Richard Edward Wolfe, a science teacher at Clyde High School, started The Clyde Museum in 1932. It was first located in the basement of the Clyde Public Library, and was known as the Clyde Library Museum. Throughout the next few decades the museum was open sporadically. The museum was re-established in 1987 at its present location, the former Grace Episcopal Church located at 124 W. Buckeye Street.
Thaddeus Baker Hurd, who organized the Clyde Heritage League in 1975, was instrumental in restoring Heritage Hall, on Main Street, where the museum collection was temporarily stored prior to the purchase of the current museum building. The current museum building formerly being Grace Episcopal Church, Clyde Baptist Church, and home to Gems Unlimited (a jewelry store), was paid for by equal contributions from the City of Clyde, the Clyde Heritage League and Whirlpool Foundation.
Since that time, the Clyde Heritage League built on a garage annex museum in the early 1990s to house the 1920 Clydesdale fire truck, 1926 Ford Model T fire truck, and the 1904 Elmore Car. After the turn of the century, the CHL built on another addition in 2016 for a new meeting room, sales area, museum office and up-to-date handicap accessible restrooms and entrance. The Clyde Museum has become an important place for preserving Clyde history and heritage.
The Clyde Museum features a unique historical collection such as transportation, Native American artifacts, church history, education, pioneer to industrial era objects, and an interesting collection about war heroes and other famous people from the Clyde area, including Sherwood Anderson, the author.
The McPherson family home was the boyhood home of General James Birdseye McPherson, the highest senior ranking officer killed in the US Civil War. The home was built and completed in circa 1834 by James L. Gillien and Solaman Gould. William McPherson, father of James B. McPherson bought this home in 1835. Young James lived in this home from age 7 through 13 years of age. In 1841, due to a reverse in family fortune, Young James had to move from the home to Stemtown (Green Springs, Ohio) to live with the Smith family to work in their mercantile.
James B. McPherson eventually attended West Point, graduating in 1853 at the top of his class, and would later die in the Civil War at the Battle of Atlanta. The home remained in the McPherson family until a month after the general’s death in 1864, at which time it was sold. It then passed down through a series of five families until it was donated to the Clyde Heritage League in 1995. The house was lived in until the early 1970s. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and eventually received a historical marker from the Ohio Historical Society Marker program.
It is located on the corner of Maple Street and McPherson Highway, and is available to tour by appointment only. The house opens to the public only a few times a year, mainly on Memorial Day and the Saturday of Winesburg Weekend in November of every year. For a tour, please call 419-547-7946 and leave a message.
Heritage Hall, also the former Clyde City Hall, was built in 1882 and housed the Clyde Fire Department, police station, in addition to the Clyde City Council and Mayor’s office for the next 97 years. In 1979, after the completion of the new municipal building, a couple blocks north on Main Street, the building shortly thereafter was sold to the Clyde Heritage League for the tidy sum of $1.00. It was for a short period in the 1980s that the museum collection was stored here and people were allowed to view it until the museum found its new home in the former Episcopal Church in 1987. Heritage Hall is now the home of the Clyde Life Enrichment Center for disabled adults, which is operated by SANDCO of Fremont, Ohio. The Center is open Monday thru Friday (days).
Heritage Hall was acquired by the Clyde Heritage League, of which Thaddeus B. Hurd was the driving force behind the acquisition of the building. The CHL is dedicated to maintaining the historical outward integrity and appearance of the building.