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Virgin Alley Press specializes in historical books. Located in Tiffin, Ohio,

REWIND: Best of ZIG ZAG Magazine Vol. 1


• Experience the old Mansfield Reformatory through the eyes of a former guard, prisoner and a warden’s son.


• Relive the 1865 wreck of the steamship Pewabic on Lake Huron that claimed the life of Tiffin’s first female physician and other Ohio passengers and crew.


• “The Giants of Seville” recalls the story of Capt. Martin Bates and his wife, Anna Swan who spent their careers as human “curiosities” before settling down in the Medina County town of Seville.


• “Girls in the Reich” is the account of two women — later of Bucyrus and McCutchenville — who, as children in Germany suffered at the hands of the Hitler regime during World War II.


• Anyone who colored Easter eggs in the 20th century probably used Fleck’s Easter Egg dyes. Discover how that family-owned company became known the world over.


• “Four Dead in O-H-I-O” relives the Kent State University shootings in 1970 from the perspective of a wounded student, guardsman’s testimony and a state trooper sent to deal with the aftermath.

Final Days of the 1884 Seneca County Courthouse


ISBN 978-0-615-89898-8

On Jan. 9, 2012, the opulent Seneca County Courthouse became the only Ohio courthouse on the National Register of Historic Places to ever be razed.


In DECOMMISSIONED, authors Lisa Swickard and John Huss take the reader on a day-to-day pictorial journey from the pre-demolition protests to the final farewell of the clock tower. The book also offers a rare glimpse of the valuable architectual artifacts that were lost, as well as a unique look at the items retrieved from the cornerstone.


This 200-page hardback, coffee table-style book — punctuated with more than 200 full-color photos — is a must-read for preservation-oritented indivduals everywhere.

Calamity and Courage: Tiffin's Battle During Ohio's Deadly 1913 Flood


ISBN 978-0-578-06969-2

Re-live the triumphs and tragedy of the 1913 Flood in Tiffin, Ohio, in this two-time award-winning book. Author Lisa Swickard takes the reader on a gripping, day-by-day journey through Tiffin’s ordeal during Ohio’s greatest natural disaster.


Highlighted with 284 rare photographs and oral interviews from those who lived through that terrifying experience, Calamity and Courage goes beyond the actual flood by following the city’s tumultuous, five-year rebuilding process.


From the tragic loss of life to the nail-biting rescues, Calamity and Courage is a must for any disaster enthusiast.

Weathering the Extremes:
Seneca County's "Other" Floods & Deadly Heat Wave


ISBN 978-1-61364-859-9


A companion book to Calamity and Courage, in Weathering the Extremes, author Lisa Swickard chronicles the challenges faced by residents of that northwest Ohio county as they battled the forces of Mother Nature.


“Deadly Heat” revisits the devastating heat wave of 1936, when eight consecutive days of temperatures above the 100-degree mark ultimately claimed 11 lives. “Floods” takes the reader on a journey through more than a century of deluges, including the great flood of 1883.

Don't Call Us Orphans

An Oral History of the Jr. Order of United American Mechanics' National Orphans' Home


The Jr. Order of United American Mechanics’ National Orphans’ Home in Tiffin, Ohio, welcomed children from across the country who had lost both parents, or at least a father who was a member of that fraternal organization.


Don't Call Us Orphans is  interspersed with oral interviews from Homekids who recount their lives at the Jr. Home — from their arrival at the orphanage to their departure after graduation. Author Tricia Valentine also has included a comprehensive list of  Homekids who passed through the Jr. Home from 1896-1944.

Seneca County: Oddities & Underbelly

Thought to be out of print for the past few years, a stash of vintage books recently were discovered in the Virgin Alley Press archives. Available while supplies last.


Released in 1999, Oddities & Underbelly is 50 pages of little-known Seneca County, Ohio, history. From Asa Seewald, the window washer to the bizarre burial of a pampered, embalmed dog during the height of the Depression in 1932, this book is a testiment to the unique characters and happenings in that part of Ohio. Also included in the book is the tale of the infamous Daniels and West crime spree of 1948; the Republic Train wreck in 1887; patent medicine man Billy Benner and an account of the woman who moved the Gibson statue.  

Seneca County: Drinkers & Winkers

Thought to be out of print for the past few years, a stash of vintage books recently were discovered in the Virgin Alley Press archives. Available while supplies last.


Released in 2000, Drinkers & Winkers tells the story of Prohibition and prostitution in Seneca County. The Prohibition section relates the hair-raising adventures of the residents who chose to make the manufacture of illegal liquor a way of life. The prostitution section spotlights some of the most renown houses of ill fame in the area during the first part of the 20th century.

Salute! Tiffin's Little Italy

Thought to be out of print for the past few years, a stash of vintage books recently were discovered in the Virgin Alley Press archives. Available while supplies last.


Released in 2002, Tiffin's Little Italy centers around the Italian immigration during the early days of the 20th century. Written as a tribute to the Italian community in Tiffin, Little Italy is a riveting compiiation of oral histories as told by those whose parents settled the neighborhood. With chapters such as "Growing Up in Little Italy" to religion and education, cooking, holiday celebrations and even the feared "evil eye" curse, Tiffin's Little Italy is a delightful story about a small town's Italian heritage.

1913 Flood Postcards


In terms of population, no Ohio city suffered more than Tiffin during the 1913 flood. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the history of the Buckeye State, Virgin Alley Press  is offering reproductions of original vintage postcards. Each postcard has a shadow image on the back.

Sold in a set of 5.

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