Member Spotlight Archive

New Bremen, Ohio

Promise, Peace, Prosperity
Published December 2011

While New Bremen, Ohio, is a village focused on shaping a prosperous future, it has never lost sight of its heritage or its history.

Founded in 1833 by a small group of settlers consisting largely of Bavarians and Hannoverians from what is today Germany, New Bremen occupies a prominent spot on the historic Miami and Erie Canal. Built between 1825 and 1845, the canal ran 249 miles between Cincinnati and Toledo, moving goods and people to ports all along the line.

Long past being the vital transportation link it once was, the canal today is valued for providing history lovers a glimpse into Ohio’s past, as well as for offering recreational and sight-seeing opportunities to hikers and bikers. Thanks to the vision, hard work and financial support of the New Bremen Historic Association and the residents of New Bremen, assisted by state funding, the village is home to two major canal attractions:

  • The Lockkeepers House Canal Visitors Center, which was built in the image of the original Lockkeeper’s house that stood on that same site for more than a century. Opened in 2010, the center displays numerous canal artifacts and pictures from that era.
  • Lock One North, surrounded by the attractive Lock One Park, has been restored to its 1910 appearance. The lock’s concrete water control structure and wooden lock gates match the original gates to reflect the historical workings of the lock.

Business and development
New Bremen’s commitment is a proactive, focused approach dedicated to helping business and the 3,000 residents of this west-central Ohio community enjoy prosperity and quality of life together. Leading that effort are the New Bremen Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and the village’s part-time economic development director.

Exemplifying New Bremen’s pro-business economic climate is its Bunker Hill Industrial Park, just 10 miles from 1-75 and adjacent to the RJ Corman rail line bordering its east side. The 30-year-old CIC’s first development effort, this shovel-ready park is zoned for light industrial operations and features fully developed sites ranging from 2 to 50 acres.

Bunker Hill’s growing list of residents boasts companies that have found success in regional, national and international markets. Among these are:

  • Crown Equipment Corporation – the world’s fifth-largest manufacturer of lift trucks
  • Safeway Packaging – corrugated paper packaging and other products
  • Precision Reflex, Inc. – design and manufacture of high-quality firearms accessories
  • New Bremen Machine & Tool – design and fabrication of tool & die

Another prominent regional business operating in New Bremen, although not located in Bunker Hill, is the agricultural and energy cooperative TruPointe Cooperative, Inc. The 4,300-member, Piqua, Ohio-based organization operates a feed manufacturing facility.

Besides the historical charm of its canal history, New Bremen offers residents and visitors fun and entertainment in a variety of other ways, including:

  • Bremenfest: Held every August, this three-day festival is packed with activities that include live music, a car show, a parade, historical tours and competitions ranging from a chili cook-off to mud volleyball and dodgeball.
  • Pumpkinfest:This annual, one-day fall event, proclaims the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers, is “not just a weigh-off, but a festival created by giant pumpkin growers for giant pumpkin growers.” A very full program features pumpkin beer and food, a pie-eating contest, live entertainment, rides and more. New Bremen is also the proud home to the Guinness Book of World Records’ “World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie.” The village set the current record in 2005 with a 2,020-pound pie and is awaiting certification from Guinness for breaking its own record at the 2010 Pumpkinfest with a 3,699-pound pie that was 20 feet in diameter.
  • Kuenning-Dicke Natural Area: This 67-acre park, located just north of New Bremen along the Miami and Erie Canal, offers wildlife protection and outdoor recreation. Visitors can enjoy camping, catch-and-release fishing in a three-acre lake, and trails offering running, hiking and biking.
  • Bicycle Museum of America: Fans of bicycles, locomotion and history will surely appreciate the Bicycle Museum of America and its collection of nearly 1,000 bicycles covering nearly 200 years. On display are bicycle accessories, Civil War and other memorabilia, and nearly 300 bicycles, including the first bicycle ever built: the 1816 Draissine. Schwinn bicycles also occupy a prominent role at the museum. The museum acquired the Schwinn family’s private collection in the late ‘90s from Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Arts and culture
New Bremen residents and neighbors enjoy a variety of professional music, comedy and theatrical performances at New Bremen High School’s James F. Dicke Auditorium, thanks to Lock One Community Arts. This volunteer committee supports the arts in Auglaize County, as well as neighboring Mercer and Shelby counties. For local movie buffs, the village hosts a wonderful jewel rarely found any more in small-town America: a state of the art, single-screen theater. Lock One Theater offers first-run movies and Hollywood classics.

Village of New Bremen Utilities
Established in 1908, the Village of New Bremen Utilities serves nearly 1,500 residential, commercial and industrial meters. Besides providing service to retail electrical customers, the five-member Electric Department also maintains traffic signals and street lights, and is heavily involved in the Village’s extensive Christmas Lighting program.

As a member of AMP, New Bremen actively participates in numerous AMP programs and projects that help provide reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen/owners. These include:

  • Business/Economic Development (visit
  • Direct Connections, a full-service resource for municipal electric utilities managing a key accounts program.
  • Efficiency $mart, an energy-efficiency program offering financial rebates, incentives and technical assistance to help customer-owners make energy-efficient choices.
  • Municipal Energy Services Agency (MESA), which provides technical assistance, such as planning, design and engineering, field services and training assistance, to members.
  • Mutual Aid Program, a network of municipal electric systems that assist member municipal systems when utility emergencies occur that are too widespread to be handled by one system alone.
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA), providing hydroelectricity from Niagara Falls
  • OMEGA JV5, a joint venture of 42 communities featuring an AMP-built and operated 42-megawatt hydroelectric plant on the Ohio River, plus back-up generation sources located throughout Ohio.
  • OSHA Compliance Program, designed to help members comply with all state laws governing the workplace safety of public employees.
  • Hydroelectric projects under construction on the Ohio River
  • Prairie State Energy Campus, a state-of-the-art generating station that will be among the cleanest coal-fueled plants in the U.S. and a valuable power asset to New Bremen and other AMP member communities in five states starting in 2012.
  • Western AMP Service Group (WASG).

For more information on all that New Bremen has to offer, visit its website.