Former Toledo Jail
in Whitehouse —known as the Workhouse—to be demolished
A building that once housed prisoners at the former Toledo
House of Corrections is slated to be demolished this summer
as part of Metroparks ongoing plans to develop the
Blue Creek Conservation Area.
Bids will be sought this month for a contractor to demolish the
two-story structure, with work expected to begin in July or
Several other buildings on the property, commonly known as the
“Workhouse,” will remain. They include a large white barn and a
smaller, stone hog barn. A building that once housed a gymnasium
and dormitories is now the base of operations for Metroparks
native seed nursery and other land management operations.
Signage and other displays on the site will inform future park
visitors of the property’s past as a working prison farm.
Representatives from the Toledo Police Museum are
collecting items from the jail for possible display in the
museum, located at Toledo’s Ottawa Park.
The Toledo House of Corrections operated from 1918 until 1991
and housed people serving sentences for misdemeanor crimes. The
inmates grew vegetables, raised hogs and cattle, and quarried
limestone on the farm.
Metroparks purchased 207 acres of the property, then known as
Quarry Pond Farm, from the City of Toledo in 2000 to
preserve it as public open space. The park system purchased an
additional 137 acres from Lucas County in 2002.
Portions of the property are leased to the Village of
Whitehouse, and the Anthony Wayne Youth Foundation uses
part of the property for recreation fields.
Metroparks operates part of the farm in partnership with
Nature’s Nursery wildlife rehabilitation center and the Lucas
Soil and Water Conservation District. It includes the Metroparks
native seed nursery, which grows native plants and harvests the
seeds for use in natural area restoration projects.
A portion of Blue Creek, on the south side of Schadel Road, has
been open for daily public use since March 2013, with a walking
trail and a quarry pond available for fishing.
Using state EPA grants, Metroparks is in the process of
restoring a manmade wetland and completing other water quality
projects on the property.