Historic sites opening doors


Opera houses, theaters featured in statewide event

Staff Report



An 11 building self guided tour in Swanton will feature the Benfield Wines building, which was formerly Pilliod Opera House.

An 11 building self guided tour in Swanton will feature the Benfield Wines building, which was formerly Pilliod Opera House.


Drew Stambaugh | AIM Media Midwest

Residents will be given a look at some of Ohio’s history this Open Doors program. The doors will be opened to historic buildings, including several locally, for viewing and tours.

The state history organization is placing a special spotlight on historic theaters and opera houses across Ohio. Two of these opera houses — in Fayette and Swanton — are located in Fulton County and are part of the special day.

Eleven historic structures in Swanton, the Holy Trinity Parish (St. Mary’s) Church in Assumption, the depot and Universalist Church in Lyons, The Opera House and History Center in Fayette, and the cabin and blacksmith shop at the county fairgrounds are included in the open houses.

This year, Ohio’s historic places will also share their stories virtually, with a full listing of events and activities available at ohiohistory.org/opendoors.

“Ohio Open Doors shares stories of important landmarks right in our backyard, highlighting the history and unique nature of some of Ohio’s most treasured places,” says Amanda Schraner Terrell, Director of the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. “Our theaters and opera houses are tremendously significant to our shared history. We’re using this event to highlight their impact in our communities and to encourage support for them during this difficult time.”

On Thursday at 7 p.m. the Swanton Ohio Historical Society will give a presentation at Benfield Wines on the Yellowstone Trail, one of the first automobile interstate routes that ran through northern Ohio, and mutiple Fulton County communities.

Then, on Friday, an 11 building self-guided tour will be available to the public in Swanton from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Start at the Swanton Public Library and pick up a brochure, then go site to site in Swanton on your own. Enjoy a picture collage at each site and watch a video of the history of each building right in the palm of your hand on your smart phone.

Some buildings you’ll be able to walk in to and tour, including the Pilliod Opera House (Benfield Wines). Yamilet Food Truck will be parked outside the opera house from noon to 7 p.m.

The other Fulton County sites will be open from noon to 7 p.m.

All Ohio Open Doors events are free.

The Ohio History Connection created Ohio Open Doors in 2016 to promote and inspire pride in Ohio’s heritage and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. This year Ohio Open Doors is co-sponsored by TourismOhio, the Ohio Travel Association, Ohio Arts Council and Heritage Ohio.

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office administers the National Historic Preservation Act in Ohio. Many of the landmarks featured in Ohio Open Doors events are on the National Register of Historic Places, which the National Historic Preservation Act created.

For more information about Ohio Open Doors, visit ohiohistory.org/opendoors, museumoffultoncounty.org or the Swanton Ohio Historical Society Facebook page.

An 11 building self guided tour in Swanton will feature the Benfield Wines building, which was formerly Pilliod Opera House.
https://www.fcnews.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2022/09/web1_Benfield-Downtown.jpgAn 11 building self guided tour in Swanton will feature the Benfield Wines building, which was formerly Pilliod Opera House. Drew Stambaugh | AIM Media Midwest
Opera houses, theaters featured in statewide event

Staff Report