Log CabinOne-Room School HouseBloomfield HouseCarriage House

The Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society
P.O. Box 443
Napoleon, OH 43545

Historically Speaking

March 2016

Welcome to this month’s edition of “Historically Speaking.” I am Tom Jenny, president of the Henry County Historical Society.

It was good to see many out of town guests and members at our recent wine and cheese event.  Our guests were able to walk around the Bloomfield Home, sample some regional wines, and enjoy a number of great appetizers.

Our Mother’s Day tea will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016.  These teas are very popular, so if you are interested, please call Lois Hanna at 419-599-0201 to make a reservation.  They do sell out early, so call 419-599-0201 for your reservation.

We get calls at different times inquiring about tours of the Bloomfield Home Museum.  If you are a part of an organization that would like to tour the Bloomfield Home please contact us.  We usually are able to set up special tours for groups and we enjoy showing off the home and the carriage house.

We are starting to set up some new displays for you to enjoy when we open the house for the summer.  Our board of trustees is also in the process of changing some of our educational programming and events for this coming year.  We will announce these as time gets closer.

The historical society has its Volume 1 Henry County History Book on sale at the price of $50 which means you’ll save $15.00.  If you buy a set of all three volumes, your cost would be $150.  These history books contain some great information about the families, businesses, and geography of Henry County.

Our Fast fact about Henry County is about millinery.  There is a photograph in the Bloomfield Home Museum of the Barnhill-Hull Millinery Shop circa 1909.  Irene Keenan was a trainee in the shop and in 1912 bought the millinery shop.  She married William Wendt in 1914 and the shop was changed to Wendt’s Millinery Shop.  The term “millinery” is an old term dating back to the 15th century and refers to a vendor of fancy ware, especially those made in Milan, Italy.  Over time, the term changed and in the 1700’s it meant one who designs or manufactures ladies hats or a shop that sells them.  Ladies hats, prior to the middle of the 20th century were a much more integral part of ladies fashion than they are now.  A lady would not leave the house nor be seen in public without a fine hat.  So the Millinery shop at 132 W. Washington was very busy and important in Napoleon during the early 1900’s.  This address is in the R.B. Heller Building which was built in 1899.  The Country Gourmet now occupies that address.

And finally, our friends at the Napoleon Civic Center Foundation have an important deadline coming up on March 9, 2016.  This is the date they need to show that they have the money and the loans set up to save the Auditorium at Central School.  Communities like ours need viable sources of entertainment and activity and a valuable resource such as the potential civic center are too important not to save.  Please consider donating to the cause, visit their website at napoleon civic center.org or find them on Face book at the same address.

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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Christmas 2015
Open House

Log Cabin Open House
Dec. 5, 2015

Garden Tour, 2015


Gazebo Moving, July 2014




Photo Gallery




This site is proudly sponsored by Spengler's Restaurant, Napoleon, Ohio.


Wine and Cheese Parties

Visit our photo gallery for scenes from past events at held by the Henry County Historical Society.