Van Wert County Historical Society602 N. Washington St
Van Wert, OH 45891-0621
419-771-9851 | https://sites.google.com/historicalvanwert.com
Van Wert County Historical Society
The Van Wert County Museum preserves the history of Van Wert from its early settlement through the 1950s. Visitors can explore an historic barn, log cabin, the House of Seven Oaks, one-room schoolhouse, and a Museum Annex.
The Van Wert County Museum serves as a center of historic preservation on the westernmost edge of Ohio. Visitors can explore the development of the county through the various buildings on campus, beginning with the log cabin. The documented history of this restored home stretches back to 1837, when land in Western Ohio was a quick-selling commodity. In constant occupation through the 1880s, the log cabin contains period furnishings that document daily life on the Ohio frontier.
The House of Seven Oaks is the cornerstone of the Museum’s campus and was built in 1895. The house’s three floors document the turn-of-the-century prosperity that came to many families in Van Wert through the railroads and local commerce. The house contains an impressive collection of antique furniture, some dating back to the eighteenth century, donated by Van Wert residents. The barn and schoolhouse further document life around 1900. Automobile buffs and farmers will appreciate the large collection of historic vehicles housed in the barn. The Bear School, which opened its doors in 1904, shows what the children growing up in the House of Seven Oaks may have experienced during a typical school day. The Museum Annex houses additional collections curated by the Van Wert Historical Society. These displays encompass Van Wert history from Civil War-era firearms through 1950s clubs and pastimes. The Museum hosts many community events throughout the year, including holiday celebrations, tractor rides, and periodic speakers.
Named for Revolutionary War hero Isaac Van Wert, who helped capture Benedict Arnold, Van Wert was one of the westernmost parts of Ohio opened to American settlers. Originally part of the Great Black Swamp, land in Van Wert was marshy and required extensive clearing before it became the fertile farmland it remains today. Van Wert county contained a narrow strip of land reserved for the Miami Nation until their removal westward in the 1830s.
Notes for Travelers
Parking for the Museum is located behind the House of Seven Oaks on East 3rd Street. The Van Wert County Museum Annex, the House of Seven Oaks, and the Barn are available for self-guided tours during the Museum’s open hours. Docents can open the other campus buildings upon request. Steps are required to access all buildings except the Annex and the Barn.
Additional ResourcesHoagland, Allison. The Log Cabin: An American Icon. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2018.
Mollenkopf, Jim. The Great Black Swamp II: More Historical Tales of Northwestern Ohio. Toledo, OH: Lake of the Cat Publishers, 2000.
Stockwell, Mary. The Other Trail of Tears: The Removal of the Ohio Indians. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2016.