Fulton County Historical Society Museum
Fulton County Historical Society History and Vision
The Mission of the Fulton County Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts and written records pertaining to Fulton County. The Fulton County Historical Society uniquely provides to a diverse audience, access to Fulton County’s local cultural history through a research facility, programs, demonstrations, and exhibits at its various sites.
The Fulton County Historical Museum is housed in an 1868 Romanesque Revival two-story brick building rich in Fulton County history. The building served as Wauseon's first High School until 1897. In the middle of the 1896-1897 school year, the building had to be condemned because the foundation was sinking. In 1898 the former High School was renovated into a duplex and the Victorian porch was added. In 1903 the Fulton County medical association bought the former High school and from about 1905 until 1930 the building served as Fulton County's first hospital. In 1945 the former hospital was converted into four apartments. In 1969 the building was donated to the Fulton County Historical Society. Today there are sixteen rooms housing a permanent collection and changing exhibits.
The Herman Canfield Log Cabin was built in 1838 in Chesterfield Township, Fulton County Ohio. The Canfields lived in the log cabin for twenty-two years. James and Lydia Breese Deyo purchased the log cabin in 1893 and lived there until James dies in 1931. The last owner of the log cabin was Emmett Lasalle who purchased the log cabin on March 10, 1954 . He lived in the log cabin until November 1976. The log cabin was never equipped with electricity or running water. In 1981 the log cabin was acquired, dismantled, and moved to the Fulton County fairgrounds.
The Swancreek Township School House #8 was built sometime between 1868 and 1888 on the south side of County Road D “Raker Road” just east of Township Road 4. Mr. William Jefferson Lutz provided the land to the township for the school, and by 1913, when the United States Geological Society surveyed the area, it was referred to as “Lutz” school. In 1939, the children were moved to a more “modern” facility and the building was moved west on Road D to the corner of Township Road 5-1 and was utilized as the home of the Swancreek Township Trustees. The building also served as one of the voting precincts for Swancreek Township into the turn of the twenty-first-century. In 2001, the trustees built a new township hall and the building was donated to the Fulton County Historical Society and is now preserved at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. Until the new township hall was built, the original outhouse behind the township hall was still the only bathroom facilities at the site.
The Henry Harrison Reighard Blacksmith Shop was built in 1861 and located on the corner of Main and Lincoln Streets in Delta, Ohio. His son Rapheal Reighard, later opened the blacksmith shop. A working forge for more than 138 years, it was the last blacksmith shop in Delta. The late Mrs. Rapheal (Ethel) Reighard donated the blacksmith shop to the Fulton County Historical Society, and it was moved to the Fulton County Historical Society in 1972. Today the blacksmith shop still remains a working forge, and houses antique tools and other artifacts. The blacksmith shop is housed at the Fulton County fairgrounds.
The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Depot was constructed in 1896 on Depot Street in Wauseon, Ohio, when a subdivision of the New York Central Railroad. The current depot replaced the wooden 1854 Southern Michigan & Northern Indiana Railroad Company "Airline" depot at this location. The masonry structure is a fine example of Richardson Romanesque architecture, resembles other New York Central stations in the east, and is listed on the Secretary of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. In 1957 passenger service ended in Wauseon -- although currently Amtrak still passes the depot each day. The city of Wauseon acquired the building in about 1972. The depot was restored and has been used by the Fulton County Historical Society since 1975 -- housing artifacts relevant to the history of the eight railroads that once traversed the county. A restored Baltimore & Ohio caboose is also located on this site and available for tours. Model train enthusiasts will enjoy the large "O" gauge working model train display created by the Swanton Area Model Railroad Club www.swantontrainclub.com.