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OTTAWA COUNTY was formed March 6, 1840, from Sandusky, Erie and Lucas counties. Ottawa, says Bancroft, is an Indian word, signifying “trader.” It was applied to a tribe whose last home in Ohio was on the banks of the Maumee. The surface is level, and most of the county is within the Black Swamp, and contains much prairie and marshy land. A very small portion of the eastern part is within the “fire-lands.” There were but a few settlers previous to 1830. The emigration from Germany after 1849 was large; and its population is greatly of that origin. Their farms are generally small but highly productive, the draining of the Black Swamp bringing into use the richest of land. On the peninsula which puts out into Lake Erie are extensive plaster beds, from which large quantities of plaster are taken. Upon it are large limestone quarries, extensively worked. Area about 300 square miles. In 1887 the acres cultivated were 60,922; in pasture, 16,311; woodland, 19,601; lying waste, 6,989; produced in wheat, 228,461 bushels; rye, 46,961; buckwheat, 101; oats, 223,003; barley; 22,134; corn, 505,787; meadow hay, 12,166 tons; clover hay, 5,226; potatoes, 41,237 bushels; butter, 265,064 lbs.; sorghum, 317 gallons; maple sugar, 460 lbs.; honey, 8,786; eggs, 184,174 dozen; grapes, 6,993,216 lbs. (largest in the State); wine, 320,534 gallons (largest in the State); apples, 43;783 bushels; peaches, 86,424; pears, 1,867; wool, 49,823 lbs.; milch cows owned, 3,523.—State Report, 1888. Limestone, 167,054 tons burned for lime, 261,085 tons burned for fluxing, 56,004 cubic feet of dimension stone, 16,333 cubic yards of building stone, 40,272 cubic yards for piers and protection purposes, and 3,534 cubic yards of ballast or macadam.—Ohio Mining Statistics, 1888.


School census, 1888, 7,338; teachers, 137. Miles of railroad track, 89.



And Census





And Census














Kelley’s Island,










Catawba Island,


















Van Rensselaer,












Population in 1840 was 2,258; 1880, 19,762, of whom 12,793 were born in Ohio and 3,800 in the German Empire. Census, 1890, 21,974.


The first trial of arms in the war of 1812 in Ohio occurred in two small skirmishes on the peninsula between the Indians, September 29, 1812, and a party of soldiers, principally from Trumbull and Ashtabula counties, one of whom, then a lad of sixteen, was Joshua R. GIDDINGS.


What is known as the PENINSULA is a tract of land, a little less than thirty square miles in area, lying between Lake Erie and Sandusky bay, and attached to the mainland by a narrow neck near the Portage river. Its early settlers were


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from Danbury, Conn., and gave it the name of Danbury township. The western boundary of the Firelands cuts off a narrow strip of land on the west side of the township, though, as the township is now organized, the western line is that of the Firelands survey.


Catawba Island was organized as a separate township on the development of grape culture. It contains some 600 acres, situated north of the old Portage river bed, that stream now emptying into the lake some eight miles west of its original outlet, what is known as “The Harbors” being the old bed of the river. Catawba Island is connected with the mainland by a bridge over the west harbor.


Port Clinton in 1846.—Port Clinton, the county-seat, laid out in 1827, is 120 miles north of Columbus. It is situated on a beautiful bay, on the right bank of Portage river. It has a good harbor—in which is a light-houseand about sixty dwellings. It is about the only village in the county, and may ultimately be a place of considerable trade.—Old Edition.


PORT CLINTON, county-seat of Ottawa, is on Lake Erie at the mouth of Portage river, and about 110 miles north of Columbus, thirteen miles west of San­dusky, and thirty miles east of Toledo, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad. County officers, 1888: Auditor, John H. BERLEMAN; Clerk, Wm. A. EISENHOUR; Commissioners, Alexander SCRYMAGER, Frederick HILLMAN, Henry ROFKAR Coroner, George W. WOODWARD; Infirmary Directors, Robert RICHARDSON, Henry RYER, Wm. C. LEWIS; Probate Judge, David R. McRITCHIE; Prosecuting Attorney, Charles I. YORK; Recorder, Frederick W. CAMPER; Sheriff, James BISNETT; Surveyor, Smith MOTLEY; Treasurer, Washington GORDON City officers, 1888: George R. CLARK, Mayor; Wm. BERTSCH, Clerk; John ORTH, Treasurer; Sigmund LEIMGRUBER, Marshal; Wm. BODENSTEIN, Sealer of Weights. Newspapers: Lake Shore Bulletin, Independent, A. W. COURCHAINE, editor and publisher; Ottawa County News, Democratic, George R. CLARK, editor and publisher; Ottawa County Republican, Republican, J. W. GRISIER, editor and publisher. Churches: one Catholic, one United Brethren, one Lutheran, one Methodist Episcopal. Bank: S. A. Margruder & Co., S. A. MAGRUDER, cashier.


