Stryker Area Heritage Council

Community gets a look at the Heritage CenterHistorical Center Tour 1

     The doors were opened on the afternoon of the Stryker Summerfest June 4 for anyone interested to take a peak at the new Stryker Area Historical Center lodged in the former Stryker train depot.
   From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. people from the area walked through the displays of local historical artifacts that have been given or loaned for display in the center.
     Displays featuring the local depot itself and items from one-time local businesses such as the mineral springs bathhouse or Werum Novelty Works were shown. Frank Middleton (left) and Duane Jolly are shown in the photo above looking over some of those pieces.
     There is a case that came from the Stryker school that was full of memorabilia of the school, class pictures, old uniforms and some annuals.
     A section on music was shown that included a violin that was played by famous artist and Stryker native Harry Wickey.
     Another case showed pieces that belonged to the Evansport Masonic Lodge that began in Evansport and moved to Stryker, where it ran for many years.
     A typewriter that belonged to Stryker native Ralph Goll was shown and those who walked by could perhaps conjure up an image of him sitting at a desk typing one of the manuscripts he wrote for The Lone Ranger or a story about a murder case he was covering for a  newspaper or magazine.
     The walls are covered with large old-time photos of Stryker including some trains that have been a large part of the village’s history.Historical Center Tour 2
     In the photo to the right, Stryker Area Heritage Council President Rose Burkholder (right) and SAHC Trustee Helen Bell (left) give Village Reporter reporter Alexis Stamm (second from left) and her friend April Short some of the significance of the items in the school case display in the center.
     An interview on TV-26 was also done that day and will be airing soon on the Defiance station that is also carried by area cable TV systems.
     The center was also recently opened for a group that attended the annual Stryker Alumni gathering at the end of May
     Mrs. Burkholder says while the center does not yet have any regular hours it is open, it can be opened for any groups that are interested in a tour if they contact the Heritage Council.
     Donations of items or items that could be loaned for display are still being accepted by the SAHC. Anyone interested may contact the SAHC through this website or one of the Trustees.
     A big round of thanks to all of those who have helped through the last several years to get the depot ready for the visitors, those who worked to prepare the center for guests during the Summerfest and those who helped meet people during the opening!

Summerfest a great time for manyDon Allison Speaks About Start Of Civil War At Summerfest!

     The town of Stryker kicked off the begining of the summer celebration season with the annual Summerfest on June 4.
     A warm day that ended up in the 90’s was tempered by a steady breeze. A good crowd didn’t let the temperatures deter them from joining in a host of activities for the day.
     There was a breakfast by the Stryker American Legion, rides for the kids, plenty of good food, and fun events for everyone.
     Local historian Don Allison (shown right), a favorite son, gave a talk entitled “War Fever,” about the beginnings of the Civil War and how Stryker and the area was a part of it all. The presentation was recorded so a DVD can be released of the program for those who could not attend. The presentation was held during the breakfast at the Stryker American Legion as part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the war between the states.
   Quadco Float in Summerfest Parade The Stryker Area Heritage Council was again in charge of the parade. A good number of units, such as the one shown here from Quadco Rehabilitation Center, turned out and many followed the theme of “Community, Then and Now.”
     Prizes are being awarded to the top three entries who best used the theme in their entry. The entries had to be pre-registered and were judged by three mystery judges.
     The Stryker Depot was open for people to see the new historical center.

Historic Photo of the Month — Stryker track pans kept steam trains watered and running

Stryker Track Pans02     For about 60 years, during the heyday of steam locomotives, Stryker was the site of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern/New York Central railroads’ “track pans” that allowed steam locomotives to scoop up needed water without stopping, shaving valuable time from railroad timetables.
     The Stryker track pans were installed as early as 1890 at the Tiffin River west of town. In 1910, the track pans were moved about a mile east of Stryker, where a new pumping and heating plant was constructed.
     Water that was splashed out of the pans by passing locomotives during freezing weather created a safety problem; section crews were often forced to remove ice near the rails to prevent accidents.
     To learn more about the Stryker track pans,
click here to go to our historical photo webpage.

