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WAPAKONETA ATTRACTIONS

Armstrong Family Home

601 W. Benton St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

 

Neil Armstrong was born in 1930 on the farm of his mother’s parents, southwest of Wapakoneta. After living in a number of Ohio communities, the Armstrongs returned to Wapakoneta in 1944, purchasing a home on W. Benton St.  At the time, Neil was in high school. His family included his parents, Stephen and Viola, his sister June, and brother Dean.  This is a private residence.  Please view it from the sidewalk only.


Blume High School

407 S. Blackhoof St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

 

Neil Armstrong attended Blume High School, graduating from here in 1947. He played baritone in the school band. With three friends, he formed a jazz combo that performed at school assemblies. Neil often stayed after school to work in the science lab with his teacher, John Grover Krites. At age 16, he earned his student’s pilot license at Port Koneta Air Field.


St. Paul United Church of Christ

101 S. Perry St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

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The Armstrong Family attended St. Paul United Church of Christ, one of the oldest congregations in Wapakoneta, dating to 1850. At the time the Armstrongs began going here, it was an Evangelical and Reformed congregation.  Neil was a member of the Boy Scout troop sponsored by the church, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.


Fort Recovery State Museum

One Fortsite St.
Fort Recovery, Ohio

419-375-4649
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Fort Recovery is the site of two of the most dramatic Indian battles in American history. On the grounds are two reconstructed blockhouses and connecting stockade. A 103’ monument honors the more than 900 soldiers who died in the battles.


Rhine and Brading Drug Store

26 E. Auglaize St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

 

During high school Neil Armstrong worked at the Rhine and Brading Drug Store, a longtime business in downtown Wapakoneta.  He swept the floors in the morning before school and returned after school to stock shelves and work as a clerk.  He used his earnings from the drug store (40 cents per hour) to pay for his flying lesson at local Port Koneta Air Field.


Wapa Theatre

15 Willipie St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

419-738-3718
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The historic Wapa Theatre was constructed as the Brown Theatre in 1904. Its spectacular, neon marquee was added in 1939.  Other than new seats and air conditioning, little has changed in the theatre since the time when Neil Armstrong and his classmates attended the latest films in the 1940s.  The theatre continues to show first run films on a daily basis.


Auglaize County Courthouse

Willipie St. at Pearl St.   
Wapakoneta, Ohio  

419-739-6795

The Auglaize County Courthouse was constructed in 1894.  The courthouse retains much of its original architectural detail including stained-glass skylights, decorative tilework, and even light fixtures, furniture, and telephone booth. To commemorate the building’s centennial, the Auglaize County Historical Society restored the Statue of Justice, which formerly stood on top of the tower, but now graces the building’s lobby. You are more than welcome to visit the courthouse during business houses—8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday--but please remember that this is working building. Court may be in session!


Wapakoneta Museum

206 W. Main St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

419-738-9328
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The First Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1862, making it the oldest Protestant church in the county.  It is also a very important example of Greek Revival architecture; its recessed entrance flanked by two large columns is the only example of this “temple” style in nine counties of west-central Ohio. The building now houses the Wapakoneta Museum of the Auglaize County Historical Society.


Post Office and WPA Murals

10 Willipie St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

 

Wapakoneta’s Post Office was constructed in 1937 by the federal government as part of its effort to provide work for citizens during the Great Depression.  An example of NeoClassical architecture, the building is also noted for its lobby, which retains a mural about Auglaize County’s history by Works Project Administration artist Joseph Limarzi.


Wapakoneta Fire Station

103 Willipie St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

419-738-2014

The 1885 Wapakoneta City Building continues to house the local fire department as it has for more than 120 years.  With its prominent round–arched windows and doorways, the building is a good example of the Romanesque Revival architecture so popular in the 19th century.  The small glass structure in front of the building displays the fire department’s first equipment.


Historic Homes District

West Auglaize St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

 

West Auglaize Street is home to some of Wapakoneta's most architecturally significant homes. They represent many popular American house styles of the 19th and early 20th centuries – Eastlake, Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Stick Style, Beaux Arts, Spanish Colonial Revival, Cape Cod, and Sears & Roebuck (catalog house). Please enjoy these well-maintained buildings from the sidewalk, as they are all private residences.


