On June 28 and 29, 1933, the Camp Fire Girls presented “The Historical Pageant of Sandusky and Erie County” at Esmond Field near the corner of Columbus and Perkins Avenues. The pageant was a John B. Rogers Production, and was directed by Hazel Anderson. Music was provided by Ackley’s Band, with Bruce Clarks at the piano. The general chairman of the event was Earl Krueger. The cast was made up of hundreds of area adults and children.
The pageant began with Janet Munce, queen of the pageant, appearing with “Miss Columbia” and several attendants who represented the Camp Fire Laws: Beauty Trust, Work, Knowledge, Health, Service, Happiness and the Spirit of Camp Fire. Beginning with the dawn of civilization, the pageant proceeded to re-enactments of several key events in the history of Sandusky and Erie County. Included were: early Native American camp life, settlers of Sandusky, circuit riders, the cholera epidemic of 1849, early education in Sandusky, the Underground Railway, the Civil War, and a wedding celebration and ball. At the end of the pageant was a mammoth spectacle which symbolized the Spirit of Camp Fire, in which the cast members were dressed in the costumes of several different nationalities.
An article in the June 29, 1933 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the early history of the area was well portrayed in the Camp Fire Girls pageant. A wagon which had actually been used to transport the dead bodies during the 1849 cholera epidemic was used in the scene which portrayed that event. The wagon was owned by Lee B. Keller, who played the role of Father Time. The article pointed out that many items of clothing used in the pageant were heirloom garments from ancestors of current area residents. A cow was seen in the wagon train scene, and dog who sat by his master in the wagon scene, added to the authenticity of the pageant. The pageant committee thanked these individuals who provided historical background information for the production: Mrs. Marjorie Loomis Cherry, Mrs. George Doerzbach, Miss Jessie Wilcox, Hewson L. Peeke, and James Ryan. The book History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, was also consulted when the committee was researching the history of Sandusky and Erie County.
Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view the program from the Historical Pageant of Sandusky and Erie County put on by the Camp Fire Girls in 1933. If anyone has photographs from this event, please contact us so that we may possibly scan the items to include in our historical collections.