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Lima in Allen County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Servicemen's Free Canteen

 
 
Servicemen's Free Canteen Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., May 9, 2009
1. Servicemen's Free Canteen Marker
Inscription.  The Lima Chapter of the American Women's Voluntary Services Organization established a community-based, free canteen during World War II for troops traveling on the Pennsylvania Railroad and adjacent Baltimore & Ohio-Nickel Plate Railroads. Meeting as many as forty trains a day, the ladies served 2.5 million troops between 1942-1945. Food, coffee, and other items were donated to the canteen from a twelve county area. The "AWVS" disbanded in 1945, but succeeding volunteers continued to provide service throughout the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam War. Lima's "Servicemen's Free Canteen" was the longest, continuously operated service canteen in the United States. An estimated four million soldiers, sailors, and marines were served between 1942-1970.
 
Erected 2007 by Allen County Historical Society, Lima Community Foundation, City of Lima Utilities Department, Downtown Lima, Inc., and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 6-2.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkPatriots & Patriotism
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War, KoreanWar, VietnamWar, World IIWomen. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1945.
 
Location. 40° 44.691′ N, 84° 6.14′ W. Marker is in Lima, Ohio, in Allen County. Marker is on Central Avenue, in the median. Marker is adjacent to the west facade of the former Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 424 N Central Avenue, Lima OH 45801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Adam Welty Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Allen County Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site Of Lima's First Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Allen County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Allen County, Ohio (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Old Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic House (approx. ¼ mile away); Faurot Opera House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lima.
 
Servicemen's Free Canteen Marker at PRR Passenger Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., May 9, 2009
2. Servicemen's Free Canteen Marker at PRR Passenger Station
Looking east.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 3, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,834 times since then and 89 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 3, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Jul. 20, 2024