Throughout the years and continuing on through today there have been many books written about Ottawa County’s people and places. Here on the Society’s Library Shelf we are providing information on books known to us along with a short description and where you may obtain a copy. We believe the more you know about Ottawa County, the more you’ll want to participate in that history by becoming a member of the Ottawa County Historical Society. Click here for membership information and an application.  We have not included in this Library Shelf, full descriptions for publications listed on our "Shop" page (History of Ottawa County--The First 175 Years, the Page & Stage Oral Histories, etc.)  To view the Society's books for sale, please visit our "Shop" page here.

Good reading!


By Category

(click on an individual topic for full book information, unless otherwise noted)

People

Henry Procter (British Commander, War of 1812)

 

Places

Elmore and Genoa

Johnson's Island

Kelleys Island

Lake Erie's Shores and Islands

Oak Harbor

Ottawa County "History of Ottawa County--The First 175 Years" (see our "Shop" page for full description)

Ottawa County "Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio, Vol. II"

Port Clinton

Put-in-Bay

 

Things

Lights at the Portage, A History of the Port Clinton Light Station, 1833-1952

Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie (see our "Shop" page for full description)

 


By Title, alphabetically

 

Elmore and Genoa, Images of America Series
By Jen Fording on behalf of the Harris-Elmore Public Library
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
2011

The villages of Elmore and Genoa have held a friendly rivalry since the 1860s. Though each has made its own name in Ottawa County, Ohio, both share a rich heritage that instills small-town curiosities with a strong sense of community pride. Elmore is known as being the home of Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, the headless motorcyclist ghost, the Elmore car, and professional softball pitcher Carl "Sox" Wainwright. Not to be outdone, Genoa, one of the major producers of white lime in the country, showcases world-renown artist Jan Pugh and National Register of Historic Places sites such as the Genoa Town Hall and the Old School Privy. Both area histories have boasted pioneers that tamed the Black Swamp, prosperous businesses, major transportation centers, and stories of overcoming personal tragedies. Elmore and Genoa takes readers back to a time that was simpler to see two villages grow into places where the past can come alive through the actions and memories of its people. The book is available for purchase on arcadiapublishing.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, elmorehistoricalsociety.com and the Harris-Elmore Public Library.

 


Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio
By Henry Howe
Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, Cincinnati, OH
1888

Two volume seminal and much honored work on Ohio history.  Ottawa County is referenced in Volume II on pages 359 to 372.  Copies available in libraries and amazon.

 


Johnson's Island: A Prison for Confederate Officers
By Roger Pickenpaugh
The Kent State University Press, Kent, OH
2016

From Amazon: In 1861, Lt. Col. William Hoffman was appointed to the post of commissary general of prisoners and urged to find a suitable site for the construction of what was expected to be the Union’s sole military prison. After inspecting four islands in Lake Erie, Hoffman came upon one in Sandusky Bay known as Johnson’s Island. With a large amount of fallen timber, forty acres of cleared land, and its proximity to Sandusky, Ohio, Johnson’s Island seemed the ideal location for the Union’s purpose. By the following spring, Johnson’s Island prison was born. Johnson’s Island tells the story of the camp from its planning stages until the end of the war. Because the facility housed only officers, several literate diary keepers were on hand; author Roger Pickenpaugh draws on their accounts, along with prison records, to provide a fascinating depiction of day-to-day life. Hunger, boredom, harsh conditions, and few luxuries were all the prisoners knew until the end of the war, when at last parts of Johnson’s Island were auctioned off, the post was ordered abandoned, and the island was mustered out of service. There has not been a book dedicated to Johnson’s Island since 1965. Roger Pickenpaugh presents an eloquent and knowledgeable overview of a prison that played a tremendous role in the lives of countless soldiers. It is a book sure to interest Civil War buffs and scholars alike. The book is available from amazon.com.


Kelleys Island
By Leslie Korenko
The Wine Press
2009-2016

A 6-book series covering the history of Kelleys Island from 1810 to 1893:  The first is 1810 to 1861 (The Courageous, Poignant & Often Quirky Lives of Island Pioneers); 1862 to 1865 (The Civil War, the Island Soldiers and the Island Queen); 1866 to 1871 (The Lodge, Suffrage & Baseball); 1872 to 1876 (The Hotels, the Telegraph and the Lime Company); 1877 to 1884 (The Fire, the Great Grooves, and a Mysterious Disappearance); and the last, 1885 to 1893 (the Final Chapter).  Since they run in chronological order, each book is a comprehensive, richly detailed, and surprisingly entertaining history of life during that time period. Its history is told by the islanders, in their own words, gently blended with narrative text. The author has simply given them a voice. You can read correspondence and letters to newspapers, as well as articles found in an incredible handwritten newspaper-The Islander. The island is now a resort, but 175 years ago it was the wilderness. These are stories of the early squatters who occupied this wild, unsettled and remote part of Ohio and how the community grew and flourished. There are stories about Port Clinton, the Johnson’s Island Confederate Prison, and Put-in-Bay. For people doing genealogy – this is a remarkable source of stories about the various families who resided on the Island. Leslie is the winner of the Henry Howe Award for outstanding Ohio History. Leslie’s books are available at her website (www.kelleysislandstory.com)and Amazon.com.


