The History Center (https://fwhistorycenter.org/) in Fort Wayne (pictured at left in 1901) is home to the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, including its museum and collections. When formed in 1921, the society had few assets, consisting of some historical relics that had been preserved by the Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Today we maintain a collection of more than 32,000 artifacts, photographs and documents representing the history of Fort Wayne and Allen County. The largest of these is the very building in which the society has resided since 1980 – the 1893 City Hall building, designed by Fort Wayne architects John F. Wing and Marshall S. Mahurin. The History Center also oversees the adjacent Barr Street Market, the oldest public space in Fort Wayne dating to 1837, and the 1827 home of Miami Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville.
All of the wonderful cultural and sports activities one associates with a college town are evident in Bowling Green, home of Bowling Green State University. It is also the county seat. The Wood County Historical Center served as the County Home, providing community services from 1868 until 1970. Among the attractions is an operating drilling rig which tells about the 1880s oil boom.
The Allen County Museum in downtown Lima is typical of the many wonderful museums run by county historical societies in the Maumee Valley. Among Its exhibits are Native American and pioneer collections, a steam and electric railroad display and a children’s museum with hands on activities.
Visit county museums to understand local history.
Sauder Village, a non-profit historical center near Archbold, features history, education and fun. Dozens of 19th century buildings house live demonstrations of the crafts of the time. A campground, a modern country inn, 350-seat restaurant and exhibit halls provide unique experience and hospitality, just 5 minutes from the Ohio Turnpike. Nearby attractions include the Oberhaus antique car museum, Harrison State Park and Goll Woods, a state nature preserve with the last remnants of the Great Black Swamp, with its wildflowers and 200-400 year old trees.
The John Paulding Historical Society complex tells the story of this county’s taming of the Great Black Swamp and its current agricultural heritage. Recreation opportunities, including hunting and fishing, abound in the area.