Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along the Byway – traveling east to west
Many “Points of Interest” along the Byway are located right on the route, but many other great destination spots await you that are located very close by. Check other recommended sites – you’ll be glad you did!
Hamlin House, 511 South Main St., Mt. Blanchard –Built in 1882 by Melancthon and Maylongton Hamlin. Hamlin was a farmer and bought and sold stock, owning about 720 acres of good farm land. This imposing brick mansion drew a lot of interest with the railroad bringing weekend excursions to Mt. Blanchard. Attic-mounted cisterns supplied running water to the home and fine hand-painted marble or soapstone was used in the construction of the fireplaces. The mansion is of Italian architecture. Only one room in the structure has been redone – the kitchen. The three floored home houses two original copper bathtubs. Heated by coal, the house has eight fireplaces throughout the home. The house was restored many years ago by Bill and Doris Lishawa. Every inch of the woodwork was re-stained using over 150 gallons of stripper.
IOOF Building, southwest corner of Main Street and Clay Streets – One of the earliest built structures still being used today. Built by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1890, the building has been used as a general store, movie theatre, skating rink, harness shop, apartment, voting location and now a bank.
Mt. Blanchard Main Street – Main Street of Mt. Blanchard is filled with history as you look at the buildings and businesses on the long tree lined street. Some interesting facts regarding the village include: over 100 species of trees are located within the village (survey conducted by local Boy Scout group) and more ministers, per capita, live in the area. Some unique shopping is located within the village like the Beck House.
Keller House, 324 North Main Street, Mt. Blanchard – built 1870-80 by Malick George, the large Victorian era, 3- story home was originally heated by wood fireplaces and had no indoor plumbing. A story was told that the man who originally built the Keller home had a rivalry with another local resident by the name of Mr. Hamlin regarding who could built the largest home, because they were the two largest land owners in the area. In the end, Mr. Hamlin built the larger home; which is located just down the street at 511 South Main Street.
Mt. Blanchard Island Park, 100 Park St. just off State Route 37, Mt. Blanchard – The park area services the community with a swimming pool, picnic shelters, and other recreational activities. At the site is a monument honoring John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. Chapman purchased property in 1834 in Mt. Blanchard where he had an apple tree nursery. The seedlings were sold to the settlers to provide apple cider, jelly and other apple products. A local cider mill, Fahl’s Mill, recorded a season of 75,000 gallons of cider being pressed, and boasted first place in the cider competition at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. An old millstone marker is also at the site that came from a local grist mill located south of town called Misamore Mill.
Riverview Cemetery, State Route 37, just before you get to Mt. Blanchard – The cemetery is divided by State Route 37. When the original location on the east side became too small, the cemetery eventually grew across the road. Near the west side a cabin was built by Jacque Blanchard, who gives his name to the village and the river that runs through it, where he raised his family. He is thought to be buried here. Civil War veterans are also buried at the site.
Findlay Reservoir Area – Township Road 208, just south of Riverbend – Two above ground reservoirs covering over 1000 acres. They combine for a valuable, local resource providing both high priority water supplies to benefit the City of Findlay as well as multiple-use recreation on five miles of shoreline around the dikes. Boating, fishing, walking, waterfowl hunting and winter sporting activities are available.
Riverbend Recreation Area, 16618 Township Road 208, Findlay – The first county park opened in 1976. The park area stretches over 176 acres with over four miles of nature trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding. This year-round recreational area offers a variety of outdoor adventures for all seasons from winter to fall. Once said to be the “big bend” of the Blanchard River with a patchwork of floodplain, forest and farmland surrounding the area. The area offers a unique habitat for wildlife. Map available on-line at www.HancockParks.com
Shafer Produce, 16524 St. Rte. 568, Findlay – Seasonal, family farm market owned and operated by the Shafer family. The business is known around the area for their sweet corn and other homegrown produce.
Wooden Covered Bridge, TR 241 between St. Rte. 568 and TR 208 – Completed February 2010, Hancock County’s only covered bridge was originally designed by Smolen Engineering from Ashtabula, Ohio. Bridge project costs totaled $880,000.00, of which 95% of the funding was supplied by Federal Highway Funds. Wooden timbers, referred to as glulam wood, for the structure came from the state of Oregon and were treated with a preservative and sealant to allow the timber structure to age naturally. However, periodic sealing will be necessary from the Hancock County Engineer to maintain the integrity of the structure. The covered bridge replaces the last historic iron bridge in Hancock County that was moved into Riverbend Recreation Area. After some renovations, the park’s trail system will eventually be linked to the structure.
