…A small sample of the history of Holgate…
The Village of Holgate formally known as Kaufmanville was founded in 1874 by William Kaufman. This area was a wilderness and swamp, better known as the Black Swamp. Mr. Kaufman built a log cabin from the many types of trees that were in the area.
Around the same time that he was building his home there was a road cut through to Napoleon. The timber that was cut was hauled to Napoleon and floated down the Maumee River to Toledo. The timber was used in building ships. Much of the labor of cutting and hauling was done by French-Canadians.
The trees and underbrush had to be cleared which brought many sawmills to town. Some such mills were Brayer Brothers, Upton, Walker, Shelly Brothers, and Jacob Laubenthal.
Most of the logs were hauled to the mills and others were burned on site. The ashes were hauled to the Ashery, where they made lye. Besides making soap, it was put in large wooden barrels and shipped away. Most businesses and homes burned wood for heat, when the ashes were removed they were placed on a pile in the alley and every spring a large wagon from the Ashery would go around town and pick them up. This continued until coal became a popular heat source.
In 1866 Conrad Groll, a farm owner at the north edge of town, donated a small piece of land just across the road to build a church. The first Lutheran Church was built in 1880.
Many of the first buildings and homes in Holgate were spearheaded by John G Zachrich, a contractor and C.G. Stuber, a carpenter.
In 1874 the B&O Railroad laid its track, the first train went through the same year. Also in 1874 a group of gentlemen headed by W.O. Holgate purchased the land from Kaufman St east to the city limits and this was known as Holgate.
Many businesses were beginning to build on what is now the main street of Holgate. Some businesses were a drug store owned by Fed H. Voigt, a tin shop owned by J.J. Roller, Holgate Mills that was owned by J.J. Albright. There was also Fritch Barber Shop and a meat market owned by Henry Voit.