History museum has big plans for 2022

Larry Limpf

Lou Hebert, a member of the board of trustees of the Toledo History Museum, spent hours of his time in 2020 compiling a weekly column of local history events.
“This Week in Toledo’s Past” has been a popular column with readers of The Press over the past year and, for Hebert, it is a labor of love to research the items that make it into his column. In addition to old newspapers, he pores over history books, articles, museum files and photo archives.
“Hours of plain old reading time,” he said.” It’s actually something I truly enjoy doing. Those old papers are a treasure trove of hidden gems,” he said
Some examples of the gems he’s uncovered:
- Toledoans were reporting sightings of UFOs in 1901. They described mysterious lighted airships in the night skies that moved with fast acceleration in erratic patterns.
- The vice mayor of Toledo and several other prominent men were arrested for “tar and feathering” a man who refused to buy Liberty Bonds at the start of World War I.
- The man who built the Burt Theater on Jefferson Ave. would almost die in front of the theater after he was shot by his wife. He would live and later oversee the Pan American Exposition in San Francisco.
Several special exhibits and projects are being planned for 2022 at the museum, including an exhibit to celebrate the service of local veterans of World War II and the construction of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“That memorial became a reality as the result of the efforts by many people, but especially Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who never gave up her tireless campaign to have it built. It is a grand tribute to all of those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice during that war. The Toledo History Museum’s exhibit will be centered around one of only two architectural scale models of the memorial, which we have been given by the Smithsonian Institute,” Hebert said, adding details will be announced later.
Depending on the severity of the pandemic, the museum may bring back its popular bus tours of Toledo’s infamous crime and prohibition venues.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed and our masks on in hopes we can restart those tours in 2022,” he said.
Last year the Toledo Zoo loaned what’s been called an “aboriginal dugout canoe” to the museum. The canoe’s local history may date back to the East Toledo area in the early 1800s when it was given to the pioneer family of Luther Whitmore, Jr.
“He was, according to some accounts, an Indian agent who worked with local tribes in the area. If the canoe’s origins are indeed aboriginal, the canoe is a rare artifact representing the Northern Ohio Native American history culture,” Hebert said. “We are grateful to have it and are now working with the Toledo Area Aboriginal Research Society to verify its authenticity and story through research and carbon dating.”
He said he’s intrigued by the characters his research has uncovered. From Benjamin Stickney, who named his sons “One” and “Two”; to Pauline Steinem, the fiery independent politician who was the first woman to hold elective office in the city and whose granddaughter, Gloria, would follow in her feminist footsteps.
Ella Stewart, a pharmacist, set up a shop on Indiana Avenue and dispensed wisdom and courage along with prescriptions and became a leader in the Civil Rights movement.
“As we walk down the street of this brand new year, 2022, who knows what history will be written into the pavement of Toledo’s timeline. At the Toledo History Museum, we hope to be part of it, and a relevant part of the area’s vibrance as we strive to give our fair city’s very rich history – a future,” Hebert said.
The museum is located at 425 N. St. Clair St.


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