Stories of local history told by local storytellers
Saturday, October 9, 2021 Wolcott Keeper’s House 45.50 minutes. Each year the Society holds an annual Civil War encampment at the Wolcott Keeper’s House. This year’s event included a performance by our History Speaks group telling stories in keeping with the Johnson’s Island Confederate Prison theme. With Katie Swank as moderator, performers included Kathy Leonard in “Aunt Marion’s Ghost”, Sue Doell on a Confederate plot to free prisoners, Patrick O’Keeffe as Confederate Naval Captain John Yates Beall, and Jeff Bugbee reading a poem composed by a Confederate prisoner.
Wolcott Keeper’s House Virtual Tour
Benajah Wolcott Keeper’s House, Danbury Township, Ohio – Summer, 2020, 33 minutes. Paul Moon, Becky Shemenski, and Patrick O’Keeffe worked with videographer Theo Dunham to create a stunning visual display of the Keeper’s House. You’ll not only see sweeping views of the House but breathtaking shots of Sandusky Bay and Marblehead Lighthouse. In addition to seeing interior views of the House, you’ll hear why Benajah Wolcott came to the area from Connecticut, a discussion on “how-to” hearth cooking, and an overview of our frontier farm equipment collection.
History of Lakeside
Presentation by George McCormick, Ottawa County Historical Society Fall Meeting of the Membership, Lakeside Chautauqua – Lakeside, Ohio, Fall 2009, 1 hour 10 minutes. Lakeside historian George McCormick presents the history of Lakeside starting in 1872 as the Lakeside Company up to the present date Lakeside Chautauqua community. He discusses the property’s early development from a religious summer educational camp to the current expanded programming and includes details on the various structures built to support changing needs.
Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison
Presentation by Dr. David R. Bush, Ottawa County Historical Society Fall Meeting of the Membership, Catawba Island Club, Port Clinton, Ohio, November 2015, 52 minutes. As Director of Historic and Military Archeology and Professor at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and Chair of Friends & Descendants of Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison, Dr. David Bush conducted 30 years of archeological excavation research at the site eventually mapping about 5 percent of the area. Author of “I Fear I Shall Never Leave the Island”, in this video Dr. Bush discusses his work at the prisoner of war site finding “diamonds in the rough” as he and his students sifted through what looked like dirt but were actually treasures from the past.
The Last Days of the Ship, Success
Presentation by Rich Norgard, Ottawa County Historical Society Fall Meeting of the Membership, Island House Hotel, Port Clinton, Ohio, November 2012, 1 hour. Historian Rich Norgard tells the fascinating story of the ship Success from its 1840 building in Burma to its 1945 burning in Port Clinton, Ohio. The ship’s 105-year history included transporting teak and indentured servants, becoming a prison ship, and ultimately traveling as a floating wax museum.
Prohibition in Ottawa County
Presentation by John Gibson, Ottawa County Museum Lecture Series, Ida Rupp Library, Port Clinton, Ohio, June 2016, 1 hour, 41 minutes. In this Ida Rupp Library presentation historian John Gibson discusses prohibition in Ottawa County and specifically how an experiment to regulate morality had a lasting impact on the local culture well beyond the end of prohibition. This Ottawa County Museum video is included here as a collaborative effort between the Ottawa County Museum and the Ottawa County Historical Society.
Presentation by Roger Long, Ottawa County Historical Society Spring meeting, Island House Hotel, Port Clinton, Ohio, March 14, 2009, 23 minutes. Long discusses the historic marker located at the intersection of Perry Street and Fulton Street in Port Clinton, Ohio, to mark the southern end of the DeLery Portage. Presentation includes information on the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry, William Henry Harrison, Chevalier Chuaussegros de Lery, Forts Detroit and Sandoske.
Upcoming History Book on the 79th County of Ohio: Ottawa:
Book presentation by Patrick O’Keeffe to the Elmore Historical Society Annual Meeting at the Elmore Barn, Elmore, Ohio, March 19, 2016, 56 minutes. President of the Ottawa County Historical Society and author of the book, O’Keeffe provides a sneak peak of some of the stories included in the upcoming book, “History of Ottawa County—First 175 Years.”
Rachel and Benajah Wolcott:
Life at the Keeper’s House: Ottawa County Historical Society members Karin Messner and Ro Chapman perform reenactments of Rachel and Benajah Wolcott at the Ottawa County Wolcott Keeper’s House, Summer, 1999, 31 minutes. Karin and Ro detail the life and times of Rachel and Benajah in early 1800s Ottawa County. Includes stories about Chief Ogantz, farming, and the War of 1812.
Rerouting of the Portage River:
Presentation by Chuck Grindstaff of the Ottawa County Museum. Ida Rupp Library, Port Clinton, Ohio, November 2015, 1 hour, 48 minutes. From reports generated by the Army Corp of Engineers, Chuck covers the river’s geological formation and its importance to the City of Port Clinton. This Ottawa County Museum video is included here as a collaborative effort between the Ottawa County Museum and the Ottawa County Historical Society.
Early Northwest Ohio:
Presentation by Clint Mauk to the Ottawa County Historical Society Spring meeting of the membership at the Island House Hotel, Port Clinton, Ohio, April 2014. 35 minutes. Details life in the late 1700s, early 1800s, includes the Great Black Swamp, early medicines, what Ohio was like at the time of its statehood, how early settlers lived along with the Indians, and early infrastructure efforts.
