A Brief Peek at the Past 

Van Wert, Ohio, is part of the territory lying at the southern edge of what was known as the Great Black Swamp, which abounded in furbearing animals, especially the beaver - the fur of which commanded the highest prices in the capitals of Europe. In fact, it was the competition between France and England for control of the fur trade of the Black Swamp that brought the first known white man to what is now Van Wert County

During the winter hunting season, this region was a paradise for the Indian hunter who knew the trails through the swamp. The Shawnees, after a desperate struggle with the Miami's, regained the area of the headwaters of the Maumee Valley, which they had lost to the Iroquois many years before, and the hunting grounds which now comprise Van Wert County fell under their control. In this quiet retreat, Indian warriors often left their families while conducting many of the battles of those days. Many of these battles were fought against General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, and relics of Indian living and burial grounds are found in all sections of the county. This district, of which Van Wert County is a part, occupies the center of a triangle formed by three rivers - the Maumee, the Auglaize, and the St. Marys, on whose banks the struggle for possession of the Northwest Territory was fought.

In 1790, General Joshia Harmar marched with his army to build an American fort at Kekionga (now Fort Wayne, Indiana) and the Van Wert County headwater creek area was used by the Indians as a sanctuary for their women and children away from the war trails. But Harmar suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Indian Confederation under Chiefs Little Turtle and Blue Jacket. The following year, General Arthur St. Clair marched towards this region, but did not even reach the St. Marys River, as his army was massacred by the Indians at what is now Fort Recovery, in Mercer County. During the next two years, the Indian trails through Van Wert County were alive with Indian runners carrying plans and orders of the great Indian Confederation to defeat the army of General Anthony Wayne, which was forming at points on the Ohio River.  In his march north from Fort Washington (Cincinnati), Wayne traversed Van Wert County in August, 1794, and camped twice in this area with his army of 5,000 men. After his victory over the Indians at Fallen Timbers (near what is now Maumee, OH), the Indians lost the hunting grounds of their forefathers. In 1820, our part of the old Indian lands became Van Wert County.

In January of 1821, Captain James Riley moved his family to a site near the rapids of the St. Marys River at what is now the village of Willshire. Riley, a native of Middletown, Connecticut, had been a seafaring man. He became shipwrecked off the coast of Africa and was taken captive. His release was secured by William Willshire, a British merchant at Magadore. Morocco. Several years after his return to the United States, Riley was named Deputy Surveyor and commissioned to survey the lands in western Ohio obtained from the Indians by the Treaty of 1818. Captain Riley laid out and filed the plat for the village of Willshire in 1822. He named the community in honor of his benefactor. The village of Willshire served as the first county seat of Van Wert County. In 1835 the County Commissioners moved the county seat from Willshire to the village of Van Wert. The town of Van Wert was incorporated in 1848.

Growth in the population of Van Wert was slow in the early years because trails, which later became roads, were the only means of travel, except, of course, for the various rivers and streams. The building of the Miami‐Erie Canal, along the eastern edge of the County, encouraged settlers to come to this area. It was completed in 1845 and about the same time, the village of Delphos was founded.

Following the Civil War and with the development of the railroads, the County’s destiny was linked with timber and the resulting products. At one time there were 15 stave factories in Van Wert County. When it became apparent that the timber supply would eventually be exhausted and the lands were cleared, and attention turned to tilling the soil. By 1900, Van Wert County had become a farming community. In addition to the crops, the County became known for the fine draft horses raised here.  Still later, there were many fine dairy herds throughout the county.

In the late 1920’s, the trend turned toward manufacturing and today the County is known for both agricultural and manufacturing goods.  Today, ours is a diversified economy consisting of many service-related industries as well as manufacturing (ambulances, automotive parts, processed foods, tool boxes, fiber drums, clothing and accessories and wooden doors and trim).  We also have almost 250,000 acres of fertile soil producing corn, soybeans, wheat, popcorn, hogs and dairy cattle.

Today, nearly 200 years after the first family arrived in Van Wert County, the County’s population has grown from the few persons who settled in Willshire to approximately 30,000. Where the 406 square miles were covered by swamp and virgin forests, there are now more than a quarter million acres in farm land divided into 12 townships. Where early settlers worried about trips to the mills in Piqua over rough trails, there are now ribbons of highways connecting to modern airports for international travel.


Why are we called Van Wert?

