
    Music: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough
    Track 24 (2:07)
  • The birth of the Northwest Ohio glass industry.
  • City of Rossford: www.rossfordohio.com
    Rossford Public Library: 720 Dixie Hwy., 419.666.0924; www.rossfordlibrary.org
Wood County Driving Tour

U.S. ROUTE 20

  • Narrated by Ann Householder
    Music: “Swallow Tail Jig” performed by Carrie Stuckert
    Track 25 (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?”
Wood County Driving Tour

STONY RIDGE

The Empire House

  • Narrated by Paul Herringshaw
    Music: “Forked Deer” performed by The Diamonds in the Rough
    Track 26 (1:19)
  • One of 31 inns along the 30-mile stretch of road from Perrysburg to Fremont.
Wood County Driving Tour

DEVIL'S HOLE

  • Narrated by Ann Householder
    Music arranged by Stephen Merrill
    Track 27 (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.
Wood County Driving Tour

BOWLING GREEN

Zimmerman School

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

Hull's Trace (Route 25)

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

Wood County Courthouse

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

Bowling Green Historic District

  • Narrated by Kellie Greer
    Music: “The Paring Glass” and “Boneparte” performed by Carrie Stuckert
    Track 31 (4:47)
  • Deep ditches along the road are clues to the once Great Black Swamp.
  • Downtown Bowling Green: 419.354.4332 www.downtownbgohio.org
    BG Chamber of Commerce: 419.353.7945; www.bgchamber.net
    BG Convention & Visitors Bureau: 419.353.9445; www.visitbgohio.org

Wood County Historical Center & Museum

  • Narrated by Christie Weininger
    MMusic: “Winderslide” composed by Joe LaRose, performed by Root Cellar String Band
    Track 32 (3:34)
  • The former County Infirmary comes to life through educational programs, events, & exhibits.
  • www.woodcountyhistory.org
Wood County Driving Tour

CREDITS

  • 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; Michael 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 Weininger, 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.
  • CD Cover photo from the collection of the Wood County Historical Society. CD 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.