War of 1812 on the Ohio Frontier:
Presentation by Lou Shultz to the Ottawa County Historical Society Spring meeting of the membership at the Island House Hotel, Port Clinton, Ohio, April 14, 2013. 1 hour, 20 minutes. Discusses America as it looked in the late 1700s and early 1800s. What was going on in the world and what specifically led up to the war between America and England—a war for free trade and sailors’ rights. Focuses on war in Northwest Ohio.
Dr. Frederick Wilhelm Jaeger, the Black Swamp Doctor:
Re-enactment presentation by John Jaeger to the Ottawa County Historical Society Spring Meeting of the Membership, Island House Hotel, Port Clinton, Ohio, Spring 2010, 55 minutes. Dr. Frederick Jaeger was a German physician from Woodville, Ohio in the 1840s traveling around Northwest Ohio treating patients and documenting his findings. The journals are held by the Harris-Elmore Public Library in Elmore, Ohio. John is Dr. Jaeger’s great-great-grandson.
When Ohio Was The Center Of The World:
Presentation by Andrew Cayton, Ph.D. to the Ottawa County Historical Society Fall Meeting of the Membership, Catawba Island Club, Catawba, Ohio, November 11, 2007, 37 minutes. The story of 19th century Ohio that only an historian can tell. A wonderful presentation on what makes Ohio so special. Known as the “promised land” by not only fugitive slaves but by the Europeans who immigrated here, Mr. Cayton weaves together a rich Ohio history and helps you understand why Ohio is known for so many U.S. Presidents.
Painted Barn Dedication:
Ottawa County Painted Barn Dedication presentation by Linda Huber, Paul Moon, Stephen George, LuAnne Cooke, Jim Wasil, Tim Bosserman, Randy Gardner, Steve Arndt, Jim Sass, Barbara Fearon and Larry Fletcher, Bonnie and Ron Schimming Barn, Oak Harbor, Ohio, Friday, September 22, 2017, 32 minutes. In cooperation with the Ohio History Connection, the Ottawa County Historical Society brought to life the fifth of Ohio’s “painted barns”. This one commemorates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry.
175th Anniversary History Book Research:
Presentations by book research team members Rich Norgard, Meredith Beck, Nancy Dunham, Sandy Zenser, Janet Stephenson, and Peggy Debien. Ottawa County Historical Society Spring meeting of the membership Ottawa Wildlife National Refuge Visitor’s Center, Spring 2016, 55 minutes. In 2015 the Ottawa County Historical Society undertook a project to publish a book celebrating the first 175 years of the County’s history. Members of the research team presented some of their findings at the Society’s 2016 spring meeting.
Oral History Reenactments:
Reenactments of Marie Wonnel by Fern Bierce, Wilbur Wistinghausen by Ro Chapman, Irene Bykowsky by Karin Messner, A Memoir by Paul Moon, and Ignatia Algarin by Karin Messner. Presented at the Ottawa County Historical Society Fall Meeting of the Membership. Catawba Island Club Sunday, November 10, 2002, 46 minutes. The Society’s Oral History Committee members present reenactments of various people from the County’s history.
Peter Navarre: War of 1812 Scout:
Presentation by Terry Breymaier and Larry Michaels, Ottawa County Historical Society Spring Meeting of the Membership, The Elmore Barn, Elmore, Ohio, May 5, 2019, 57 minutes. Peter Navarre was a descendant of French royalty, pioneer scout, and master of Native American languages. He lived nearly his entire life in a cabin in the woods along the Maumee Bay, Ohio. During the War of 1812 his considerable skills as a scout and woodsman were called into play for the fledgling country. Terry Breymaier’s family tree traces to Robert Navarre (grandfather).
Additional videos of interest not on the OCHS YouTube channel:
“Ohio First Skirmish War of 1812”
produced by X5VideoProductions, September 29, 2012. In September of 1812 a small group of farmers and militia were returning from harvest on Ohio’s Danbury Peninsula on the Lake Erie shoreline. They were ambushed by a band of Native Americans loyal to the British. This skirmish was the first fighting in the War of 1812 in Ohio. In September, 2012 this skirmish was commemorated in ceremonies where the fighting took place. Scenes in this video show both the formal events and the reenactment of fighting between settlers and Natives. YouTube link:
“The Ohio Story: Johnson’s Island”
Produced by Cinecraft Production films in approx. 1955. Part of the Hagley Museum & Library (Wilmington, DE) collection. Actor Nelson Olmsted tells the story of a failed plot to free nearly 3,000 Confederate soldiers from a Union prison on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, during the American Civil War. In the summer of 1864, Confederate sympathizers Charles Cole, Annie Davis, John Yates Beall, and Bennet Burleigh devised an elaborate plan to turn the tide of the war in the North. They would seize control of the Union gunboat Michigan, sail across Lake Erie, force the surrender of the Union guards stationed at the Johnson’s Island prison, free the captive Confederate soldiers, and wreck havoc in Ohio. The plan was ultimately unsuccessful. The film uses illustrations and Olmsted’s voice acting talents to recount the tale. Film citation: Hagley ID, Film can number, Cinecraft Productions films (Accession 2019.227), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807.