Van Wert is named in honor of Isaac Van Wart, a hero of the Revolutionary War.  Born in the farm country of Greenbaugh, New York,near the village of Elmsford. Van Wart's exact birthdate is not recorded, but his tombstone declares that he died at the age of sixty nine.       

Van Wart married Rachel Storm (1760–1834), a daughter of Elmsford's most prominent family (from whom the settlement's original name, "Storm's Bridge", was derived). He divided his time between his family, his farm, and his church (in time, he became an elder deacon of th Dutch Reformed Church). Van Wart's body was buried in the cemetery of the Elmsford Reformed Church in Elmsford, New York. 

Despite his bucolic lifestyle, Van Wart joined the volunteer militia when New York was a battle zone of the Revolution. Overnight on 22–23 September 1780, he joined John Paulding and David Williams in an armed patrol of the area. The three men seized a travelling British officer, Major John Andre in Tarrytown, New York,, at a site now called Patriot's Park. Holding him in custody, they discovered documents of André's secret communication with Benedict Arnold. The militiamen, all local farmers of modest means, refused André's considerable bribe and instead delivered him to army headquarters. Arnold's plans to surrender West Point to the British were revealed and foiled, and André was hanged as a spy.

With George Washington's personal recommendation, the United States Congress awarded Van Wart, Paulding and Williams the first military decoration of the United States, the silver medal known as the Fidelity Medallion.. Each of the three also received federal pensions of $200 a year, and prestigious farms awarded by New York State..

The three militiamen were highly celebrated in their lifetimes. Among other honors, each of the men had his name given to a county in the new state of Ohio: VGan Wert County, bearing a common alternate spelling of the name.


Historical Attractions

Antique Fire Equipment Museum - Central Mutual Insurance Company                                     In 1876 Central Insurance Company was founded in Van Wert as a fire insurance company. The threat of disastrous fire was always very real in rural communities and the equipment used to fight fires was primitive. The president of Central Insurance Company from 1964 to 1994, F. W. Purmort, Jr., took an interest in collecting fire equipment. He was particularly proud of Central’s heritage and gradually built Central’s Fire Museum into one of the finest privately held collections in the United States.

There is a large collection of antique fire toys, a variety of antique fireman helmets, a collection of leather buckets dating back to the 1700s, and a rare and valuable collection of “firemarks” dating back to 1720.

The Central Fire Museum is open from 1 PM - 3 PM on the third Friday of each month or by appointment. The museum is located at 800 S. Washington St. For more information, call 419-238-1010 or visit their web site at www.central-insurance.com.


Blue Creek Wind Farm

Farming has been the backbone of the economy of Van Wert county since the first settlements were established here in the mid-1800's. Farmers have been raising corn, soybeans, and livestock for generations. Homegrown wind power will soon be another crop from the farm fields of the area for generations to come. Travelers crossing Van Wert County on U.S. Highway 30 can easily see the vast expense of wind farms (approximately 400 turbines) lying to the north of the highway. Additional wind farms are being considered for central and southern Van Wert County, as well. A drive-it yourself tour map is available at the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors office.


Brumback Library                                                                                                                                The Brumback Library was built with funds bequeathed to Van Wert County residents by John Sanford Brumback, a former resident of Van Wert. Mr. Brumback’s will directed that enough funds from his estate be devoted to the building and furnishing of a library as a gift to Van Wert County if the county would provide books and maintenance. The Brumback Library stands as the first county library formed in the United States.

The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1899 with dedication on January 1, 1901. In 1991, a 10,500 square foot addition was added along with a complete renovation of the existing structure. The architecture is a combination of Gothic and Romanesque.

With turreted towers and a Ludowici tile roof, the library is nestled amid the trees of the park where it is located. It contains an excellent Children's Department that provides meaningful reading related activities for the youth of the area. The library's total holdings, now numbering over 670,000 items, cover every imaginable topic and genre. There are also 5 branches of the library serving the small villages of Van Wert County.  The Library was recently honored by the Library Journal (the oldest and one of the most prestigious library publications) as one of America's Star Libraries.  The Brumback Library was ranked 26th in the nation in comparison with libraries having similar budgets and funding levels.

The Brumback Library is located at 215 West Main Street and is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information, call 419-238-2168 or visit their web site at www.brumbacklib.com.


