Friday, September 29, 2006

Program Announcement: Author Visit

On Wednesday, October 4, at 7PM in the library's program room, author M. John Lubetkin will present a talk on his book, Jay Cooke's Gamble: The Northern Pacific Railroad, the Sioux, and the Panic of 1873. (The book will be available for purchase at the program.)

Jay Cooke was a native of Sandusky, born here in 1821, the son of Eleutheros Cooke, and one of the first children born in the new settlement. Although he left Sandusky at a young age, he returned to the area regularly throughout his adulthood. The image above shows Cooke and his family at their summer home ("Cooke Castle") on Gibraltar Island, near Put-in-Bay (now the site of the Stone Laboratory research station of the Ohio State University). He is perhaps best remembered as "the financier of the Civil War," when, as a banker in Philadelphia, he helped to secure loans from leading bankers to help pay for the war; through his influence, the goverment was able to raise millions of dollars from the sale of treasury notes. After the war, Cooke became an investor in the Northern Pacific Railway. Learn more about this period in Jay Cooke's life at John Lubetkin's book talk this Wednesday.

Update: Oops . . . this may not be Jay Cooke's house on Gibraltar Island. Although the original image in our collection is labelled the Cooke House, we have strong information from a researcher with extensive knowledge of the house on Gibraltar that the architecture in the image does not match that of the Gibraltar house. The image may be of the C.C. Keech house, on the site of the original Providence Hospital.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Welcome to the Sandusky History Weblog

Welcome to a blog about the history of Sandusky, Ohio and the surrounding area -- A service of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

In this blog, we will present views of Sandusky and Erie County history, using sources from the local history archives of the library, and offer opportunities for discussion of historical events and artifacts. You will see samples from the library's local history collections, learn more about the collections and the history they represent, and have an opportunity to share your thoughts and knowledge about the history of the region. Although the primary focus will be on the history of Sandusky, we will also occasionally include discussions on historical topics relating to Erie County, the Lake Erie Islands, and the Sandusky Bay region.

One of the regular features of this blog will be the category of "History Mystery." Many of the items in the Sandusky Library Archives have an unknown story behind them -- sometimes the people or place are unidentified, or we don't know much about the event in the picture. We plan to post items like this, with the hope that some of you might have the answers to these mysteries -- or at least some thoughts about them.

Please note: This blog is not a replacement for the reference department at the library -- if you have a reference question about local history, please click here. For all other questions, contact Reference Services, or call 419-625-3834.

(This message is reposted occasionally to keep it on the main page.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Program Announcement: Collision of the Morning Star and Cortland

On this Wednesday evening (September 27) at 7PM in the Sandusky Library program room, we will have the fourth in our series of fascinating presentations of Great Stories of the Inland Seas, presented by Georgann and Mike Wachter. Wednesday's program will be about the collision of the Morning Star and Cortland in the middle of Lake Erie in 1868. Of course, all are invited to attend this program.

Coincidently, just recently, divers from the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), with support from the Great Lakes Historical Society, retrieved the bell from a ship believed to be the Cortland, in Lake Erie, near Lorain County. The story of this recovery was in the August 23, 2006 issues of the Lorain Morning Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Join us this Wednesday to learn more about the Cortland and the Morning Star, and their last journey on the lake.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kurt E. Boker, 1920-2006

One of this region's most honorable citizens passed away this week. Kurt Boker, of Kelleys Island, died Monday evening at his home. (An obituary is published in the September 13 issue of the Sandusky Register.)

Born in Germany, Mr. Boker came to the U.S. at the age of four, and lived nearly all his life on Kelleys Island. After service with the U.S. Army in World War II and his graduation from The Ohio State University, Mr. Boker taught at Kelleys Island school for 25 years. He also was a devoted member of his community, serving in several community organizations, and was dedicated to preserving the history of Kelleys Island.

Products of Kurt Boker's lifelong historical research and service, covering a variety of subjects -- including the geology of the island, businesses, churches, family histories, and the Kelleys Island School he served for many years -- are preserved in the Kurt Boker Collection of Kelleys Island History in the Archives Research Center at the Sandusky Library. Copied of these documents are also available for study at the Kelleys Island branch of the library.

We at the library and in the community continue to be grateful for Mr. Boker's service and support.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Underground Railroad in Ohio -- Another Perspective

I should have mentioned this sooner (I was reminded about it in a message I received yesterday). . . .

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper in Canada sent a reporter to travel through Ohio this summer, following a route through cities and towns believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad. The reporter, Chris Lackner (along with photographer Malcolm Taylor), began his journey in northern Kentucky in June, and arrived in Sandusky on August 21. You can read more about this reporter's journey here; he also wrote a daily blog on the trip, which is here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Do you know where this is? Part Two

Here is the latest in our series of "guess the location" photos. . . This is a road in Erie County that still exists, but looks quite different today.

The answer is posted in the comments section.