Log CabinOne-Room School HouseBloomfield HouseCarriage House

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

Historically Speaking

July 2015

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

Wow, the weather turned out to be perfect for our country garden tour. Our thanks go out to the garden owners and the many society volunteers that helped make this a success. Many people came out to enjoy the beautiful and unique gardens. We hope to have another garden tour two years from now. If you want your garden considered, or know of a unique garden setting, please contact me or the Henry County Historical Society.

Over the last several months, we have been putting a lot of time and energy into the log cabin. It is in need of some TLC as we work to preserve the logs, improve the chinking, and address some water issues. With all of this rain, it’s been quite a challenge. But it does give one a greater perspective on the adversities our forefathers faced in the Great Black Swamp region. One can quickly understand that when some new idea came along for improving their homestead, they latched onto it as soon as they could.

Earlier, we had an ice cream social scheduled for August 30. We will need to cancel this program. But, we do look forward to planning other programs for the gazebo in the future.

Next on our events agenda is the Henry County Fair. At the fair site, you’ll enjoy the displays in the school house. Jean Keller has them ready to be staged. When you visit the schoolhouse, please take note of the lights. They are from the old Malinta School that were donated to the society last year and installed this summer. We will also have a plat map of Henry County from the late 1800’s on display and we will have an exhibition of products manufactured in Napoleon over the years. We will have railroad memorabilia from the Malinta Historical Society at the schoolhouse on display and a display of a family book on Henry Furhop's trip to Germany in 1922.

At the log cabin and historic gazebo, we will feature an encampment of re-enactors throughout the week. On the weekend they will present several different programs. You’ll be able to see a soap making demonstration and you can even purchase some of the homemade soap. In the log house, you can watch as a traditional 1860’s dinner is prepared from scratch using natural ingredients from the garden during their "Farm Fresh Knows Best" program. Take home one of their recipe cards and try it out. From 7-9:00 on Friday and Saturday night of the fair week, you can experience what life was like for people living without electricity during the 1800’s in the Great Black Swamp during the special candlelight hours. Learn where the saying "sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite" originated from and the odd way people were sleeping in the 1800’s during this special extended open house. The Timber, Clay, Straw program will be held in front of the log cabin throughout the day on Saturday. You will enjoy a demonstration and learn the skills needed to produce hand-hewn logs, make chinking, and build a log home just as the early settlers did. Neck up, Check Up will be presented throughout the day on Sunday Aug. 16 and will feature Joel Burg of the 128th O.V.I. or Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as he explores an American Civil War field hospital tent and demonstrates the techniques utilized to amputate a leg or arm of a wounded soldier. Tired of walking, rest on our park benches or take in one of our programs at the historic gazebo at the Henry County Historical site on the southeast corner of the fairgrounds. We hope to see you there.

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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Garden Tour, 2015

Gazebo Moving, July 2014


Open House 2012


Fair Preparation 2012




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.