Manufactures and Employees.A. Spies & Co., doors, sash, etc., 6 hands; Seuyfert & Co., carriages, etc., 5; O. J. True & Co., flour, etc., 4; A. Couche & Co., saw mill, 10; Robert Hoffinger, flour, etc., 8.—State Report, 1887.


Population, 1880, 1,600. School census, 1888, 546; John McCONKIE, school superintendent. Capital invested in industrial establishments, $78,500; value of annual product, $172,900.—Ohio Labor Statiatics, 1887. Large fishing depots are located here. Census, 1890, 2,049.




This was an interesting trial involving the question of recognition of the Confederate States as a government de facto. It resulted from the arrest of Bennet G. Burley, one of the Johnson’s Island raiders. (See Erie County, Vol. I, p: 572.) Burley was tried in the Common Pleas Court at Port Clinton on the charge of robbery, in forcibly taking the watch of W. O. Ashley, the clerk of the steamer “Philo Parsons.”


In bar of proceedings was pleaded the fact that defendant was the authorized agent and acting under the directions of the Confederate government, in all that he did, and that he did nothing not warranted by the laws and usages of war. Judge John FITCH presiding, held that the Confederate States were, at the time named, a government de facto, exercising sovereignty, and being in a state of war with the Federal government; and hence the defendant could not be held amenable under the civil laws for acts performed under the authority of the Confederate government.


The Court cited, in support of such opinion, the fact that the United States had uniformly recognized the Confederate government as belligerent, and treated


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its soldiers and agents as prisoners of war. The Court, however, held that in case the jury should believe that the taking of Ashley’s watch was for the personal benefit of defendant, and not in the interest of the Confederate government, he was punishable under the State laws. The result was a disagreement of the jury, which stood, eight for guilty and four for not guilty. The case was understood to be without precedent, and the result was, accordingly, of general interest. The ruling of Judge Fitch was generally accepted as correct. These facts are from Waggoner’s History of Toledo.”


That noted event in the late war in the Northwest—Perry’s victory—took place on Lake Erie, only a few miles distant from the line of Ottawa. A description of this action we annex, from Perkins’ Late War:”


Building a Nag in the Wilderness.—At Erie Commodore Perry was directed to prepare and superintend a naval establishment, the object of which  was to create a superior force on the lake. The difficulties of building a navy in the wilderness can only be conceived by those who have experienced them. There was nothing at this spot out of which it could be built but the timber of the forest. Shipbuilders, sailors, naval stores, guns and ammunition were to be transported by land, over bad roads, a distance of 400 miles; either from Albany by the way of Buffalo, or from Philadelphia by the way of Pittsburg. Under all these embarrassments, by the lst of August, 1813, Commodore Perry had provided a flotilla, consisting of the ships Lawrence and Niagara, of twenty guns each, and seven smaller vessels, to wit, one of four guns, one of three, two of two and three of one-in the whole fifty-four guns. While the ships were building the enemy frequently appeared off the harbor and threatened their destruction; but the shallowness of waters on the bar—there being but five feet-prevented their approach. The same cause which insured the safety of the ships while building, seemed to prevent their being of any service. The two largest drew several feet more water than there was on the bar. The inventive genius of Commodore Perry, however, soon surmounted this difficulty. He placed large scows on each side of the two largest ships, filled them so as to sink to the water edge, then attached them to the ships by strong pieces of timber, and pumped out the water. The scows then buoyed up the ships so as to pass the bar in safety. This operation was performed on both the large ships in the presence of a superior enemy.


The Fleet Ready for Battle.—Having gotten his fleet in readiness, Commodore Perry proceeded to the head of the lake and anchored in Put-in-Bay, opposite to and distant thirty miles from Malden, where the British fleet lay under the guns of the fort. He lay at anchor here several days, watching the motions of the enemy, determined to give him battle the first favorable opportunity. On the 10th of September, at sunrise, the British fleet, consisting of one ship of nineteen guns, one of seventeen, one of thirteen, one of ten, one of three and one of one—amounting to sixty-four, and exceeding the Americans by ten guns, under the command of Commodore Barclay, appeared off Put-in-Bay, distant about ten miles. Commodore Perry immediately got under way, with a light breeze at southwest. At 10 o’clock the wind hauled to the southeast, which brought the American squadron to the windward, and gave them the weather-gauge. Commodore Perry on board the Lawrence, then hoisted his Union Jack, having for a motto the dying words of Capt. Lawrence, “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” which was received with repeated cheers by the crew.