Note: The Stryker Area Heritage Council is always looking for old photographs of the area. If you have one you would like to share, please send it to us at If it isn’t in a digital format, bring it to one of the scanning days held periodically, and it will be scanned for free.

New Lockport brochure tells past historyLockportBrochureCoverApr11

     A new brochure developed by the Stryker Area Heritage Council details the early history of the village of Lockport.
     Area historians Kevin Maynard and Richard Cooley combined their talents to produce the new informational piece. As the community of Lockport prepares to celebrate its 175th birthday later this year, the production of the brochure is most timely.
     Presently, the Lockport Terquasquicentennial Committee is meeting the first Thursday of each month at the Lockport Mennonite Church at the intersection of Williams County Roads 21/N and I.25 northeast of Stryker, across from the covered bridge. The committee is planning events to commemorate Lockport’s 175th birthday.
     Anyone with an interest in Lockport area history/genealogy is welcome to attend the meetings.
     The SAHC website has created a new webpage to hold interesting pieces of the Lockport 175th celebration, and the brochure will be the first item. To open a copy of the brochure, click on the cover picture displayed here or on the new webpage.

How many couples can you identify?Golden Anniversary celebrants homecoming 1953

     Here’s a photo from the 1953 Stryker Centennial celebration. These couples were honored during the event for having been married 50 years or longer. Here they are gathered at the celebration for a Golden Anniversary photo.
     Check out a larger version of the photo and let us know who can pick out from those in the picture at our “Help Us Identify” page on the website. We’ve even broken out a few of the areas and numbered folks just to make it easier. Just
click here to go there.

Local writer has ties to “The Green Hornet”Rgoll1

            While area residents join others across America going to see the latest movie version of “The Green Hornet,” many in the audience probably don’t realize that a former local resident was part of the drama’s storied past. And he created one of the more unusual stories for the program that was ever heard.
           Before the movie and television versions, “The Green Hornet” visited millions of American homes through their radios as they heard Britt Reid, publisher of The Daily Sentinel, use information he learned from the police to put away the crooks in town with the help of his sidekick, Kato, and the use of his black speedster known as The Black Beauty.
           It was during what many call the “Golden Age of Radio,” and people eagerly waited each week to hear the adventures featured on favorite programs such as “The Lone Ranger,” “The Shadow,” and “The Green Hornet.”
           Find out all about the writer, his ties to the program, and one of the more unusual stories ever used for “The Green Hornet” series.
Click here to go to the SAHC Virtual Museum.

Chimney repair at depotDepotChimneyRepair

     Just before the winter weather set in at the end of last year, work was done to repair the chimney at the depot.
     Former SAHC Trustee Phil Short had noticed issues with the chimney and so several area contractors were contacted to find someone to repair it.
     Steve Blue of Blue Masonry from rural Hicksville agreed to do the work and you see him here relaying the stone on the outside of the chimney.
     He said he could see that the stone had moved at least 2 inches in some places.
     When he removed the outside stonework, he discovered an inner lining of old bricks. You can see them in the center of the chimney.
     Steve reset the stone and brick in the chimney and touched up the mortar. An aerial lift was provided free of charge by Kyle Sapp of Black Swamp Equipment, Archbold.
     Thanks to everyone who helped keep the chimney in the upright position for years to come!   

stryker public school evised proof 52810Stryker School replicas down to the last 18 (or less)!

     Sue Buehrer reported to the Trustees of the SAHC recently that only 18 replicas of the 1904 school remain unsold.
     The heritage council decided to have just 100 copies made of the replica of the 1904 Stryker school building that was used until it was razed in 1979, and will not reprint any more should they all sell out.
     The replicas are being offered on a first, come first served basis.
     Cost of the replicas are $15 for SAHC members and $17 for non-members, and are available through SAHC by contacting Sue Buehrer. There are also a limited number at the Huntington Bank in Stryker and at the Green Awning Gallery in Stryker. Orders can also be placed through the website at There is a $3 charge for a mailed replica.
   Sue also reported there are only 4 copies left of the first replica issued by the council of the 1922 Stryker High School Building.
   Both replicas feature a historical background of the building listed on the reverse side of the replica.

