Book Shelf

Library Shelf

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. 

Good reading!

By Categories

Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad

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)

Put-In-Bay: The Construction of Perry’s Monument

Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside Railway

By Title (Alphabetically)


41st Ohio Veterans Volunteer Infantry, History of

By Robert Kimberly and Ephraim Holloway
Blue Acorn Press
Enhanced reprint of 1897 edition

From Shiloh in April 1862 to the decisive victory at Nashville in December 1864, few Union regiments in the Civil War’s western theater forged better service records than the 41st Ohio. It’s first colonel, William B. Hazen, was succeeded by Aquila Wiley who after losing a leg was succeeded by the authors of this history, Kimberly and Holloway. Recruited from nine northeast Ohio counties, the 41st saw action in most of the major western battles. ‘Company I’ was formed in Port Clinton with men from the area. Familiar names found in the book include Rymers, Miller, Brown, Wonnell, Silverwood, Gill, Bodie, Bell, Davenport, Minier and Valequette. Of 1,423 officers and men who belonged to the regiment throughout the war, 667 became casualties, including 176 killed or mortally wounded. Kimberly’s and Holloway’s history of the 41st Ohio, described by Ohio Civil War bibliographer Daniel J. Ryan as “an intelligent and accurate narrative,” was first published in 1897. This enhanced Blue Acorn Press reprint features a new index and 30 wartime portraits not part of the original edition. Available from


Adolphus Kraemer, A Man of Vision for Oak Harbor and Salem Township

By Reed Oestreich
Creekside Publishing Company, OH

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.


The Brown House Stories: A Child's Garden of Eden

By Nyle Kardatzke
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

While World War II raged elsewhere, a three-year old boy was awakening to the world in the Ohio farmhouse south of Graytown where he lived with his parents and two brothers. Most of the stories of that awakening time are based on the author’s detailed memories. Other stories are fictionalized accounts of events the author knows only through his parents’ accounts. The stories may be especially appealing to older adults who experienced the early 1940’s. Available on Amazon.


The Clock of the Covenant

By Nyle Kardatzke
Xulon Press

A passenger train collided with a family car in Fremont, Ohio in 1913, killing a mother and a firstborn son. Out of that tragedy, a small church of farmers, factory workers, carpenters, and teachers formed in a northwestern Ohio town called Elmore. One Sunday in 1945, a young boy thought he heard his minister say that God’s people had carried the promises of God wherever they went in the “clock of the covenant” and assumed it was the very clock that hung in the boy’s church, Elmore Church of God, in Elmore. That revelation and the boy’s best memories about that small church, its people, and their ways of “doing church” in postwar America became the basis for this collection of stories. Available on Amazon.

Confederates From Candada

Confederates From Canada: John Yates Beall and the Rebel Raids on the Great Lakes

By Ralph Lindeman
McFarland & Company, NC

Confederates From Canada tells the story of a last-ditch effort by the Confederacy in late 1864 to change the course of the Civil War. Unable to achieve sustained military success on the battlefield, Confederate leaders initiated a daring strategy to mount commando-style raids from Canada into northern states of the U.S. Taking advantage of the undefended border, rebels hit targets along the Great Lakes where growing antiwar sentiment was an election-year problem for the Lincoln administration. One of the most significant raids is covered in detail for the first time: The attempt by a Virginia planter turned Confederate agent named John Yates Beall to liberate 2,700 Confederate officers held at the Johnson’s Island prison camp on Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio. The book is available from the publisher McFarland & Company at and at

Elmore and Genoa, Images of America Series

By Jen Fording on behalf of the Harris-Elmore Public Library
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC

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,,, and the Harris-Elmore Public Library.


Enchanting Isles of Erie

By Harry H. Ross

Historic sketches of romantic battle of Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry, Put-in-Bay, Lakeside, Kelleys Island, Middle Bass, Johnson’s Island, Catawaba, North Bass, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Port Clinton, and other islands and resorts. Each summer for ten years, the author engaged in conducting daily tours from Lakeside, Ohio, to Put-in-Bay, Kelleys Island, and the other islands of Lake Erie. He spent most of his summers at Lakeside and the islands. 68 pages with maps. Available on Amazon and selected libraries.


Footprints in a Small Town

By David Michael Lee
Footprint Publications

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.


