The North Baltimore Area Historical Society A Northwest Ohio Black Swamp Boomtown

History of the North Baltimore Area and Henry Township

History of a Black Swamp Boomtown

North Baltimore and the surrounding Henry Township areas of southern Wood County, Ohio, were once part of the Great Black Swamp, which covered nearly all of northwestern Ohio. Until it was extensively drained, beginning in the 1850s, northwestern Ohio was the most sparsely settled part of the state. Henry Shaw, Henry Township's first settler and after whom the township is named, arrived in 1829. Since the Black Swamp proved to be good soil, more settlers were attracted to the area.

The village of North Baltimore was founded in 1860 by Bassett L. Peters, who established a general store at what was first known as Peters Crossroads, now the corner of Main and Broadway Streets. In 1875, Peters recorded the first plat of twenty-nine acres for the community which was first known as New Baltimore. Official incorporation occurred on February 7, 1876.

Because of confusion in the U.S. Postal Service with another Ohio town of a similar name, the village's name was later changed to North Baltimore. Other early settlers were Jacob Dirk, George Franks, and Levi A. Tarr. The town flourished owing to the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad from which the town first took its name. The discovery of rich gas and oil deposits near North Baltimore in 1886 gave a further boost to the region's prosperity and accelerated population growth in the 1890s.

View timelines of North Baltimore's history by selecting from the menu on the left.