Fostoria’s history in film

More of Fostoria’s history will be shared through a continuation of a documentary series first released last year.
The Fostoria Area Historical Society, in partnership with local film studio Capture1 Studios, is completing finishing touches to a sequel revolving around Fostoria’s past, “The History of Fostoria, Volume II: ‘Pieces of Our Past,'” which features the John B. Rogers Production Company, Fostoria Academy, and VFW Post 421’s national championship band and highlights the life of Gov. Charles Foster.
Similar to Volume I, the second installment is also hosted by Leonard Skonecki, president of the Fostoria Area Historical Society, portraying Gov. Foster. A special appearance by Mrs. Ann Foster — or Cindy Swartz, activity director at Good Shepherd Home — adds depth and humor to the narrative.
“(Volume II) will give members of the community a greater sense of appreciation for the folks who came before, who built the town, who gave it a good reputation,” Skonecki said, using John B. Rogers’ company as an example, citing its popularity and successes. “That’s just one example of something that makes Fostoria important in its own way; makes Fostoria unique.
“There is a lot in Fostoria’s history to take pride in. Part of (the Historical Society’s) mission is to make sure people are aware of that.”
The 59-minute film includes exclusive interviews from various community members who shared their comments and memories of the past, including Ray Dell, Nancy Slaymaker, Jodee Paxton, Ron Amrine, Dave Zoll, Browning Payne and Susan Kinn. Music from local musician Charles Thaxton is also used in the film.
“I’ve learned a thousand things since the first volume, what not to do and what to do,” said Matt Erman, co-director and founder of Capture1 Studios.
He said the sequel includes animations not seen in Volume I, including sun flares, mist, fire and smoke, to create an atmosphere in the digitally created city of Fostoria in the 1800s and early 1900s.
“The History of Fostoria, Volume I: ‘Fostoria’s Firsts'” is a film chronicling the city from its inception in the mid-1800s to the suspected John Dillinger bank robbery of 1934. It tells the story of early Fostoria through its industry, railroad and sports.
The first installment generated more than $5,000 in funds for the Historical Society, selling more than 400 copies, according to Skonecki.
“We’re hoping that they will like it even more than they liked the first one,” he said. “The only negative comment that I heard was from one fellow who, when he got done watching it, said, ‘It wasn’t long enough.’ And I thought that’s a wonderful criticism. I’m glad he made it; it made me feel good.”
Community members will have the opportunity to explore more of Fostoria’s history at a premiere night July 9 at Good Shepherd Home. Hors devours will be served at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.
Those in attendance will have the opportunity to see a preview of the film and watch a blooper gag reel. Erman will discuss the production aspects of the video, Skonecki will give a brief presentation for the Historical Society and a representative for Good Shepherd Home will offer insight on their Therapy for All Project.
Tickets are either $30 including dinner and a copy of the video or $20 for just dinner. A sponsorship table can be purchased for $500 and includes a table of eight, dinner, a copy of the video, a copy of the soundtrack, a commemorative plate, and more.
Proceeds from the event will be divided evenly between the Fostoria Area Historical Society and Good Shepherd Home for their Therapy for All Project.
Tickets are available for advanced purchase at Good Shepherd Home, 725 Columbus Ave, or by calling the home at 419-937-1801, contacting Skonecki at 419-435-3588 or contacting Erman at 419-701-7177.
The film will be available for purchase in DVD for $15 or Blu-Ray for $17 July 10 at Your Kids Closet, The Review Times, Bookshelf II & More, Quality Printing & Graphics, Good Shepherd Home, and The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.
Volume III will be released in October with the title “The History of Fostoria, Volume III: ‘Rail Town Mysteries.'” The film will feature various mysterious stories of or taking place in Fostoria, hopefully reaching to a younger Fostoria demographic, Erman said.
“We don’t really have a number of volumes in mind,” Skonecki added. “As long as people are interested and as long as people are buying them, we’ll have incentive to keep making more. I think it’ll be a while before we run out of things to talk about.”
Both Skonecki and Erman expressed their hopes that the series changes the perception of Fostoria and to get residents to care more about the community.
“I believe that local history is very important,” Skonecki said. “It gives people a sense of place. Every place has a unique and interesting history. This is a very lively, very creative, entertaining way to bring that history to life, to expose people to it in a different way.”
More information on the film, including a sneak peek teaser video, can be found at



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