- Lighthouse Festival Civil War Encampment 2019
A brisk but sunny day set the stage for the Society’s 13th annual fall Civil War encampment at the Wolcott Keeper’s House October 12, 2019. This encampment has been a Keeper’s House tradition since 2006 and honors Henry Wolcott a Civil War Veteran and son of Marblehead Lighthouse keepers Benajah and Rachel Wolcott. The 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band, directed by John Hoffman, was on hand providing music throughout the day. Groups of costumed re-enactors from the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry under the direction of Captain Brian Porter demonstrated the era’s war craft and camp craft. Camp followers assisted Keeper’s House fireplace cook Becky Shemenski with preparation of apple pies, hot applesauce and cider at the House hearth. Bean soup, corn bread, and cider were served around an outdoor fire pit. Apples and cider were donated by Moore’s Orchards, Oak Harbor. John Williams manned a small farmer’s market with homemade jellies and breads. Visitors to the Annex gift shop enjoyed Roger and Barbara Jensen’s Marblehead Railroad train display. The fundraiser drawing winners and prizes were (1st) Dave and Jan Hirt (copy of the book The History of Ottawa County---First 175 Years, (2nd) Ellen Honsperger (copy of the book The History of Ottawa County---First 175 Years) and (3rd) Janice Netcher (gift certificate from Marblehead Village Pro Hardware). Partial funding support for this event provided by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council. (Photos by Kathy Leonard)
- OCHS Annual Potluck Picnic-2019
The annual Society summer potluck dinner was held August 21 at the Wolcott Keeper's House. Patrick O'Keeffe shared his story telling performance in costume as presented at the Port Clinton Lighthouse Maritime Festival. In addition to the traditional cooked ham, guests brought their favorite dishes of potatoes, vegetables, salads, desserts and breads. (Photos by Kathy Leonard.)
OCHS President Patrick O'Keeffe performing "Water"
|OCHS members and guests||OCHS members and guests|
- Port Clinton Perch Wagon-2019
On Saturday, July 13, 2019, the Ottawa County Historical Society hosted the Port Clinton Perch Wagon. A dual fund raising event for both the Society and Rotary, visitors purchased perch dinners and sandwiches with a side of hand-cut French fries. Guests ate at tables on the grounds of the historic stone home of Benajah and Rachel Wolcott, first Keeper’s of the Marblehead Lighthouse. Frontier-style hearth cooking was underway in the Keeper's House. (Photos provided by Kathy Leonard.)
Visitors await food prepared by Port Clinton Rotary Club.
|A group of friends enjoy perch dinners.||(L-R) Becky Shemenski offers hearth-cooked molasses cookies to Pam Allen of Lakeside.|
- Spring Cleaning-2019
Although a bit on the cool side, members of the Society and our Local Scouts did a complete inside and outside the House cleaning. We're happy to report all is ready to begin our 31st season of tours and events. (Photos by Kathy Leonard)
- Lighthouse Festival Civil War Encampment 2018
Thirty years at the Wolcott Keeper’s House was celebrated by the Ottawa County Historical Society and visitors during the Lighthouse Festival at the Keeper’s House on October 13, 2018. A proclamation presented by Rep.Steve Arndt noted the OCHS’s accomplishments through the years since it purchased and restored the house as a living history venue. The 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band, directed by John Hoffman, provided music for the ceremony and throughout the afternoon, and members of the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry re-enactors stood at attention during the brief ceremony. A large crowd stayed to enjoy a variety of activities including the stirring band music and the 14th OVI’s Civil War Encampment. The Encampment, a Keeper’s House tradition since 2006, honors Henry Wolcott, a Civil War Veteran, and son of Marblehead Lighthouse keepers Benajah and Rachel Wolcott. Groups of costumed re-enactors under the direction of Captain Brian Porter demonstrated the era’s war craft and camp craft; and camp followers assisted Keeper’s House fireplace cooks Ray Machar and Becky Shemenski with preparation of apple pies at the House hearth. Bean soup, corn bread, and cider were served around an outdoor fire pit. Apples and cider were donated by Moore’s Orchards, Oak Harbor. John Williams manned a small farmer’s market with home made jellies and breads. The fundraiser drawing winners were (1st) Deb Grissinger from Wooster, (2nd) Linda Price from Lakeside, and (3rd) David Moon from Berlin Heights each receiving, respectively, a Ben Richmond framed print, a gift certificate from Village Pro Hardware, and a copy of the book The History of Ottawa County-First 175 Years. (Photos by Kathy Leonard)
- Lois Tuttamore Remembrance-2018
Lois Tuttamore was part of the Keeper's House hearth cooking crew for several years. In honor of his wife, Bill donated a much needed cooking piece---a 10-quart cast iron pot with lid and handles. On August 23, Bill Tuttamore and his family presented the new addition to the current hearth cooking members. (Photo by Kathy Leonard.)
