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.


     "The Life of General Anthony Wayne" will be presented by re-enactor Frank Butwin on Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m. at Browning Masonic Community. This is the first in a series of free programs sponsored by the Waterville Historical Society for 2017.

     Butwin is on the boards of the Perrysburg Area Historic Museum, the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission and the Maumee Valley Historic Corridor. He is well-known for his re-enacting portrayals of a soldier in the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key, President John Tyler and others as well as Anthony Wayne.

     Wayne is famous in this area primarily for the successful Battle of Fallen Timbers in which he defeated the Native American forces near Maumee in 1794. His name is now attached to schools, roads, towns and many other entities, but he really gained his fame during the Revolutionary War where he was admired by General George Washington for his military successes.

     Butwin will talk about Wayne's family heritage, schooling, early work as a surveyor, military career in the Revolution and campaign to Fallen Timbers, death, burial in three places and legacy. His attitudes and character traits will be examined as well. Was he really "mad" and a "dandy?"

     Browning Community Center is located at 8883 Browning Drive off of Neowash Road. The public is welcome and refreshments will be served.


Again in 2017, a membership envelope was inserted in the members’ January newsletter. (If you did not receive a newsletter, pick one up at the Wakeman building on Wednesdays between 10 AM-Noon or at the Waterville Library or Chamber of Commerce.) Simply fill out the information on the envelope, place your check for membership or a donation inside, place a stamp, seal the envelope and drop it in the mail!

Checks may be written to: Waterville Historical Society or you can pay online at www.watervillehistory.org  (click on “Join & Give”) and charge to Visa, Master Card,Discover, or American Express.We are an all-volunteer organization. Thank you for helping us fulfill our mission to preserve local Waterville history! Mail to: Waterville Historical Society  c/o Rose Kandik, Membership Chair  P.O. Box 263, Waterville, OH 43566

Waterville Historical Society Thank You

Waterville Historical Society would like to thank all who donated on the Giving Tuesday fund raising event in support of all of our programs and projects. Your generosity helped to meet and exceed our goal of raising enough to qualify for a matching grant of $500 from the Toledo Community Foundation. 

Here's a little about the Waterville Historical Society

Since 1964, the Waterville Historical Society has played an important role in our community. Over the years we have acquired the following properties:  the Robbins House, Sargent House and Cobbler Shop museums are located on our historic campus at 114-118 S. River Road and the Wakeman Archival Research Center is uptown at 401 Farnsworth Road.

Our many services and activities include:

·       Maintaining an archival collection for historic research and local genealogy

·       Offering free public programs on topics of area interest

·       Holding regular open houses for our historical museums and Wakeman Archival Research Center

·       Guiding walking tours of both the downtown and uptown historic areas

·       Participating in Roche de Boeuf Day and holding various community events

·       Hosting docent-led instruction in our museums and archaeological walking tours for Waterville third graders(based on Ohio 3rd grade Social Studies curriculum standards)

Communicating events and activities with members and friends through our newsletter issued 3 or 4times per year
Membership:The Waterville Historical Society is dedicated to collecting information and memorabilia about the history of our community and sharing and preserving this heritage for future generations. Memberships and contributions are the only means by which the society’s programs and facilities are financed. We are an all-volunteer organization!  Check the website for membership categories or email: rosekandik64@gmail.com for assistance. There are a variety of opportunities for volunteer assistance throughout the year. Join and serve!

Before you go: Visit our website at watervillehistory.org and “Like” us on Facebook @ bottom of the website home page or search for “Waterville Historical Society” through your FB page.

Waterville Historial Society is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Winter Hours for the Wakeman Archives

     Winter hours for the Wakeman Archival Research Center, 401 Farnsworth Road, began November 2nd. It will be open by appointment, and depending on weather conditions and availability of staff, the archives will be open Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. until noon. Look for the "Open" flag on the front of the building. Located upstairs at Wakeman Hall, the archives is staffed by Waterville Historical Society volunteers and contains records of Waterville organizations, businesses, churches, schools, cemeteries, etc., as well as family files and local history. Admission is free. Call 419-878-3425 for more information or to make an appointment. Summer hours will resume in May, 2017.

