Spring 2021 Letter to History Buffs

Dear History Buff,

As the sunny days and moonlit nights of Sylvania City & Township grow warmer, we are touching base to send you a reminder of this community’s continuing gratitude for your support of the preservation of Sylvania’s rich history. We'd also like to send you a cheery “Hello!” as the season heats up.

Have you been out to Sylvania's many parks and outdoor spaces yet, to enjoy the great outdoors? It is a joy to be out & about in our town!

Take a walk through history

Especially noteworthy this time of year are the grounds of Lourdes University and also Toledo Botanical Garden. Both are open to the public, free for all to enjoy, and just chock-full of history.

The stunning grounds of Lourdes are maintained by nuns, the Sisters of St. Francis. They arrived here back in 1916 at the request of locals, for help in caring for those who were ill, and they never left. Located on Convent Blvd near downtown Sylvania, the beautifully sacred space is one of Sylvania's best-kept secrets, offering locals not only a peaceful jaunt among the streams, flowers, and trees, but also a quiet refuge. Portiuncula, the little chapel, is a replica of the chapel built by St. Francis of Assisi in Italy, and open to all during daylight hours. To visit, turn into Lourdes University off of Convent Boulevard and follow the signs for Queen of Peace Chapel.

On the other side of town, Toledo Botanical Garden beckons with herb, rose, native, and shade gardens; an English garden, pond, and artists village; and now even a treehouse playground for the little ones. These lands became a public garden in 1964 with a twenty-acre gift from George Crosby, whose farm dated back to the mid-1800s. Mr. Crosby's house still stands, and, though off limits to the public, the stone marker made by the farmhouse architect can be found by wandering on a shady path behind the conference center. The garden has grown to sixty lush acres now maintained by Metroparks Toledo. Located on Elmer Drive in Sylvania Township, it is free for all to enjoy at most times, though there will be a charge for admission during the Crosby Festival of the Arts, June 25-June 27 2021, and also during certain summer concerts.

What's new

We'd like to take this opportunity to also provide an update on The Archive Project, the collaboration between Sylvania Schools, The Toledo Lucas County Library, The Ohio Historical Society, and Sylvania History Buffs.

Like many organizations in our community, over the last eighteen months the pandemic has consistently raised unforeseen obstacles for Sylvania History Buffs. While some sectors of our community have inched toward normalcy in recent months, some have taken longer to head back in that direction.

Facilities and organizations with certain public obligations and regulations, such as schools, hospitals, and libraries, have continued to operate under more stringent restrictions. Thus it is that we find ourselves still in limbo, waiting to get to work on The Archive Project.

Taking the lead on The Archive Project are Sarah Huey, Northview journalism professor; Amanda Kay, managing editor of Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania; and John Dewees, Lucas County Public Library Supervisor of Digitization Services.

The Archive Project is now expected to start uploading to the Ohio History Connection’s new section for Sylvania, Ohio in September 2021. Below you will find the letter from John Dewees, delaying the project until Fall 2021 due to the pandemic and budget concerns.

Mr. Dewy has thoughtfully provided the Sylvania History Buffs with instructional links and information, so we are not completely idle and can maintain the momentum created in 2020. As the ability to work on document preservation draws nearer, we encourage those History Buffs who are interested in participating with The Archive Project to take the time to study the materials provided at the links, so as to be prepared when preservation work can finally begin. Time flies, and September will be here before you know it!

Also keep an eye out this summer for two new books to be published by Sylvania History Buffs, expanding the collection of local literary works that preserve the past and celebrate our rich history. A few fun items and paraphernalia to celebrate Summer in Sylvania will also be available in the online shop, with new items set to arrive by early summer.

Keep in touch, and enjoy your Summer in Sylvania!

Warm regards,

Amanda Kay