History and Heritage

The rich and fertile woodlands of the Black Swamp region of Northwest Ohio were the choice of many pioneers after Putnam County was surveyed between 1818 and 1822. Thomas Gray was the first settler in Riley Township in 1832. He and other pioneers were soon joined by numerous Mennonite settlers who left their native Switzerland in search of religious freedom and a rich farming area to make their living.

In 1835 John Stout built a gristmill along the banks of the Riley Creek and from it an industrious village that was to become Pandora had its beginning.

The rich heritage of Pandora’s pioneer residents has been evident now for over 150 years and the village is still recognized for its productive surrounding farm land and industrious people.


In Pandora you will find a different sort of lifestyle than in the bigger cities. Pandora residents take great pride in their yards and homes. You’ll find clean, attractive neighborhoods – many with new curbs and sidewalks. You’ll find these neighborhoods reflect a quiet living and leisurely pace.

The cost of living is lower in Pandora than in many cities which gives you added buying power.

Leisure and Recreation

Pandora has something for everyone. You’ll find a beautiful public park which has two shelter houses for picnicking and family reunions. There is a playground with equipment and two lighted tennis courts and also a lighted basketball court. Baseball and softball fields are adjacent to the park. By crossing the footbridge over Riley Creek, you will find a trail around a wetland area as well as soccer fields and a new baseball field.

You’ll find the age-old sport of fishing along the banks of the Riley always a challenge. Hunting is also a very popular activity in the area and many farmers cooperate in giving permission to hunt on their land.

There are also several golf courses nearby for golfing and lakes for boating.

If bowling is your sport, then you don’t have to travel far. Pandora has its own bowling lanes in town. You’ll be able to join leagues or bowl at you own leisure.


Transportation to and from Pandora is relatively easy with both I-75 and US 30 within 15 minutes of Pandora. There is also an airport with access to smaller planes minutes from town.

Community Services

The village of Pandora provides police and firefighter protection along with back-up from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. They also have an EMS unit that can aid in rescues or transportation to hospitals. There is one hospital 10 minutes away and several more within 30 minutes.

Pandora also has a medical services office building where several doctors have their practices. There is also a dentist and optometrist in town. To fill your prescriptions there are a pharmacist and drugstore downtown. The Hilty Home also provides excellent care of older residents that are in need of nursing facilities, as well as child-care facilities.


The rich fertile soil in Pandora and the surrounding county lends itself to some of the best farming in the state. Farming is an important part of the local economy. The grain elevator works with many farmers in the area bringing in thousands of bushels of grain a year. They also sell fertilizer and other goods for the home and garden.

In Putnam County, there are 1,340 farms with 307,000 acres of farmland. The average farm is 229 acres. The farmers in Putnam County are first in the state in production of tomotoes, second in the production of wheat, third in the state with the production of soybeans, twelvth in the production of corn.

In addition to livestock and grain farming you’ll find family owned fruit and vegetable farm markets. There you can pick your own or enjoy already picked fresh produce. Here in Pandora you’ll find some of the best strawberries, sweet corn, cider, and muskmelons in Ohio.


Pandora also has its share of industry and that continues to grow. The industries that are located in Pandora contribute in various acres of community life.

Another industrious enterprise is involved with the assembling of a variety of storage rack equipment.

One industry is in the business of developing automotive chemicals for the consumer market. They distribute many well-known automotive chemical and cleaning products.

All these industries draw from a local work force. Several acres of land have been set aside specifically for the growth of industry.


The school district of Pandora-Gilboa takes great pride in their students’ accomplishments as well as in those who teach them. The residents and parents are also very dedicated, through volunteering of their services and giving financially.

The enrollment of the Pandora-Gilboa school district totals about 620 students. The student to teacher ratio is 16 to 1, and teacher experience is on the average of 11 years.

The Primary School staff is using a curriculum which has been developed over a period of years. This has given our pupils a boost in the basic areas of education. As a result, our pupils rank high on the nationally standardized tests given yearly.

Classes are available for children with special needs, and handicaps. They have access to a speech class, a learning disability class, a school psychologist and a physical therapist.

The Middle School also has a very high record of many scholastic achievements. They have received recognition in spelling bees, math contests, science fairs, art and music contests. They also have many extracurricular activities as well as sporting events.

The Pandora-Gilboa High School students will find challenges in any area. The high school students have proven their academic ability by scoring above average on the ACT/SAT tests. Many students have also gone on to compete and win in several academic contests. The Quiz Bowl team has consistently won many tournaments.

The athletic program is well rounded offering sports for both boys and girls. They belong to the Blanchard Valley Conference and the Putnam County League and have had winning seasons in all sports.

The Pandora-Gilboa school system will continue to improve and graduate students that are well prepared for further education or careers.