Seneca County kicks off yearlong bicentennial celebration

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Two hundred years ago, the history of Seneca County began when the county was officially organized on April 1, 1824. On Monday, Seneca County Museum Executive Director Theresa Sullivan stood before a group of dignitaries inside the museum and kicked off a year-long celebration of the county’s bicentennial.

“This is truly an exciting day for Seneca County as we reflect on 200 years of history,” Sullivan said. “We’ll learn about the county’s influential people and noteworthy events.”

Congressman Bob Latta presents a proclamation to Seneca County Museum Executive Director, Theresa Sullivan, in honor of the county’s bicentennial. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Like many American pioneers, the county’s earliest settlers faced the hardship of creating a life from nothing except what they could extract from the land. But in Seneca County, situated on the edge of the Great Black Swamp, they faced the added challenge of birthing civilization in an unendingly damp and merciless bog.

“I always marvel at our ancestors who came here,” said Congressman Bob Latta. “They looked at this and said we can make this work. They cleared the land and made it productive.”

Seneca County Museum Executive Director Theresa Sullivan, center, said she “cannot say enough good” about Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Bryce Riggs, left, and Chamber and Destination Seneca County Director of Marketing, Marisa Stephens, right, who were part of the team who planned the yearlong Seneca County Bicentennial celebration. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Latta was among the many dignitaries who attended the event to present proclamations and to recognize the county’s 200 years of progressive history and extraordinary people. The early residents who established Seneca County built a foundation of strength and resilience that still endures 200 years later.

“People today aren’t any less hardy,” said State Rep. Gary Click. “We need to remember that we are paving the road for the people who will come after us.”

Among the dignitaries who attended the Seneca County Bicentennial Kickoff were, from left, Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins, Tiffin Mayor Lee Wilkinson, State Rep. Gary Click, Seneca County Commissioner Tyler Shuff, Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart, Seneca County Museum Executive Director Theresa Sullivan, Congressman Bob Latta, Seneca County Commissioner Anthony Paradiso, Seneca County Common Pleas Judge Damon Alt, J.D. Vance District Director Tim Schneider and Fostoria Safety Service Director Erick Keckler. (Photo by Zach Stumpf, Scanner Media)

The yearlong celebration of the Seneca County Bicentennial will provide many opportunities for local residents to more fully understand the monumental progress of the county’s history.

“It’s important to reflect on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come,” said Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Bryce Riggs.

Riggs, along with Chamber and Destination Seneca County Director of Marketing, Marisa Stephens, collaborated with Sullivan and other members of the Seneca County Bicentennial Committee to plan the celebration. Sullivan expressed much gratitude for the work Riggs and Stephens put into the project.

“We cannot say enough good about them,” Sullivan said. “They are absolutely fabulous.”

Among the many bicentennial events planned by the committee are the Secrets of Seneca County Historical Driving Tour, a self-guided tour that also kicked off on Monday. The tour includes 19 stops that encompass every township in the county. More information about all of the bicentennial events, including a QR code for the driving tour, can be found at

Seneca County Commissioners Anthony Paradiso, Bill Frankart and Tyler Shuff attended the kickoff event, and Sullivan expressed gratitude for their support of the bicentennial celebration.

“I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Seneca County Commissioners, not only for their financial support, but also for their continued encouragement.

Shuff presented a proclamation to Sullivan on behalf of all the commissioners.

“May our future be as bright as our past,” Shuff said.