StrykerParade1950s00302New information has been received on the date of this Stryker Homecoming parade photo

       One of the people who regularly visits our website found the news clipping of this photo in a scrapbook kept by her grandmother.
     It’s from a Stryker Homecoming before 1950. Learn more about the date, and see if you can help us identify anyone else in the photo.
click here and go to our web page full of photos of people we’re trying to identify!

SAHC annual meeting covers canals and new museum

SAHCMtg1Nov1110     Members and guests at the Stryker Area Heritage Council’s Sixth Annual General Membership Meeting on November 11 enjoyed a fascinating look at the Miami and Erie Canal and heard about the Council’s plans to open a local historical museum in 2011.
     In honor of Evansport’s 175th birthday and the Tiffin Township Fire Department’s 70th anniversary, the meeting was held at the Evansport United Methodist Church. Assistant
     SAHC President Rose Burkholder (pictured at left) recounted many of the group’s accomplishments over the past year including an Evansport historic sites tour, a program on area Underground Railroad involvement, and coordination of the Stryker Summerfest parade.
     In addition, the SAHC helped organize Evansport’s 175th anniversary celebration—including placement of an Ohio Historical Marker recognizing the community’s rich heritage—issued wooden replicas of the Stryker 1904 School, and published a guidebook on researching Williams County Civil War veterans.
     Burkholder noted that the Council created a Facebook page, continued its effort to complete a set of Stryker High School Panthian yearbooks at the Stryker library, and hosted sessions to scan and preserve historic area photographs.
     One of SAHC’s significant 2010 achievements was refinishing the historic Stryker depot’s wooden floor as part of the group’s plan to open a museum featuring items of historical significance from the Stryker, Evansport and Lockport areas.
     Volunteers removed carpet, staples and subflooring, and through generous donations from the Eichler family and Stryker Village Council, the depot’s wooden floor was restored to its former glory.
     See more photos and learn more about the meeting by
clicking here.

SAHCMtg12Nov1110History of canals a highlight of SAHC annual meeting

     “It’s been called the ditch that brought the world to the wilderness,” said Andy Hite of the Ohio Historical Society as he recounted the importance of the canals in Ohio to members and guests of the Stryker Area Heritage Council during their sixth annual membership meeting.
     The keynote speaker for the gathering said the canals brought more rapid and inexpensive transportation to Ohio’s frontier where early roads were a challenge at best.
     But how did people with nothing more than picks, shovels and wheelbarrows forge 1,000 miles of canals in Ohio? And why didn’t feeder canals up the Tiffin River or other waterways in northwest Ohio ever materialize?
     Learn the surprising answers to these and other stories of Ohio canals told at the annual meeting by
clicking here.

Maynard honored for work on Evansport celebration .SAHCMtg13Nov1110

At the SAHC Annual Meeting, Fire Chief Jamie Wonders surprised  Evansport Terquasquicentennial Committee Chairman Kevin Maynard (both pictured right) with a framed collage of vintage and modern Evansport photographs on behalf of the Tiffin Township Fire Department and the community. Chief Wonders said people in the community were grateful for all the Mr. Maynard had done to help organize the 175-year celebration in the village in June.

SAHC Publishes Civil War Veteran Research GuideCivilWarWmsCoResearchBookBetterPhoto1

    It is estimated that 1,400 to 1,600 Williams County residents served in the military during Civil War, and that more than 400 of these Union servicemen died during the War Between the States.
     The Stryker Area Heritage Council has made researching these local veterans easier with the publication How to Research Your Williams County Civil War Veteran. This 61-page booklet, coauthored by local historians and genealogists Richard and Cathy Cooley, contains a variety of helpful resources including frequently asked questions, where to find military records, information on the primary local, lists of local discharge records, servicemen who died during the war, a veterans graves index, and useful Internet sites. The publication contains illustrations and information on a number of local Civil War veterans, including Medal of Honor recipients William J. Knight and Aquila Coonrod.
     How to Research Your Williams County Civil War Veteran is priced at $8 for SAHC members and $10 for non-members. Copies are available at SAHC events, through SAHC Board members and can also be ordered by mailing a check or money order to the SAHC, P. O. Box 180, Stryker, Ohio 43557. Include $3 per booklet for mailing.