The Lawrence Place, 15145 SR 568, Findlay – A family owned and operated business for seasonal produce (red raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries) and other specialty items such as grapevine trees and wreaths. Operation hours are Monday-Saturday afternoons only.
Riverside Train, 8884 County Road 236, Findlay – A miniature 1930’s-era streamliner locomotive and cars, which can be ridden by both children and average-sized adults. The trail left operations at Walbridge Park in Toledo in 1950 and was installed at Riverside Park in Findlay in 1951. It ran there until 1977. It was in storage until early 1997, when restoration began. It resumed operations in October 1998. The train operates from Memorial Day weekends through Labor Day weekend, Saturdays and Sundays and special holiday runs at Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
“Little Red Schoolhouse”, 8884 County Road 236, Findlay – Owned and operated by the Hancock Historical Museum, is a typical, rural, one-room Hancock County school. Built in 1882, it replaced an earlier frame building and served farm families who lived roughly one mile in all directions from the school. The school closed in 1936, the year all remaining one-room schools in the county closed, and was used as a granary for 36 years. It was donated to the museum in 1972 and completely restored by the retired teacher’s organization with oil lamps, outhouses, outdoor water pump, and wood/coal burning stove. Available for tours on Sundays in August and by special appointment by calling the Hancock Historical Museum at 419-423-4433.
Brinkman’s Country Corner, located off the corner of Bright Rd. and Sandusky St. (St. Rte. 568) – A unique shopping experience with homegrown flavors of seasonal produce and old fashioned fare. Seasonal items are offered in the greenhouse.
Tell Taylor Home, located just west of Brinkman’s Country Corner – An historical marker marks the location of the former boyhood home of Tell Taylor who provided the famous song “Down by the Old Mill Stream” and brought notoriety to the Blanchard River. The home is now a private residence. The house sits in front of the Hancock County Fairgrounds.
Hancock Park District Headquarters/Visitors Center, 1424 East Main Cross, Findlay – The HPD Visitor Center provides 24/7 access to park information outdoors with maps and brochures available as well. Open Monday –Friday, 8am-4:30pm, except holidays. A wetland prairie has been established in the front of the property with a view of the Blanchard River located beside the parking lot area. www.HancockParks.com
Riverside Park & Riverside Boat Landing Boat Rental Concession, 231 McManness Ave., Findlay – Located just off the corner of McManness Ave. & East Main Cross – Originally opened in 1906, Riverside Park has the notoriety of being Hancock County’s oldest park and is located at the site of the old Water Works Park. Seasonal activities include swimming, band concerts, fishing areas, Tell Taylor Memorial, trail system and boat livery concession open weekends and holidays, 1-7 pm, mid-May through Labor Day. Further information regarding boat rentals contact the HPD office at 419-425-7275. Seasonal phone at the livery is 419-423-1902. Pubic restrooms available. www.HancockParks.com
Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce – 123 E. Main Cross St., Findlay – Hancock County’s chief business advocacy organization, The Chamber is the leader in economic development in the regional community. Uniting more than 1,000 businesses and organizations, The Chamber serves as a unique central organization with the primary goals of improving business and building an even stronger community. visitfindlay.com
Main Street of Findlay – Retail and specialty shopping and fine dining are located all along the Findlay’s Main Street area. Findlay’s downtown area has been a regional shopping hub. The retail growth in Hancock County has drawn thousands of consumers into the area.
Hancock County Courthouse, 300 S. Main St., Findlay – The present courthouse building is the third to serve the county. Built in 1886-88 during the gas boom to accommodate a much increased population, it was extensively refurbished around its centennial. Topped by a large statue of John Hancock, after whom the county is named. Three muses over the front entrance represent Justice, Law and Mercy. The courthouse is adorned with glass windows, marble floors and an impressive rotunda. Public restrooms available.
Hancock County Probate Court, 308 Dorney Plaza, Findlay – Building was originally the First Congregational Church, erected in 1867 with a bell tower. The church members had broken off from First Presbyterian Church during the Civil War. After the congregation disbanded in the 1880’s, they rented the building to other churches for a number of years. In the early 1900’s, it was leased to the State of Ohio for the local National Guard unit. Findlay Publishing Company purchased the building in 1909 and printed the newspaper there for many years while renting office space to other organizations. Findlay Publishing moved out in 1973 and sold the building to the County Commissioners. The Probate and Juvenile Courts moved into the building with the Sheriff’s Special Projects Office in 1991 and remain today.
