Wood County Historical Center & Museum
Contact Us | Museum History
Follow us on FaceBook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

EXHIBIT: OVER THERE! Send Word, the Wood County Boys are Coming! WWI 1914-1918


WWI BG Postcard

Take a journey back in time, 100 years ago in Wood County, Ohio, with a new exhibit: Over There! Send Word: The Wood County Boys are Coming! World War I, 1914-1918




MEDIA: Toledo Blade | Ohio.org | Exhibit: BG Independent Media | Trenches: BG Independent Media | Sentinel-Tribune | WBGU-PBS | WTOL 11 |

Wood County District Public LibraryWWI Newspaper Archive now available


The journey begins over 4,000 miles away when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia are assassinated by a tuberculosis infected young man who is part of the Black Hand, a Serbian society fighting for independence from imperialistic leadership.

Alliances are broken and tensions ignite into war. At first, the people of Wood County are blissfully unaware of the conflict that will become an affliction for centuries to come.

Kaiser Wilhelm II, leader of the German Empire and friend to the recently deceased Archduke, vows to aid Austria in crushing the members of the Black Hand.

Russia is ready.

Germany is plotting against France.

Belgium is caught in the middle.

Great Britain is honoring pacts.

The Turks want to regain pre-Balkan War glory.

The United States wants to sit this one out -- or do they?

Interactive exhibit components and large scale graphics plunge the visitor into the momentum of powerful leaders, wide reaching decisions, military tactics, and the overwhelming feeling of war.

Up the stairs, step by step: The Draft Office. It is 1917 and every able-bodied man between the ages of 18 - 45 is signing up for the draft. “…but President Wilson, in 1916 you promised us, if you were re-elected, you would keep us out of the war and now here we are, the Bowling Green Armory.” The Marines, the Navy, and the Army: Wood County boys were in all three branches of the military. Learn which men served in what branch. Fill out a draft card, and once drafted, what came next?

Coping at Home. A newly inducted soldier leaves home for training camp or to board a ship for France. The constant worry by those left behind - especially mothers, sisters, and sweethearts - is channeled into a cause: knitting socks, creating care packages, writing letters, planting gardens, and buying war bonds. The newspaper keeps us informed with the main events in Europe, but it is the waiting that makes each day difficult. How did the people of Wood County cope with the uncertainty and the lack of communication? What were the efforts to maintain the morale of the soldiers and the community?

Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. The war has ended. The Allies are victorious. We remember those that participated, those that sacrificed, and those that did not make it back to Wood County. What was the outcome for both the nation and our beloved community?

As you partake in hands-on activities and immerse yourself in audio, video, and visuals from the war, you will also see many artifacts from the Historical Society collection as well as items on loan from members of the community including uniforms, medals, photos, trunks, weapons, and posters to illustrate this event of global significance.

Gallery Feature : WWI Pilot Ray Barkalow Collection



13660 County Home Road • Bowling Green OH


Follow us on FaceBook facebook/woodcountyhistory
Follow us on Twitter twitter/OnCountyHomeRd
Follow us on Instagram instagram/woodcountyhistorymuseum

The self-guided exhibit is open February 1 – December 16, 2017 during normal business hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 4 pm and Saturday & Sunday 1pm – 4pm (closed government holidays). $5 admission for adults, $1 for children. The Museum is now handicap accessible and group tours are welcome.



We are a Blue Star Museum

Wood County Living History Day

World War I and the German-American Experience in Northwest Ohio

Holiday Gala Fundraiser : FURLOUGH ON THE FRONT

Featured Gift Shop items


Over There: The Wood County Boys are Coming, World War 1, 1914-1918

Special Thanks to:
The National World War I Museum and Memorial
The North Baltimore Historical Society
Albert Bowe American Legion Post No. 338, Bradner, Ohio
Lybarger – Grimm Legion Post No. 441, Tontogany, Ohio
American Legion Post No. 45, Bowling Green, Ohio
The Ray & Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies
Dick Martin in honor of Lester Martin
Theodore G. Jenkins in honor of Theodore Jenkins
Pat Pogue in honor of Jack Raney
Elizabeth Stowe in honor of Raymond K. Stowe
Jim Rogers in honor of John E. Wilford
Dick Conrad in honor of Shirley C. Kunkler
Jane Westerhaus in honor of Frank Westerhaus
Roger Mazzarella
Larry Nader
Jon Klever
Shirley Garner in honor of Frank E. Fretter & Charles Fortlander
Ruth Hentges
Gordon Lumber, Bowling Green
Kelly Ann Managan, BGSU Department of Theater and Film
HOT Graphics, Northwood, OH
Abby Bender, Graphic Designer
Aaron's Lease to Own, Bowling Green
The Department of Theatre & Film at BGSU in honor of Chair, Steven E. Boone