When traveling through an unfamiliar territory, we learn about the region through the look of things, through brief interchanges with the local commerce, the restaurants, the streets, the architecture. We might often wonder, who are the people living in this region. How did they get here, what they do once they were here? That curiosity provided the motivation for the first of oral history collections published by the Ottawa County Historical Society’s Ottawa County: On PAGE & STAGE.

The first volume (2003) resulted from a statewide theatrical production, A Century of Voices from Ohio, a project celebrating the Ohio Bi-Centennial in 2003. The play consisted of a script written from state-wide oral histories and performed in selected locations throughout the state, one of which was the Port Clinton Performing Arts Center. Local actors and actresses directed and took part in the play.

Besides the publication, PAGE & STAGE presents performances based on the oral history interviews.

Between 2003 and the present, OCHS has released six soft cover volumes of county oral histories consisting of photographs and interviews of people whose lives and experiences provide first person narratives of county life. The interviews reflect natural language of the people and represents a true account of history, “to the best of memory.” They are a true account of authentic county voices.  

The newest book, Along the Highways and Waterways of Ottawa County, Volume I, is a focus on buildings, places and monuments that these same people and others shaped with their hands and their hard work.  These physical contributions have been important in shaping our County's history as places of residence, business, memories, government, and social gatherings.

Please go to the “Shop” page of this website for details on how to order each of the six-volume Oral Histories and the newest book, Along the Highways and Waterways of Ottawa County.  They are also available for purchase at various retail outlets within the County.

Nancy Dunham designed the project and served as Editor of Volume I.  Later Editors were Peggy Debien, Janet Stephenson and currently, Martha Dykes.  Later chairpersons were Jeanne Wonnell, Connie Cedoz and currently Martha Dykes.  Committee members are Connie Cedoz, Peggy Debien, Nancy Dunham, Kathy Leonard, Janet Stephenson, and Sandy Zenser.