Waterville family makes donation to preserve historic buildings

Waterville family makes donation to preserve historic buildings

WATERVILLE, OH (WTOL) - Waterville residents are proud of their history.

Rob Black made an important donation to the the Waterville Historical Society to help preserve two historic buildings. Black is the owner of the both of the buildings.

The Waterville Gas Company called one of the buildings home from 1888 until 2009. The natural gas boom played an important role in northwest Ohio's history.

It resulted in economic growth and jobs for the area. The gas company, owned by the Black family, wants to see the building preserved.

"That's how Toledo glass companies got started. Those factories moved from the Northeast because there was  a lot of natural gas here," Black said. "We had businesses come here because of that."

Next door is the onetime home of Dr. Welcome Pray, the nephew of Waterville founder.

Dr. Pray lived at the home in the late 1800s. It is also believed the building is also where Dr. Pray practiced medicine.

Both buildings stood at a time when Waterville was renowned as a river, canal and railroad town.

"Waterville is a very significant old town, second  oldest platted town in Lucas County following Maumee," Jim Conrad of the Waterville Historical Society said..

Both buildings will be restored and turned into museums featuring photos, documents and artifacts so future generations will never forget Waterville's past.

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