Open Houses and Walking tour back by popular demand Oct. 29th

 Two guided walking tours of the historic districts of Waterville will be offered for the last time this year, along with open houses at the Robbins House and Sargent HouseMuseums and Wakeman Hall on Saturday, October 29.

    The Downtown Tour meets on the Robbins House porch, 114 South River Road, at 9 a.m. It will focus on the history of Waterville as a river town prior to the opening of the canal in 1843. In about an hour walkers should be back to the starting point in time to visit the 1838 Robbins House and the 1834 Sargent House Museum next door, which will be open from 9 a.m. until noon.

     The Uptown Tour will meet on the front porch of Wakeman Hall, 401 Farnsworth Road at 11 a.m. Included is a visit inside to view the diorama of Waterville in 1903 to better appreciate the location and appearance of the Miami and Erie Canal, followed with a walking tour of Waterville's "new business district" which grew on Third Street with the opening of the canal. After returning to Wakeman Hall, a visit will be provided to the staged general store in the front window as well as a tour of the Waterville Historical Society Archives on the second floor. The archives will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and includes a great deal of information about the Waterville area and its families.

Ghostly Encounter Cast Members

Ghostly Encounter Cast

Cast members of the "Ghostly Encounters" program presented by the Waterville Historical Society Wednesday evening, October 12 wait behind a building at Wakeman Cemetery as the audience gathers nearby. Appearing one at a time to present the stories of the cemetery "residents" are from left front: Jim Conrad as Edward Sargent, John Bradley as John the Prisoner, (a composite of several town characters), DeAnna Bradley as Lucinda Oliver, and Kathy Saco as Susan Pray. Back row: Dave Lagrange as David Robbins, Karen Wiggins as Jane Shoemaker, Tom Wiggins as George Cooper, Taya Marshall as Rowena Sargent and Frank Butwin as Harry Witte. Jim Conrad also appeared as Fire Chief Carl Conrad. The audience was treated to a great deal of humor as well as sadness in learning the lives of Waterville's early citizens. The Presbyterian Church provided refreshments after the program.

WHS May 18th Program

     As a direct descendant of John Pray, the founder of Waterville, Pollie Young Miller has always been interested in local history. On Wednesday, May 18 she will present a program about her relatives, "The Farnsworth Family of Waterville,"  7 p.m. at Wakeman Hall. At one time the Farnsworth Fruit Farms were the largest employers in Waterville and Northwest Ohio. Toni Stoma will assist with the Power Point presentation.

      In preparation for her talk, Pollie met cousins she never knew and reconnected with others, even one in Australia. "Everyone has been so helpful," she said, "and I've learned so much." She already had family information fromher sister Debby, a DAR member, and her sister Cindy, who videotaped and narrated family history. Norton Young, Pollie's father had written his life story. His mother was Ruth Farnsworth Young. Pollie learned she is the 11th generation of Farnsworths and the 13th generation of Prays.

     For 30 years Pollie taught in Waterville Elementary Schools, retiring in 2014. Last fall she was one of only five Individual Achievement Award recipients from the Ohio Local History Alliance for her efforts in involving her students in local history and the community.

     Wakeman Hall is at 401 Farnsworth Road. The public is welcome to this free program sponsored by the Waterville Historical Society. Refreshments will be served.

Wakeman Archival Research Center Summer Hours

Summer hours for the Wakeman Archival Research Center in Waterville begin May 6 and are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday until November and also the last Saturdays of May, June, July and August. The Center, located upstairs at 401 Farnsworth Road, contains records of Waterville organizations, businesses, churches, schools, etc., as well as family files and local history. The public may inspect them free of charge and a volunteer archivist will assist with research. No items may be removed from the archives, but copies may be made for a small fee. Donations of similar documents and photographs, or items brought to be copied and added to the files are welcome. To schedule an appointment at other times call: 419-878-3425 or 419-878-2576.