Awful Silence.—He then formed the line of battle, and bore up for the enemy, who at the same time hauled his courses and prepared for action. The lightness of the wind occasioned the hostile squadrons to approach each other but slowly, and prolonged for two hours the solemn interval of suspense and anxiety which precedes a battle. The order and regularity of naval discipline heightened the dreadful quiet of the moment. No noise, no bustle prevailed to distract the mind, except at intervals the shrill pipings of the boatswain’s whistle, or a murmuring whisper among the men who stood around their guns with lighted matches, narrowly watching the movements of the foe, and sometimes stealing a glance at the countenances of their commanders. In this manner the hostile fleets gradually neared each other in awful silence. At fifteen minutes after 11 a bugle was sounded on board the enemy’s headmost ship, Detroit, loud cheers burst from all their crews, and a tremendous fire opened upon the Lawrence from the British long guns, which, from the shortness of the Lawrence’s, she was obliged to sustain for forty minutes without being able to return a shot.


The Lawrence Opens Fire.—Commodore Perry, without waiting for the other ships, kept on his course in such gallant and determined style that the enemy supposed he meant immediately to board. At five minutes before 12, having gained a nearer position, the Lawrence opened her fire, but the long guns of the British still gave them greatly the advantage, and the Lawrence was exceedingly cut up without being able to do but very little damage in return. Their shot pierced her sides in all directions, killing the men in the berth-deck and steerage, where the wounded had been carried to be dressed. One shot had nearly produced a fatal explosion. Passing through the light room it,


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knocked the snuff of the candle into the magazine. Fortunately, the gunner saw it, and had the presence of mind immediately to extinguish it. It appeared to be the enemy’s plan at all events to destroy the commodore’s ship. Their heaviest fire was directed against the Lawrence, and blazed incessantly from all their largest vessels. Commodore Perry, finding the hazard of his situation, made all sail, and directed the other vessels to follow, for the purpose of closing with the enemy. The tremendous fire, however, to which he was exposed soon cut away every brace and bowline of the Lawrence, and she became unmanageable. The other vessels were unable to get up, and in this disastrous situation she sustained the main force of the enemy’s fire for upwards of two hours, within canister distance, though a considerable part of the time not more than two or three of her guns could be brought to bear on her antagonist. The utmost order and regularity prevailed during this scene of horror. As fast as the men at the guns were wounded they were carried below, and others stepped into their places. The dead remained where they fell until after the action. At this juncture the enemy believed the battle to be won.


The Lawrence a Mere Wreck.—The Lawrence was reduced to a mere wreck; her deck was streaming with blood and covered with the mangled limbs and bodies of the slain. Nearly the whole of her crew were either killed or wounded; her guns were dismounted and the commodore and his officers helped to work the last that was capable of service. At two Capt. Elliott was enabled, by the aid of a fresh breeze to bring his ship into close action in gallant style, and the commodore immediately determined to shift his flag on board that ship; and giving his own in charge to Lieut. Yarnell, he hauled down his Union Jack and, taking it under his arm, ordered a boat to put him on board the Niagara. Broadsides were levelled at his boat and a shower of musketry from three of the enemy’s ships. He arrived safe and hoisted his Union Jack, with its animating motto, on board the Niagara. Capt. Elliott, by direction of the commodore, immediately put off in a boat to bring up the schooners which had been kept back by the lightness of the wind. At this moment the flag of the Lawrence was hauled down. She had sustained the principal force of the enemy’s fire for two hours and was rendered incapable of defence. Any further show of resistance would have been a useless sacrifice of the relies of her brave and mangled crew. The enemy were at the same time so crippled that they were unable to take possession of her, and circumstances soon enabled her crew again to hoist her flag.


Closing in on the Enemy.—Commodore Perry now gave the signal to all the vessels for close action. The small vessels, under the command of Capt. Elliott, got out their sweeps and made all sail. Finding the Niagara but little injured the commander determined upon the bold and desperate expedient of breaking the enemy’s line; he accordingly bore up and passed the head of the two ships and brig giving them a raking fire from his starboard guns, and also a raking fire upon a large schooner and sloop from his larboard quarter at half pistol shot. Having gotten the whole squadron into action he luffed and and laid his ship alongside of the British commodore. The small vessels having now got up within good grape and canister distance on the other quarter, enclosed the enemy between them and the Niagara, and in this position kept up a most destructive fire on both quarters of the British until every ship struck her colors.


