The Wolcott House Museum Complex guided tours whisk 21st century whippersnappers back to the 1800s to discover Maumee Valley pioneer life. The complex consists of seven historical buildings anchored around the Wolcott House, home of local businessman James Wolcott. Outside the Gilbert-Flanigan house, lessons about early farm life and architecture slip endlessly off the sloping roof of this “Ohio saltbox” style home. The Monclova Country Church, built at the turn of the century, was once filled with the sermons of Milton Wright, the father of Orville and Wilbur of flying fame. The Clover Leaf Depot served the Toledo and Grand Rapids Railroad and includes a telegraph room that connected residents to the rest of the world before Alexander Graham Bell invented the steam-powered Internet. Get schooled inside a pre–Civil War schoolhouse that is still complete with a period teacher’s desk, chalkboard, and some metal-ruler snap bracelets.
The friendly staffers at Holland Laundry suds threads of clothes and linens, fluff them dry, and fold them with precise, practiced hands. Sullied garments spiff up with a fresh-smelling lather ($0.95/pound), and other washables such as comforters, rugs, and reputations ($1.25/pound) return to owners crisply folded and refreshed. The convenient drop-off service, plus free bleach and softener available for all drop-offs, frees customers' schedules and takes a chore off their hands, leaving them with more time to relax and ponder the twist ending of Mary Poppins.
At Dégagé Express, Head Chef Joseph Jacobsen uses techniques learned beside Jacques Pépin and Bobby Flay to transform locally sourced meats and produce—most cultivated within 30 miles of the restaurant—into elegant sandwiches and desserts. These ingredients fill the menu, composing seasonal dishes such as the Missy's Fix sandwich, made with housemade corned beef, apple slaw, thousand-island dressing, and local sauerkraut. Sous Chef Skyler Stanton, meanwhile, cooks soups such as the Train Wreck Chili. A testament to the culinary staff's creativity, croutons flavored with bacon fat and cheese top the restaurant's caesar salad, and housemade hot chocolate and locally baked pies from Schmucker's lend a sweet note, like a banker who underwrites loans with chocolate coins.
Dégagé Express calls the historic Commercial Building home. It is rumored that none other than Abraham Lincoln stayed at the building when it doubled as an inn way back in the early 19th century. Today, Dégagé uses the winsome building to host another cornerstone of the American experience: live jazz music.
Entrepreneur Brennan Stanford knows how to have a good time, and his enthusiasm is infectious. After dabbling in businesses including lawn mowing, mobile disc jockeying, and selling T-shirts out of his college dorm room, the Toledo-born, Maumee-raised go-getter began bartending and managing a bar in Bowling Green. He honed his mixology chops and people skills while slinging drinks in high-energy nightclubs and at private events, and now owns and operates Premier Pour Bartending, which earned a WeddingWire Bride's Choice award in 2011.
Stanford knows that the bartender plays a crucial role in any large or small event and often serves as a key point of contact for wedding guests or corporate holiday partygoers. But his crew also lays the groundwork for a successful shindig beforehand by helping hosts and hostesses with menu planning and alcohol estimates. Premier Pour staff members typically dress in all black, but can also dress to fit the party's theme, donning Hawaiian shirts, Halloween costumes, or sandwich boards printed with clown college acceptance letters.