Dr. Janet Rozick replaced Jamie Ozendine as speaker for the Waterville Historical Society Wednesday evening at Browning Masonic Community. Oxendine had to cancel due to a family emergency, but Rozick very capably took over his topic, "The Battle of Fallen Timbers from the Native American Perspective." After she earned degrees in history from Heidelberg College, BGSU and the University of Toledo, she held academic positions, worked at historical centers and the Metroparks, where she began her research in Native culture and the Battle of Fallen Timbers. At present, she serves as the part-time Executive Director of the Maumee Valley Historical Society and as Associate Professor at American Public University.

Speaking to an overflow crowd, Rozick explained that the Native Americans had gained a lot of confidence after defeating both Generals Harmar and St. Clair and their armies, and thought they could also defeat Anthony Wayne, despite Chief Little Turtle's warning. Rozick said the Americans couldn't believe they had lost the earlier battles to uncivilized "savages."  She also gave the background history of the confederacy of the several tribes. Their support from the English and Spanish faded when wars in Europe required attention. After losing the Battle of Fallen Timbers the tribes signed the Treaty of Greenville which opened the Northwest Territory to American settlement.



Program on Fallen Timbers Battlefield well attended

                              Dave Westrick

Dave Westrick, president of the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission, presented a program to a full house at Browning Community Wednesday evening March 15. There were two battles of Fallen Timbers, he explained, a brief but bloody one in 1794 between Anthony Wayne and his troops against the Native Americans, and a second prolonged and contentious one between those wanting to preserve the battlefield site against developers and politicians. The site was finally opened to the public last fall. The trail through the battlefield is maintained by the Toledo Area Metroparks and begins off Jerome Road in Maumee.

Using powerpoint illustrations, Westrick showed how archeologist Michael Pratt discovered the actual site by finding many artifacts from the battle. It was long thought to have taken place along the floodplain of the Maumee River. An old inaccurate map reinforced the idea. The legend of Turkey Foot Rock has also come into question, Westrick said, but next month's program on April 20 will tell the battle from the Native American perspective, including their beliefs about the rock. Sponsored by the Waterville Historical Society, the free program will again be held at Browning Community at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Volunteers needed to help out the Waterville Historical Society

Roche de Boeuf Event ~

For the past ten+ years, our historic campus has come alive with artisans, re-enactors, docents, musicians, book sales and attic treasures. The event requires months of planning and, along with the Chamber of Commerce, resources are combined to help us meet our mission to foster an appreciation of our local history. The community has responded positively with their presence and it is hoped that this tradition will continue. However, at this time we do not have a coordinator for this to take place in September, 2016. Will you or someone you know consider taking on this role? The plans are organized down to final details and ready for a willing volunteer(s) to accept the challenge. Help is available; a leader is the critical need. Contact any of the officers listed on the back of the newsletter or through our website if you or someone you know can “take it away!” WHS’ undying gratitude is the reward. An exciting “Pioneer Arts” event is the outcome.

 Live in a Historic Home? Like to tour some?

Pray-Starkweather Home

Within the next calendar year or two, we would like to bring back the historic home tour event that was very popular in the 1980s. We have discussed this with several Waterville homeowners who know the history of the house they are living in and some have agreed to participate. Right now we’re seeking members or friends who may help build our planning committee. We have a good deal of organizational information already. We need energetic, interested adults to help us carry it out. Won’t you consider joining us? Or if you know of your or a neighbor’s wonderful historic home that you or they would be happy to share with our community to benefit the Society, please contact us! Many hands make light work. Let’s see our beautiful historic homes shine!


Bill Albert Presented Program on Stereography for Enjoyment of All

   After providing the audience at Wakeman Hall with special "glasses" of one red and one blue lens for viewing his powerpoint program, Bill Albert presented a large number of amazing 3D images. He explained the history of stereography from its invention in England before the invention of photography, to the explosion of popularity when photo images were used. In the United States many stereographic images of the Civil War were made, which surprises many people today. Albert showed his large collection of them.

   Beautiful 3D scenes of western national parks and Niagara Falls contrasted with startling photos of disasters such as the 1906 San Diego earthquake and the 1889 Johnstown flood.