Central Middle School, 200 W. Main Cross St., Findlay – West portion of the structure; which is now Central Middle School, was erected as an addition to the original Findlay High School on the corner of Corey St. in 1924-25. The building served as the high school until the new high school was built on Broad Ave. in 1963 and the facility became Central Jr. High School. The auditorium is used for community concerts and programs.
Dietsch Brothers Ice Cream, 400 W. Main Cross St., Findlay – An area family business that begin in late 1920 with Ed Dietsch opening an ice cream and candy store in Findlay. Today the business is operated by the third generation. Their service remains constant to their customers as well as the quality of ice cream and candy produced. “Quality before quantity” has been the secret to their success in the small business arena…along with a smile.
St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 617 W. Main Cross, Findlay – Originally a 45’x90’ church was constructed at the site for a cost of $6,000. The structure doubled in size 1881-1889 with the discovery of natural gas and a 45’ addition was added in 1889. The church has been remodeled and refurbished over the years and restored to its current condition in 2001.
Rawson Park & Cooper Field, 201 Broad Ave, Findlay – This City of Findlay park area provides recreational areas with softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, restrooms, trails, play equipment and picnic facilities.
Maple Grove Cemetery,1120 West Main Cross St, Findlay – The Maple Grove Cemetery was incorporated on Christmas Day 1854 by a number of leading citizens from Findlay. It was deeded to the city in 1860. Contains the graves of many persons significant to local history, and has many beautiful and interesting stones and mausoleums, a statue of a Civil War solider, which once stood in front of the courthouse, and four Civil War cannons.
Blanchard River Greenway/River Landings, corner of Broad Ave. and Howard Street – West trailhead of the Blanchard River Greenway Trail that travels through River Landing, a riverpark area of the Hancock Park District that provides picnic sites and playground area for visitors.
Indian Green Cemetery, US Rte. 224, Findlay – An area of Hancock County’s past with many graves of early settlers along with many Native Americans. It is thought to be the burial site, with an unmarked grave, of Chief Turkey Foot, killed at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. Graves date back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Many of the McKinnis family members, original owners of the Litzenberg property, are also buried at the site.
Litzenberg Memorial Woods, 6100 US 224, Findlay – 227 acres along the Blanchard River make up the park area. Scenic, natural, historic and recreational adventures await visitors. The rolling countryside of the river valley, wooded ravines and vistas haven’t changed for over a century. The historical homestead dates back to the mid-1800’s and structures have been completely renovated and are used today. Picnic areas, trail system, playground area are located at the site. Public restrooms. Reservations for facilities can be made through the HPD office. Maps available at www.HancockParks.com.
Heritage Trail Center, 5757 US 224, Findlay – West trailhead area of the Heritage Trail, a 20-mile Boy Scout trail developed in 1963. The trail connects parks, historic sites, reservoirs and area landmarks over a variety of trail surfaces through Hancock County. Hiker information available at the HPD office and maps are available at www.HancockParks.com.
Blanchard Landing, located just off the corner of US 224 and State Route 235 – One of several sportsmen’s access area located along the Blanchard River with fishing and picnic area. www.HancockParks.com
Dukes Cemetery, US Rte. 224, Findlay – One of the oldest cemeteries in Hancock County. Dukes Meeting House, located east of the cemetery a mile or so, was the first congregation organized in the county about 1831 and one of the first Methodist Episcopal Churches erected around 1835-36. Many of the earliest settlers in the area are buried amount the 200 recorded graves dating back to 1826 and a War of 1812 veteran.
Village Park/Bull Monument, located off Old US 224 & Pearl Street, Gilboa – An extremely large bull monument stands along US 224 to welcome visitors to the quiet, little village of Gilboa. The bull reaffirms the area’s agricultural heritage in northwest Ohio, as it sits right across from the local grain elevator. The park area provides multiple picnic sites and play equipment for folks to stop and enjoy the area.
Bridge over the Blanchard River, off the corner of Old US 224 & Pearl St., Gilboa – One of the few remaining “Through Pratt Truss” bridges in the area that spans the Blanchard. Built in the 1800’s it has withstood several major floods and traffic. The bridge is on the list of Historical Places.
