About the Museum
The Fulton County Historical society, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization that has seen significant growth since its inception as the Pioneer Association in 1883. The organization is dedicated to helping Fulton County, Ohio utilize its heritage to promote tourism while collecting, preserving, and interpreting its local cultural, historical, and natural resources.
This mission is accomplished through the Society’s high quality venues which include the Museum of Fulton County with its Speiss Research Center and its Legacy Shop, the History Manor, the Wauseon Railroad Depot, Canfield Cabin, and the Reighard Blacksmith Shop.
The Society provides school/elder/family programing, demonstrations, and permanent and changing exhibits at the various sites. The group is dedicated to educate, inform, and inspire a diverse audience through artifacts, exhibits, programs, and through the local history research facility.
The Fulton County Historical Society is overseen by a Board of Trustees. The Board and Society are governed by a Constitution, Bylaws, and a Code of Ethics.
The Fulton County Historical was first organized as the Fulton County Pioneer Association in 1883 as a means to preserving the history of the county’s early settlers. A few years later, the group built a replica log cabin and rock garden at the County’s Fairgrounds. The log structure served as the group’s first museum until it was razed in 1905. A small museum was then started in the law library of the Courthouse and the group was reorganized and renamed the Fulton County Historical Society. Slowly many artifacts were stored in the courthouse bell tower until in 1960, when a new museum was founded at the donated apartment building which was once a high school and later a county hospital.
As years progressed the collection of history and artifacts grew into a place of interest for history and genealogy enthusiast. This resulted in a need for expansion. In 2014, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners received word that they were going to receive one million dollars in capital improvement funds for a Museum of Fulton County and Welcome Center. The building was part of a larger state project to replace an aged state highway maintenance garage and the relocation of the County’s Emergency Operations Center. This Welcome Center/shared Services was a “first of its kind” project in Ohio. To offset the overhead costs of furnishing the Museum inside the gallery and maintain its operations a fund raising campaign was initiated by the Fulton County Historical Society. The end result was the “new” Museum of Fulton County and Welcome Center. The new facility is located in the geographic enter of the county on SH 108 North of the Turnpike across from the Fulton County Fairgrounds. The building houses an Emergency Operations Center, offices for the Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services and the Fulton County Visitors Bureau as well as the Museum of Fulton County, the Speiss Research Center and the Legacy Shop.