History of Genoa, Ohio

The first white settlers came to what is now known as Clay Township in 1835. More settlers continued to arrive and the community grew into what was then called Stony Station. The name change happened in 1857, to Genoa. This name was chosen for the city of Genoa, Italy. For like the Italian city, this community was surrounded by water. The Village of Genoa was, then, incorporated on September 7, 1868.

The Village of Genoa Opera Hall was Completed in 1886. The Opera Hall had an opening show in January 1886, with the production of “The Three Wise Owls”. Since then the Opera Hall has been a hub of activity with council and other important meetings; church suppers and bazaars; plays, minstrel shows and other entertainment, and high school commencement exercises being held there. The Genoa Opera Hall is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places; it is classified as the oldest free-standing municipal building in Ottawa County.

Main Street was a corduroy road, which is where logs are placed side by side with sand filling in between the cracks, until it was paved in 1913. Main Street becoming Lime Road going into Woodville, was a toll road from 1851-1910. The 600 block of downtown Main Street is now on the National Registry of Historical Places of Ohio.

  • Genoa ladies voted in their first election when the
    woman’s suffrage came to town in 1895.
  • The Genoa Banking Co. was established September 5, 1902.
  • The first Genoa Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1948.

The GAR (Grand Army of Republic) post is a fraternal organization composed of Veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War. The GAR dissolved in 1956 when the last surviving member died. The GAR Hall sits behind the Town Hall, on Washington Street, and is in the process of being restored.

The Village of Genoa is enriched with historical value, so if you’re a history buff or are just curious of the many interesting facts and details that came before us that helped build this wonderful community of Ottawa County, this is the place for you!!

We also invite you to visit the National Historic Registry for additional information on Genoa’s many historic places.


051209 Picture B&W Town Hall

Village Town Hall Circa-1960’s