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History of Crystal Fountain Auditorium





Taken from the Bryan Times Oct 1994


In the late 1800's, 20 to 25 percent of the people around Sherwood were Spiritualists.

At that time Sherwood was a thriving metropolis with two elevators, a stockyard, bakeries, hotels, a motion picture theater, and was bisected by railroads from Chicago to New York and from northern Michigan to Cincinnati.

At a town meeting it was decided to buy 32 acres of land and organize the Northwestern Camp and Picnic Association.  People bought stock to purchase the land and the Crystal Fountain Spiritualist Camp was started.

In 1907 the first service was held in a bandstand with tents set up for the summer campers.  The auditorium was built around 1911.  At first it had a dirt floor and chickens would wander in during the services.  The names of people who donated $1 are engraved on the blocks of the building.

Around the time oil was discovered in northwest Ohio and the people of Sherwood wanted to get in on the action. They dug deep but there was no oil.  The decided to go even deeper for natural gas but didn't find that either.  What they did find was a flood of sulfur water which supposedly had curative power and would cure almost everything.  People would come from miles around to fill their bottles with their water.

The Spiritualists built a bath house and a hotel for those who couldn't find space at the camp. The water was piped to the hotel and later a swimming pool was built at the camp grounds and filled with sulfur water.

Later a hardwood floor was laid in the auditorium, in fact four hardwood floors at various times, one on top of the other.

This floor is still in excellent condition.  At one time there was ballroom dancing in the auditorium every Thursday evening with a live band supplying the music.

The Spiritualists purchased the camp from the Northwestern Camp and Picnic Association in 1932.  It was visited by people from all over the United States and from foreign countries.

Later the auditorium was used as a roller skating rink, the first in this area outside of Toledo and Fort Wayne, Ind. This continued until a few years after the end of World War II.

This 23.3 acres of land has walking trails, frisbe golf and outdoor archery range.


This great historical building is available for rent!


Graduation Party, Baby Shower, Anniversary Party, Birthday Party, Weddings/Receptions and more!


Interested in finding out more about renting Crystal Fountain call the village office at 419-899-2145.



 






        



          


  
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