Proposed Museum Location











































November 23, 2015: Ground Breaking:

Today was the groundbreaking for the complex on St. Rt. 108 that will house the Museum and Welcome Center of Fulton County, OH and the Fulton County Ohio Department of Transportation Facility. 
 Present was State Representative Barbara Sears, State Senator Randy Gardner, Fulton County Commissioners, Fulton County Historical Society Trustees, Fulton County Visitor Bureau, state and local representatives of ODOT, State and County Law Enforcement, and Architect and Construction Company representatives. This combined venture is one of the first in the state.

See this Article from the Toledo Blade about the Ground Breaking


June 22, 2015:  Donor Photomural Wall in New Museum Lobby

See how your photo can be included


October 28, 2014 Press Release:

The Fulton County Historical Society will be hosting several upcoming presentations regarding the new Museum and Welcome Center of Fulton County, OH. The new Museum will become part of the existing Fulton County campus on State Route 108, north of the Robert Fulton Facility. This project is part of a State and County partnership between the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Fulton County. This joint venture between County and State will allow the entities to share services and resources in one large project, saving taxpayer dollars.

The new Museumís theme will be "Preserving the past, Embracing the Present and Making the Future." The Museum hopes to become a destination spot not only for those interested in their Fulton County heritage, but also for educators and the general public as it will feature every Fulton County township and school district. Stories of "Finding a Way or Making Your Own" include the Archaic Neanderthal Hybrid giants, mastodons, the Ottawa and Potawatomi Native Americans, our frontier pioneers settlers from the eastern states, Europe and Mexico, Underground Railroad abolitionists, Soldiers from many military conflicts, sports enthusiasts like Barney Oldfield, industrial and agricultural success stories, and the caring community spirit that lives on today throughout Fulton County.

The Fulton County Historical Society has launched a capital campaign to assist in their part of the building project. The State of Ohio has earmarked $1 million in capital improvement funds for a Fulton County Visitor and Heritage Center Museum. The total estimate cost of the project will exceed well more than $1 million and the Historical Society is committed to raising $1 million for part of the building costs.

Public meetings will be held at 6:30pm at the following locations and dates:

Delta Middle School - Monday November 3rd, 2014

Swanton High School - Thursday November 6th, 2014

Evergreen Elementary School - Monday, November 10th, 2014

Pettisville High School - Thursday November 13th, 2014

Fayette Opera House - Monday November 17th, 2014

Archbold Middle School Band Room - Thursday November 20th, 2014

Robert Fulton Building, Wauseon - Monday November 24th, 2014

For additional information, contact the Historical Society at (419) 337-7922 or visit You can also stay connected by signing up for text or email message through the "Notify Me" option on the Fulton County website at

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming meetings!


John Swearingen, Jr                                        Toni Schindler

Executive Director                                          Director of Marketing and Communications

Fulton County Historical Society                    Fulton County Board of Commissioners

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Left to Right:  Gary Spiess, Paul Spiess, Mary Spiess-Benda, Society President Carl Buehrer, Museum Director John Swearingen, Jr., Treasurer Kay Roth, Society Board Member Judy Warncke, County Commissioner Bill Rufenacht, Commissioner-elect Jeff Rupp, and Society Board Member Jim Spieles.

Society President with Spiess Family.  Left to right:  Fayette Arts Council Director Tom Spiess, Society President Carl Buehrer, Gary Spiess, Mary Spiess-Benda, and Paul Spiess. 

Taylor Quilt and Spiess Family.  Mary Spiess-Benda, Paul Spiess, Gary Spiess, and Museum Director John Swearingen, Jr. looking at a signature quilt from the Taylor Methodist Church that contains the signatures of the Spiessí grandparents. The three have fond memories of their summers spent with their grandparents in Fulton County, which led to their $50,000 donation to the building project on October 31, 2014.


For Immediate Release:

Contact Information: Toni Schindler

Director for Marketing and Communications

Fulton County Board of Commissioners

152 S. Fulton Street, Suite 270

419-337-9255 ext. 1615



MARCH 21st, 2014, (WAUSEON, OH) The Fulton County Board of Commissioners received word that the State of Ohio has earmarked $1 million dollars in capital improvement funds for a Fulton County Visitor and Heritage Center Museum just north of the Ohio Turnpike State Route 108 Interchange in their latest budget.

Although this funding hasnít yet crossed Governor Kasichís desk for a signature, County Officials and the Fulton County Historical Society remain optimistic that these funds will be allocated towards this project. This project is a part of an $8.3 million shared project between ODOT and Fulton County in which ODOT is replacing its aged highway maintenance garage in Fulton County, and Fulton County is looking to relocate their Emergency Operations Center. ODOT and Fulton County are collaborating on plans to share space in the same location in which the new Fulton County Visitor and Heritage Center Museum would also be located.

John Swearingen, Jr, Director of the Fulton County Historical Society states "our current building and facilities, while of value from a historical perspective, are not adequate for present and future needs which include the collection of artifacts, preservation, display, data collection and depository and public access. Nor does the location encourage or enhance access to our facilities by the public or academic institutions due to minimal parking, the building is not ADA accessible, marginal security from fire and theft and the atmospheric conditions for preservation are lacking," he states.

The Historical Society, located at 229 Monroe Street in Wauseon has been very active in the past, hosting ladiesí teas, childrenís dress-up birthday parties, re-enactments, and haunting history tours. "Even though we are very excited about this possibility to increase our capacity to serve Fulton County in a new location, we realize the historical value in our current location and we plan on carefully preserving the building."

The Fulton County Historical Society has recently changed their mission statement to read "To help Fulton County, OH utilize its heritage to promote tourism while collecting, preserving, and interpreting its local cultural, historical and natural resources." This dual-purpose mission will serve as a more viable vehicle for attracting visitors to Fulton County through "Cultural Heritage Tourism." This approach is expected to increase tourism dollars, tourism-related job opportunities, and increased tax revenue.

Since 2009 and as a result of a grant from the Toledo Community Foundation, the Fulton County Historical Society has aligned with the Metamora Area Historical Society, the Lyons Area Historical Society, Sauder Village, and the Bean Creek Area Heritage Center to satisfy one of five guiding principles from The National Trust for Historic Preservationís heritage tourism development. These efforts are meant to enhance the collective value of heritage activities in the county, reduce duplication of efforts and operational costs, improve efficiency and promote cooperative access to shared materials and data.

"With the location being near the geographic center of the county, and directly off the turnpike, we will be more accessible for residents to access our services," states Carl Buehrer, Fulton County Historical Society President. "Educational programs would be enhanced which would better accommodate larger school groups and would allow for more one on one time with them. Additionally, the new space would provide better overall protection and security of the existing artifacts that the Society currently houses as well as to serve a new population of people inquiring about county tourism activities, food and lodging through the Heritage Tourism Center."

The new facility would provide the following:

1. Visible architectural continuity within the community and its culture and local history

2. Adequate space and environmental conditions for the proper collection and storage of documents and artifacts for both public display and academic research.

3. Appropriate space for data collection and cataloguing of records

4. Easy electronic access for the collection and dissemination of historical information throughout the county

5. A pleasant, accessible, and attractive destination for residents, tourists, academic researchers, school children, and ongoing archival collection and retention activities

6. To support "finding your NOW roots" (research, genealogy centers), tourism (visitorís bureau), and the history museum.

If officially awarded the capital improvement funds, The Fulton County Historical Society will be poised for pushing forward with a capital fundraising campaign to raise the additional ($) needed to complete this project.

For more information on the Fulton County Historical Society, contact them at 419-337-7922 or email

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