Van Wert Historical Museum                                 The Van Wert Historical Society was organized in 1953. Local attorney and teacher, William Fosnaught, donated a building, which was erected circa 1896 by the John Clark family, to the Society. This original property has been maintained as a Victorian home and features many displays.

The 1986 Annex building depicts other phases of early Van Wert history. This building features a historical walking tour of early Van Wert with Native American artifacts, a display of items from war times and pictures of old Van Wert, among many other attractions.

Additional exhibits are on display in a 1951 Pennsylvania Railroad caboose, a 1906 one-room school, an 1860 log house, an 1875 gazebo which originally stood in front of the Van Wert County Courthouse, and the newest addition – a big, red barn which is used to house agricultural related items.

Museum hours are Sunday from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m., March through November or by special appointment. The Museum is also open for many community events throughout the year. It is located at 602 N. Washington Street. For additional information, call 419-771-9851 or see www.vanwert.com/museum

Van Wert County Court House                                                                                                       

The Court House was constructed in 1871 and was heralded as an architectural gem at the time of its dedication. Today the structure remains much as it was when built. The building contains a clock whose bell weighs 2,000 pounds and whose clapper weighs 430 pounds. The Court House is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. A recent $675,000 project resulted in the restoration of a stained glass dome above the court room as well as restoration of the magnificent woodworking in the courtroom.

The Van Wert County Court House is located at 121 East Main Street. For further information contact the Van Wert County Commissioners at 419-238-6159.

Delphos Canal Museum                                                                                                                         This folklore museum features exhibits on canals (and the Miami-Erie Canal in particular) and canal boat history, as well as artifacts from life in Delphos, Ohio from 1851 on. The museum also includes a 1902 Sears Buggy Roadster, antique tools and manufacturing equipment along with many other displays depicting the history of business, industry, schools, churches, events, homes andmore. Exhibits include the only preserved canal boat in Ohio. The museum is located at 241 N. Main Street in Delphos, Ohio (16 miles east of Van Wert). For more information call 419-695-7737 or visit their website at www.delphoscanalcommission.com

Marsh Foundation Homestead                                                                                                              The Marsh Foundation is committed to meeting the needs of the youth it serves. Youth referreds to The Marsh Foundation receive intensive treatment services to address a variety of behvorial and emotion needs.. From its beautiful campus situated on the outskirts of Van Wert at 1228 Lincoln Highway, the Marsh Foundation has four group homes, allowing specialized treatment programs for children and adolescents based upon age and needs, and a school for students in grades 2 – 12.

The Marsh Foundation was a gift from early Van Wert industrialist, George H. Marsh, who in his last will and testament said, “I depart this life in the hope that the Foundation shall become an instrument of enduring and ever increasing benefit to mankind.” The home of the Marsh family, containing original furnishings from the late 19th century, is open for tours as is the campus itself. For more information contact the Marsh Foundation at 419-238-1695 or visit their web site at www.marshfoundation.org.

Delphos Postal Museum                                                                                                            Experience through sight and sound, the development of transportation from the days of horse drawn wagons to sorting mail on trains and buses. Learn about the evolution of letters, envelopes, manuscript postmarks, and special cancellation of rare stamps. Explore the role of the U.S. Postal Service in WWII. Would you believe there are rules for mailing students' dirty laundry or regulations for the care of cats to keep mice out of the post office? Most items are property of the US Postal Service. Many displays are on long term loan from the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, DC.

The Postal Museum is located at 339 N. Main Street in Delphos (just 16 miles east of Van Wert). The Museum is open from 8:30 - 11:30 AM on the first Saturday of each month or appointment for large groups or alternative viewing hours. Admission to the museum is free although donations are always accepted. For more information call the Delphos Postal Museum at 419-303-5482.  The museum also maintains a web site at www.postalhistorymuseum.org.
Van Wert Back Arrow



Cemeteries                                                                                                                                               While some may think that hanging around cemeteries is a bit ghoulish, we know that the records and headstone inscriptions found there can be incredibly rich sources of historical data. . Information on tombstones could include, maiden names, birth and death dates, relationships, town of origin, military service, and possibly religious affiliation. All of this can lead to other record sources that can further your search. Some ethnic groups even have photographs embedded in the tombstones.

If you’d like to visit the cemeteries of our area, the Van Wert County Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society has provided an online map of cemeteries in Van Wert County at www.rootsweb.com/~ohvwogs/CemeteryMap.html   Directions to the cemeteries can be found at  www.rootsweb.com/~ohvwogs/cemetery.html.