We have Met the Enemy and They are Ours.”—The engagement lasted about three hours and never was victory more decisive and complete. More prisoners were taken than there were men on board the American squadron at the close of the action. The principal loss in killed and wounded was on board the Lawrence, before the other vessels were brought into action. Of her crew, twenty-two were killed and sixty wounded. When her flag was struck but twenty men remained on deck fit for duty. The loss on board of all the other vessels was only five killed and thirty-six wounded. The British loss must have been much more considerable. Commodore Barclay was dangerously wounded. He had lost one arm in the battle of Trafalgar. The other was now rendered useless by the loss of a part of his shoulder-blade; he received also a severe wound in the hip.


Commodore Perry, in his official despatch, speaks in the highest terms of respect and commiseration for his wounded antagonist and asks leave to grant him an immediate parole. Of Captain Elliott, his second in command, he says: “That he is already so well-known to the government that it would be almost superflous to speak. In this action he evinced his characteristic bravery and judgment, and since the close of it has given me the most able and essential assistance.” The bold and desperate measure of pressing forward into action with the Lawrence alone and exposing her to the whole fire of the enemy’s fleet for two hours, before the other ships could be got up, has been censured as rash and not warranted by the rules of naval war; but there are many seasons when the commander must rely more on the daring promptness of his measures than on nice calculations of comparative strength. Neither Bonaparte nor Nelson ever stopped to measure accurately the strength of the respective combatants. The result is the acknowledged and generally the best criterion of merit; and it should not detract from the eclat of the successful commander that his measures were bold and decisive.


Cowardly Indians.—Two days after the battle two Indian chiefs who had been selected for their skill as marksmen, and stationed in the tops of the Detroit for the purpose of picking off the American officers were found snugly stowed away in the hold of the Detroit. These savages, who had been


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accustomed to ships of no greater magnitude than what they could sling on their backs, when the action became warm were so panic-struck at the terrors- of the scene and the strange perils that surrounded them, that, looking at each other with amazement, they vociferated their significant “guonh” and precipitately descended to the hold. In their British uniforms hanging in bags upon their famished bodies, they were brought before Commodore Perry, fed and discharged, no further parole being necessary to prevent their afterwards engaging in the contest.


Burial of Fallen Heroes.—The slain of the crews of both squadrons were committed to the lake immediately after the action. The next day the funeral obsequies of the American and British officers who had fallen were performed at an opening on the margin of the bay in an appropriate and affecting manner. The crews of both fleets united in the ceremony. The stillness of the weather, the procession of boats, the music—the slow and regular motion of the oars striking in exact time with the notes of the solemn dirge—the mournful waving of the flags, the sound of the minute-guns from all the ships, the wild and solitary aspect of the place, gave to these funeral rites a most impressive influence and formed an affecting contrast with the terrible conflict of the preceding day. Then the people of the two squadrons were engaged in the deadly strife of arms; now they were associated as brothers to pay the last tribute of respect to the slain of both nations. Two American officers, Lieutenant BROOKS and Midshipman LAUB, of the Lawrence, and three British, Captain FINNIS and Lieutenant STOKE, of the Charlotte, and Lieutenant GARLAND, of the Detroit, lie interred by the side of each other in this lonely place on the margin of the lake, a few paces from the beach.


This interesting battle was fought midway of the lake between the two hostile armies, who lay on the opposite shore waiting in anxious expectation its result. The allied British and Indian forces, to the amount of four thousand five hundred, under PROCTOR and TECUMSEH, were at Malden ready, in case of a successful issue, to renew their ravages on the American borders.




Gibraltar is a very interesting islet. An indentation in Put-in-Bay Island forms Put-in-Bay harbor. Gibraltar lies within the mouth of the indentation and only about a furlong from either shore. It contains eight acres and rises, a forest-clad rock, forty-five feet above the lake. It bears forty-eight different kinds of trees. When the autumnal frosts cover the leaves it rounds “up from the water as a huge bower of beauty, and sometimes when the air is calm the lake repeats the bower.


In the war of 1812 the island was fortified. Perry’s fleet sailed out from here six miles to a point three miles north of Rattlesnake Island and there met the enemy.


