e x p l o r e | our rich history
Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum has been created to foster an understanding and appreciation of the diverse history of the City of Defiance and its immediate surrounding area by responsibly collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting items from the area’s natural and cultural history.
514 W. Third Street, Defiance OH 43512 | 419.782.0746 | tuttlemuseum.org
This historical village was started in June 1966 . Visitors become uniquely involved in the recreation of the 19th century history. Along with its 41 new, restored and reconstructed buildings the village also has several museums. Every year there are special event days where authentically costumed craftsmen demonstrate a wide variety of pioneer skills. Located 3 miles west of Defiance on Krouse Road.
12296 Krouse Road, Defiance Ohio 43512 | 419-990-0107 | auglaizevillagemuseum.org
The site of old Fort Defiance at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers is a location rich in history. Several historic markers are located on the site detailing some of the location's unique features. The Flag Staff at this location marks the survey baseline for all land north to Canada.
320 Fort Street, adjacent to the Defiance Public Library, Defiance OH 43512
Defiance boasts some beautiful historic homes in our downtown and surrounding area. Architecture serves as a visual guide and time-line of the styles and house types that were popular during the 70-year period of development. Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Prairie, Craftsmen and Bungalow styles are all represented.
Holgate Avenue Historic District, 328--716, and 912 Holgate Ave.; Latty House, 718 Perry St. ; Defiance. | historichomesofdefiance.com
In addition to our Historic Homes, Defiance County has several public sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our library was built in 1904 with funds from a Carnegie Grant. This beautiful historic building is located on the site of Fort Defiance along the Maumee and Auglaize River banks and allows visitors to reflect on the county’s history. Hicksville, Ohio is home to the restored Huber Opera House. Built as a hotel in 1895 this structure became the try-out theatre for George H. Huber’s larger New York and Chicago theatres.
More historic sites in Defiance and Hicksville are listed at the national register of historic places.
Defiance Public Library
320 Fort Street, Defiance OH.
The Huber Opera House and Civic Center
157 East High Street, Hicksville, OH.
Miami & Erie Canal
The Miami and Erie Canal played an important role in the early development and growth of Defiance. By 1845 the Canal was open extending from the Miami River to Lake Erie in Toledo, then from Toledo, westward to Ft. Wayne and Lafayette, In.Commerce flourished along the canal until the 1850’s when competition from the railroads emerged. Passenger boats were discontinued in 1862 and by 1870 the Wabash and Erie Canal into Indiana was completely abandoned. The Miami and Erie Lingered on until major repairs were authorized and completed between 1906 and 1909. Only to be all but destroyed by the floods of 1913. By 1917 most of the bridges across the canal in the Downtown were removed. The canal was gradually filled and drained. A walking tow-path is accessible from Independence Dam State Park, and a few remnants of the canal are visible in and around Defiance.
The remains of the north end of the Maumee and Erie Lock #37, partially renovated in 1997. 309 Perry Street.
Maumee and Erie Lock #13. Independence Dam State Park, 27722 State Route 424, Defiance, OH.
The wooded, scenic riverside roads make this cemetery a popular site among locals for running, walking, and contemplation. The beautiful Riverside Chapel was built in 1890 and contains the grave sites of veterans of 1794 and the War of 1812. Featuring a true Gothic ceiling and marble floor the “Little Gem of American Building” is available for small weddings , funerals and/or committal services.
1300-1400 South Clinton Street, Defiance, OH | cityofdefiance.com/riverside-cemetery
The lives of Native American Chiefs, French missionaries, British military leaders and American Generals are woven into the rich tapestry of Defiance History. Between 1672 and 1712, French missionaries wandered among the Native American tribes who lived in the area. In 1973, the Greatest Council of all the Native Americans in North America occurred at the long standing Native American trading center which the French called Grand Glaize. it was located at the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers, Site of the City of Defiance.
Defiance is named for Fort Defiance, constructed in 1794 by General :Mad: Anthony Wayne, who was sent to subdue the Native Americans and end British influence in the area. The Fort was considered on of the strongest fortifications built during this campaign against the Native Americans. Wayne is reported to have said , "I will defy the English, Native Americans and all the devils in Hell to take this Fort." In response, General Scott replied " Then call t Fort Defiance."
From its earliest days, Defiance has been a hub for the shipping and receiving of goods. Whether it was early supplies passing through Fort Winchester or goods being transferred on the Miami-Wabash and Erie canals that ran through the community, transportation has played a major role in our development. In later years the addition of several railways that traveled through Defiance helped to facilitate the industrial growth that continues to support the city today.
The Great Black Swamp
Defiance County is a part of roughly 2000 square miles originally known as the “Black Swamp”. The dense growth of trees and vegetation in the Black Swamp has provided excellent soil for farming throughout the region. The Indians called the area Grand AuGlaize prior to Fort Defiance being constructed.
Ottawa Indian Chief Pontiac was said to have been born in the area that is now named Pontiac Park.
Largest single Indian Council of the time took place at the confluence. Representatives of all of the tribes of the Northwest met with British Agents to discuss their course of action against encroachment of Indian lands.
