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President-H. John Hildebrandt
Vice President-Lou Schultz
We want to thank you for being one of our great supporters – and we also want to apologize. We have not been conscientious about keeping you informed about what we’ve been doing and what we have planned. Our newly reworked website contains loads of information but that only works if you know where to find us! By the way, we are www.ErieCountyOhioHistory.org. So enjoy this, our first newsletter.
WHAT DID WE ACCOMPLISH IN 2017
We made contacting us so much easier – we have a TELEPHONE NO. now (419-702-0001). Just follow the directions to get to the right person to handle your question or use our handy Contact Us link. WE ELECTED several new Board Members which was pretty important because while we represent all of Erie County, most of our Board Members lived in Sandusky which, naturally, limited our focus to Sandusky. Erie County is so much more than its largest city. We designed and adopted a formal LETTERHEAD (it doesn’t sound like much but this was pretty significant). Now you can CHARGE YOUR MEMBERSHIP or make a DONATION online, a service many of our members were requesting.
OUR HISTORIC MARKERS – After assessing the 70 markers in Erie County, the Board was able to order one new marker for John Baptiste Flemmond in Huron, and restore FIVE that were in pretty bad shape (the Underground Railroad, Franklin St. Docks, Sandusky’s First Cemetery, the Cholera Cemetery and Snow’s Grist Mill in Castalia). You can view all of Erie County’s Historical Markers at https://www.eriecountyohiohistory.com/historical-markers/. We hosted several programs too. In February, Gerald Payne portrayed ABRAHAM LINCOLN in a presentation at the Sandusky Library. It was one of their largest crowds.
While our WALKING TOURS appear on the website, 2017 was the first year that our group personally conducted a walking tour. It was such a success, with 80 people attending, that we are doing it again this year and expanding the program. (Details on each walking tour can be found on our website). As a result, our website and walking tours were featured in Ohio Magazine in an article about Lake Erie Shores & Islands. Thanks to the Sandusky Library for being such a great partner in the tours. AND Leslie worked all winter to come up with not just one but two WALKING TOURS OF KELLEYS ISLAND.
OUR ANNUAL MEETING was held on November 19, 2017 at the Sandusky Yacht Club. Dennis Lamont did a wonderful presentation on the history of the Lake Shore Electric Railway. You can view photos from this event HERE. This year’s Annual Meeting will be November 18.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD – Randy Koch has been working with the “Network to Freedom,” a national program administered by the National Park Service, to get several of Sandusky’s URR sites listed. We have been successful in adding the Shoreline Park UGRR marker, the Sloane House, Beecher House, and the UGRR monument in Facer Park to the Network. If you are interested in the URR system, visit our website and click on Walking Tours or click HERE.
OUR WEBSITE – We brought our NEW WEBSITE online in 2016 and it was a huge success thanks to John Hildebrandt and Lou Schultz. However, even though the site was just a couple years old, Leslie Korenko and John Hildebrandt reevaluated its layout and content and decided an overhaul was needed. The HOME page was simplified to include quick links instead of featuring on the Sandusky walking tours. Sure, these are really important, but we needed to broaden our reach to all of Erie County. A complete overhaul of the MUSEUMS & HISTORIC SITES page was also overdue. Originally, all these sites were in alphabetical order which made finding items a challenge (you knew it was there – but where?). Now you can find everything sorted by community including museums, walking tours, historic maps, reference books, and more. We even found and included a cemetery tour, some really great old pictures and website and Facebook links. We also realized that extending the list to adjoining counties would only enhance a visitor’s experience, so we included them too.
WHAT DO WE HAVE PLANNED FOR THIS YEAR?
ERIE COUNTY & THE CIVIL WAR – Randy Koch organized a series of award winning articles about the Civil War and Erie County which appeared in the Sandusky Register. We are working to get those articles online on our website.
BECOME AN EXPERT ON ERIE COUNTY’S HISTORY – Wait for it – we are working on a county history quiz (25 questions to start) that should appear on our website soon. Will you be a Historian, Expert, Apprentice, Amateur or Newbie? Take the test to see how much you know about Erie Co.
THE HISTORY OF SANDUSKY’S OLDEST BUILDINGS – We want to try a pilot program to give visitors access to the history of some of our lovely old buildings as they travel through the City. We hope to put a poster with a QR code on it that will take you directly to the page for that building that tells its story. Here is a sample of one for the Boeckling building.
MORE WALKING TOURS – A key goal is to get historic walking tours for Huron, Vermilion and Milan underway. Now we are thinking that tours of Castalia and Margaretta Township could be developed with the assistance of Glenn Kuebeler and the Castalia Historical Society. Our fingers are crossed.
2018 ECHS EVENTS
The City of Sandusky celebrates its 200 Bicentennial this year. Explore the events for Sandusky’s Bicentennial Celebration at www.Sandusky2018.com
May 6 – SPECIAL MEMBERS ONLY EVENT! Join us for a special tour of historic Washington Park followed by dinner and drinks at the Sandusky Yacht Club. You must be a member to participate (it is a real deal at just $10). Join HERE.
May 23 – Walking Tour of Washington Park – part 1
June 27 – Walking Tour – Explore Sandusky & the Underground Railroad at 6:00 p.m.
July 25 – Walking Tour – Discover hidden gems in the Downtown Sandusky – Part 1 at 6:00 p.m.
August 22 – Walking Tour – Downtown Sandusky – Part 2 at 6:00 p.m.
September 26 – Walking Tour of Washington Park – Part 2 at 6:00 p.m.
November 18 – Attend our Annual Meeting & Banquet at the Sandusky Yacht Club