“I THINK SMALL TOWNS ARE THE CLOSEST TO HEAVEN YOU CAN GET
- Diana Palmer -
Today, our personal schedules are increasingly busy, defined by a diverse set of opportunities and obligations. In our lives together, amid the passing of the seasons, small town living provides a unique space to enjoy our social time.
Thorton Wilder in the play "Our Town" speaks these words through his character, Emily: "Does anyone ever realize life while they live it...every, every minute?" As our paths cross, and we share the "Wauseon Life" together, many events may be enjoyed, appreciated and celebrated. Use the interactive calendar at this site to consider which aspects of our community you may choose to explore!
Wauseon life is peppered with school-sponsored athletic competition in every season. From Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Golf and Cross Country during the Fall to Basktetball, Wrestling, Swimming throughout the Winter, and Tennis, Softball, Baseball, and Track in the Spring, the calendar fills quickly. Competitive sports and recreational activities fill the year with events to be attended for all age groups.
The Ironwood golf course, indoor tennis at the Racket Club, the Wauseon High School swimming pool, Wauseon City tennis courts, basketball courts, walking and bicycling trail, baseball and softball diamonds, sand volleyball courts, skate park and soccer fields; all invite Wauseon residents to exercise, and enjoy "the active life."
Bands choirs, drama, dancing and visual arts are current and past features of the Wauseon cultural life. Early in the life of the town the Scotts Opera house brought travelling performing groups to the downtown Wauseon. stage. The Stowe Family Circus performed annually. Zona Ham was known for the women's band that she organized. On Friday evenings, downtown shoppers were entertained by local wind bands. Local churches recruited children's and adult choirs. The stages at the Memorial Auditorium and Elm Street School hosted dramatic productions and travelogues.
Today, the Wauseon Band entertains at half time on Friday nights at the home football games. The Bands also perform in juried competitions. The Chorale performs locally and internationally, The high School, middle schoo,l and elementary choirs perform in seasonal concerts. The Wauseon High School Auditorium is the site for the annual Spring musical. The Spring Arts Festival at the high school features local students who excel in visual arts. The High School Speech Team competes in multiple events, locally and nationally. The Stars Unlimited Dance Studio trains young dancers in multiple disciplines. Performances and recitals showcase the developing talent of their young dancers.
The first Christian group to organize in Wasueon were the Methodists. who eventually located on North Fulton Street. Many beutiful church buildings were constructed before the end of the 1800s. Only a few now stand. The members of the Christian Church-Disciples of Christ and the Congregationalists were also early builders. The current location for the most recent Christian Church building is on the site of their second house of worship, just a few hundred feet away from West Elm Manor, the site of the inital meeting house. The Congregationalists built their current house of worhsip in 1904, replacing the first structure near the current Edgar-Grisier Funeral Home. Many of the original denominations worship in new buildings. The Catholics, once located at the corner of Clinton and Jefferson, now meet in a large facility on Shoop Avenue. The Emmaus Lutherans and Trinity Lutherans now worship in new buildings on Shoop Avenue while the earler places of worship still stand on North Fulton Street and on Cherry Street. The Cherry Street location is currently the home of the Wauseon Community Church. The Church of the Brethern (United Methodist) building, housing one Wauseon's early fellowships is also located on Cherry Street. The Baptists left their South Fulton Street building, and they also located on Shoop Avenue. The former red brick building with spired tower has been replaced with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. The Evangelical Mennonites left their home at Shoop Avenue and Oak Street to build the Crossroads Church on Leggett Street. The former building is now occupied by the Church of Christ. The North Clinton Mennonites have expanded their initial building on West Linfoot Street. The Oasis Fellowship, Haven Heights Baptist, and the Church of Latter Day Saints buildings are the latest to be constructed. True North, a non-denominational fellowship meets at the Wauseon Junior High School.