Geology of Catawba Island

By Charles E. Herdendorf, Ph.D.
Catawba Island Historical Society, Catawba Island, OH

Covers the geologic setting of Catawba Island and vicinity: its natural physical features, bedrock formations, and glacial aspects, as well as the contemporary geological processes that continue to shape the island. Additional topics include a regional description, historical geology, Portage River, fossil assemblage, glacial/holocene geology, geobotanical relationships, and geology in Catawba Island history and folklore. Copies only available at Catawba Museum located in Union Chapel, E. Porter Street, Catawba Island. See Historical Society website for contact information and directions at


Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio

By Henry Howe
Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, Cincinnati, OH

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

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

Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island

By Leslie Korenko
The Wine Press

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 (


Lake Erie's Shores and Islands, Images of America Series

By John Hildebrandt and Marie Hildebrandt
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC

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

The Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad

The Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad

By Dean K. Fick
Montevallo Historical Press

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,, and

Leatherport, Ohio: Stories from the Great Black Swamp

Leatherport, Ohio: Stories from the Great Black Swamp

By Nyle Kardatzke

Leatherport, Ohio was a tiny settlement near Elmore on the north bank of the Portage River. The town disappeared soon after 1851 when the railroad crossed the river at Elmore. Leatherport lived on in the one-room Leatherport School and in the minds of people who populated the countryside nearby. You will read of rustic practices long lost to modern methods of farming and eating. Small adventures and disasters are magnified in the book’s close-up lens. A boy’s outdoor adventures with turtles and snakes and other critters are here. Comic events in Elmore and the majesty of Toledo cast the stories in historical context. World War II ended just days before the author’s class entered school, and he looks affectionately at the teachers he exasperated there. In high school he learned to type, a skill that made this book possible. Available on Amazon.


Oak Harbor, Images of America Series

By Frank Gluth, John Liske, and Richard Martin
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC

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; or through the publisher at 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 and we will see that you get a copy.


The One Room Schools of Salem Township: 1839-1930

By Richard Martin
Ottawa County Genealogical Society

An in-depth description of each of the nine one room schools in Salem Township, Ottawa Co. Ohio. The publication contains pictures of many schools, lists of teachers, school board members, and maps showing the location of each school. It also contains some interesting tidbits of information gleaned from the school board minutes between 1877 – 1928. The book is being sold by the Ottawa Co Genealogical Society for $18 + S & H where applicable and tax. . The books can be purchased by contacting the Ottawa Co Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 193, Port Clinton, OH 43452 or through the society’s website   Additional information can be obtained at


Port Clinton, The Peninsula, and the Bass Islands, Images of America Series

By Sally Sue Witten
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC

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


Put-In-Bay: The Construction of Perry's Monument, Images of America Series

By Jeff Kissell
Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC

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

Ernst Niebergall

Sandusky's Photographer, The Real Photo Postcards of Ernst Niebergall

By Jim Semon Sr., Roger Dickman, and Jeff Brown
Adkins & Company, Lakewood, OH

Sandusky’s Photographer, The Real Photo Postcards of Ernst Niebergall is 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 eleven chapters. A publication from the Firelands Postcard Club, this book gives well deserved recognition to Mr. Niebergall for the variety of subject matter and historical images he recorded with his cameras. He was creative and tried new photographic techniques such as shooting speeding trains or seagulls in flight with his focal plane shutter equipped cameras. The book is available for $20 at the Sandusky Maritime Museum and the Kelleys Island Historical Society Gift Shop and can also be purchased by mail by sending $25 with mailing address to the Firelands Postcard Club, P.O. Box 351, Huron, OH 44839.


A Signal Victory: The Lake Erie Campaign 1812-1813

By David Curtis Skaggs and Gerald T. Althoff
Naval Institute Press

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

Sketches of Curious Events and Practices in the Lives of the Intriguing People Who Inhabited Early America

Sketches of Curious Events and Practices in the Lives of the Intriguing People Who Inhabited Early America

By Frank E.Kuron Kuron Publishing, Toledo, Ohio 2024

If you ever wondered what life may have been like had you been born in the 1700s or 1800s of early America, you may get a glimpse of it through the sketches presented herein. Via quotes from diaries, journals, newspaper accounts, and letters, the reader will become acquainted with some of the most heroic, as well as the more unscrupulous, people in our history. Their beliefs, culture, and experiences are expounded upon in context of their circumstances. How did Native Americans come to inhabit North America? Why did the early settlers drink so much? What caused the author of our National Anthem to be a witness to the bombardment of Fort McHenry? Questions like these are a sampling of topics addressed. Available on Amazon and at:

The Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside Railway

By George W. Hilton
Montevallo Historical Press

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,, and


A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812

By Sandy Antal
McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2nd Edition, Montreal & Kingston, London, Ithica

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.

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