The Story of Stranleigh
The first half of the twentieth century was an uncertain, but exciting time in American history. In 1910, R.A. Stranahan moved the struggling Champion Spark Plug Company (owned by R.A. and brother F.D.) to Toledo. While Stranahan secured contracts with Willy's Overland and Ford Motor Company, the dedicated and talented Toledo workforce quickly transformed Champion into the world's largest spark plug producer. Over the next 50 years, the Stranahan family's great business success shaped the future of northwest Ohio and influenced developments across the globe.
The Great Depression followed the boom of the 1920s. Toledo was particularly hard-hit by the Depression, but Champion Spark Plug persevered. During this period R.A. Stranahan served as Chairman of the Greater Toledo Community Chest. In 1936, Stranahan hired a local architectural firm to design the Manor House and employed nearly 100 local craftsmen for two years constructing the estate that became Wildwood Preserve.
During World War II, Champion Spark Plug was awarded the coveted Army/Navy "E" for excellence award for its exemplary war-time production. At home, the Stranahan's
Champion Spark Plug's post war prosperity spurred extended philanthropy by the Stranahan family. Brothers R.A. and F.D. founded the Stranahan Foundation in the 1940s. The foundation continues to support local projects. The family also played significant roles in opening Toledo Express Airport, the Stranahan Theatre, Stranahan Elementary School and numerous other community projects.
In 1974, voters in Lucas County approved a levy to purchase the former Stranahan estate and open it to the public as Wildwood Preserve.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Parks & Recreational Areas • War, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
Location. 41° 40.847′ N, 83° 40.095′ W. Marker is in Wildwood, Ohio, in Lucas County. Marker is on Red Trail just south of Blue Trail, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Toledo OH 43615, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Horse Stables / Visitors Center (within shouting distance of this marker); Ballroom / Riding Area (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Clay Tennis Court / Staff Parking Lot
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 19, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.