"The way we get things done around here" refers to how our town works together. Wauseon living includes a long history of groups and organizations that have shaped the culture of life in our small town. Early organizations include the Wauseon Women's Club and the Masons. Many other local and national civic organizations followed: Fulton County Historical Society, The Fulton County Bar Association, The Eastern Star, The Exchange Club, The Lions Club, The Elks Club, The Rotary Club, The Knights of Columbus, The American Legion, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Daughters of the American Revolution, The United Way, The Wauseon Chamber of Commerce, The Wauseon Downtown Association, Alcoholics Anonymous, Wauseon Gardening Club, Fulton County Democrats, Fulton County Republicans, Wauseon Community Band, Wauseon Choral Society, Wauseon Summer Community Theater, Wauseon Bicycling Club, and Wauseon Walkers. Fulton County YMCA, Ironwood Gold Club, Child Conservation League, American Association of Univeristy Women, Shakespeare Club, and the Alano Club.
Organizations for Wauseon's Youth include 4H, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls and multiple clubs sponsored by the Wauseon Public Schools.
The heart for developing the minds of our growing community is the Wauseon School System. The first normal school in the village was established in 1890. Through the ensuing generations, school buildings have been built and demolished. The current elementary school is Leggett Elementary on the east side of Wauseon. The Junior High and High School are located more centrally by Reighard Park and Harmon Field. Graduates of Wauseon High School have furthered their education at colleges and universities across America. Major public Universities, University of Toledo, Bowling Green, Ohio State University (Lima Campus), and the University of Michigan are all within a close driving distance. The Northwest State Community College, established in 1970 enrolls many Wauseon High School graduates.
The Wauseon Public Library, originated in 1875, when 100 citizens organized the Citizens Library Association. The library is the home for many historical documents and rare books. The collection is currently housed in the historic Carnegie Library, constructed in 1920. The present site was purchased in January, 1905 for $1,100; and on May 26, 1906, the Wauseon Public Library opened with 1,800 volumes, donated from the Citizens Library Association. The library remains a hub for inter-library loans and offers Internet and WIFI accees for library members.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS
The City of Wauseon is located near an Ohio Turnpike exit and on a major railroad line. The city is the economic and political heart of Fulton County, one of the best farming regions in Ohio. Blessed with a large industrial park, abundant water and electric supply, Wauseon is host to a diverse and growing industrial base. Merchants enjoy two developed shopping zones in the Histroic Downtown region and on the business zone located on State Routes 2 and 108 (Shoop Avenue). The local educational system connects with regional universities preparing the local work force for the economy of the 21st century economy. From the onset, the local economy has been vibrant, fueled by visionaries seeking and searching for opportunites to attract business and industrial investment.
The first investors, John Sargent, Epaphras Lord Barber, Nathanial Leggett and William Hall set out the town plot, surrounding the first rail line to enter the county. The Fulton County Seat was soon moved to Wauseon, and the local businesses, centered on the broad Fulton Street, began to fluorish. Access to transportation, abundant rich surrounding farm timber, and water fueled a growing economy. An early commitment to education featured a local normal school and public school buildings.
From the Wauseon Centential Official Publication:
"By 1868 Wauseon had ten grocery stores, six dry good stores, three furniture stores, two shoe stores, two hardware stores, three drug stores, several meat markets, the Brigham and Lyon flower mill, milliners, tailors, a foundty, a brewery, a wagon maker and cooperage." The county seat also became the first site for a hospital. Today passenger trains no longer stop at the Wauseon Depot, but the local Ohio Tunpike exit connects Wauseon immediatly to the global economy. The Wauseon Industrial Park continues to draw new industies as the population and work force of the city grows.
The Fulton County Heath Center offers quality care, close to home. Beginning in 1973 as a full-service hospital, the Fulton County Health Center has grown through the years to include a wide variety of program and services. Many of these local services including the state of the art emergency room facility offer a complete a full circle of health care for local residents.
Signifcant infrastructure, educational opportunity and forward-looking community leaders support the local business and industrial climate. As in 1868, and in the following years, Wauseon continues its heritage as a healthy, and welcoming site for new investors.