FOSTORIA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
It all began . . .
In 1958 when the city began to realize that too many services were concentrated in the City Hall at 121 - 123 West North Street in Fostoria. The Fire, Police, Water, and Health Departments plus the Municipal Court were all in the City Hall. All of the city offices were also located there; the mayor, Service Director, the City Solicitor, and more.
A new city Municipal Building was completed in 1959 at 213 South Main Street. All City Departments, except the Fire Department were moved to the new building. An addition was constructed in 1964 to accommodate a Jail for the Police Department.
The Fire Department moved to the new building on the site of old Whittier grade school on Crocker Street in 1974.
The Fostoria Area Historical Society was incorporated as a nonprofit (501 C3) organization recorded by the Secretary of State on September 10, 1973.
The Fostoria Area Historical Society Museum leased the old City Hall at 121 - 123 West North Street from the Fostoria City Council. The building was vacant and had previously been used as a repository for Civil Defense and Hospital Rescue Equipment during the Cold War.
There had been considerable discussion by members who felt that the old Whittier School building would have been a good Museum for the Historical Society. Some very dedicated volunteers salvaged school desks, furniture, school clocks, correctional devices (paddles), and approximately 100 blackboard slates from the walls for the school building. The Historical Society proudly displays seven of these blackboards and desks in a class room that has been reproduced at the Museum.
Many volunteers worked diligently on the first floor of the new home of the Fostoria Area Historical Society Museum soon after the move in 1974. By the time the United States Bicentennial was celebrated in 1976, the Historical Society had a nice display of artifacts on exhibit.
One of the items that the Historical Society is especially proud of is a 1941 Seagraves Ladder Pumper Fire Truck which has been left by the Fostoria Fire Department when they moved to their new facility.
The old City Hall building was in need of repairs which included a new roof. With revenue sharing money and through donations by anonymous donors, the Historical Society was able to replace the roof.
Located on the second floor of the Museum, in the large front room, contains furniture and memorabilia of Charles "Calico Charlie" Foster. His father, Charles Foster Sr., helped to bring the communities of Rome and Risdon together in 1854 forming the city of Fostoria.
YOU LIKE TO JOIN?
Type of Membership:
For more information call Leonard Skonecki, President at (419) 435-3588
Make your check payable to the Fostoria Area Historical Society and mail the check along with your name, address & phone number to the address given at the top left of this page.
We will place you on our mailing list so that you will begin receiving our Newsletter. You are cordially invited to the monthly meetings held at the First Presbyterian Church on the corner of Perry and West Fremont Streets in Fostoria, Ohio. Meetings are generally held on a Sunday afternoon. Please call to confirm the date of the next meeting.
- An Interesting Story -
The Seneca Motorcar Company
In 1916 Fostoria, Ohio was the home of the Seneca Motorcar Company located on South poplar Street. Their slogan was "a car built for the owner". This automobile sold for $1,085. The Fostoria Area Historical Society had a 1919 Seneca Motorcar exhibited for a number of years. This particular car's history was traced back to a sale to Harrah's Nightclub in Reno, Nevada. Harrah's sold their collection of automobiles to an enthusiast in Saudi Arabia. For some unknown reason, this car did not get loaded with the others and was left to the Reynold's Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada.
An advertisement for the sale of the car was discovered by Fostorian, Bill Murphy who notified Charles Ash, Ira Cadwallader, and Robert Watson who are the grandsons of the founders of the Seneca Motorcar Company. They purchased the car and brought it back to Fostoria and had it restored.
In June 1996, the Fostoria Historical Society together with the First Ohio Credit Union held a farewell party for the 1919 Seneca Motorcar at a Classic Car Cruise-In. It was an opportunity for the general public to view the Fostoria built automobile. It drew a large crowd complete with media coverage. The car was moved to the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The Allen automobile was built at the same time as the Seneca and is presently on display at the Museum.