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Events, Programs & Exhibits

National Train Day

EVENT - Lauber Hill Community Founder's Day

The Museum of Fulton County is honored to be hosting the first annual Lauber Hill Community Founder’s Day to celebrate the immigrant families who traveled to Ohio and established a farming community near Lauber Hill 190 years ago. A limited number of tickets are now available for this late afternoon program and meal to be held on Sunday, August 18 at the Lauber Hill Reformed Mennonite Church north of Archbold.

Each year the Founder’s Day event will feature one of the families that settled near Lauber Hill with the inaugural program sharing the Lauber family’s history. The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. with a short program in the meeting house followed by a traditional Mennonite meal prepared using local recipes. Guests will enjoy fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, noodles, green beans, sweet pickles, beets, and sweet and sour coleslaw.

Only 200 tickets will be sold for the Founder’s Day event to be held at the meeting house located at 7094 Co. Rd. 21, Archbold, OH. The seating is open, but families can choose their tables prior to the start of the 4:00 p.m. program. Tickets are $30.00 and all proceeds from this event will go to support the Lauber Hill fund.

“The Lauber Hill history began in 1834 when several immigrant families from the Upper Rhine River Valley villages of Mulhausen, France and Schaffhausen, Switzerland met each other in Marshallville, Ohio and decided to travel west and purchase farmland in what was then Henry County. A hunter and innkeeper, Joseph Bates and his men from Franklin Township helped them move here on August 22 and erected the Christian Lauber home,” shared John Swearingen, Jr., director of the Museum of Fulton County. “By the 1880s, Lauber Hill’s farming community included a Reformed Mennonite Church, a German Baptist Church, a Froehlich Evangelical Church, the Barneth (Bernath) one-room school, the Werrey Cabinetmaker’s Shop, the Roth Sawmill, the Uhlrich Wagon Shop, and the Leu Blacksmith Shop.  We look forward to sharing even more stories and Lauber family history at this year’s Founder’s Day event.”

Guests must register to attend the Lauber Hill Community Founder’s Day event on Sunday, August 18. Reservations and prepayment are required since seating is limited for this annual event. Tickets are $30.00 and are available for purchase online, at the museum, or by calling 419.337.7922. 

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PROGRAM - Ultimate Family Reading Experience

Wauseon-born author Merrill Wyatt’s popular mystery novel “Tangled up in Luck” has come alive through a new interactive reading experience now available at the Museum of Fulton County. Families will enjoy looking for clues at real-life Wauseon locations featured in the story to solve the mystery. Participating families will also be invited to an exclusive author book signing event at the museum.

The novel “Tangled up in Luck” is a fast-paced adventure and enjoyable mystery set in small-town Wauseon. While the book is written for children ages 8-12, older youth and adults also love this funny mystery about overly enthusiastic middle schoolers with a talent for sniffing out trouble!

Author Merrill Wyatt shares, “It all began with the mystery of the long-lost Hoal jewels. Someone had stumbled across the forgotten fact that the jewels even existed. That same someone wanted very badly to find them — by using the seventh grade to uncover hidden clues. What that person never counted on was two of those seventh graders putting all the clues together. That person never expected a couple of kids to try to get to the jewels first. Thirteen million dollars can motivate some people to do all sorts of dreadful things”.

The new “Ultimate Family Reading Experience” package includes a miniature steamer trunk filled with the novel, a travel journal, detective’s magnifying glass, compass, and activities to navigate families through their journey from 1887 to today. The experience package also includes an invitation to the special book signing event to be held this fall at the museum. The experience package is available for $39.95 at the museum’s Legacy Gift Shop.

 

“This experience is an opportunity for families to read the book and hunt for clues at Wauseon locations featured in the story,” shared Doris Piercefield, business operations manager at the Museum of Fulton County. “Families can enjoy this experience at their own pace and if they are as clever as the story’s detectives and solve the puzzle, they will find ‘real’ jewels at the end!”

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EXHIBIT - All Aboard! Train Exhibit

A new All Aboard! train exhibit at the Museum of Fulton County allows guests to journey back in time to explore the history of trains in this region. The interactive exhibit featuring train and depot artifacts, model trains, and hands-on activities focuses on the people who worked on and around the railroad. 

“Since 1852, electric trollies, steam and diesel engines have crisscrossed the county and helped each village to thrive,” shared John Swearingen, Jr., director of the Museum of Fulton County. “Our new All Aboard! train exhibit shares information about the four railroad company lines that ran through the county including the New York Central, Wabash, Detroit Toledo and Ironton, and the Toledo & Western and Toledo & Indiana electric interurban railroads (cable cars). We are also telling the stories of local people involved with the railroad including passengers, depot employees and community members.

Located in the Worthington Gallery at the museum, this temporary exhibit features a variety of railroad-themed artifacts from train depots across Fulton County including tools, signals, lanterns, telegraph machines, and uniforms. Thanks to the Swanton Area Railroad and Model Train Club, the exhibit also includes a working model train display. Guests will love watching the Wabash and New York Central model trains travel round and round the homes, barns and shops representing a typical Fulton County landscape. Other exhibit highlights include a playhouse switch/watch tower where kids can catch all the action on the model train display, a monumental-sized storybook about trains, and a toy train set for toddlers to enjoy. There is a telegraph morse code game and a variety of other hands-on crafts focused on the railroad history theme.

“Guests exploring the new train exhibit are immersed in railroad history as they meet real people from our past including postmaster Bertha Emmons, Wabash crew member Grover Merillat, telegraph operator Esther Stone, signal operator Alva Shull, and many others,” Swearingen added.

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EXHIBIT - Meet Me at the Fair

Have you ever wondered about the early days of the Fulton County Fair? Stop by soon to explore the “Meet Me at the Fair” exhibit to learn more about the history of one of the best and biggest fairs in Ohio! This fun and interactive exhibit shares many unique artifacts, videos, and fun facts about the history of the Fulton County Fair! Guests of all ages will enjoy seeing 4-H projects and books, entertainment posters, promotional items, and fair photos from days-gone-by. By popular demand, this fun exhibit has been held over and will remain open through September 2024!

A Bit of Fair History . . .
The Fulton County Fair is 166 years old this year. The first Fair was held just east of Ottokee on ten rented acres. Everyone pitched in to prepare the grounds and construct some buildings. The site was too small for a racetrack, so the main forms of competition were plowing and wood chopping.

In 1865, thanks to Colonel Howard and friends, the Agricultural Society moved the Fair to its present location. The original plot was 40 acres and cost $500.00. It took a lot of work with oxen to fit the grounds and build a racetrack at the cost of $1,500.00, but the Fair opened on time in 1911. When the work was complete, the Agricultural Society deeded the land to the county commissioners.

The first Junior Fair was created in 1902, and the co-operative OSU Extension Office took over in 1918. The county fair has been the best venue for showing off new inventions designed by Fulton County businesses and promoting sales and services. From trapeze artists to famous music groups, the Fulton County Fair has been known for its top-notch entertainment. In 1957, barn dances and circus acts were replaced with Labor Day Grand Ole Opry shows, including Barbara Mandrel, Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys and Alabama. Contests like horseshoe pitching, pulling competitions, and a demolition derby later filled up the week-long schedule. Rides have entertained children, and fair food favorites keep people returning year-after-year.  In 1949, games were brought to the fair, camping was started in 1964 and 15 rides were added in 1975.

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