Evansport book and DVDs available soonEVansportSurvivalSign

A book about the history of Evansport is in the works by Kevin Maynard. There is no word yet on when it will be available or how much it may cost. If you are interested in a copy you can e-mail us and let us know. You aren’t committed to buying one once the book comes out, just that you wish to be notified.

DVDs of the Evansport historical tour and the elder historic program are also in the works. Again, if you would like to be notified when they are ready, just e-mail us.

Be assured we will put a notice on the website once each of these items are ready for purchase.

Evansport celebrates 175th birthday in grand style!RemovalOfCOverOnMarker

     The town of Evansport was filled on June 26 as the village celebrated a big birthday and let everyone know that there’s plenty of life left with their theme, “Still Alive at 175!”
     The day’s events started with a proclamation by Congressman Bob Latta along with an arts and crafts display in the fire hall and a large historical center that overflowed with photos and displays in the Evansport United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. A few hours later, a historical marker was dedicated in front of the Tiffin Township Fire Department and the newest members of the community to those who lived in the town for many years pulled back the cover to show the words of history forever captured there.
     Food stands throughout the town fed the crowds and at 1:00 p.m. a giant parade stretching for more than a mile passed down the main street.
     Live music played for entertainment while children enjoyed games and adults tried their hand at the cornhole tournament.
     A gathering of elders at the Methodist Church was held at 4:00 p.m. delighting the crowd with tales of memories of events that happened through the years in the town.
     Congratulations to the Evansport Terquasquicentennial Committee and all who worked and planned for the celebration!
   For more photos and information about the day,
click here to go to the Evansport 175th webpage.

SAHCStrykerDepotFloorRestorationMay10 Floor restored at Stryker Depot

     Thanks to the financial help of a local family and the Village of Stryker along with some pieces of wood with local significance, the Stryker Area Heritage Council has been able to restoe the floors of the Stryker train depot making them ready for new generations to enjoy.
     You can see more on this story by going to our “Latest News” page. Just
click here.

Evansport Historical Tour garners big crowdEvansportHistoricTour2bMay021002

     Over 125 people turned out to learn more about the history of Evansport in the first event of the Evansport Terquasquicenntial Celebration. A historical tour of the town was held on Sunday, May 2 by the celebration committee and the Stryker Area Heritage Council with stops throughout the town and an interpreter to explain the historical significance of each place.
     Kevin Maynard welcomed the group to the beginning of the tour at the Evansport United Methodist Church and Tanya Brunner presented a program about the history of the church and other churches in the community through the years.
     Richard Cooley spoke about the mills in Evansport through the years, while Tanya Brunner welcomed guests to the Snider mansion at the next stop of the tour.
     Mr. Maynard gave a look back at past businesses in Evansport through the years as he spoke to the crowd from in front of the former Evansport Oil Company store.
     The crowd then gathered at the new Tiffin Township Fire Station to hear Kevin talk about the former schools in the town and Add Brunner reviewed the history of the fire department.EvansportHistoricTour4bMay0210
     Tanya Brunner and the Stryker area Heritage Council members had displays at the fire station. Thanks to Tanya, Kevin, Richard, as well as Rose Burkholder, Cathy Cooley, Sue and Ben Buehrer who all spoke to people at the displays and helped answer their questions after the programs.
     Also a big thank you to the Fireflies, the fire department auxiliary, who provided refreshments for the group!
     Bill Priest recorded the presentations and intends to put them together in a video that will be made available by the Stryker Area Heritage Council (Special thanks to Patty Fruth who helped Bill by carrying one of the cameras around to the sites so the presentations could be recorded!).
     And thanks to everyone who came. Some people were able to give additional information at each stop, which made it fun, and others asked questions that ended up with some pretty interesting answers! Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day!