Hillside Winery, Main Street of Gilboa – This new business addition to the area is locally owned and operated by Mark & Mary Lou Schaublin. The winery is open to the public Thursday–Saturday from 12-6pm and special entertainment is sometimes scheduled. Wine is sold by the glass only at the site, but bottles can be purchased to take along with you. Other beverages and light refreshments are also available to guests. Wines are produced at the site from their three acres of locally grown grapes along Riley Creek. The winery can be reached during open hours at 419-456-3434.
Cholera Cemetery, Road 5F, north of Gilboa – First burial took place in 1832. A cholera epidemic struck in 1852 and victims of the disease were buried at the site mostly in unmarked graves. The site contains remains of Revolutionary War veterans.
Gilboa United Methodist Church,102 Franklin St., Gilboa – Dedicated in 1906 and named Emans Church and shared a minister with three other churches called the Gilboa circuit. The church became Gilboa United Methodist church in 1968. Stained glass windows were refurbished in 1995.
Gilboa Stone Quarry, 3763 Old US 224, Gilboa – Scuba diving facility with the deepest and clearest water in Ohio. Divers come from all over the world. www.DiveGilboa.com
Harman Cemetery,1 mile west of Gilboa on Old US 224 – One of the earliest cemeteries established in Putnam County. The west end of the cemetery contains many interesting monuments and inscriptions.
Log House, 4107 Old US 224, Ottawa – An historical, two story log house originally located near Carey, Ohio has been relocated to the site. The front and back doors are adjacent so that cows could be led in, milked inside and let out the other door.
Challenged Champions, 11913 Road 6, Ottawa –This business began in 1997 to provide a service to individuals ages four to adults with special needs through recreational and therapeutic horseback riding. The business is run by Laura Luginbill.
Rose Haven Bed & Breakfast, 5833 Old US 224, Ottawa – 1860’s brick farmhouse that is now a bed and breakfast with two guest rooms available. The farmhouse has a scenic view of the Blanchard River area. email@example.com
Putnam County Fairgrounds, south Agner Street & Old US 224, Ottawa – The Putnam County Fair has been held at this location since 1868. The site has a one-half mile oval racetrack that was constructed in 1873 and in 1892 specifications were drawn up for the grandstand. In 1934, during the Great Depression, the cattle barn was built as a Civil Works Administration project – one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs. The bell from the 1867 courthouse is located at the site. As an established tradition this bell is rung at noon on opening day of each year’s fair.
Ball House, 1136 East Main Street, Ottawa – 1860’s era Queen Ann Eastlake with 20 rooms. The home had been a retirement center for over 40 years. The structure was restored by Hazel & Bob Ball over the last few years. Stansbury was the first owner on record, the county’s 3rd prosecutor. The home is private residence presently.
Ottawa Waterworks Building/Park, 1904 – 1035 East Third Street, Ottawa – The building was the first pumping station in Putnam County. Built under the direction of the village’s first Board of Public Affairs, the log house serves as a scouting house for local scout groups. A public shelter house, picnic areas, gazebo and senior center are also housed at the site.
3rd Street /705 East 3rd Street Residence, Ottawa – This one mile long brick street is lined with historical, Victorian and modern day residential homes and shade trees to provide an extremely scenic view. The homes are a like a walk down memory lane for visitors. The residence at 705 East 3rd St. is a farm-style Colonial built circa 1883 and still retains some of its original flavor in the wood siding, windows with wavy glass, wood flooring and claw foot tub. The brick street was added around the turn of the century in the early 1900’s.
Historic Putnam County Jail, corner of Hickory & Third Streets, Ottawa – Erected in 1900, the structure once housed sheriff’s and their families as well as prisoners. At this time, the structure in not open to the public.
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, 129 Court Street, Ottawa – The Ottawa, Ohio Chamber of Commerce was established before 1950 by a small number of progressive business leaders. The Chamber’s goal is to provide resources, referrals and promotional opportunities to its membership. Membership is a diverse mix of businesses, organizations, services, and industries. The Chamber works to be a leading force in promoting growth, prosperity and quality of life in our area, working and keeping in contact with all facets of the community. The Ottawa Ohio Area Chamber of Commerce is here to serve you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Putnam County Courthouse Square 1867, 245 East Main Street, Ottawa – The Courthouse was completed in 1913 at a cost of $198,290 and remains unaltered with no annex or addition other than the handicap access at the north entrance. Also on the square sits the Firefighter’s Memorial built in 1915, placed there in memory of John Krieger and Joseph Hermiller who were killed fighting a blacksmith shop fire on Second Street in Ottawa on January 6, 1911. The square also features The Veteran’s Memorial Clock built 1925. The memorial clock is a tribute to the service given by Putnam County men in World War I.
