“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wildwood in Lucas County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Story of Stranleigh

The Story of Stranleigh Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, May 12, 2021
1. The Story of Stranleigh Marker
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

The Story of Stranleigh Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, May 12, 2021
2. The Story of Stranleigh Marker
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converted their 250 acre farm into a victory garden where 3 German prisoners of war were bussed in daily to work in supporting the allied war effort. During this time, R.A. Stranahan sat on all 7 successful war bond drives in the Toledo area.

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: DisastersParks & Recreational AreasWar, 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

The Story of Stranleigh Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By TeamOHE, May 12, 2021
3. The Story of Stranleigh Marker
Marker is inside the second archway to the back yard.
(about 600 feet away); Limousine Garage / Metroparks Hall (about 700 feet away); Lusk / Mewborn Riverview Boardwalk (about 700 feet away); River Diversion / Island / Air Intake Tunnel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Formal Gardens (approx. 0.2 miles away); Manor House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wildwood.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2021, by TeamOHE of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 76 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 19, 2021, by TeamOHE of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 28, 2022