Monday, July 11, 2016

Laying the Cornerstone for the Administration Building of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home

The cornerstone for the administration building of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home was set in place on July 11, 1888. Still in operation, this facility is now known as the Ohio Veterans Home. The officers of the McMeens Post, No. 19, Grand Army of the Republic, sent out invitations to fellow G.A.R. members for the special event.

 At 11:00 a.m. on July 11, 1888, members of several Ohio G.A.R.  posts met at the foot of Columbus Avenue, to be reviewed by Department Commander Joseph W. O’Neall. After the procession, all those in attendance took the train to the grounds of the future Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, in Perkins Township, just south of the city limits of Sandusky. The cornerstone laying ceremony began at 2 p.m. with music by the Great Western Band and the Aeolian Quartette. After a prayer, Commander O’Neall laid the cornerstone. Addresses were given by General W.H. Gibson, Ohio Governor J.G. Foraker, and other Ohio military leaders. Several musical selections concluded the cornerstone laying ceremony. 

A grand camp fire was held under the auspices of the McMeens Post of the G.A.R. at Cedar Point on the evening of July 11. The steamers Hayes and Ferris were chartered to take guests to Cedar Point, with a round trip fare of twenty cents. Former soldiers, families, friends, and interested citizens were invited to the camp fire. Among the featured speakers were: Governor Foraker, General Manning F. Force, Colonel John W. Chapin, General W.H. Gibson, C.J. Colgan, C.B. Dennis and General John C. Lee. General John Beatty spoke on “The Citizen Soldier, The Soldier Citizen.”

The event concluded with the playing of Auld Lang Syne by the Great Western Band. 

In 1908, William Howard Taft spoke in front of the Administration Building at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home while campaigning for President.

 Here is a picture of the staff at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in 1915:


Today the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home is known as the Ohio Veterans Home, and the former administration building is now home to a museum which features historical photographs and artifacts from Ohio veterans which date back to the Civil War. 

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