1st row: Ray Machar, Becky Shemenski, Kathy Leonard;
2nd row: Tuttamore Family
- OCHS Potluck Picnic-2018
Annually in August the Society holds a summer potluck dinner and this year's event on August 15 was held at the Wolcott Keeper's House. In addition to the traditional cooked ham, fireplace chef Ray Machar prepared a tasty "Gumbis" stew, and guests brought their favorite dishes of potatoes, vegetables, salads, desserts and breads. (Photos by Kathy Leonard.)
Ray Machar sharing stories.
|(L-R) Patrick O'Keeffe, John and Holly Starcher.||Picnic attendees.|
- Ribbon Cutting Celebrating 30 Years-2018
Brothers Ray and Edward Keller transferred ownership of the Wolcott Keeper’s House to the Ottawa County Historical Society in November of 1989. Flash forward 30 years and one clearly sees the Society has taken tender loving care of the Kelly-built Benajah Wolcott family stone house. On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 OCHS President Patrick O’Keeffe cut the ribbon to celebrate not only the past 30 years but help welcome future generations to the recently restored Wolcott Keeper’s House. (Photo by Kathy Leonard.)
|(3rd from L to R) Bill Coder, Paul Moon, Patrick O'Keeffe|
- Opening Day-2018
With hearth cooking setting the stage, the Ottawa County Historical Society opened its 30th year at the Wolcott Keeper's House on June 2, 2018. OCHS members Ray Machar made hearty soup to welcome our season's first visitors and Karl Kessler provided a house history talk. (Photos by Kathy Leonard.)
Ray Machar talks hearth cooking techniques with a guest.
|Guests from Delaware, Ohio with Ray Machar and Karl Kessler.||Karl Kessler with guests.|
- Spring Cleaning-2018
The cool weather and occasional drizzles aside, the frontier home is made ready for our 30th year at the Keeper's House! This year the merry band of cleaners included our faithful Scouts and members of the Society. From inside floor sweeping and washing to outside yardwork, including a trip to the cellar, a good day's work was capped by pizza at noon. (Photos by Kathy Leonard)
- Christmas Social-2017
Benajah and Rachel Wolcott would have been right at home in their home at the Ottawa County Historical Society Christmas Social. Firelands Symphony Orchestra members Brian Shifflet and Ron Brooker welcomed approximately 50 guests with holiday music. The two continuously-lit fireplaces banked and stoked by OCHS member Ray Machar provided the sole source of Keeper’s House heat. Ray and fellow OCHS member Becky Shemenski put the fireplaces to an additional good use making mulled apple cider and gingerbread cookies. Even the weather cooperated with only a slight dusting of snow! From the Wolcott Keeper’s House to yours, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good-night”-Clement Clarke Moore. (Photos by Kathy Leonard).
Firelands Symphony Orchestra members Brian Shifflet and Ron Brooker.
|OCHS member Ray Machar and guests.||OCHS member Becky Shemenski.|
- Lighthouse Festival Civil War Encampment-2017
On October 14, 2017, the annual Lighthouse Festival Civil War Encampment at the Keeper's House honors Henry Wolcott, son of Benajah and Rachel. The Ohio 14th Volunteer Infantry encamped for the occasion. There were special performances by the Ohio 73rd Volunteer Regimental Band with 15-piece authentic uniforms and instruments playing Civil War era music. Model railroad train depicting quarry work was on display in the Annex, courtesy Roger Jensen. Frontier craft demonstrations, bean soup, corn bread, cider and hearth cooking enjoyed by all. Partial funding support for this event was provided by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council. (Photos by Doug Huber)
- Ottawa County Commissioners Meeting-2017
On September 14, 2017, the Ottawa County Commissioners held their bi-weekly meeting at the Keeper's House. (Photos by Kathy Leonard).
|(L-R) Assistant Clerk Theresa Elder; Commissioners Mark Stahl, Mark Coppeler, James Sass||(L-R) Jim Sass, Bill Coder, Linda Huber, Paul Moon|