Anthony Wayne starts construction of Fort Defiance at the confluence of the Maumee and AuGlaize rivers. Fort Defiance served as one of America’s western-most outposts in the Ohio country. The Fort was evacuated after the signing of the Treaty of Greenville.
Johnny Appleseed (Chapman) had a nursery on the north bank of the Maumee river. Defiance was his principal head quarters during this time.
William Henry Harrison ordered a fort built as a forward observation post and supply depot for the American Army. This Fort was named Fort Winchester and stood on banks of the west side of the AuGlaize river. The Fort was abandoned in 1815. Shortly after, settlers inhabited the old Fort. The Plat of Streets for Defiance still follows the boundaries of Ft. Winchester.
Indian Scout Johnny Logan died and was carried 6 miles by Army Officers to Defiance where he was buried with full military Honors. Indian Scout Logan is the only Indian to receive that recognition in Ohio.
Reverend Elias Partee was sent by the Ohio M.E. Conference to the Fort Defiance Mission. Under his Direction, the first log church was built.
The Village of Defiance was incorporated and the first Mayor, John Lewis, was elected.
1842 - 1845
Wabash and Erie Canal completed from Toledo to Defiance. This was a start in connecting the waters of Lake Erie with those of Ohio. The Miami Canal was completed. The completion of the Miami Canal created a great commercial thoroughfare for the city and did much for its early development.
William Holgate drafted a bill to make Defiance a separate County from Williams and rode to Columbus to deliver the bill. On March 13, 1845, the community celebrated becoming a county at the “Old Fort Grounds”
Modern day Defiance college began as the Defiance Female Seminary in 1850. The United Church of Christ created this institution to provide schooling for young women. In 1903, it formally became Defiance College.
The High School building was built on its beautiful site at the head of Clinton Street.
Defiance County Courthouse was erected.
The Defiance Public Library was built with funds from an Andrew Carnegie Grant. The building located near the grounds of Fort Defiance is still one of the most impressive buildings in the community.
Michelle Burke | 1970 –
Actress Michelle “Gray” Burke was born in Defiance on November 30, 1970. She is best known for her roles as Jodi Kramer in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused and as Connie Conehead in the 1993 film Coneheads. She also appeared in the 1994 movie Major League II. Michelle also is credited as Michelle Rene Thomas and Michelle Thomas. She is married to Singer/Songwriter Scott Thomas. Michelle plays the role of Lauren in the upcoming movie “Laughing Out Loud”.
Alan Francis | 1969 –
Alan started his career at the age of 10, winning his first world junior title at just 12 years old. He has won the Men’s World Horseshoe Championship 16 times. He is also the only player to consistently pitch over 90% and is regarded by many as the greatest horseshoe pitcher ever. The New York Times wrote that he may be “the most dominant athlete in any sport in the country”. Alan and his family currently live and work in Defiance.
Sam Hornish Jr. | 1979 –
Born and raised in the Defiance Area , Sam won the 2006 Indianapolis 500 and became the first driver to ever overtake for the lead on the race’s final lap. He became the first 3-time champion in IRL history. Sam and his family reside in the Napoleon area. Sam currently races the Sprint Cup Series.
Chad Billingsley | 1984 –
Chad is currently a right handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a senior at Defiance High School in 2003, he pitched in 11 games and was 6-1 with a 1.49 ERA, striking out 113 and walking only 16 in 56 innings. Billingsley was the first round pick (24th overall for the Dodgers in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft.)
Jonathon “Jon” Niese | 1986 –
Jon was raised in Defiance where he attended Defiance High School. In Little League and high school Niese was a teammate of Dodger pitcher Chad Billingsley. In the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft the New York Mets chose Niese in the 7th Round. He was named one of the five starting pitchers on Baseball America’s 2010 All-Rookie Team.
Don “Midnight” Miller | 1902 – 1979
Born March 29th, 1902 in Defiance, Miller followed his three brothers to the University of Notre Dame where he was one of the famous “Four Horseman”. Coach Knute Rockne called Miller “the greatest open field runner I ever had.” When his playing career ended, he coached at several colleges and then moved on to become a lawyer in the Cleveland area. In 1970 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
William Edward “Wild Bill” Davison | 1906 – 1989
A native of Defiance, Davison was billed as the “Trumpet King”. A fiery jazz cornet player who emerged in the 1920’s that had a fierce uninhibited way of attacking a beat. He is best remembered for his association with bandleader Eddie Condon whom he worked and recorded with. The tag “Wild Bill” was not a reflection of his music style but of his reputation in his private lifestyle. He continued playing and globetrotting the world until his death at the age of 83.
Terry Ryan | 1946 – 2007
Terry “Tuff” Ryan was born in Defiance, Ohio the sixth child of Kelly and Evelyn Lehman Ryan. She graduated from Defiance High School in 1964 and graduated with a B.S. In English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1969. Terry was the writing half of the cartooning team of T.O. Sylvester that ran weekly in the San Francisco Chronicle. Terry wrote “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” following the death of her mother Evelyn Ryan in 1998. The book has been adapted into a movie produced by DreamWorks and Revolution Studios that premiered in the fall of 2005. After a long bout with cancer, Terry Ryan died on May 16, 2007.
