WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society has successfully applied for funding to provide permanent markers honoring the listing of St. Joseph Catholic Church and School, Wapakoneta, and St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and Hall, Freyburg, in the National Register of Historic Places.
Although the structures have been included in the National Register for more than four decades, as contributors to the Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches, no exterior signs have ever indicated this status. The Historical Society applied to the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, and was provided the $6,200 in funding necessary to cast these markers. The markers are currently in production by Sewah Studies, Marietta, Ohio, the company that also casts Ohio Historical Markers.
Built in 1911, St. Joseph Church is an excellent and well preserved example of Romanesque Revival architecture. The 1899 St. Joseph School is currently undergoing a rehabilitation process that respects its architectural significance. The 1850 St. John Church is a well preserved example of Gothic Revival architecture and is considered the second oldest unaltered church in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The hall, dating from the 1870s, was originally used as the parish school.
“We’re so pleased to be able to highlight and honor our local history. These markers will remind both local residents and many visitors about the important role that faith has played in the history of our county,” said county Historical Society director Rachel Barber,
The markers will be installed in front of the churches. No date has been set for the markers’ arrival or dedication. A marker application for St. Patrick Catholic Church, Glynnwood, is also in process. The Historical Society hopes to garner more such markers for other National Register buildings in Auglaize County, for the county’s 175th anniversary this year.
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is a private institution based in Syracuse, New York. is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history. The Pomeroy Foundation provides grants to obtain signage in the form of roadside markers and plaques. Since 2006, the organization has funded more than 1,200 signs across the United States, all the way to Alaska. It has grown to offer eight different marker programs.