Historic Holgate Avenue
The Holgate Avenue Historic District was the first National Register District in Defiance County. The district was researched and nominated by volunteers in the neighborhood when it’s historic integrity was threatened by a proposed bridge across the Maumee River at the north end of the Avenue. Several houses there would be torn down to accommodate the bridge and traffic on the Avenue would significantly increase. The entire district/neighborhood was owned and developed by Mr. William C. Holgate who was responsible for riding horseback to Columbus in March of 1844 to petition the State to carve out Defiance County, which then belonged to three other counties; Williams, Henry and Paulding. The town of Defiance had been the Williams County seat. But when the seat was relocated to a more central location, Bryan, OH, Defiance residents and investors knew they could not lose the county seat and remove it so far from the economic hub created by the Miami & Erie Canal.
William C. Holgate built his home (512 Holgate Ave.) on the Maumee River in 1856. He later renovated the front to include the discarded ionic columns of Defiance’s second court house which was razed in 1870. He then began to develop and sell parcels to other like minded businessmen on the area. He also built several homes for his children and other relatives.