Wednesday, January 10, 2018

An Area Known as Mustcash


According to The History of the Fire Lands by W. W. Williams (Leader Printing Co., 1879), the area known as Mustcash or Muscash was located in the northwest section of Margaretta Township in Erie County, Ohio. Some of the families who lived in this area included the Prentice, Wadsworth and Neill families. A description of Mustcash is found on page 37 of History of the Descendants of the Families of Ira Barnes, Hiram Barnes, Richard Wadsworth and Levi Prentice of Mustcash, Ohio : From 1817 to 1913, by N.E. Prentice,  (Payne, Ohio, 1913). the author describes the area as “the point of land that extends into Sandusky Bay on the south shore.”  It was first called Mustcash Point, and then the word “Point” was dropped. 

The area considered Mustcash eventually included the land of the families living further back from the water, along what is now Wahl Road. (Note: People have argued about the exact location of Mustcash for over one hundred years.) This brief article from the September 13, 1876 issue of the Sandusky Register tells us that the Margaretta Hayes Wheeler and Foster Club was to meet at Neill’s school house in Mustcash to discuss the election of 1876.  Rutherford B. Hayes did indeed win the presidential election, with William A. Wheeler serving as his Vice President. Republican Charles Foster served four terms in the House of Representatives, and later he was Ohio’s Governor, in office from 1880 to 1884.


In the late 1800s, there was a small Lutheran church in Mustcash served by Rev. Jacob Dornbirer, who later was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Sandusky. This picture from History of Zion Lutheran Church shows the interior of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at Mustcash:


The Mustcash congregation was later combined with the Lutheran church in Castalia, now Grace Lutheran Church

The (possibly apocryphal) origin of the name Mustcash/Muscash is explained briefly in Hewson Peeke’s Standard History of Erie County (Lewis Publishing Co., 1916):  “The name Muscash is said to be of Indian derivation, and arose from the fact that the tribes brought their skins here for barter, and not being able to speak English, and wanting money instead of produce, insisted on "Muscash" or must cash.”

In this map of Castalia from the 1896 Erie County Atlas, you can see Mustcash Road leading in the northwest direction, away from the village of Castalia:



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