NEW BREMEN — Local residents became tourists this weekend as they rediscovered — and discovered — historical jewels across Auglaize County.
The Auglaize County Historical Society hosted Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown, which encouraged residents to visit 12 locations across the county. Tourists got their passports stamped at each location they visited.
David and Joy Miller, of Moulton, stopped by the Bicycle Museum of America Saturday afternoon. The Millers noted it was their first trip to the museum.
“We got the publicity on it and never have hit some of these sites and thought it would be a good excuse to,” Joy Miller said. “We haven’t been to some of the sites in the southern part of the county.”
Miller said she was surprised to see the number of bicycles on display at the museum.
“We’ve lived in the county for 12 years now and haven’t hit most of them,” Miller said. “I think this does encourage us to see the sites that are here. We tend to be the worst tourists in our own homes. You expect to go, but you never do.”
Jim Elking, who manned the Bicycle Museum of America on Saturday, said the event should help expose local residents to what is available in Auglaize County.
“So many people haven’t been to the places next door,” Elking said. “I know Ohio, as a whole, has been concentrating on that the last couple of years, and I think it’s good that we bring it to our counties. I, personally, have not been to at least 10 of these places. So I think it’s a good opportunity.”
The New Knoxville Historical Society and its buildings were open for the event. Diane Fledderjohann said the event helped get the organization some additional exposure — even among residents of New Knoxville.
“The fact that it shows unity of all the museums and someone who wants to just visit the county, it’s nice,” Fledderjohann said. “Maybe they can even see the work one town does compared to another ... It’s amazing how many people in New Knoxville who do not know what all we have in here. They’ll come in here and say that they didn’t know we had all this in here.”
The event, Fledderjohann noted, should help bring more people through the doors of the historical society.
“It gives us countywide advertisement,” she said. “Maybe someone from the other side of the county will come over here. I really feel Sunday should be the best time. It may give people the time to pick up this part of the county and then they could drive over to another part of the county. It’s probably a good idea to have it for two days.”