Download: What Can You Learn From a Cemetery?

Van Wert Back Arrow






Family Adventures

The YMCA is the premier fitness facility in Van Wert
County offering over 100,000 square feet of 
available space. The wellness center is packed with 2,000 square feet of cardio and weight machines while the weight room has 1,300 square feet designated for free weights alone. Personal Trainers, fitness classes and Van Wert’s ONLY Full‐Service Silver Sneakers Provider are available for your fitness needs. The heated seven‐lane Olympic size swimming pool featureslap swims, open swims, Silver Sneakers water aerobic classes, and swimming lessons with saunas and whirlpools in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms. Youth and Adult Sports are offered year round. For out‐of‐town visitors, the YMCA offers daily guest passes for those looking for a great workout away from home. For more information you may visit their web site at www.vwymca.org or call the Y at 419-238-0443

Y.M.C.A. – Camp Clay                                                                                                                           

Camp Clay is one of the “hidden Jewels” of Van Wert County. The fully staffed Aqua Park includes many one‐of‐a‐kind activiites including a water zip line, ferry rail to the island, inflatable Aqua“toys”, paddle boats, canoes, playground, sandy beach, concession area
and so much more! Brand new to the Aqua Park in 2015 will be the 33,600 square foot Splash Pad for children and families to enjoy! This one‐of‐a‐kind Splash Pad will add the finishing touches to an all inclusive Aqua Park that truly has something for every member of the family. The Camp Clay site is a part of a 140 acre private area equipped with a
reconstructed 1837 cabin, tipi’s, nature center,shelter house, high and low ropes course, and climbing wall. This site is home to the annual Pioneer days and hosts the popular YMCA summer camps. Private rentals are available for birthday parties, company picnics, graduations, family reunions and more. Camp Clay is located at 9196 Liberty-Union Road. For more information call the YMCA at 419-238-0443.

                                                                                                                                                  . The YWCA was a gift to the community from George Marsh who decided that the women in the community would benefit from having a facility that would allow them a place to stay in town while they worked and attended school. The YWCA continues to follow Mr. Marsh’s efforts by offering a transitional living program, domestic violence services, and a summer food program. Also, the YWCA offers swimming lessons, aquatic fitness, fall volleyball leagues, fall gymnastics and a highly successful travel program. The building has a gymnasium, warm water pool with a moveable pool floor, whirlpool and a sauna. The YWCA offers the Rendezvous room, gymnasium and kitchen for event rental. The YWCA welcomes any visitors coming through town by offering them a place to stop and get rejuvenated.The YWCA is located at 408 E. Main Street. Check out their web site at www.vanwertywca.com . They may be contacted at 419-238-6639 or by email at vanwertywca@roadrunner.com

Children's Garden & Butterfly House                                                                                                 This garden, located in Smiley Park on the southwest side of Van Wert, provides a hands-on learning facility for the children of Van Wert County. A gazebo is positioned in the center with several theme gardens radiating out from this structure. The first garden is a large butterfly shaped garden outlined by flagstone and incorporating vibrant plantings that butterflies love. A walkway through the center of the garden leads you to the colorful Butterfly House that will have lush plantings of aromatic flowers that attract the many multihued butterflies which will be making their residence in the House. The garden is a work in progress -  recently a fossil garden path was dedicated.  The path is made up of limestone rocks from both the Silurian (440 million years ago) and the Devonian (410 million years ago) geologic time periods.  Dead animals and plants settled into the sedimentary layer and over time became fossils.  The fossils on display at the Children's Garden come from the Stoneco Ostrander Quarry near Columbus, Ohio

Van Wert Back Arrow


Auglaize Canoe & Kayak

Auglaize Canoe & Kayak was established in 2013 by  Douglas and Bonnie Weller on their historic 100‐year old family farm. As you float along the banks of the river, you will encounter
views that the settlers, British and American armies once saw. The Indian encampments were also located along these riverbanks. Enjoy the wildlife:deer, raccoons, turtles, geese, ducks, swans, river otters and an occasional sighting of an eagle or other animals. At night you may hear the geese orthe call of the coyotes under the full moon as you camp.

