J.D. Justus, Perrysburg Area Historical Museum board member, discusses features of one of the restored rooms in the Spafford House Museum at 27340 River Road just west of Fort Meigs.
After 13 years of fund-raising, storing, refining, collecting, and plenty of other obstacles, the Perrysburg Area Historic Museum is ready to see its dream come to fruition as the Spafford House Museum on River Road opens on Saturday.
Doors will open at noon and the public will be able to walk through the home built in 1823 for Judge Aurora Spafford and his wife, Mary.
PHOTO GALLERY: Spafford House Museum
Aurora was the son of Amos Spafford, Perrysburg’s founder. The Perrysburg Area Historic Museum bought the home for $130,000 in 2009. J.D. Justus, project liaison, has been working for the last two and a half years to restore the gutted 1800s home with artifacts and other historic objects.
Rooms have been filled with artifacts, including an 1812 cavalry sword, land grants signed by President James Monroe, a 1860 Kentucky rifle, and a letter from J. Edgar Hoover to the Perrysburg police chief.
Some of the rooms include Judge Spafford’s chambers, the Native American room, the one-room school, and a military, police, and fire room.
The military, police, and fire room includes World War I and World War II uniforms, gas masks, and a photo of Perrysburg World War I veterans.
The judge’s chambers can be used as a research room that Mr. Justus would love to see full of school groups studying many of the history books there. The first Ohio Historical Society books are available in the room, Mr. Justus said.
A room dedicated to law enforcement, firefighters, and members of the armed services from the surrounding area holds period artifacts.
One room has an old showcase from Mills Hardware donated with medical instruments from long-time Perrysburg physician Dr. James McAuley.
“If you were born in Perrysburg before 1950, he likely delivered you,” Mr. Justus said.
The museum will be open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. until Nov. 1. It will reopen for summer in April. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and high school students, and $3 for grade school students. Children 5 and younger can get in free.
Mr. Weaver estimated that putting the project together cost more than $300,000. Mr. Justus said the group relied on donated work from Accessible Renovations Inc. of Perrysburg and gift cards from employees of The Andersons.
Bowling Green State University intern Erin Magill of Perrysburg has worked for the lpast few months painting and researching artifacts.
“It has been very cool seeing how it affects the veteran community,” she said. “It specifically gets them.”
Ms. Magill will be dressed in 1800s clothing while educating patrons about the displays and artifacts in the museum.
“It is a lot of fun. I grew up doing theater and enjoy it,” she said.