Evansport tour brochures are available here

   Kevin Maynard designed a brochure that was handed out during the Evansport Historic Tour with information on each stop, as well as other interesting sites in the village. The brochures were designed that they can be used in the future for anyone who would like to do their own self-guided tour of the village. All of the brochures were handed out that day, but brochures can be downloaded on the Evansport page of the SAHC website. Click here to go to that page.

Depot work day focusses on floorDepotFloorWork1Apr1710

       Wooden floors that used to be seen in the Stryker railroad depot are once again making their appearance as a part of the work being done by members of the Stryker Area Heritage Council.
       The members had a work day on April 17 to work on the floors, part of which had been covered with carpet for years.
       Earlier in the week, Phil Short, Erik Short and Kent Juillard helped to pull up the old carpet that covered the large middle room, the west baggage room and the ticket office. The carpet didn’t give much of a struggle coming up according to Kent. The three also pulled up the subfloor underneath the carpet. That also seemed to come up fairly easily,  according to Mr. Juillard.
       It then turned to the workers to pull up staples sticking up from the floor that had been used to hold the subflooring in place. DepotFloorWork2Apr1710Earlier Phil and Erik had pulled up all of the staples in the ticket office, so the workers focussed their attention on the middle room.
       Glen Burkholder is shown in the photo above prying up some staples in a section of the floor on the south side of the middle room.
       In the other photo, Kent Juillard (on the right) and Kevin Maynard ply their tools to get the pesky staples out the floor. Bill Priest also provided a hand and Rose Burkholder provided her encouragement, which included some Krispy Kreme donuts she purchased from the Rotary Club (Thanks, Rose!), and by doing some sweeping of the staples that had been pulled from the floor.
       By the end of the work day, almost all of the staples were gone from the floor in the middle room. The pile looked like it held several thousand of the little metal hoops.
       It won’t take more than a few more minutes to finish up the middle room and then workers can tackle the staples in the floor of the baggage room.
       Thanks to everyone who helped (if I missed anyone, please let me know), and look forward to announcements for the next work day!

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SAHC Panthian donation 2009 SHS yearbook emailSAHC Donates 2009 “Panthian”

The Stryker Area Heritage Council continued its efforts to complete a set of Stryker High School “Panthian” yearbooks at the Williams County Public Library’s Stryker branch with donation of a 2009 annual. Looking over the 2009 “Panthian” are Stryker Branch Library Manager Sally Davis (left) and SAHC President Rose Burkholder.
     There are still some editions needed to complete the collection. They include the editions from 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1956, 1983, 1989, 2001, 2003 and 2006.
     If you have a copy you would like to donate, please contact Rose Burkholder or send us a note here on the

New Evansport signsNew signs of the time in Evansport

The Evansport Terquasquicentennial Committee, in cooperation with the Tiffin Township Trustees, have erected new Evansport town limits signs—one of many planned activities to commemorate the village’s 175th anniversary in 2010. Committee members (left to right) Kevin Maynard, Kit Salisbury, Casey Salisbury and John Schaufele are shown with one of the new signs, along with Jane Trocha (right) of Defiance, who suggested the sign’s tagline, “Celebrating Farms, Family and Friends Since 1835.”

Ohio Historical Society representatives meet with SAHC trustees about turning depot into a museumSAHCDepotMeeting3May0909

     The subject of how best to turn the Stryker depot into a museum was discussed at length by two representatives from the Ohio Historical Society and SAHC trustees at a 5-hour session on Saturday, May 9.

     The two representatives said they were very impressed with the depot after touring the building. They then listened to the plans of the trustees and offered their expertise in several areas of developing a museum.

   Click here to read all about the meeting.

Public continues demand for new county history picture bookBookSigningSAHCGenMtgNov2508

The pictorial history, “Images of America: Williams County,” received an enthusiastic response to its official unveiling at the Stryker Area Heritage Council’s Fourth Annual General Membership Meeting November 25. Author Kevin Maynard was the meeting’s featured speaker and presented images from the publication and the stories behind the historic photographs.