Beckman Jewelers, 117 West Main Street, Ottawa – Century-old stained glass windows still adorn the second floor. The business has been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years. The business began in 1879 in the store neighboring today’s jewelry store location.
Ottawa Main Street, Ottawa – The village of Ottawa offers some unique shopping destinations for young and old alike with everything from nails to furniture and many locally owned and operated family businesses. All are located within easy walking distance.
Hotel DuMont, 202 West Main Street, Ottawa – Built in 1901 by Jacob and Mary DuMont, the hotel had steam heat, indoor plumbing and was lighted with electricity when it opened. The first floor had a lobby, office, bar room, dining room, and kitchen. Traveling salesmen used sample rooms on the first floor to display their wares while they stayed at the hotel.
Our Lord’s Park, corner of Main & Walnut Street, Ottawa – A reflecting pool with a water fountain is near the center of the park to provide a quite place for reflection. Benches surround the paved area that leads to a twenty-ton inscribed monument at the rear of the park. The park is landscaped with numerous trees and shrubs.
Schnipke Building, 105 South Main Street, Glandorf – Formerly known as Joseph Nienberg Grocery and General Merchandise, this impressive building once served as a grocery on the lower section, and as a family residence. Remnants of the Ottawa Indian tribe were known to have bartered here, as did many of the early Glandorf residents. Of particular note is the brick storage building behind the building. Cold water was pumped into a trough to maintain butter, milk and other dairy products at a lower temperature before modern-day refrigeration was available.
St. John the Baptist Church & Cemetery, 109 North Main Street, Glandorf – The outside of the structure was completed in 1877 and interior work by 1878, with much of the ornamentation completed in the 1880’s. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Gothic structure in Putnam County. When the church was built, it was the largest Catholic Church in Northwest Ohio. Of particular note within the church is the pulpit, purchased at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and considered the finest example of carving at the exposition. The stained glass windows and the Stations of the Cross were imported from Munich. Church measures 175 ft. in length, 86 ft. in width at the transept, 70 ft. at the nave; and the spire reaches a height of 225 ft. St. John’s Church, rectory, convent and the Pioneer Cemetery are all listed on the National Register as a National Historic Site. The Pioneer Cemetery contains the graves of St. John’s parishioners who were buried from 1834 to 1900. The obelisk contains the remains of Father Horstmann and was erected following the completion of the St. John’s Church.
Glandorf Park, North Main St., Glandorf – The park stands today as a symbol of community unity with an array of recreational facilities, gardens, parking and restrooms.
Leopold House, 9452 Rd 11, Glandorf – This brick home, owned by Jim and Sue Leopold, was built by his ancestors in the 1870’s. The home has not been altered through the generations with the exception of a garage and kitchen added during recent years. Of special note are the combination summer kitchen, smokehouse, and root cellar in brick just west of the home. Unique to the structure is the root cellar containing a “dumb waiter” to access “vittles” from the root cellar to the cooking area.
Eating Establishments along the Byway
Located right on the Byway, travelers will find a variety of fine establishments offering everything from the best burgers, French fries and ice cream you’ll ever eat to full course, fine dining to savor some of the local fare. Stop in and enjoy some of the best flavors you’ll taste right on the Byway.
Dietsch Brothers, 400 West Main Cross, Findlay
The Gathering, 114 East Main Cross, Findlay
Joe’s Corner Dairy Bar, corner of State Routes 103 & 37, Mt. Blanchard
A variety of other fine eating establishments are located just off Interstate 75 and Main Street of Findlay.
Splinters, 232 N. Main Street, Glandorf
The Bombshelter, 100 O-G Road, Glandorf
Touches from the Heart, 138 S. Main Street, Glandorf
The Pizzeria, 211 E. Main Street, Ottawa
Schnipke Inn, 202 W. Main Street, Ottawa
Still Tony’s, 1702 E. Main St., Ottawa
A variety of other fine eating establishments are located within the village within a short driving distance.