Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dedication of Historical Marker at the Cholera Cemetery

On September 10, 1966, the Ohio Historical Society’s marker at the Cholera Cemetery was dedicated. Charles E. Frohman composed the wording on the text of the marker. The arch, which had been designed by Artist Frank W. Smith, was donated by the grandchildren of John Lay, Sr. Serving as Master of Ceremonies at the marked dedication was Charles E. Frohman. Dr. C. F. Lavender, President of the Erie County Medical Society spoke, along with Daniel R. Porter, executive director of the Ohio Historical Society. Music was provided by the Sandusky High School Band. The invocation was given by Rev. Msgr. William Armitage, and Dr. Theodore Stellhorn, Jr. gave the benediction. Also participating in the day’s events were the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Camp Fire Girls.

Over 300 persons lost their lives in the Cholera Epidemic of 1849, which took place between July 1, 1849 and September 7, 1849. Cholera struck Sandusky again in 1852 and in 1854, but not as severely as the 1849 epidemic.

Two sources which include historical details about the cholera epidemics in Sandusky are chapter XIV of Hewson Peeke’s A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, published in 1916, and chapter 9 of Sandusky Then and Now.

Another outstanding resource relating to the cholera epidemic of 1849 is Cholera Victims of 1849 in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio, by Katharyn L. (Huss) Wunderley. Mrs. Wunderley, who was an avid genealogist, spent hundreds of hours researching the names of the individuals who perished from cholera in 1849. She consulted the above two books, along with History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, local newspapers, church records, and cemetery records. Two other resources used in Mrs. Wunderley’s research were the Cholera Hospital Register and the Cholera of 1849 and the Opinions of Medical and Other Professional Gentlemen in Regard to Its Origin and Proper Treatment, both accessible at the Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook.

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