   There were many improvements in design of the stereographic equipment, and as it was simplified and became inexpensive almost every home was equipped with one as the family's main form of home entertainment. Libraries and schools used them as teaching tools well into the 20th century.

    Albert had an interesting display of his collection of stereographic equipment which was available for examination following the November 18th program, the last one offered by WHS this year. Refreshments and fellowship were enjoyed as well.



The Wakeman Archival Research Center will be open by appointment through April, and depending on weather conditions and availability of staff, the archives will be open on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Look for the “open” flag on the front of the building. Located upstairs at Wakeman Hall 401 Farnsworth Rd., the archives are staffed by Waterville Historical Society volunteers and contain records of Waterville organizations, business, churches, schools, cemeteries, etc., as well as family files and local history. Admission is free. Call (419)878-3425 or (419) 878-2576 for more information or to make an appointment.

Pollie Miller Receives Award

As one of only five Individual Achievement Awards recipients from the Ohio Local History Alliance, Pollie Young Miller stated in her acceptance speech, "It's wonderful to be recognized for something I loved to do, sharing my heritage and my city with children and getting them involved so that they will love it too."  She recently retired after thirty years of teaching.

The awards ceremony took place in Worthington, Ohio on October 3 at the annual meeting of OHLA in Worthington, Ohio. The Alliance works in partnership with the Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society). A total of twenty-one awards were presented to historical societies, museums, libraries, publications and individuals from throughout the state for a variety of Ohio historical projects.

 Rose Kandik nominated Miller on behalf of the Waterville Historical Society, praising her efforts to involve her third grade students in local history with museum visits, historical and architectural walking tours, participation in dedications of local historical markers and a naturalization ceremony as well as classroom assignments.

As a direct descendant of John Pray, Waterville's founder, "she has actively carried on his legacy by weaving our local history connections into the Ohio standards for Social Studies at her grade level," the nomination read. In support of the nomination, Chad Warnimont, Principal of Waterville Primary School wrote a letter to OLHA praising Mrs. Miller's many accomplishments. "She strives to help the students make a vivid connection with the community while developing community pride in each student," he said.

Each year her students have a fundraiser to purchase a memorial brick for the terrace in front of Wakeman Hall; 2015 saw the eighteenth brick added to the row of third grade bricks. This activity began when the Waterville Historical Society was in need of funds to restore the 1881 Masonic building they had purchased to save from demolition and use for programs and a local history archives.

 In addition, Mrs. Miller involved her students in a mock council meeting and Public Works Day with the city's current council and employees shadowing them. When the village became a city in 2010, children competed in a contest to design the new city flag,

"My entry, 'Waterville: Then and Now' could not have happened without the support and interaction with the Waterville Historical Society, the City of Waterville, and my administration and fellow colleagues at Waterville Primary School . . . . I feel strongly that this is a shared award" Mrs. Miller told the audience at the awards ceremony.         

Pioneers sighted moving into Waterville area!

Yes, it’s true! Through the darkness and fog of this morning, many early risers spotted familiar 1800s faces, clothing, and tools from yesteryear. Did you see them? They are heading for the S. River Road and South Street area! Someone said they overheard one of them mention some-thing called Roche de Boeuf. (Isn’t that a famous rock at the old Waterville bridge in the Maumee River?)

Roche de Boeuf? Happening Saturday, September 26th?

Could these be the very artisans and re-enactors that will show up at the Robbins House and Sargent House museums and yards on that day? And will some of them perform on the grounds, too? We’d better head on over there and check it out. Follow the 10 AM parade to the end of the route and they will appear waiting to show you what life was like in NW Ohio in the 1800s!

Some of those returnees from 1835 include settlers, Indians, trappers, people who did just about everything for themselves from farming and eating their own food to sewing their own clothes from animal skins, building their houses from logs they cut from trees, and so much more.