Michael Hitchcock | 1958 –
Currently starring in the series Glee as Dalton Rumba, Michael was born in Defiance, Ohio on July 28th, 1958. He is an actor, screenwriter and television producer. Michael is known for his role in the movie “House Arrest”, as well as televisions credits that include Men of a Certain Age, MADtv, Desperate Housewives and Arrested Development.
Marker #1 – Daeida Hartell Wilcox Beveridge
503 Defiance Avenue – Hicksville ~ Born in Hicksville in 1862, Daeida co-developed and named, the Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood, CA. She led development efforts, established much of the civic infrastructure and much of the commercial district. She continued to promote Hollywood until her death in 1914.
Amelia Swilley Bingham
One of the prominent Broadway actors of her era, Amelia was born in Hicksville in 1869. She debuted on Broadway in 1893 at the Bijou Theatre and achieved wide acclaim for her performances. As a pioneering woman producer and director, Bingham served as the first president of the Professional Woman’s League. She died in New York in 1927.
Marker #2 – Spemica Lawba – Johnny Logan
Corner of Washington and Fort Streets ~ Following the declaration of war against England in 1812, Logan joined the American service. In November 1812, General Harrison directed Logan to take a small party ahead of General James Winchester’s left wing to scout the area near the Rapids of the Maumee. Encountering a larger enemy force, Logan’s party retreated and was accused of disloyalty by General Price, second in command to Winchester. Indignant, Logan left with Captain Johnny and Bright Horn to prove his innocence. They were, however, captured near Turkeyfoot Creek. During their escape, Logan was severely wounded. He died on November 25, 1812. Army officers carried Logan’s body six miles to Ft. Defiance and was buried with full military honors, the only Indian to receive that recognition in Ohio.
Marker #3 – Tale of Ensign James Liggett
Deleware Bend Road ~ After American militia troops forcibly ended the 1812 siege of Ft. Wayne, General Winchester’s Army tried to stop the advancing British troops. After three days of difficult march , Liggett of the 17th Regiment, volunteered to lead a group of four scouts to Ft. Defiance. The group was surprised and killed about September 25th. The Americans tried twice to recover the bodies, but were ambushed by Native Americans sympathetic to the British. Their bodies were finally recovered and buried in a common grave.
Major Adam Charles Muir, 41st Regiment of Foot
Major Adam Muir combined forces from British regulars, Canadian volunteers, and 800 Native American dispatching from Detroit to siege Ft. Wayne. He moved his heavy cannons by boat to the site of the old Ft. Defiance. Muir tried to set up several defense positions to engage General Winchester’s army but his Indian allies melted away. He then retreated back to Detroit. This site represents the southern most point of the British invasion into Ohio during the War of 1812.
Marker #4 – Fort Winchester
Fort Street ~ General William Henry Harrison ordered the construction of Fort Winchester early October 1812, completed October 15th, 1812. The fort served as an observation post and supply depot for the American Army. It’s shape was a parallelogram, measuring 600 by 300 feet. The Army abandoned the post in the spring of 1815, after the war in the northwest ended. Shortly after, settlers inhabited the fort. The grid of streets from 1822 – still followed in the 21st century.
Marker #5 – Evansport
01258 Main Street, Evansport ~ Evansport was named after brothers Amos and Albert Evans who, with Jacob Coy, had the village surveyed next to the Tiffin River on Dec. 14th, 1835. Early growth was spurred my its mills, providing settlers with lumber and other supplies. At its peak in 1880, there were 300 residents. Fires in 1893, 1921, and 1925 destroyed many of it’s downtown businesses. In 1940, they organized a fire department and purchased a truck.
Marker #6 – Winchester’s Camp No. 3
St Rt 424 ~ Camp No. 3 was located about 6 miles below Ft. Winchester on the north side of the Maumee River. Militiamen from Kentucky occupied the camp during November and December of 1812. They were unaware of the weather in the mid-winter in the Black Swamp and began referring to it as “Fort Salvation”. Camp No. 3 covered about 40 acres.
The Old Kentucky Burial
During the construction of the Miami and Erie Canal, in 1845, workers dug up the burial grounds of Winchester’s Camp No. 3.,When Samuel Rohn, an early settler, purchased the property in 1822 portions of the camp walls were still standing. It is believed that approximately 300 Kentucky soldiers are buried there.
Marker #7 – Winchester’s Camp No. 2
East River Road ~ After the completion of Fort Winchester, General Winchester ordered troops to cross to the north side of the Maumee. The troops only occupied the site for 9 days in November 1812. Camp site 2 proved to be too wet and marshy, he then ordered troops to Camp site No. 3, six miles down river.
The island is named after William Preston, a veteran of the War of 1812 who settled here. During the war, the island was used to hold cattle for the Army. After the Civil War, the island became popular for reunions for veterans and their families. The island had a racetrack, grandstands, auditorium and baseball diamond. The mighty flood of March 1913 swept away the island’s facilities.