Northwest Ohio Tourism
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Lima CourthouseLima

In the years after the American Revolution, the Shawnee were the most prominent residents of west central Ohio, growing in numbers and permanency after the 1794 Treaty of Greenville. By 1817, the United States had created the Hog Creek Reservation for the local Shawnee, covering portions of what would become Allen and Auglaize counties, and including part of present-day Lima. The creation of the Shawnee reservation freed other lands in the area for settlement, and in February 1820, the Ohio legislature formally established Allen County. In 1831 the Shawnee relinquished all their land in the area to the United States and relocated to Kansas, opening all of Allen County to American settlement. The Ohio legislature mandated that a county seat be established. “Lima” was the result. Its name originated with Judge Patrick G. Goode, who insisted on the Spanish pronunciation “Lee-mah” after the capital of Peru, but the local vernacular -- "Lye-mah" -- prevailed. He honored Lima, Peru, in the naming because an inoculate for malaria, which was prevalent in the area during its establishment, was manufactured there.

Discovery of Oil

With the discovery of oil in Lima in 1885, Ohio began what came to be called the “Oil Boom of Northwest Ohio.” Discovery actually began in Findlay 40 miles north of Lima. The discovery of natural gas deposits there in 1884 led to national marketing efforts advertising free gas, as Findlay’s business leaders tried to “boom” the town.

In 1885, Benjamin C. Faurot of Lima was one of hundreds of businessmen who visited Findlay to see the seemingly unlimited supply of natural gas burning day and night. Faurot owned the Lima Paper Mill. He spent $2,500 on energy consumption annually. Water for his operation was also a problem. So Faurot decided to drill in Lima – for gas or water. Faurot’s first oil, found along the Ottawa River in 1885 and was more accidental discovery than deliberate scientific experiment.

During the first week, the well produced more than 200 barrels of oil. Faurot quickly organized local businessmen into a syndicate that would purchase oil leases from farm owners. The company was called the Trenton Rock Oil Company, and by 1886, had 250 wells from Lima to St. Marys, Ohio, and west to Indiana.

Locomotive: Nickle Plate RailRoad

Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit

See the Nickel Plate Road S-3, 2-8-4; the #779 Berkshire, the NKP caboose #1091, and the NKP Business Car #5. The #779 was the last of the Berkshires built for the Nickel Plate, leaving the Lima Locomotive Works for the NKP in 1949.

The exhibit is located at the corner of Elm and Shawnee Streets

Lima Locomotive WorksThe Lima Locomotive Works

The Lima Locomotive Works was the youngest of the 3 major locomotive builders in the country, but during the 1920s it developed some of the most sophisticated locomotives built during the steam era. Lima built the first 2-8-4 Berkshire in 1925, designated as the A-1. The business ceased production in 1951, having manufactured 7,769 locomotives.


Lima Fire Fighters Memorial Museum

Lima Fire Fighters Memorial Museum

The Museum features a memorial statute with the engraved names of firefighters who have died in the line of duty and a brick walkway around the statute preserves the name and year hired of every firefighter who has served the citizens of Lima. The museum also features vintage fire equipment.

Read more about the Fire Fighters Memorial Museum

Lima Fire Fighters Memorial Museum
Lincoln Park
Elm and Shawnee St., Lima 45804

Maple Syrup Festival
First weekend in March on even numbered years
Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District

Bluffton Arts & Crafts Festival
Downtown Bluffton
3rd Saturday in May

Pork Rind Heritage Festival
Downtown Harrod
2nd weekend in June

Starving Artist Craft Show
Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima
2nd Saturday in August

Delphos Old Fashioned Canal Days
3rd weekend in September

Christmas Craft Show
Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima
Saturday before Thanksgiving

Bluffton Golf Club
8575 Dixie Highway, Bluffton 419-353-6230

Colonial Hills Golf Club
10985 Harding Highway, Lima 419-649-3350 / 800-234-7468

Delphos Golf Club
Shenk Road, Route 3, Delphos 419-453-3812

Golf at Sugar Creek
6245 Sugar Creek Road, Beaverdam 419-643-GOLF / 888-GOLF-963

Hawthorne Hills Country Club
1000 Fetter Road, Lima 419-221-1896

Oaks Golf Club
2425 Kemp Road, Lima 419-999-2586

Springbrook Golf Club
4200 Ottawa Road, Lima 419-225-8037

Tamarac Golf Club
500 N. Stevick Road, Lima 419-331-2951


Allen County Museum

Allen County Museum-Lima

The museum has an extensive assemblage of vehicles, such as: an 1830 covered wagon, a carriage, a sleigh, a horse-drawn hearse, bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes, motorcycles, a 1909 Locomobile in mint condition, a World War I Liberty truck, and electric an car.

The Allen County Museum also houses a steam and electric railroad collection including a scale model considered one of the finest in the country. Hours of operation are 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. every day except Monday and national holidays.

Read more about the Allen County Museum

620 West Market Street
Lima, OH 45801

MacDonell HouseMacDonell House Victorian Mansion

Built in 1893, the MacDonell House is one of the few remaining examples of Victorian architectural style and elegance that once marked an area known as the "Golden Block" in Lima.

632 W. Market Street Lima

Closed Mondays and major holidays. Open afternoons.

John Dillinger Mug ShotJohn Dillinger

In October 1933, 6 men raided the Allen County Jail and released the infamous gangster John Dillinger who was being held in connection with a bank robbery in Bluffton. During the escape, Sheriff Sarber was murdered.


Abrahms Tanks

The Lima Army Tank Plant (LATP) manufactures the M-1 Abrams tank. In 1980, the first M1 tank rolled out of the tank plant. The plant has been manufacturing tanks and other specialized military vehicles since 1941.

Delphos Canal Commission

Delphos Canal Commission Museum

Folklore museum about the opening of the Miami-Erie Canal and the birth of Delphos.

241 N. Main Street

Open 1st and 3rd Sundays 1pm to 3pm
2nd and 4th Mondays 7pm to 9pm