Pictured is SAHC member Catherine Emmons of Fayette getting her autographed copy of the 128-page softcover book that features more than 200 vintage black and white images, many of which have never appeared in local history books. A companion piece, “Postcards of America: Williams County,” is also available. It consists of 15 photographs selected from the book, accompanied by historic information.

 For details on how to order copies of the book or postcards or for more on the SAHC general meeting, click here.

The Stryker Area Heritage Council

The Stryker Area Heritage Council was formed to record and preserve the rich history of the Stryker area. Located in the very northwestern corner of Ohio, Stryker, Evansport and Lockport have all had TandIStrykerDepotCopy205interesting histories surrounding their development. Some of the early growth was due to their location along the Tiffin River.

Stryker has had a significant part in the development and operation of several railroad lines. From 1905 to 1939, Stryker was the home to the car storage, maintenance facility, and electric generating station for the Toledo & Indiana (T & I) interurban electric train line.

For more than 50 years, long pans of water were placed in the track for some of the steam locomotives going through the town. It saved trains a stop if they could pickup water to replenish their boilers along the way. During the winter, men were hired to break up the ice in the pans so the trains could continue to scoop up the precious liquid as they made their way along the route.

Several people of significance have come from the area. William J. Knight was among the first group of men honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his part in the great train robbery during the Civil War. Harry Wickey was a famous illustrator, sculptor and author. Ralph Goll was a writer on the famous Lone Ranger radio series and had several of his episodes turned into TV shows. Sam Hornish, the winner of the 2006 Indianapolis 500, lived in Stryker when he was a young boy.

We hope you find this website of interest and if you have questions or would like to join the group in collecting and preserving this rich history of the Stryker area, please contact us at the Stryker Area Heritage Council.

Ever see the original plat map of Evansport?

Evansport Original Plat02Have you ever seen the original plat map of the village of Evansport? If not, we now have posted a copy on the Evansport 175th page for you to see.

If you have trouble reading the text, no worry. It’s translated for you just below the map. It makes for some pretty interesting reading. Especially since some of the people named were early settlers of the area. Click here to go to the Evansport 175th page.

Heritage Council signs lease for Stryker depotHeritage Council Signs Depot Lease

An historic step was taken August 14 when representatives of the Stryker
Area Heritage Council and the Village of Stryker executed a lease agreement.
The action will allow the SAHC to develop and operate a museum in Stryker's
historic railroad passenger depot. The council has some work to do to prepare for the request of items for the museum.
Click here for more on the story.

Agricultural brochure tells history of farming in area
Fred Norris Hay Wagons Cropped_edited

A brochure featuring the heritage of farming has been produced. SAHC Trustee Kevin Maynard has written a brochure about the agricultural practices used through the early years of the area. To see it, click here.

John Stryker03Want to know more?
How Stryker got it’s name...
SAHC prods local cemetery for clues...
Researching an historic home...
Ask a question about local history...
Find links to very informative websites
When is the next SAHC meeting?
How can I become a SAHC member?
Who are the SAHC trustees

Visit the “Virtual Museum”

We invite you to “walk” through our virtual museum and learn all kinds of interesting things about the area with a simple click of your mouse!

Here are some of the people and things you will find in the museum:EvansportMillingCoWagon145

     William Knight,
First run of the T & I Railroad
The Miles House a Stryker fixture
Grocer Coy’s life leaves questions
Ohio Art toys made in Stryker,
Philp Werum,
The local railroad heritage,
1894 high school commencement,
The Blizzard of ‘78
Farm tools through the years
Stryker’s Underground Railroad stop
Agricultural Heritage
The Lockport Mennonite Church

JOIN the Stryker Area Heritage Council

As a member of SAHC, you’ll receive the Bean Creek Chronicle historic newsletter packed with great stories and the latest news of the council. Members also get the SAHC Enews through the Internet. You’ll know about the latest events so you can be ready to enjoy the activities! And you’ll be helping to preserve the rich history of the area!!

Remember, a membership to the Stryker Area Heritage Council makes a GREAT gift!!!!

Click here for information on how you can join!

©2011 Stryker Area Heritage Council  All rights reserved

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