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developed by
Tim Reinhart
© 2001 - 2004

New Riegel, Ohio
and St. Boniface Catholic Church

New Riegel, Ohio is a small farm community in Seneca County.  Our ancestor, Peter Reinhart, died at his home in New Riegel in 1873, and is buried at St. Boniface cemetery.

New Riegel is located about eight miles southwest of Tiffin.  

As early as 1825 a few Catholics moved to the vicinity of New Riegel, but other records show that the village was settled in 1832 and 1833 by several families.  By 1835 there were more than thirty families at New Riegel.

At that time the area was generally known as "The German Settlement", but it soon acquired the name 
Wolf's Creek
or Wolfscreek.  

In 1834 Father Tschenhenss was 
the first priest to offer mass there.  He continued to make visits to "Wolfscreek" at regular intervals for many years, and in 1839 he erected a log chapel there, dedicating it to St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany.

As more Germans settled in the area from the Baden Region of Germany, they changed the name in 1844 to honor their home village of Riegel, Germany.  Hence, the farm village was now known as New Riegel.  

I visited Riegel, Germany a few times while I lived in Germany.  
Just as in "New" Riegel, Ohio, 
Riegel, Germany is also a quiet agricultural community...  
with great food and an historic church  -  see photo below.  

Riegel, Germany, also has a large brewery in town where they export a tasty beer: Riegeler Bier.

For more information about 
Riegel, Germany, click on this link...

Riegel, Germany
              photo by Tim Reinhart


In 1845, the congregation of the Most Precious Blood established a mission at New Riegel, with Fathers Sales, M. Brunner, and five priests of the congregation in charge.  

A log cabin served as the original motherhouse where the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood resided and worked.  A replica made of wood from the original log cabin can be seen at the Maria Stein Heritage Museum, part of the National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics in Maria Stein, Ohio.

Construction began on a large convent in 1893 and was completed in 1894, as seen in the photo to the right.  

The new building was unprecedented for its time.  It featured 61 rooms, including 30 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms.  

The enormous building was divided into three sections:  each with its own living room and kitchen.  One section housed retired nuns;  another, teaching nuns;  and the third section was for cloistered nuns.

The only recorded change made to the building through the years was the addition of a wing in 1967.

The nuns at the convent served the community and surrounding region for many decades, until the convent closed on January 1, 1980, for complex reasons.

It had since been used for various purposes, including a domestic violence center, housing for a group of monks, and served another religious order as Our Lady of Nativity Monastery.

The former convent was renamed Morman Hall in 1986, in honor of Rev. Edmund Morman, who had served as the sisters' chaplain, when he was killed in a traffic accident that same year.  

Most recently, Morman Hall served as housing for the elderly and mentally disabled.

Tragically, in June 2001, the former convent was destroyed in a fire.  
One person was killed in the blaze.

"I think it's sad," said one local resident, "it was a landmark."

The village of New Riegel, Ohio, was officially incorporated on December 2, 1882, on petition of B. J. Murphy and 39 other  residents, and was presented to the commissioners of the county, on December 28, 1881. The local records, however, acknowledge the order of February 5, 1883, as the act of incorporate.

The first village elections were held on April 2, 1883.

In June, 1884, sidewalks and street crossings were authorized, and a series of public and private improvements commenced.

Andrew W Werley, the first postmaster at New Riegel, was appointed in 1877, and served until April, 1878, when he resigned in favor of C. H. Klein.  Andrew Werley established his grain trade here in 1881, and built an elevator the same year.

      Peter Reinhart's tombstone 
       faces St. Boniface Church 
                 photo by Tim Reinhart

According to early records, in 1885, the property of St. Boniface church was valued at $25,000. The beautiful church was said to be... 
"one of the finest buildings devoted to religion in northwestern Ohio; while the monastery, convent and schools are buildings equally suited to the wants of a large religious community and a great congregation."

According to 1885 statistics, the number of parishioners was over 600, principally Germans. 

Today, New Riegel is still a quiet farm community, with a strong Christian heritage.  

The current population is around 300 people.

The tragic fire that destroyed the convent will forever change the landscape, as the town prepares for another transition...
New Riegel High School, home of the "Blue Jackets" will soon be torn down to make way for their new high school, taking New Riegel far into the 21st Century.

The town is probably best known 
for the New Riegel Cafe'...   
home of famous ribs.  

So, if you're ever driving through Northern Ohio, you've got to make a stop in New Riegel...  and try some of those ribs!

New Riegel, Ohio
January 2001
photo by Tim Reinhart

New Riegel Hotel & Bar
at the turn of the century
photo courtesy of New Riegel Cafe'
Click on photo to enlarge

The "Big 6"
Weighing in at over 1,200 lbs

August 9, 1900
photo courtesy of New Riegel Cafe'
Click on photo to enlarge

New Riegel Fair
First Logs for the Buckeye Stave Mill 

October 10, 1900
photo courtesy of New Riegel Cafe'
Click on photo to enlarge

New Riegel, Ohio
December 22, 1900
photo courtesy of New Riegel Cafe'
Click on photo to enlarge

Construction of the new Convent
from 1893 to 1894
photo courtesy of New Riegel Cafe'
Click on photo to enlarge

The Convent is destroyed by fire
June 2001
photo by Tim Reinhart

Tornado hits New Riegel in the 1950s
photo courtesy of Floyd Reinhart
Click on photo to enlarge

New Riegel from the air, 1960
photo by Floyd Reinhart

Click on photo to enlarge

New Riegel from the air, 1960
photo by Floyd Reinhart

Click on photo to enlarge

New Riegel Skyline:
St. Boniface Church & Grain Elevators

photo by Tim Reinhart

New Riegel Cafe'
Home of Famous Ribs

photo by Tim Reinhart

M O R E   P H O T O S

See New Riegel from a unique perspective...   
from above !!

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developed by Tim ReinhartCopyright © 2001 - 2002. 
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