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

Major Historic Influences

Major Historic Influences Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, February 27, 2022
1. Major Historic Influences Marker
Inscription.  Oil Wells
This lake is arguably the site of the first off shore oil wells in the world. Oil was discovered in this area in the 1850's. Oil wells built by wildcatters sprang up all across the lake. It is estimated that over 150 oil wells were located on the lake. These well derricks dotted the horizon and contributed to the oil boom associated with Lima's oil fields. The rock in the eastern center of the lake marks the last working oil well on the lake. It was a working well into the 1940's. Because these wells were on land leased from the state there were strict requirements on capping the well holes with a slurry mixture when they finished producing.

Because the oil field was mapped early on in the petroleum industry, the recovery process was not fully developed. As a result, almost all of the natural gas associated with the oil field was lost. Geologists tell us that there is oil buried in the oil field, but its too expensive to remove from the ground at this time.

The railroads invaded the lake area in the 1870's. Terr rail lines ran through Celina by the 1880's. The Lake Erie and Western ran
Major Historic Influences Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, February 27, 2022
2. Major Historic Influences Marker
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east and west along the north side of the lake. The active shortline railroad, R. J. Corman, is the current occupant of this line. Two railroads, the Toledo, Delphous, and Burlington and the Van Wert, Celina and Star Line rail lines connected to points north and south of Celina. These rail lines no longer exist. A remnant of the Toledo line, which was also part of the Northern Railroad, and then later part of the Penn Central Railroad, now forms the Celina Coldwater Bikeway. These railroads caused the premature demise of the canal system.

An interurban railroad, the Western Ohio Railroad, connected Celina with Lima and contributed to the rise of this lake being developed for recreational and summer resort use. This electric powered rail line was active from 1901 to 1928. With its west terminus at the Main and Market Street intersection, it had stops along the north shore line. The tracks paralleled the present SR 703 right of-way to St. Marys. Some of its more popular stops were near the two amusement parks located on the lake.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1901.
Location. 40° 32.656′ N, 84° 34.25′ W. Marker is in Celina, Ohio, in Mercer County. Marker is on S. Main Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Celina OH 45822, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
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are within walking distance of this marker. Agriculture, Mercer County's Foundation (here, next to this marker); Early Mercer County History (here, next to this marker); Early Celina History (here, next to this marker); Prehistoric Indians / Historic Indians (here, next to this marker); Celina City Hall (a few steps from this marker); Grand Lake St. Marys Points Of Interest (a few steps from this marker); Mercer County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Lake Improvments (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Celina.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 6, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 134 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 6, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 31, 2023