Lake Erie's Shores and Islands, Images of America Series
By John Hildebrandt and Marie Hildebrandt
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
2015

From Arcadia Publishing: For 150 years, people have come to rest, relax, and recharge in the area from Vermilion to Port Clinton, south to Milan, Bellevue, and Fremont, and north to Sandusky, Cedar Point, the Marblehead Peninsula, and the Lake Erie Islands. Lake Erie is the constant in this fascinating story, the natural resource that gives the region its character and charm. Quaint wineries, world-class roller coasters, amusement parks, water toboggans, indoor and outdoor water parks, lake steamers and jet boats, cottage communities, sportfishing, swimming, sailing, boating, camping, historical sites, caverns, museums, beaches, Civil War history, resort hotels, religious retreats, and natural wonders―Lake Erie’s shores and islands have a rich tourism and recreation history. The book is available for purchase on arcadiapublishing.com.

 

 

 


 

Lights at the Portage, A History of the Port Clinton Light Station, 1833-1952
By Richard J. Norgard
The Donning Company Publishers, Brookfield, MO
2017

From back cover: Anyone fortunate enough to visit the charming lakefront community of Port Clinton, Ohio, is greeted by the sight of a diminutive lighthouse, white with forest green trim, overlooking the Lake Erie shore. Fortunate, indeed, because there is not another one like it anywhere. Beginning in 1896 the Port Clinton Lighthouse cast its steady red light over Lake Erie's sparkling blue-green waters for 56 years, guiding vessels safely into the harbor. Scheduled for destruction by the U.S. Coast Guard, local marina operators decided instead that the old light was worth saving and it remained under the watchful eye of caring family members. Sixty years later, in 2011, a group of dedicated volunteers set about restoring the Lighthouse to its original condition. The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy accomplished what many thought impossible and in 2016 moved the restored light back to the Lake Erie Shore. This book tells the fascinating story of the Port Clinton's pier light, including its restoration and relocation. Norgard also reveals the untold saga of a young wilderness community's first lighthouse and the town's struggle to convince the government that its safety and indeed, its very livelihood, depended on its beacon of light. The book is available for purchase at the Port Clinton Lighthouse located at 205 East Perry Street in Port Clinton and at the Wolcott Keeper's House at 9999 Bayshore Road in Marblehead.


Oak Harbor, Images of America Series
By Frank Gluth, John Liske, and Richard Martin
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
2013

The Images of America book on Oak Harbor was written by three Oak Harbor history buffs---Frank Gluth, John Liske, and Richard Martin. It was published in 2013 and is available (or can be ordered) at any Barnes and Noble bookstore, online at Amazon.com; or through the publisher at Arcadia.com. It can also sometimes be found at local Ottawa County retail outlets and gift shops. If all else fails, contact one of the authors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will see that you get a copy.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Port Clinton, The Peninsula, and the Bass Islands, Images of America Series
By Sally Sue Witten
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
2000

From Arcadia Publishing: Nestled between Toledo and Cleveland near the Sandusky Bay is a quiet lake region, a haven for vacationers and permanent residents alike. Claiming 107 miles of Lake Erie’s coastline, Eastern Ottawa County, Ohio, is home to several coastal communities, including the small city of Port Clinton, the placid land masses of the Bass Islands, and the Marblehead Peninsula, home to a popular lighthouse. The author's window into this area, however, never overlooks the labor required to create and sustain its resort attractions. We meet the train conductors, teachers, mail carriers, ice harvesters, and community leaders who helped put Ottawa County on the map. We are offered many glimpses of boats on local waterways, some delivering fish, others ferrying passengers to the island, and still others in advance of their service during war time. And we are delivered a rare view of the many buildings that sadly failed to survive the area’s catastrophic fires. This book is a living testimony to the rich and varied history of Ohio’s Lake Erie communities. Resort oasis to some, manufacturing center to others, Ottawa County’s texture and detail are brought vividly to life in this absorbing Images of America volume. The book is available for purchase at arcadiapublishing.com.


 

Put-in-Bay, The Construction of Perry's Monument, Images of America Series
By Jeff Kissell
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC
2001

From Arcadia Publishing: "We have met the enemy and they are ours. . . ." So wrote Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to General William Henry Harrison following his decisive victory over a British fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry's victory served as a catalyst both for this battle and for ending hostilities in the Old Northwest Theater of the War of 1812. Captured here in over 200 vintage images from the Monument archives, is a pictorial and technical record of how a monument befitting this naval victory and the resulting peace became a reality. During the remainder of his life, the country heralded Perry as a national hero whose bravery and fortitude enabled the U.S. to win, or gain an honorable peace from, its war with England. A deserving result of this victory was creation of a monument to honor Perry and his men. The story of the construction of the monument is as thrilling as the bravery that inspired it-seen here are the original photographs taken by prominent Put-in-Bay photographer G. Otto Herbster, capturing the builders, architects, mishaps, and triumphs that occurred during the construction of one of Ohio's most revered treasures. The book is available for purchase at arcadiapubishing.com.

 


 

A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812
By Sandy Antal
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2nd Edition, Montreal & Kingston, London, Ithica
2011

From Amazon: Reassesses the much-maligned career of Henry Procter, commander of the British forces. Traces the Canadian/British/Native side of the conflict and casts new light on an allied military strategy that very nearly succeeded, but when it failed, failed spectacularly. Ottawa County referenced. Available from Amazon.