Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Rossford, Ohio!
125 years and growing!
From its beginnings in 1898 when Edward Ford created a new “company town” focused on glass making, to its growing success in 2023, Rossford has always been known as a city that families and businesses, large and small, have proudly called “home.”
Get ready for a host of fun activities to mark Rossford’s 125th anniversary in 2023. Check out the exciting schedule of events planned for this year, including trolley tours of historic homes in Eagle Point Colony, tours of the former iconic Libbey Owens Ford Company, historical re-enactments of Edward Ford, a special Downtown celebration in conjunction with Stroll the Street and a “follow-me” parade. Plus, a two-day anniversary celebration on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, in conjunction with the 2023 Rossford Riverfest, featuring delicious food, music, a carnival, games, and a spectacular fireworks display.
Happy Anniversary, Rossford, Ohio!
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Official launch and proclamation of 125th Anniversary at Rossford High School
• Proclamation by Mayor
• Musical performance “That’s Entertainment” – fee
• Tours of Murals at Rossford Library
• Save-the-date magnets available
• T-shirts & lawn signs available for purchase
• 125th Anniversary Magazine celebrating Rossford
Alex Chiarelott will re-enact his Edward Ford performance from our 2015 Chautauqua – date TBD
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Downtown Rossford Business Event 4:30-7:30 PM during Stroll the Street
• Trolley to participating businesses from Ford Park
• Business ‘Passport’ of Savings
• Scavenger Hunt
• Entertainment throughout the Downtown
• Historical photos of Downtown buildings
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Home Trolley Tours of Eagle Point Colony (fee)
Tours of Murals at Rossford Library
Tours of NSG during Stroll the Street – Date TBD
Friday, July 28, 2023
Evening event at Rossford High School – open to the public
• Proclamation, speakers and introduction of special guests such as Ohio Governor, Ford City Mayor, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Ford family members, Hall of Fame honorees, and other dignitaries
• Tours of the high school
Saturday, July 29, 2023
• 10 AM – 125th Anniversary Parade from High School to Veterans Park
• ‘Follow along’ theme with prizes for decorating - adults (golf carts) and children (bikes, scooters)
• Pancake Breakfast (fee) – possible to benefit Fire Dept.
• Musical “That’s Entertainment” performance
• All Saints traditional food pickup
Late Afternoon/Evening Activities
• Food trucks
• Large “Birthday Cake/Cupcakes
• Kid’s Game Tent sponsored by All Saints Church
• Bounce House and Dunk Tank
• Possible carnival rides (if a company can be located)
• Riverfest activities including Live Band and Beer Garden
• Fireworks display by Rocketship Pyrotechnics
• River cruise and Fireworks on The Pearl (fee)
Timeline of Events for 125th Anniversary
Trolley Tour of Historic Eagle Point Colony
Sunday June 11, 2023 - Trolley Tours Registration - $20 per person Eagle Point Colony Drive By Historical Home
Tours: 1pm to 4pm Tours are sponsored by Smith Bonds and Surety, Rossford, Ohio.
Pickup and drop off at Rossford Public Library, 720 Dixie Highway Rossford. Tours of the Library Murals will take place at 1:45 and 2:45 PM. Plan to arrive early or stay late to take advantage of this additional free tour of Rossford history.
Tour will depart from the Rossford Library and proceed to Eagle Point Colony. Trolley will drive through Eagle Point Colony and stop in front of 15-20 homes with individuals sharing historical information about each home to trolley riders. The trolley will stop in front of homes and then return to the Rossford Public Library when the tour is completed (about 45 minutes).
Tour times are Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 PM. Maximum of 25 riders per tour. Register and pay HERE to secure your spot.
Tours of the Library Murals will take place at 1:45 and 2:45 PM. Plan to arrive early or stay late to take advantage of this additional free tour of Rossford history.
Enjoy a trolley tour through Rossford’s Eagle Point Colony, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and featuring expansive architect-designed homes in the Renaissance, Georgian, Dutch Colonial, Tudor, English Cottage, French Eclectic, and Mediterranean Revival styles. As you enter its iconic stone gates, narrators will share histories of the homes and their many prominent owners, including families such as the Rheinfranks, Bocks, Lamsons, France, Walbridge, and Hokes. The homes, many located on the Maumee River, featured unique elements like nine to twelve-foot ceilings, fur and silver faults, butler pantries, carriage houses, servant quarters, and greenhouses.
