Log CabinOne-Room School HouseBloomfield HouseCarriage House

The Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society

Historically Speaking

August 2014

Welcome to this month’s edition of “Historically Speaking” sponsored by the Henry County Historical Society.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who visited our historic corner of the fairgrounds.  We had a great crowd that enjoyed the buildings, the reenactments, the demonstrations, and of course, our latest addition to the area, the circa 1920 gazebo.  A lot of work was performed by several people who donated their time and talent, making sure the gazebo was ready for its debut.  We received many wonderful comments concerning our new acquisition, and events are being discussed for special programs next year!

September is the final month for the Bloomfield House to be open on Sundays.  The History Detectives will give their final presentations September 7th and September 21st.  You won’t want to miss them!  September 28th is our final day to be open, however, the day will not be the usual open house.  We will be hosting a reservation only Harvest Tea from 2 – 4 pm.  Seating will be limited, so tickets will be necessary.  The cost will be $12 per person.  We will be serving Harney & Sons Cranberry Autumn Tea along with a delicious selection of foods reflecting a harvest theme.  You may begin making your reservations after September 1st by contacting Lois Hanna at 419-599-0201.  Whether you’re one of our regular tea goers, or you’re a first timer, this is a wonderful way to celebrate fall.  We hope to see you there!

At the beginning of our exploration of Napoleon’s past, we introduced you to the original industries which served as the foundation of our town.  By the early 1900’s, Napoleon was expanding in area, and the number of downtown businesses increased as well. You may be familiar with, or heard talk of, some of the following businesses from the early 1900’s:
Hahn’s Clothing, Wendt’s Millinery Shop, Rothenberger Brothers Hardware, Kohler’s Grocery were located on W. Washington Street, and just across the intersection on E. Washington was the very popular Curdes Bakery.  North Perry Street was home to Ed Allen Jewelry, Murray & Shafer Grocery, Wellington Hotel, Snyder Chevrolet, Charles Co., Shaff Drug Store, Teitjen’s Brewery, Alhambra Hotel, with yet another grocery on S. Perry, the Golden Rule Grocery.  A few other businesses in the area included Charles Parcher Blacksmith (E. Maumee), the Royal Theater, Wm . Strole Horse Shoeing, Day Oil Co. (Daman & Daman) and Teegardin Produce Company, where the current Senior Center is located.
Now let’s fast forward to 1984 when Napoleon celebrated its sesquicentennial.  We used information from various newspapers to track down businesses that advertised in the papers for the special event.  How many of these do you remember?

We like our banks! We had The Henry County Bank, Home Savings & Loan, Maumee Valley National Bank, BancOhio, and First Federal. Arvay’s, Bernicke’s, Chief and Sonny’s Carry-Out took care of our grocery needs.  Car dealerships included Snyder Chevrolet, LS Dunbar, Christopher Chrysler Plymouth Dodge, and Jim Angelo Ford.  We had two movie houses:  the State Theater and River City Cinemas.  If you didn’t like the movies, you could always have fun at the Napoleon Skating Center.  Emmel’s Appliance, Sears, Airport Travel, Photos by Wolfe, Stitchin’ Time, R.B. Heller, Napoleon Express Photo, Napoleon Pharmacy, Napoleon Hardware and Rogliatti’s offered a variety of services.  Hilvers and Shondell Jewelers offered their finest diamonds.  Conrad Shoes, Charles Co., Kids Kloset and The Family Tree helped dress the family.  Visitors could stay at the Wellington Hotel or Holiday Inn.  And your house could be decorated with fine furnishings from George’s.  There were several other businesses in the area, and we hope we jogged your memory of what the downtown used to be. The question is, how will we be remembered in twenty years when we celebrate our 200th birthday!

Mark your calendars for Wednesday October 15th when we officially celebrate Napoleon’s birthday.  We’ll have all the details on September’s program.

A final reminder that the Harvest Tea tickets will go on sale after September 1st.  Call Lois at 419-599-0201 for your reservation.

This concludes this month’s edition of “Historically Speaking” and as always, we thank you for helping us keep history alive.

The content that used to be here on the homepage can now be found HERE. We wll make it easier to find in the near future.

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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Gazebo Moving, July 2014


Open House 2012


Fair Preparation 2012


Strawberry Festival 2012


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