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.
(click on an individual title for complete book information, unless otherwise noted)
Battle of Lake Erie/War of 1812:
Islands of Lake Erie (and more):
Ottawa County "History of Ottawa County--The First 175 Years" (see our "Shop" page for full description)
Ottawa County "Along the Highways and Waterways" (see our "Shop" page for full description)
Lights at the Portage, A History of the Port Clinton Light Station, 1833-1952 (see our "Shop" page for full description)
Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie (see our "Shop" page for full description)
By Title, alphabetically
I grew up in Oak Harbor, Ohio in the 1960s and 1970s. I carry memories of innocence, happiness, joy, and at times, pain, hurt, and loss. They have made me who I am. I have re-traced the footprints that I could find, and I have put them into words. My greatest hope is that, in reading this book, you may be reminded of the special times in your life too, even if some of them were difficult. I know that all of us have stories from our youth. These footprints and stories are mine. Available on Amazon and the online stores of Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.
Did you ever wonder why Oak Harbor had two first mayors? Why was Adolphus Kraemer called the 'Father of Oak Harbor'? Did you ever sing Oak Harbor's song entitled "Beautiful Oak Harbor"? Adolphus Kraemer was a very intelligent gentleman who emigrated to America from Germany and lived in Toledo just before coming to what is now the Village of Oak Harbor. Times were rough for the early Black Swamp pioneers but Adolphus could see the positive aspects of the area with a tremendous supply of many varieties of trees for lumber and wonderful loam soil which later with tiling and diking would make the area tremendous for agriculture. Soon the great Portage River that led to Lake Erie would become a great transportation system, with stores, stave factories, homes, churches, schools, hotels, etc. coming into being. The Village grew to become a great place to live, work, and raise a family. The author, Reed Oestreich, grew up in Graytown and currently resides in Oak Harbor. The book is available directly from the author or at the Community Market in Oak Harbor and Bassett's Market in Port Clinton.
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.
The Lakeside & Marblehead Railroad was a seven mile Ohio line located in eastern Ottawa County. While it began in 1886 as a sparsely traveled passenger hauler, it soon became one of the most profitable railroads in the country. Using standard gauge steam switch locomotives, the L&M consistently hauled more tonnage and earned more revenue per mile than many larger and more boastful roads. Investors built the line to serve the burgeoning lime industry of Marblehead and heavy seasonal passenger traffic to Lakeside, the Marblehead Peninsula’s summer resort. The railroad had nearly perished when the Kelley Island Lime & Transport Company, a prosperous basic materials company, merged it, along with area stone quarry operations, into the what was the world’s largest limestone production facility. Available as a hardbound volume and e-book at mhpress.com, amazon.com, and ebay.com.
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.
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 128-page soft cover book consisting of 246 postcards with well-researched captions covering north central Ohio from Amherst to Fremont and south to Milan in 11 chapters. The Firelands Postcard Club gives Mr. Niebergall deserved recognition for the variety of subject matter and historical images he recorded with his camera. He was creative and tried new photographic techniques such as capturing images of speeding trains or seagulls in flight with his focal plane shutter equipped cameras. Book is available at the Sandusky Maritime Museum and the Kelleys Island Historical Society gift shop with other area retail outlets planned. May also be purchased by mailing a $25 check payable to the Firelands Postcard Club with mailing address to the Firelands Postcard Club, P.O.. Box, 351, Huron, OH, 44839.
From Amazon: This book draws on British, Canadian, and American documents to offer a totally impartial analysis of all sides of the struggle to control the lake. New diagrams of the battle are included that reflect the authors' modification of traditional positions of various vessels. The book also evaluates the strategic background and tactical conduct of the British and the Americans and the command leadership exercised by Perry and his British opponent, Commander Robert H. Barclay. Not since James Fenimore Cooper's 1843 book on the subject has the battle been examined in such detail, and not since Alfred Thayer Mahan's 1905 study of the war has there been such a significant reinterpretation of the engagement. First published in hardcover in 1997, the book is the winner of the North American Society for Oceanic History's John Lyman Book Award. Available on Amazon
At the dawn of the twentieth century, before good roads were common and everybody owned an automobile, Northwestern Ohio was the home of the Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside Railway. The TPC&L began operating in 1905 and didn’t entirely close until 1958, decades after other railways like it had given up. This book, first published in 1964, contains the story of the line as told by noted transportation authority George W. Hilton, including its construction in the days of “interurban fever”, the boats that carried passengers from Marblehead to Cedar Point and Sandusky, its varied rolling stock, accidents, and more. Available as a softbound volume and e-book at mhpress.com, amazon.com, and ebay.com.
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.