The Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society
P.O. Box 443
Napoleon, OH 43545
Good morning and welcome to this month’s edition of “Historically Speaking” by the Henry County Historical Society. I am Tom Jenny, president of the Henry County Historical Society.
All of the third grade students from the Napoleon Area Schools visited the Bloomfield Home Museum last week. They went to different stations in the museum to learn what life during the Victorian era was like. These were coordinated by Rose Wiemken. My part featured music from the early 1900’s. If you lived in this house then, what kind of music would you listen to and how would you be listening to it. I just love the comment from one student when he mentioned that he didn’t know how fun that old music was.
All of the first grade students went to the historic complex at the fairgrounds last week as well. Multiple historic groups and people, coordinated by Peggy Bohls, put this program on for the students. These students got a taste of what pioneer life was like in this region.
Our thanks go out to our corps of re-enactors for planting the garden and cleaning up the schoolhouse, log house, and an out building at the fairgrounds complex.
Celebrate Preservation Month and explore our state's iconic architecture! Here in Henry County, there are many interesting examples of the eclectic architecture that we have. The Henry County Historical Society has prime examples of a Victorian home complete with carriage house, a Black Swamp log house, a gazebo, a windmill, out buildings, and a schoolhouse. There are six other historical societies in our county and each has something unique to offer.
The Henry County Historical Society is excited to host it an Open Doors event at their Henry County Fairgrounds historic complex location in Napoleon, Ohio. The event, on Sunday July 24 from 11:00-3:00 p.m., will focus on the history of our facilities including the 1897 one-room schoolhouse, 1856-1865 log house, and the circa 1910 historic gazebo. The day’s events include a historic lecture with historian Taylor Moyer, period music with Brian & Mandie Heil, and feature performance with a string ensemble from the Toledo School for the Arts. Children’s activities are scheduled through the day including doll making, candle making, and period games. The HCHS Living Historians will be on site in period attire providing tours and answering any questions. German brauts and potato salad will be available for purchase. Historical Society members receive a FREE brat.
Another “Open Doors” event is our annual Strawberry Festival which will be on Sunday, June 12 from 11-2:00. You can enjoy the new displays in the museum, the antique cars from the VMCCA Antique Car Club and the hot rods of the River City Rodders. An ensemble of hammered dulcimers will provide the entertainment as you enjoy some sandwiches, pie, ice cream and of course strawberries. Sunday, June 12 at 11:00. See you there.
Our fast fact about Henry County today is about glass. In the Bloomfield Home Museum, we have a collection of 25 punch cups and a punch bowl from the Heisey Glass Company. The cups date back to 1905 and are examples of 25 different patterns. The A.H. Heisey Company was formed in Newark, Ohio, in 1895 by A.H. Heisey. The factory provided fine quality glass tableware and decorative glass figurines.
Both pressed and blown glassware were made in a wide variety of patterns and colors. The company was operated by Heisey and his sons until 1957, when the factory closed. Heisey glassware is readily identifiable by its high clarity and brilliance. It is highly finished through the process of firepolishing, with polished bottoms. Many of the pressed pieces appear to be cut crystal on casual inspection, due to the high quality of the glass and the crispness of the molding. The majority of the pieces are impressed with the company logo, a raised capital letter "H" inscribed in a diamond. Napoleon resident, Leroy Grubaugh, has been kind enough to let us display his collection of cups in the Bloomfield House. He will be at the Bloomfield on Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 2-4:00 to discuss his collection. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.
This concludes this month’s edition of “Historically Speaking”. As always, we thank you for helping us keep history alive in Henry County.
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The Henry County Historical Society was formed
in 1970 to perpetuate the history of Henry County, Ohio, to learn about and preserve
the artifacts of the county, and to generate interest in the past of the county.
Our primary focus at this time is the completion of the restoration
work on the beautiful Dr. John Bloomfield Victorian home, built circa
1879. This house is located at the corner of West Clinton and Webster streets
in downtown Napoleon, across from the Napoleon Public Library. The house has been completely restored and is decorated with authentic period furnishings.
Work is in progress on the carriage house
and gardens. The home is open for special events, educational programs
and private tours. We welcome new and old members alike to lend a hand and help us in our
many programs and activities.
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