Tours of the Former LIbbey Owens Ford Glass Company - Date TBA
Celebrate Rossford's 125th Anniversary with our Downtown Merchants
Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 4:30-7:30 PM during Stroll the Street
Take a Free Trolley around Town
Visit Participating Businesses
Pick-up your 'Passport of Savings' for Discounts
Enter our Prize Drawing
Enjoy a Scavenger Hunt
View Historical Photos of Downtown buildings
Delight in our Street Entertainers
Details Coming Soon!
What is your favorite memory of growing up in Rossford?
Share your favorite Rossford memory (or those of your grandparents and others who grew up here). Excerpts of these memories will be shared in a special 125th commemorative magazine distributed to all residents and on a special 125th Rossford website and Facebook page. Special memories can be anything from attending a movie at the old Rossford Theatre, walking to a church festival, playing in Cranes Woods, watching the basketball team in a state tournament, playing little league baseball at Beech Street Park, or anything else that made you smile growing up in Rossford.
Use this form to send in your favorite memory or anecdote about growing up in Rossford. If you have a photo to share, please include that also. If you have more than one memory to share, you are welcome to submit multiple times.
Did You Know?
Fun Facts about Rossford
Not yet a village in 1938, but with an influx of immigrants and growing families, Rossford was home to 16 grocery stores, nine gasoline stations, four barber shops and three restaurants!
LOF paymaster and timekeeper Jake Bayer, who worked for the company in the early 1900s, knew all LOF’s 1,700 employees. When they lined up on payday, Bayer just looked at their faces and handed them their wages. Bayer carried gold and silver coins in a wheelbarrow from department to department on paydays, accompanied by an armed constable.
United States Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s family owned the Superior Market in Rossford from 1954 to the 1960s.
Cranes Woods, which later became the site of Rossford’s Indian Hills Elementary School, was a common gathering place for picnics and large events, including the LOF Old Timers’ annual picnics. In Rossford’s early days, families often walked their cows to pasture there.
The Army Corp of Engineers built the Rossford Marina at the Maumee River in the 1950s.
Rossford became a village in 1940 and a city in 1971.
Rossford’s founder, Edward Ford, was responsible for many of the city’s “firsts.” He built:
Edward Ford Plate Glass Co. (1898).Later became Libbey-Owens-Ford Plate Glass Co., then Pilkington Glass, and currently is NSG.
Walnut Street School (1915). The school originally had just four rooms.
Rossford Savings Bank (1918). Account # 1 was George Ross Ford, Jr.
The Ford Club (1914). A recreation center that included bowling alleys for LOF employees.
The Sam Frautschi and Sons Dry Goods, Notions, and Hardware Store (built in 1910), later Frautschi Brothers Hardware, was a longstanding favorite of residents. In the early days, residents, many of them immigrants who only spoke Slovak, German, Hungarian, Polish, and Ukrainian would try to communicate what they needed by using their hands. Sam’s young son, Arnold, who would later own the store with his brother, Russ, would ask his father to interpret their requests in English.
Hundreds of European immigrants, often recruited by Edward Ford, especially Eastern Europeans, emigrated to Rossford to find work in his new glass company. At least 18 different ethnic groups have been identified in Rossford, including individuals from Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Italy, and Ukraine. Ford also encouraged African American families to relocate to Rossford from the Creighton, Pennsylvania area. This transference was a common phenomenon in the American Midwest where the industrial revolution fostered the growth of hundreds of manufacturing enterprises.
By 1900, the Edward Ford Plate Glass Co. was producing six million feet of glass per year thereby eclipsing Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company as the largest manufacturer of flat glass in the nation.
In 1926, Edward Ford adopted a new Belgian technique, known as the Bicheroux process, for casting plate glass through water-cooled rollers. This flat glass production process greatly streamlined production, and, in the 1930s, the plant received an exclusive contract to supply all the glass for vehicles produced by General Motors Corporation.
One of LOF’s largest orders in the 1930s was for window glass for New York’s Empire State Building which used Libbey-Owens-Ford glass exclusively.
In 1946, Libbey-Owens-Ford began to manufacture an insulated glass known as Thermopane, an insulated window glass. In 1951, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were sealed in Thermopane glass at the National Archives.
In 1963, some boys digging in Cranes Woods came upon an ossuary (a chamber containing ancient bones) which led to a professional archeological excavation, the first of its kind in Northwestern Ohio. The archaeological discovery of the c. 1610 “protohistoric” village in Rossford rewrote Native American and European-American history. University of Toledo archeologists determined this was one of the largest and perhaps the last village to be inhabited by regional Native Americans before European contact in the early 1600s. The dig unearthed scores of artifacts, including shell-tempered pottery shards, brass decorative objects, and glass beads. Burials of over 100 individuals were found in four burial pits. The site of the village was referenced on Samuel de Champlain’s earliest maps from 1616 and 1632.