Auglaize Canoe and Kyak is located along the Auglaize River at 24687 Road 207 Oakwood. For more information call them at 41-594-3456 or visit their web site at www.auglaizecanoe.com

Old Fashioned Farmers Day                                                                                                                   
Visit the Van Wert County Fairgrounds the July 4th weekend, where you can take a brief walk back in time and take a look at the history of farming. Events include a tractor parade, tractor pull, auto racing and demonstrations all using antique equipment. There are also craft displays, a flea marker, and a tradingpost. Visit their web site at www.vanwert.com/offa/ for more details.

Van Wert County Fair                                                                        

The Van Wert County Fair was first held in 1855 and is one of the largest county fairs in Ohio. This award-winning fair was named as a Blue Ribbon Fair in 2003. It draws young and old alike for a week of livestock shows, thoroughbred and standard bred horse racing, pari-mutual betting, concerts, demo derby, tractor pulls, and midway rides. Go to www.vanwertcountyfair.com for more information or callthem at 419-238-9270.

Hat Creek RodeoHat Creek Rodeo                                                                                                    Hat Creek Rodeo operates from November to May and offers bull riding at its best on Saturday nights. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the action starts at 7:30 pm. The rodeo features a heated arena, and kids’ activities. Located at 8020 Richey Road, just north off historic Lincoln Highway near Van Wert. Call 419-238-6588 or visit www.hatcreekarena.com for more information.

Van Wert County Fruit Growers' Apple Festival                                          Held annually the third weekend in October at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds, the Apple Festival offers fun, food, wagon rides, a flea market, crafts and entertainment for all ages. All the apples, cider, apple dumplings, apple fritters and more than you care to eat are              available. Admission is free! Call the Van Wert Area CVB (877-989-2282) for more information or visit the Van Wert County Fair web site at www.vanwertcountyfair.com

Van Wert Back Arrow

Lincoln Ridge                                                                                                                          
Lincoln Ridge Farms, situated on the ridge along historic Lincoln Highway, was once
known for its prized registered Guernsey cattle. Today, this 5th generation family farm specializes in sustainable growing of fruits
and vegetables along with an apple and
peach orchard, raspberries, blackberries and a vineyard. Their seasonal market begins with u-pick strawberries in June through u‐pick pumpkins in the fall. The farm is the perfect place to gather and is available for outdoor weddings and receptions.. Lincoln Ridge is located on historic Lincoln Highway at 6837 Lincoln Highway near Convoy, Ohio. Visit their web site, www.lincolncandleco.com, or call them at 419-749-4224 for more information.


Agri-Tourism SitesAgri-Tourism Sites                                                      Van Wert County has a wide array of farms - small and large, specialized and diversified, crop and livestock, part-time and full-time, integrated and independent, as well as niche and broad market producers. Van Wert County’s products have shown up all over the world, thanks to public and private efforts that take advantage of marketing opportunities in foreign lands. Please contact the Van Wert Area CVB at 877-989-2282 or by email at info@visitvanwert.org if you are interested in any of these agri-tours.

Gina Dairy Farm.                                                                                                                                        Jan and Gina Fokker and their four children relocated from Veendam, the Netherlands to Van Wert County in 2002. They operate a dairy farm with over 650 cows. A visit to their working dairy operation will show how a family, with the use of new technology, can handle such a large herd of dairy cows.

• Where does milk come from ( PDF Download)

Walnut Tree Farm for Fun and Profit                                                                                              This tour will introduce visitors to the business of establishing and maintaining walnut trees as an investment.

Wetland Mitigation Project                                                                                                               See how a local farmer has taken an area of farmland and converted it into a natural planting, water filtering ecosystem.

Thorn Bottom Hunting                                                                                                                         400 acres of the best cover anywhere.  Ohio's wildest pheasant hunting. At Thorn Bottom you will enjoy a great hunt, but more importantly memories. 

Bring your kids, wife, dad, friends and try a hunt with us. I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Self-Guided Native Tree Tour                                                                                                                  This tour is located at the Marsh Foundation School. Personnel at the Marsh Foundation have identified and signed 30+ mature, native trees of Ohio.

Van Wert Back Arrow





Driving, Flying, Factory, and Walking Tours

Historic Driving Tours - America’s Main Street: The Historic Lincoln Highway

A twenty-six mile section of the first paved coast to coast highway in the United States travels through the heart of Van Wert County.  This 3,000 mile “Main Street Across America,’ constructed in 1913, stretched from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, California. 

