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Travel Through Wood County

Travel Through Wood County

Wood County Museum

Travel Through Wood County

By Ohio.org Staff

Posted On: Dec 8, 2021

From riveting exhibits to special events, the Wood County Museum in Bowling Green is ready to make county history come alive in ways that are eye-opening and unforgettable.

Telling the Story

The grounds of the Wood County Museum tell the story of the county’s past. The preserved, white-trimmed brick building is an impressive structure that maintains many of its original 1869 features. It’s hard to believe it was once the county infirmary that housed the poor, mentally ill, physically ill and others who needed public assistance.

Adjacent to the museum are buildings once associated with the former infirmary — several of which are hard to conceive of today, including a lunatic asylum and pestilence house, where residents would stay if they had an infection or illness. The small building would have housed the those infected with communicable diseases. See the hog barn and corn barn, and step inside the icehouse, where ice was delivered from nearby ponds and stored in the days before refrigerators were common household appliances. Pay tribute to the souls who are buried in the pauper cemetery by visiting the monument displaying the names of all 252 people who were laid to rest on the grounds.

Take a stroll around the grounds stopping in the shade of ginko, magnolia and buckeye trees. Catch the fragrance of the herb garden, filled with plants used for medicinal and culinary needs in the late 1800s.

Must-See Exhibits

Step inside the museum to see history brought to life in thoughtfully curated exhibits that shed light on Wood County’s past and how it ties to the history of Ohio. Be sure to see these four compelling exhibits when you go.

A couple walking towards the stone wall at the Wood County Museum

For Comfort & Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio by Way of the Poor Farm

Infirmaries were once commonplace. This award-winning exhibit creatively examines how the Ohio State Board of Charities and local government officials managed the poor using institutional housing, while exploring the foundation of public charity and its transition into social welfare across Ohio. Photographer Jeffrey Hall traveled more than 5,000 miles and through all of Ohio’s 88 counties to document what these sites look like and how they are used today.

Utopia: A Visual Storytelling of Our Home

Follow the adventures of photographer Taylor Houpt Ayres, who celebrated Wood County’s 2020 bicentennial by traveling through the region. Ayres, who grew up in nearby Perrysburg, captures the lovely landscapes, vibrant cityscapes and iconic back-road barns and farm fields that represent the proud heritage revered today. See Fort Meigs after dark, a sheep resting at the Wood County Fair and a view of the artist booths along the city streets at the Black Swamp Arts Festival.

The Mary & Carl Bach Story

For more than 100 years, the story of Mary Bach, who was murdered by her husband Carl in 1881, has been a topic of local interest. Carl was hanged for the crime on October 12, 1883, and the punishment served as the last hanging in Wood County. The story humanizes Mary and explains relevancy within the modern community with the Wood County Museum’s partnership with The Cocoon, a local domestic and sexual violence advocacy agency.

Service dog walking through the Wood County Museum

Bride & Prejudice

Opening in spring 2022, the Bride & Prejudice exhibit will feature objects from the Wood County Historical Society’s permanent collection, including 20 wedding dresses. Society has a fascination with ceremonial wedding culture and the accouterments associated with wedding day festivities. This exhibit also will showcase the material-culture aspects of the “American Dream” — home ownership and the building of community.

For more parks and museums, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.

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