An Island Castle.—The island is owned by Jay COOKE, and every year since the war era it has been his summer home. In 1864 and 1865 he built upon it his spacious castellated residence. Part of the materials for it were for a time in possession of the Southern Confederacy, the doors and window-casings. These were on board the “Island Queen” when she was captured by Beall, “The Pirate of Lake Erie.” Mr. COOKE was not on board and so escaped molestation. But could they have secured and held him and used his great financial talents in their cause, it might not have been among the great variety of things “in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”


Upon the island Mr. COOKE has erected a monument to the memory of Commodore Perry with a suitable inscription, and near it stands mounted cannon, trophies of the victory. A lookout tower one hundred and thirty feet above the water gives a magnificent outlook. Some twenty beautiful islands and islets come under the eye from its summit, and these are largely productive in grapes, peaches, pears, quinces, apples and other fruits.


Tempering Effect of Water.—It was on the 20th of October that by invitation I arrived at Gibraltar to pass a day with Mr. COOKE, and at even that late season the temperature of the lake air was so kindly that lima beans were still plucked for the table on Put-in-Bay Island, also cantaloupes and water melons; a few eatable peaches were lingering upon the trees, which Mr. COOKE gathered for my use when he took me over there on the succeeding morning.  Flowers were also growing in the open air, as roses, heliotropes, pansies,


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mignonettes, etc., and might be for a month to come, while thirty miles south on the mainland they had long been overtaken by frost; such was the tempering effect of surrounding water on the atmosphere of the island .


On the island are about eight hundred acres in grapes alone, the rest of the island mainly in other fruit. The yearly value from fruit and fishing for the people amounts to about a quarter of a million dollars. The population is about eight hundred. Peaches do remarkably well and also on the Peninsula. The making of fruit baskets is an important industry of this region. Peck baskets, wholesale, at about thirty cents, and half-bushel baskets at forty-two cents a dozen. When winter shuts down here it sometimes does it with so much vim that one can walk upon the ice from the Sandusky shore to that of Canada.


An Enterprising Polar Bear.—The winter of 1813 was especially severe; not a square yard of open water that anybody knew of between the islands and the North Pole. Whereupon, as the story goes, a white polar bear of enterprising spirit started South on an exploring tour until he reached the Peninsula, opposite Sandusky, when he was discovered by our kind, who treated him inhospitably, set upon him and carried off his fur coat. Poor bear!


Owning an Island.—There is something romantic in that idea of having an island all to one’s self, as Mr. COOKE has in Gibraltar. Ex-President Hayes felt it years ago when his children were young, for he bought, a mile or so off the Peninsula, a small island as a recreation ground for them, where they could camp out and go a-sailing and a-fishing. It is a very small affair, so small one might some day take a fancy to pick it up, slip it in his vest pocket as he would his watch and walk off with it. It has a tiny name—Mouse Island—and it contains three acres.


When the war closed Mr. COOKE had his house finished. Being a Christian man he felt it was the Lord’s work, thinking all the time of the text, “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.” So every summer for a term of ten years he was wont in gratitude to invite the Lord’s ministers to enjoy it with him, generally picking out poor men with but lean salaries.


A Christian Plan.—His plan was to invite ten at a time, and two of a kind—two Methodists, two Presbyterians, two Episcopalians, two Lutherans, etc., whom he would keep two weeks and then they would depart for a second ten. When each departed he passed over checks to make good their travelling expenses to and fro. During their stay with him there was perfect concord, notwithstanding diverse theological beliefs. Of course, he took his guests sailing and fishing and their mutual enjoyment was huge. And sometimes when they sat down to the social meal there would lie on the platter for their regaling a magnificent white fish or bass that only an hour or two before had been sporting in the water not one hundred yards away from the dining table.


The Lover’s Cave.This rock of Gibraltar has its curiosities. The formation being limestone and one side a perpendicular bluff it has under it a cave into which a boat can go; it is called “Lover’s Cave.” Another is the “Needle’s Eye,” an arched passage-way formed by an overhanging rock and another coming up from the bottom of the lake. One spot on the overhanging bluff is called “Perry’s Lookout,” where Perry was wont to station a sentinel to watch for the British fleet, and early one morning he discovered it near the Canada shore, whereupon he hoisted his anchors, sailed out of the bay and met them, much to their sorrow.


