Valentine's Day has been celebrated for centuries in the West. Derived from a Pagan festival, Valentine's Day became a Christian feast day around the fifth century A.D. Today, February 14 is observed as a day for romance (and commerce, in chocolate, flowers, and greeting cards).
Of course, Valentine's Day was celebrated in Sandusky from its earliest days. Items from the collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center and Follett House Museum provide evidence of Valentine's Day observances in Sandusky. The Valentine train above is one of many Victorian-era Valentines from the Follett House collections. Below is an excerpt of a letter written by "Lizzie" to her "Dear Friend Jennie," where she talks about (not) receiving Valentines, and attending a Valentine party that year: "I hope you received a number of good valentines . . . "
The note below is a love letter to Lucian Wilcox to his "Valentine" in 1852: "Brief was our meeting and my heart knew not / How deep the impress of thy image lay / Long silent years since then have lapsed away / And I have toild to reach a fairer lot / In the stern struggle tender hope forgot / But now the dawn of a diviner day / Has waked the patient [?] with its ray / And clothed with bloom the once abandoned spot / Love from its fetters breaking looks for thee."
Below are two of the earliest Valentines from the Follett House collections (from the 1850s):