So Much to Discover
In Wapakoneta, you can visit our Armstrong Air & Space Museum, take a historic walking tour, or enjoy a movie in our 1904 theater. You can shop in our historic downtown, visit our Farmers’ Market on Saturday, or take in the latest exhibit at Riverside Art Center.
We love to celebrate with big parades, outstanding entertainment, and plenty of great food. Whether it’s our Summer Moon Festival, Big Auglaize County Fair, Buckeye Farm Antique Show, or Giant Halloween Parade, we invite you to join in the fun.
(watch how to say Wapakoneta by viewing the video at the right)
(noun) an outstanding city in Ohio; A Great Place to Visit.
What does it mean? How do you pronounce it? We hear those questions every day. The name first appeared on maps after the Shawnee Indian Nation founded the community in the 1780s. Early local historians attributed the name to one person, possibly a leader of the tribe. Recent information from the Shawnee scholars and native speakers of the language indicates that it means “white garment” or “white cloth”, likely reflecting the community’s status as a neutral (and therefore peaceful) location after the Treaty of Greenville (1795). The earliest maps spell its name as Waughpaughkonnetta, which has evolved to Wapakoneta.
Wapakoneta has been a place to visit and discover since the Shawnee established their settlement along the banks of the of the Auglaize River in the 1780s. They built their Council House not far from the river, named by the French for its clay-filled waters. Many great American Indian leaders came to Wapakoneta to council, including Tecumseh, Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and the Shawnee’s elder chief, Black Hoof.
The Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, established a mission at Wapakoneta, living and working with the Shawnee. By 1814 they had erected a saw and grist mill on the banks of the Auglaize, and constructed a school. In 1832 the federal government removed the Shawnee from Ohio and sent them to Kansas. What had been their reservation was now open for white settlement.
Wapakoneta was officially platted in 1833. It was little more than a swampy, sleepy hamlet during its first decade and a half. However, on February 14, 1848, the Ohio Legislature voted to create the new Auglaize County from portions of Allen and Mercer Counties, and Wapakoneta became the county seat. With the completion of the Dayton & Michigan Railroad in 1858, Wapakoneta’s success was assured.
Today Wapakoneta is a prosperous community of nearly 10,000 located at the intersection of Interstate 75 and US 33, a major crossroads in American travel and commerce. Then and now, Wapakoneta is an outstanding place to live and visit.