3 Historic Spots in Defiance, Ohio

July 5th, 2019 by

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to learn a little more about Defiance, Ohio, there are plenty of places rich with history to explore. Here’s a look at three historic spots you’ll want to see in the area.

Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
When you talk about history in Defiance, Ohio, the conversation invariably turns to the Tuttle Museum. Andrew L. Tuttle was a lifelong resident of Defiance and an avid historian and collector of Native American art and artifacts, coins, stamps, military memorabilia, and anything else that told a story related to Defiance.

Upon his death, Andrew Tuttle donated his collection to the city with the stipulation a museum would be formed to contain and display his life’s work. The Tuttle Museum opened in 2011.

Right now, the Tuttle Museum’s largest exhibit is Defiance During Times of War and Conflict, a collection of five separate exhibits focusing on the major conflicts in the region. The first two are focused on the Black Swamp and surrounding rivers and their importance to the region for both Native Americans and the Dutch, French, and British settlers.

The third part of this exhibit looks at the Beaver Wars, a series of conflicts fought between 1638 and 1700. The Beaver Wars were fought for control of the beaver pelt trade, a valuable commodity at the time. The fourth and fifth parts of the exhibit detail the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

The intent of these exhibits is to show how all those conflicts impacted the region from a political, social, and economic perspective.

Riverside Chapel and Cemetery
One of the prettiest historical sites in Defiance, Ohio, is the Riverside Chapel and Cemetery. The chapel was built in 1888 by John Demann and W.S. and A.J. McClary. This classic example of Gothic Revival was designed by architect Jonathan I. Hale.

The chapel room itself is a mere 22-feet by 34-feet. The walls are limestone with layerings of red portage stone giving the structure a handsome look from without. Inside, the walls are stucco with plenty of wood and stone accents. Georgian marble floors and oversized pine doors and window frames add beauty and craftsmanship to this wonderful building.

The Riverside Cemetery is anchored by the Riverside Mausoleum. The mausoleum was built in 1927 by a citizen’s group and cost roughly $150,000. Constructed with monolithic concrete, the exterior is faced with stone while the interior is done in marble. A perpetual care fund was started through the sale of crypts and is sufficient to keep the mausoleum running.

Old Fort Defiance Park
Old Fort Defiance was part of a line of defense in the Northwest Indian Wars before the Battle of the Fallen Timbers. Built by General “Mad” Anthony Wayne in 1794 where the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers converge, the fort is now an historical landmark. Come tour the old fort and enjoy the park for a fun day of learning.

Next time you feel like exploring in Defiance, you should visit one of these locations. They are some of the most historic places in Defiance.