historic tour

Relive the drama of 1913 historic flood

Calamity CourageLisa Swickard, local historian and author of award-winning book “Calamity and Courage: Tiffin’s Battle During Ohio’s Deadly 1913 Flood,” is offering tours of areas affected by Tiffin’s devastating 1913 flood that left 19 dead and 500 homeless.

The tour is informal and interactive, with Lisa drawing on personal accounts she has collected over decades. Throughout the tour, Lisa tells stories of the homes and businesses that were affected, some of which were completely destroyed or washed away, and rescue efforts for trapped residents. She draws attention to various landmarks that survived the flood, houses that were moved after the flood in order to widen the river, and the locations of homes and businesses that were completely destroyed.

The Downtown Tour traces the path of flood destruction in the area surrounding the Sandusky river. The tour circles around Frost Parkway, Market Street, Monroe Street, a bit of Perry Street, and South Washington Street. Key places include the bridges, the flood marker located on the wall of the police station, the Knights of Columbus building area, the Tiffin Eagles building and Frost Parkway.

There are three different tours available by appointment:

  • Downtown Tour – An hour to hour and a half tour of the flood zone. $5 adults / $3 children 15+
  • Extended Downtown Tour – Downtown Tour plus East Davis Street. $7 adults / $4 children 15+;
  • Entire Flood Zone Tour – A day-long tour that encompasses the entire flood district. $15 adults / $9 children 15+

To contact Lisa for any of the flood tours listed above, email her or call 567.525.9317. For more information about Lisa and other tours, visit www.virginalleypress.com/.

Recap – first Downtown Historic Bar Tour a success

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The downtown Tiffin revitalization efforts have been hard at work helping to enhance the great events that downtown Tiffin has offered in the last few years and starting some others. One of the new ones this year is expected to take place every year – the Downtown Historic Bar Tour.

Starting at the Clover Club, participants made their way through downtown Tiffin on South Washington Street, stopping at eight unique Tiffin bars. At the beginning of the tour, participants received a booklet with historical information about the bars and bar owners gave a brief history of their establishment at each stop. Kudos to tour host Seneca County Young Professionals for a great event.

Here is the complete list of bars visited on the tour:

  • Clover Club: Opened in 1936, the Clover Club features an antique art-deco bar, white tablecloth dining area and landscaped patio garden, not to mention 18 taps and a stock of 50 different beers.
  • GW’s Fine Food & Spirits: GW’s opened in May 2010 and caters to not only the bar crowd but also the after-bar crowd with food service and late hours on the weekends. This bar features two dining areas and a large patio with seating.
  • DP’s: Don Paull has owned DP’s since 1972, and it was one of the last ‘stag’ bars in Tiffin. DP’s has a nautical theme and a unique layout with four different levels and a patio area closed in by the building’s walls.
  • MST Pub and Grub: MST is made up of three separate buildings, all of which served a variety of different purposes over the last 100 years. The current bar was established in October 2009.
  • Reino’s Party Room (lunch): Reino’s Pizza and Pasta was established in 1950 and has always served beer and wine along with Italian food. Its current location on West Market Street was once the National Theater, among other businesses.
  • Bear’s Den:The Bear’s Den has been a bar or tavern since the early 1950’s. Dennis Wickert bought Izola’s Tavern in 1974, later changed the name to Bear’s Den and has been running the bar with his wife, Gwynn, since 1986. Bear’s Den often hosts live music on Saturdays.
  • Phat Cakes & Cafe: Phat Cakes was founded in 2009 and opened the store on Washington Street, which started out as The Sandwich Shop in the mid-1930s and was later Reino’s, in 2012. They offer a full menu, including desserts, sandwiches, wraps and salads, along with alcohol.
  • Viaduct Bar & Grill: The Viaduct started out as a bar in late 1800s. It has had many names since, but it has been the Viaduct since 2010. The bar often hosts live music on the weekends, and boasts a unique outdoor patio with seating and a pond.
  • McGowan’s Tavern: This building once housed “the largest movie theater on the West side of the river.” For many years it was an “Arcade” under several different owners before becoming McGowan’s Tavern in the mid-1960s.

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