Dudley Nichols Historic Marker

Blackhoof St. at Main St.
Wapakoneta, Ohio

 

This Ohio Historical Society marker commemorates Dudley Nichols, the man who first refused the Oscar.  A Wapakoneta native, Dudley Nichols (grandson of John Nichols) was a newspaper reporter turned screenwriter. In 1936 he received the Academy Award for The Informer. However, as a founder of the Screen Writers’ Guild, Nichols felt that Hollywood treated his profession unfairly and refused the honor.  In fact, he spurned this Oscar three times before growing weary of returning it in the mail.


Dayton & Michigan Railroad Historic Marker

Auglaize St. just west
of railroad crossing  
Wapakoneta, Ohio

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This Ohio Historical Society marker commemorates the Dayton and Michigan Railroad – the single most important impetus to the growth and development of Wapakoneta.  The Dayton and Michigan began operations in 1858 providing the people of Wapakoneta with their first connection with the outside world.  It was the first railroad in Auglaize County and the first north-south line in western Ohio.  With a route stretching from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, the railroad allowed local farmers and industrialists to ship their products and goods throughout the nation.


Shannon Stock Company Historic Marker

308 W. Auglaize St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio

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This Ohio Historical Society marker commemorates Harry and Adelaide Stoutenburg Shannon who moved themselves and their two children, Harry, Jr., and Hazel, to Wapakoneta in 1913.  But they were no ordinary family.  They were "The Four Original Shannons," a stage act that had performed on the same bill as "The Three Keatons" (Buster) and "The Four Cohans" (George M.). The Shannons then formed their own road company, which played throughout Ohio, and, indeed, much of the rest of the country. All the while they maintained a home at 308 West Auglaize Street. Many members of their troupe would also board here during the winter, with rehearsals for the upcoming show held in the barn out back.


Historic Greenlawn Cemetery

1200 Block - West Auglaize St. 
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Open daylight hours

 

Established in 1886, Greenlawn Cemetery is the final resting place for some of Wapakoneta’s most prominent citizens, including many referenced in this brochure.  The most elaborate grave may belong to Charles Herbst. We don’t want to give away all the details, but a temporary rail spur was constructed to the cemetery to deliver the 160 tons of granite for his monument.


Blackhoof Memorial

U.S. 33 at State Route 65, St. Johns
5 miles east of
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Open daylight hours

 

Black Hoof was a chief of the Shawnee.  His Indian name was Catahecassa. Black Hoof fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and represented the Shawnee at the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in 1794.

Black Hoof became convinced that the Indians had no hope against the whites except accommodation.  He supported peace with the Americans and encouraged all Shawnee to do the same, but conflicts continued.  Black Hoof proved to be a major problem for Tecumseh and the Prophet as they tried to unite the Indians against the white settlers during the early 1800s.

Black Hoof died in 1831, just a year before the Shawnee were removed to Kansas.  Quaker missionary Henry Harvey memorialized him simply but completely when he stated that Black Hoof “was always an advocate for his own nation.”  The monument honoring Chief Black Hoof was erected at the St. Johns Cemetery in 1976.

Ft. Amanda State Memorial

State Route 198
8 miles north of
Wapakoneta, Ohio
Open daylight hours

800-283-8713
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Fort Amanda was one of a series of forts extending north from Piqua to Fort Meigs (present day Perrysburg), built by order of General William Henry Harrison to supply the United States army during the war of 1812. The fort’s construction began in the fall of 1812 under the direction of Lt. Col. Robert Poague, who named it Amanda in honor of his daughter. The original structure is no longer standing, but a granite monument was built in 1915 at its site. Fort Amanda is also home to a rich variety of plants and animals.  Trails lead through wooded ravines, down to the river, and out to the monument, making the park a perfect place for a walk or a picnic.

 

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The museum is owned by the State of Ohio, is part of the Ohio History Connection's statewide system of historic sites and museums, and is operated by the local Armstrong Air and Space Museum Association. Neil Armstrong has never been involved in the management of the museum nor benefited from it in any way.

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