Smeck Historical Farm, located just south of the former Village of Basil near the west edge of what is now Baltimore in Liberty Township, is a 45-acre park consisting of mature mixed hardwoods, deep ravines, meadows, a Civilian Conservation Corps pine plantation and fields partially divided by the Little Walnut Creek and the Ohio-Erie Canal. A gift to the people of Fairfield County by the late Harold Smeck, the park provides a prime example of the power of the last great glacier, the Wisconsinan, which began its retreat from what would become Ohio more than 14,000 years ago. As the Wisconsinan flattened hills and filled in valleys, it began to melt, producing unimaginable torrents of water rushing from its face and cutting deep into the landscape, leaving behind the ravines seen today at the park.
The park is home to the remains of the Fetter-Hood Barn, a large, double forebay, German-style barn that was moved to the park in 2006 from its original location just outside of Lancaster. Smeck Farm also includes a 1.4-mile trail that goes from the Fetter-Hood Barn to Walnut Creek and back. The park also features a large open space for picnicking and recreation. Reconstruction of the Fetter-Hood Barn will be the centerpiece of a historic village. The first building of the village, a blacksmith’s shop, is currently in place.
In 2016 we restored a 2 story windmill with a 750 gallon water tank resting on a platform 30 feet in the air. It was originally built by the Stover Windmill Company (Freeport, Illinois) in the late 1800’s and was installed on the Roger Wolfe farm on Canal Road. It now resides at Smeck Farm. The windmill is mostly original, but due to its age did have a new fan and motor built by the Aermotor Company, Texas. It will pump water in to a trough that can be used to water plants at the farm and also replenish water in the small pond near the entrance to the park. The “fan” is 10’ in diameter and the overall height of the windmill is just short of 60’. This could be one of few survivors of this style windmill. The original purpose of the elevated tank was not only to act as a reservoir, but because the height provided the farm, including the barn and farmhouse, “pressurized” water before electric pumps and pressure tanks.
Directions and Map
Smeck Historical Farm is located at 7395 Basil Road, in Baltimore, Ohio.
From the corner of Main and Broad Streets in Lancaster, Ohio, head north on Broad Street for about 1 mile, then turn left onto Fair Avenue. Take the next right onto Columbus Street. Continue north on Columbus Street for about one-half mile. Make a slight right onto State Route 158. Continue on Route 158 for approximately 7 miles, then turn left onto Leonard Road. Take the first right onto Basil Road and continue on Basil Road for about one-half mile. Smeck Historical Farm will be on the left.
- Open-air shelter
- Green space for picnicking, photography and recreation
- 1.4-mile walking trail
This park opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.