How the Lincoln Highway Began 1

    By 1910, America was mass producing automobiles and selling them to wealthy individuals for recreation.  Automobiles were only good for a short drive in the city as long as you didn’t stray too far out, because there were no good roads, gas stations, or repair shops.  The roads weren’t marked, there were no real maps, and so the automobile was just a toy for the upper class to be used on Sundays around town.  Auto manufacturers knew that if auto sales were to be expanded to the common man, it had to be practical transportation, and for that to happen the country needed a whole network of good roads.

    They reasoned that if a single, good road were to be built connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific, communities close to the highway would build connecting roads to it.  They believed that eventually, more distant communities would build additional roads to hook up with the new connecting roads, and soon a whole national network of roads would be built on the backbone of the Lincoln Highway, making the automobile a practical form of transportation for everybody.

    The history of the Lincoln Highway officially begins September 14, 1913, with a grand announcement of the route of this proposed Lincoln Highway.  The driving force behind this effort were industry leaders Henry B. Joy of Packard Motor Company; Frank A. Seiberling of Goodyear Rubber; and Carl Fisher, founder of Prest-O-Lite Company, maker of carbide car headlights, and founder of the Indianapolis Speedway in 1911.  This first cost-to-coast route began at Times Square in New York City, and ended 3,389 miles westward in Lincoln Park, San Francisco, passing through a corridor of the United States somewhat similar to the route of today’s Interstate 80.  The Lincoln Highway route in Ohio followed a path through several county seats across the North Central part of Ohio by way of the best roads at that time.  These cities included East Liverpool, Lisbon, Canton, Wooster, Ashland, Mansfield, Galion, Bucyrus, Upper Sandusky, Lima, and Van Wert.

   Soon, the success of the Lincoln Highway inspired the creation of other transcontinental routes and connecting roads, which sped up the much-needed network of roads.  Like the Lincoln Highway, these routes and trails were typically marked with symbols and colored stripes, usually on utility poles.  With hundreds of different trails throughout the United States (many overlapping), the resulting maze of symbols and colors caused more confusion than convenience.  In 1926, the federal government saw the need for a national network of numbered routes and designated much of the Lincoln Highway as U. S. Route 30; the now-familiar federal highway shields started going up, and the signs with symbols and stripes started coming down.

    The highway was completed in 1915 at a cost of ten million dollars.  Funding for this project came from cash donations from auto manufacturers and accessory companies of 1 percent of their revenues. The public could become members of the highway organization for five dollars.

    With state and federal governments soon in the business of road building, the Lincoln Highway Association ceased its operations in 1927.  As a final tribute to the historic road and as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln, nearly 2,500 concrete directional posts were set on the transcontinental route, with 241 set in Ohio, some of which can be found yet today.

    On September 1, 1928, Boy Scout troops from cities and towns along the highway performed the task of placing the posts.  Each of these markers had a smaller version of the traditional red, white, and blue Lincoln Highway logo, a medallion with a bust of Lincoln, and the inscription “This highway dedicated to Abraham Lincoln” embedded into each post.

    This era of American history changed us significantly.  It helped give rise to the middle class, and changed how and where we live. 

1 Taken from brochure of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway

Brochure available by connecting www.historicbyway.com

A Driving Guide to the historic Lincoln Highway through Van Wert County is available by contacting the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.   

~     ~     ~     ~


A second driving tour, along which you can visit the many small villages and historical markers in the county, has also been developed. Beginning at the Van Wert County Courthouse in downtown Van Wert and weaving around the county on highways and rural roads, you’ll make your way around our scenic county. Using the script and map available from this site or from the office of the Van Wert Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, you’ll learn much about the settlement and history of Van Wert County.

Flying Tours

For a unique perspective on the area, get a bird's eye view.  For a very modest price you can now take a flying tour over Van Wert County.  Tours are available from licensed pilots at the Van Wert County Regional Airport.  Contact the airport manager at 419-232-4500 for more information.

Walking Tours

Van Wert is experiencing a rebirth of its downtown area.  Our community has received nationally certified Main Stree Program status. Please accept our open invitation to visit Main Street Van Wert as we bring back to life the buildings and the streetscape. Main Street Van Wert is more than a destination. It’s an attitude.  A walking guide to downtown Van Wert will soon be available from the Convention & Visitors Bureau office.

