The Oil Boom: 1886 – 1915

oil well

Oil well near North Baltimore, circa 1890s


Henry Township’s first oil well gusher occurs on Dave Fulton Farm, on the northeast corner of Oil Center and Mitchell Roads.


North Baltimore’s first gas well is established on Peters property at 207 East Broadway Street. It is still in use.


North Baltimore Times begins publication under G. G. Grimes.


North Baltimore Bottle Glass Company is established on Mitchell Road in Henry Township. This site is now the location of the old France stone quarry.


People’s Bank is organized in North Baltimore. It is closed in 1894 and purchased by the Hardy Banking Co. in 1896.

Zihlman Flint Glass Factory

The Zihlman Flint Glass Factory


Zihlman Glass Company opens on East Water Street in North Baltimore, making 1,000 drinking glasses each day.


Enterprise Window Glass Company is established on Mitchell Road in Henry Township.


The second Henry Opera House is destroyed by fire. The town’s B&O depot burns, but it is replaced by a new structure which is still standing.


Central Pressed Brick Co. opens on Poe Road (Tile Yard Road) by the railroad, producing 8 million bricks annually.

Main Street

1891 view looking north of South Main Street


North Baltimore’s City Hall is built at 205 North Main Street at a cost of $5,925. It is razed in May of 1985.


First National Bank begins operation at the corner of North Main Street and East Broadway Street in North Baltimore.

1890 – 1891

The North Baltimore Electric Company is founded at 115 West State Street by Dr. Henry.


Hardy Machine Company is organized and builds a plant on North Second Street to manufacture and repair parts for use in the oil fields. The firm is later purchased by the France Stone Company.


The Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton builds a branch line from Bowling Green to North Baltimore. The CH&D depot is located on East Broadway Street and burns in 1898.

The Great Fire of 1891

The Great Fire of 1891


North Baltimore’s Great Fire of October 30, 1891 destroys 49 major buildings, innumerable small structures, and 76 businesses on North Main Street and destroys four houses on North Tarr Street.


North Baltimore Water Company begins operation, bringing clean water to homes and businesses as well as to fire hydrants for increased fire protection.


Drawing its recruits from the North Baltimore and Henry Township area, Company K, 2nd Regiment of the Ohio National Guard is organized. The unit is mobilized for the Spanish American War but does not engage in any combat operations. It is disbanded in the early 1900s.


The Toledo, Bowling Green & Southern Electric Interurban (streetcar) Line through North Baltimore is completed. The line is later abandoned in 1930 due to competition from automobiles and the financial hardship of the Great Depression of 1929.

Electric street cars

Toledo, Bowling Green, & Southern Interurban Electric Streetcars in North Baltimore, circa 1905


France Stone Company begins quarrying operations on Mitchell Road in Henry Township. The quarry itself covers nearly 100 acres. Local operations cease in the 1980s. The property is now owned by Hanson Aggregate.


Founded by Isaac Dallas Smith, the Smith Foundry & Machine Co., Inc. on West Broadway Street begins manufacturing cast iron products. It continues to be one the town’s oldest family-run businesses until it closes in the early 21st Century.


The third Henry Opera House and the business block on the west side of North Main Street are destroyed by fire. The owners decide not to rebuild because of increasing competition from the two new motion picture theaters which have opened in town.

Main Street after 1911 fire

Buildings ruined in 1911 Fire on North Main Street


The Oil Boom ends in Henry Township and the rest of Northwest Ohio as crude oil production drops due to poor conservation practices and over-drilling.

1888 map

1888 map of North Baltimore

1890 map

1890 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

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