Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

WONDERLAND

This story comes to us via Midge Campbell in her book “Watervillore” and also appeared in the Anthony Wayne Standard newspaper February 4, 1971. We think it fits with our recent articles about the prohibition era.

There was a roadhouse along the River Road and the canal just south of the Village of Waterville, a large three story structure. In the early 1900s it was owned by one Henry Shearer who had a penchant for building. The local folks called it “Wonderland” because they wondered what Henry was going to do to it next. During the prohibition years the roadhouse was run by an older lady the locals called “Aunt Mary” assisted by one of Waterville’s “characters” known as Big Ed. Aunt Mary served dinners and bootleg liquor to those that traveled here from Toledo wishing to partake of her hospitality. She also rented rooms to overnight guest and the establishment was very popular. The end of prohibition however put old Aunt Mary out of business. The old building began to decline but sometime after WW II it was purchased by Bill Kurtz for his residence. Mr. Kurtz removed the Third floor and made it into a comfortable home. Many years later while pursuing a water leak he removed a laundry cupboard and found a door he did not know existed. Behind the door there was a secret room and the remains of an old still including some unused mash. This apparently was one that Waterville’s Miss Hattersley did not find.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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