The community of Delphos also ahs a walking tour for visitors.  This tour will guide you through the city’s long, rich history using landmarks and historic structures and sites. Sites on the tour range from a 170‐year‐old stone lock on the Miami Erie Canal, the 1933 Art Deco post office and the tombstone of a canal boat captain inscribed with an image of his boat. The tour can take a few ours or all day depending on your own pace.

Industrial Tours

The Van Wert community is justifiably proud of its industries.  We have a variety of area businesses that produce high quality products.  Our industries and their employees are equally proud of their work, and there was a time when they were eager to share with the general public insight into their businesses.  Times have changed, and with the volatile nature of the world today, all industrial enterprises are required to take extreme measures to protect their safety, the well-being of their employees and the integrity of their products.  All industries are severely limiting access to their facilities.  Listed below are the major industries of the Van Wert area and a brief description of their business.  If you are viewing this website as an leader of a group or organization or a tour operator, please contact the Van Wert Area CVB and we will make every attempt to assist in organizing an industrial tour, but we give no guarantee that such tours will be available.

  • Advanced Biological Marketing - manufacturer of biological products for crop production, iknstitutional sanitation and environmental waste management.
  • Alliance Automation  - experts in designing and building automation systems that optimizee production processes, from small stand-alone machins , gages and fixtures to fully automated assembly lines.
  • Baker Built Products – a quality custom fabricator of various items such as racks, carts, and tables; cutting and shaping of aluminum; manufacturing and modification of parts and dies, etc. including Air Wings air deflectors for Honda motorcycles.
  • Braun Industries – a manufacturer of handcrafted ambulances.
  • Bunge North America – a primary supplier of high quality agricultural commodities and value-added, specialized food and feed ingredients and food products to the global marketplace.
  • Continental Structural Plastics - creates lightweight composite Class A body panels and structural comnponents to serve customers in the light vehicle, heavy truck, HVAC and contruction markets.
  • Cooper Foods – wholesale producer of quality turkey products.
  • Custom Assembly – over 15 years of assembly experience in ATV, Motorcycles, Snowmobiles, Jet Skis and other recreational vehicles.
  • Eaton Industries – a respected name in fluid power components and extruded plastic products, recognized throughout the world among mobile and industrial, aerospace and automotive customers.
  • Eisenhauer Manufacturing – aluminum, brass, copper, sheet metal,  and stainless, steel stampings.
  • Elmco Engineering Ohio – a leading manufacturer of new and rebuilt P/M equipment of all makes and sizes.
  • Federal Mogul – a supplier of automotive components and sub-systems serving the world's original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket.
  • Greif Brothers – produces and sells shipping containers and materials, such as fibre, steel and plastic drums, multi-wall bags and other related items.
  • Haviland Drainage Products – manufactures clay drain tile.
  • KAM Manufacturing - a cut/sew/ship conractor specializing in quilted fashion purses. They produce th eline of purses and accessories known as Stephanie Dawn.
  • Kennedy Manufacturing – produces and markets industrial tool storage equipment, including steel tool chests, roller cabinets, stationary and mobile workbenches, modular storage cabinets and specialized tool storage.
  • Lakeview Farms – a leading source of fine dips, sour cream and desserts.
  • Leesburg Looms – handcrafted table and floor looms and weaving supplies..
  • Miller Precision Manufacturing - offers a full compliment of precision machining operations - including turning, drilling, tapping,. milling and boring.
  • National Door and Trim – provides a variety of door styles, molding and profiles and wood species.
  • Tecumseh Corrugated Box Co – manufactures corrugated boxes, partitions & pallets; wood framed corrugated packaging services.
  • TEEM Wholesale - a wholesale distributor and manufacturer  offerking a full line of custom wood doors, moldings and stair parts to meet new construction or remodeling needs.
  • Toledo Molding & Die - a supplier of interior and air/fluid management systems for the global aurtomotive industry serving more than 20 international automotive customers.
  • Universal Lettering – has been providing personalized jackets for many different groups for over 60 years including having designed the first FFA Jacket in 1933 and still remains the primary supplier of the world's famous FFA Jacket.
  • Unverferth – producer of  grain carts, wagons and augers
  • Wannemacher Total Logistics – processes, packages, and markets premium honey products under the brand names of Busy Bee and Stoller’s Honey


Van Wert Back Arrow





Pop Quiz

It's time for a pop quiz! Take a break from the hum-drum and answer the questions in our pop quiz. It's fun!

Start Quiz

Van Wert Back Arrow