GENOA TOWN HALL
Among the many mercantile, entertaining, and historical treasures the Village of Genoa(founded in 1857) has to offer, the Historic Town Hall (built in 1883) is a must-see for a variety of reasons. The Genoa Town Hall is listed in the National Register of Historic Places; it is classified as the oldest free-standing municipal building in Ottawa County. The Town Hall is located at 509 Main Street; Genoa , OH 43430
The Genoa Village Hall, which houses The Genoa Civic Theatre on its second floor, is a delight for architectural and historical buffs alike. Whether appreciative of the historic significance of the municipality being governed in this building for more than 120 years; or the picturesque grandeur of this restored structure, the Town Hall is an awe-inspiring sight to behold!
In 2018 Genoa will celebrate 150 years of existence. The GAR/WRC (Grand Army of the Republic/ Womens Relief Corp.) Hall was built in 1856, on the site of the old Camper school, having been moved several times since. It is the only publicly owned building that has been around for all 150 years. That alone makes it one of the most historically significant buildings in our village.
The 1928 yearbook refers to this as the first school building, although it is the third. Perhaps they are referring to it as the first proper Genoa school. At any rate it was used as a school and a host of civic activities. Given that the GAR was founded in 1867, and the village in 1868, it could have housed both. In 1869 the school board sold the building to construct the first brick school, at which time the village bought the schoolhouse for civic use.
The Hall will be 162 years old in 2018, having been built as settlers forged a community out of the Black Swamp, it not only predate our incorporation as Genoa in 1868, it predates the name change to Genoa in 1857–this is the building from the days of being Stony Station. Having been purchased by the village in 1869, it is not unreasonable to suggest that this may have been the first town hall.
Around two hundred veterans of the Civil War used this building as a GAR post. On September 2, 1885 the Elliott Wyman GAR post hosted President Hayes and five Civil War generals for the 100th OVI’s reunion.
A decade ago, only 7 of 705 original GAR halls in Ohio remained, less than one percent. With this rare building we can celebrate the history of their commitment to the Union and their pride in fighting in our nation’s most important war. These are the veterans who not only fought in the Civil War, but returned home and founded this village.
Select this link: More information on the GAR/WRC building.