N. Baltimore pictorial history book available at Saturday’s festival


PERRYSBURG – Thomas W. Boltz combined his distinctive military analyst skills with a love for his
childhood town to publish its pictorial history entitled, "North Baltimore and Its Neighbors."

Guests attending Saturday’s North Baltimore Summer Fest will have one of the first opportunities to
purchase the book and have Boltz sign it. He will be at the North Baltimore Area Historical Center,
across the street from the town’s library, from noon to 2 p.m.
His brand new release is another in the "Images of America" series, produced by Arcadia
Publishing, a premier printer of local and regional history books.
The 128-page pictorial makes use of photos from private collections, including his own, as well as those
given to the town’s and the county’s historical societies. Boltz explains the importance of each photo
in rich detail with information he ferreted from archives of the North Baltimore Beacon of the 1880s,
including pioneers’ personal accounts, as well as family records, local history books and the Map Room
in the Library of Congress.
Pioneers who wrote letters to the Beacon "wrote about their early life. They wrote about Henry
Township and southern Wood County in the early 1830s, ’40s and ’50s. I’d call it an untapped resource
for people."
"One letter was written by a sister of my great-great-grandmother," Boltz added. "This
woman … described coming to the log cabin their first two nights in Henry Township … . I got a real
report, you might say, of what my ancestors’ first nights there" were like.
Boltz’s attention to details stems from one of his three careers, being employed by the Defense
Intelligence Agency. From 1983 until 2005 he was an intelligence analyst specializing in Soviet/Russian
military forces, a civilian employee of the Department of Defense. (He also had a military career
spanning almost three decades and taught history for 11 years.)
For example, to get additional details on the Great Fire of 1891, Boltz studied copies of the old Sanborn
fire insurance maps prior to it which identified North Baltimore businesses, and added in information
from newspaper accounts of the time and photographs.
"Modern computers have really made historical research a lot easier, and there’s a lot more
information out there."
The book is a labor of his love for North Baltimore. Boltz grew up in the town and his ancestors settled
in Wood County in the 1830s. "One reason I like the history is my roots in the area go back to the
very beginning," he stated.
His great-great-great-great-grandfather, John Howard, was a Pennsylvania militia soldier who helped build
Fort Meigs prior to 1812, returned to his home state before the fighting started, then came back to Ohio
to settle. His maternal great-great-great-grandfather Charles Grant, featured in the book on page 10,
was one of the first pioneers to settle in Henry Township in 1832. Three years later he planted the
area’s first apple orchard with seeds given to him by Johnny Appleseed.
"North Baltimore and its Neighbors" features five chapters on the town, from "Clearing the
Black Swamp," to coverage of its oil boom, village life, good and bad times, plus World War II and
the homefront.
The final three chapters include photos and information on Cygnet, Jerry City, Galatea, Hoytville,
Hammansburg, Rudolph, and some of the "vanished villages" of Wood County, such as Bays, Oil
Center and Trombley.
In publishing his most recent book, Boltz wants to give special recognition to Knaggs, Nancy Buchanan and
Dick Martin for their technical assistance.
This is not Boltz’s first foray into the world of publishing. In 2001 he self-published "Black Swamp
Soldiers: Henry Township Men in the Civil War," because he had a number of ancestors in the fight;
in 2007, a 32-page booklet entitled "North Baltimore’s Great Fire of 1891." Both were
fund-raisers for the town’s historical society.
His newest book is available at the town’s historical center, through on-line bookstores and 0at

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