Hancock Historical Museum
Backstory and Context
The Hancock Historical Museum is a privately-funded, non-profit history museum founded in 1970 by five Findlay residents to collect and preserve the rich history of Hancock County. Museum is located in the Hull-Flater House at 422 West Sandusky Street, and first opened to the public in 1971. An addition was built onto the Hull-Flater House in 1985, serving as an exhibit center and meeting area while also housing the archives and museum collections. At the same time, a barn was constructed behind the museum, currently displaying exhibitions about transportation and agricultural life in Hancock County. The Crawford Log House, originally built in Biglick Township, was then moved behind the barn. In 2014, the Michael G. Oxley Government Center was opened up in the main building as a location where children can learn about Government and the First Amendment. The Marathon Petroleum Energy and Transportation Annex was opened in 2016, housing exhibits on the history of Marathon, Cooper Tire, and two local vehicle manufacturing companies: Grant Motor Car and Adams Truck.
The Little Red Schoolhouse is located on 8884 County Road 236, Findlay, owned and operated by the Hancock Historical Museum, is a typical, rural, one-room Hancock County school. Built in 1882, it replaced an earlier frame building; it served farm families who lived roughly one mile in all directions from the school. The school closed in 1936, the year all remaining one-room schools in the county closed, and was used as a granary for 36 years. It was donated to the museum in 1972 and completely restored by the retired teacher’s organization with oil lamps, outhouses, outdoor water pump, and wood/coal burning stove.
The museum carries out a variety of programs in these facilities. For school-aged children, the museum hosts a Fifth Grade Hands on History program, a Fourth Grade Government Program, and Girl Scout badge-earning workshops. For adults, there are monthly Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series presentations, a Senior Symposium for senior residential care centers, the Harold Corbin Memorial Lecture, and various workshops. All ages can enjoy the exhibit center, with constantly updated displays and exciting insight into the rich history of Hancock County.
The Hancock Historical Museum sponsors a volunteer Living History Troupe, presenting programs portraying real people and events in local history and the 57th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a re-enactment group that participates in various Civil War activities.
The museum houses permanent exhibits relating to the Gas and Oil Boom of the 1880s, Findlay Glass, Petroleum V. Nasby, the Civil War and World War II. In addition, there are rotating exhibits pertaining to Findlay businesses, social life in Hancock County, and other topics of local and regional interest.