                    Areas to visit around our historic campus:                                                         

         Historic building tours (Robbins, Sargent, Cobbler houses)
          Beautiful Opel Witte garden
          Books and displays by the Waterville Historical Society folks
          Attic Treasures (some antiques)
          Chinese raffle (your tickets go toward the items you wish to win)

Kids’ activities:  Coloring table—all completed pictures will displayed; Indian rubbings, also done @ tables;
Indian face painting done by HS art students; old fashioned kids’ games and other interactive experiences

          Old-fashioned ice cream available
          Folk art photo op             

All other ghosts from the past will be around all day from 9 AM till 4 PM just waiting for you to try your hand at shelling corn, punching tin, seeing how butter was made, and even watching ashes and lye boil to make…SOAP??? Some of them may even allow you to purchase what they have made!

Learn about Waterville School at Waterville Library July 22 at 7 P.M.

On Wednesday, July 22, Jim Conrad, President of Waterville Historical Society, will present a Power Point program in “Remembering Waterville School:  1886-1996” at Waterville Library beginning with the original structure and designed by noted architect Edward O. Fallas, continuing through major structure changes in 1920 to 1930 and including with the last years as an elementary school. The presentation will include numerous photos and memorabilia.  The program begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

A Little Fausz History

 Do you recall seeing the big red barn near Waterville where Rt. 24 makes a little curve?  The barn is all that is left of the former Fausz farm that Rt. 24 now bisects. It was determined that the barn is historic, so the new Rt. 24 needed to bypass the structure. This tidbit is just one of the many Fausz stories that my newly discovered cousin, Kimberly Young, and I shared recently at the Wakeman Archival Research Center. Verna and John Rose, genealogists at WARC, were more than prepared for our visit and research, so Kim and I dug into Fausz history. 

To give a little background, Jacob Fausz and his wife, Barbara Elizabeth Christman, purchased the farm around 1855 when it was practically all woods. Jacob and three of his surviving sons, John, Adam, and Lewis, spent a great deal of their lives clearing the heavy timber and improving the property. Adam Fausz was Kim’s great-grandfather, and Lewis Fausz was my grandfather. The barn faces Dutch Road which was called German Avenue until World War I when there was so much anti-German feeling in this country. Most if not all the farms in that area were settled by German immigrants. Lewis Fausz eventually bought the Jacob Fausz farm by degrees from his brothers and sisters, getting a modest assist from oil wells that were drilled on the property

 Kim and I shared photos, written histories, sketches (one of Jacob Fausz and another of the original Fausz home) and anecdotes relating to the Fausz family and its descendants. We discovered that male baldness runs in the family. We learned that Lutheran Church services were conducted in German until the early 20th century when the Rev. John Hagen of Zion Lutheran Church presided at services in both German and English.

Kim, who now lives in Bucyrus with her husband and 10 year-old son, Shayne, has done extensive research on the Fausz family, having become interested in genealogy from her mother, Mary Lou Fausz Finley and Aunt Vickie (Victory). Kim’s great-grandfather, Adam Fausz, settled in Indiana with his wife, Mary Vollmar, where they farmed and raised their family of 13 children, all surviving well into adulthood.

Much of my knowledge of the Fausz family came from my mother, Ruth Fausz Herman, daughter of Lewis Fausz, and my Uncle, Arnold Fausz, son of Lewis Fausz. Out of eight grandchildren of Lewis Fausz, six survive today, and we are still close.

 Kim and I finally needed to end our research at WARC, so we moved on to Wakeman Cemetery where we visited the graves of John Jacob and Philipina Fausz (parents of Jacob Fausz), Jacob and Barbara Elizabeth Christman Fausz, and Lewis Fausz. From there, we drove out to view the big red barn, the last remnant of the Fausz farm. We said our reluctant good-bys and vowed to meet again to continue the research.




Wakeman Archives Summer Hours

Summer hours for the Wakeman Archival Research Center in Waterville begin May 6 and are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday until November and also the last Saturdays of May, June, July and August. The Center, located upstairs at 401 Farnsworth Road, contains records of Waterville organizations, businesses, churches, schools, etc., as well as family files and local history. The public may inspect them free of charge and a volunteer archivist will assist with research. No items may be removed from the archives, but copies may be made for a small fee. Donations of similar documents and photographs, or items brought to be copied and added to the files are welcome. To schedule an appointment at other times call: 419-878-3425 or 419-878-2576.

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

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