Lima, Ohio

Lima (pop: 40,000) (On the highway from 1914 - 1919). County seat.

Halfway between Toledo and Dayton, Lima grew up in close proximity to the Miami-Erie Canal system, feeding it with lumber and agricultural products. In fact, Lima is one of the top soybean producing areas of the state. but in the mid 19th century, five major railroads boomed the town, especially with the manufacturing of locomotives and train cars. In 1885 oil was discovered in the center of town, and the next year it became the world's largest oil producing town in the world!

Lima also had the first electric street car in the state (second in the nation), after a horse-drawn version was converted in 1886. World War I saw the production of the Liberty Motor Truck, literally putting the American Army on wheels. During World War II, Lima began manufacturing many other military vehicles, and later became known for production of the Sherman Tank.

Lima became an original LH town in 1914, and in 1915 held a control station at the Town Square and was also the intersection of one route of another early road established by Carl Fisher, the Dixie Highway, which ran from Michigan to Florida.

Prior to 1919, the Lincoln Highway entered Allen County from the east on what is now state route 309W to Lima and onto Delphos via what is now state route 309. After 1919 it followed a more northern route though Beaverdam, (note: stay on two lane Lincoln Highway at I-75, do not follow four lane US 30) then Cairo and Gomer to Delphos.

  • Allen County Museum 620 W. Market Street (419) 222-9426, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays and national holidays.
  • The Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit features a Nickel Plate 779, the last steam engine ever built at the Lima Locomotive Works. You will also find a luxurious private car, built in 1883 and a Nickel Plate caboose built in 1882. Corner of Elm and Shawnee Streets (419) 221-5195

    Lincoln Park with its Railway Museum.

  • Lima Symphony Orchestra (performances Oct. through Apr.) 67 W. Town Square. 1-888-222-6075
  • Just South of the city is the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum.
    Just west of I-75 at exit 111 (Bellefontaine Street) in Wapakoneta, Auglaize County.
  • Spencerville Historical Museum southwest of town. 119 E. Fourth Street (419) 647-4851
  • For a flashback, check out the Kewpee in downtown for a burger and malt.
  • Lima is also known for its several family Italian restaurants.

  • For more information call 1-888-222-6075 or visit us at:


Lima Firefighters Memorial Museum