Painful Suspense.While the battle was in progress the sound of the guns was heard at Cleveland, about sixty miles away in a direct line over the water. The few settlers there were expecting the battle and listened with intense interest. Finally the sounds ceased. They waited for a renewal. None came; the lull was painful. Then they knew the battle was over; but the result, ah! that was the point. One old fellow who had been lying flat with his ear to the ground soon settled that point. Springing up he clapped his hands and shouted. “Thank God ! they are whipped ! they are whipped.”

“How do you know?” the others exclaimed.

     “Heard the big guns last !”

Perry’s guns were the heaviest.


Power of Impressibility—I had not met Mr. COOKE until this visit, and then I felt as though I had always known him; that, indeed, he was a very old friend. There are some characters that have that power of friendly impressibility and don’t know it, and ought not to be blamed for having it. My philosophy of the matter is that it is the spirit of humanity and geniality that has got them in its full possession, and such would be miserable if they couldn’t do good to everybody and everything around them, and this shows in every act, every word that falls from their lips and every expression of countenance. How those old divines must have enjoyed his princely hospitality and winning, heartful ways.


Mr. COOKE has a fine personelle. He is of the blonde type, half an inch less than six feet in stature and turns the scale at one hundred and ninety pounds. He is springy, alert in his movements and his mind acts with alike alertness. He has done a great work since that old Indian chief OGONTZ carried him a small boy on his shoulders on the streets of Sandusky.  Just glance at it.


A Remarkable Career.—In the sprint of 1839, when eighteen years old, he went East to seek his fortune; entered as a boy the banking-house of E. W. Clarke & Co., Philadelphia, the largest domestic exchange and banking-house in the country. In a few months he was head-clerk; in his twentieth year had power of attorney to sign checks for the firm and at twenty-one was taken in as partner.


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And when the war ensured he was the financial agent of the Government; and his house of Jay Cooke & Co., of Philadelphia with branches in Washington, New York and London, did the greatest banking business the world has known.  In the year 1865 it amounted to nearly three thousand millions of dollars.  In placing the United States bonds he spent not less than a million of dollars in advertising and publications and took all risks.  Being of strong religious convictions he feels as though he had been an instrument in the hands of Providence to provide the funds for putting down the Rebellion.  And until there is revealed the inner financial history of that stupendous era, the nations will never know how greatly its salvation rests upon the financial genius and patriotism of Jay COOKE.  But he knows, and that is for his the best part of it.


The Wine Islands.


The group of Islands in the western part of Lake Erie, sometimes called the “Wine Islands,” lie principally within the State of Ohio, but the largest island—Point Pelee—and a few of the smallest are British possessions.  They are as follows:



Ross Island, alias South Bas, alias Put-in-Bay,


1,500 acres.

Floral Isle, alias Middle Bass,. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Isle St. George, alias North Bass,. . . . . . . . . .


Rattlesnake Isle,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sugar Isle,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Strontian, alias Green Island,. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Ballast,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Gibraltar,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Glacial, alias Starve Island,. . .. . . . . . . . .Area



Buckeye,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      



The above are the islands forming Put-in-Bay township, Ottawa county. Besides these are Mouse, a small island off Scott’s Point, belonging to Ex-President Hayes; Kelley’s Island, belonging to Erie county (see Vol. I, page “5); Gull, a small island, just north of Kelley’s and West Sister’s Island, some eighteen miles west of North Bass. North of the National boundary are Point Pelee Island, Middle Island, the small group known as Hen and Chickens, and East, Sister’s and Middle Sister’s Islands.


Until 1854 these islands were sparsely settled. In that year Mr. J. D. RIVERS, a Spanish merchant of New York, having been favorably impressed with their natural attractions purchased five entire islands, viz.: Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass, Ballast, Sugar and Gibraltar, at a cost of $44,000. He at first turned Put-in-Bay into a sheep ranch, having at one time a herd of 2,000, but gradually disposed of these and converted the island into a fruit farm.


In 1858 Phillip VROMAN, L. HARMES, Lawrence MILLER and J. D. RIVERS commenced the cultivation of the vine. Their success was so great that others followed their example and now the principal industry is the growing of grapes. The quality of the soil, natural drainage and climatic influence surrounding the islands is specially favorable to the growing of fruits. The development of this industry is shown by the facts that in 1887 more than one-third of the grape product and nearly one-half of the wine product of the entire State is credited to Ottawa county, while nearly three times as many peaches were produced as in any other county in the State.


The varieties of grapes grown are mainly Catawba, Delaware and Concord, with some Ives, Norton, Clinton, etc.


At one time the wines from these islands had an extended reputation and were pronounced by the best judges” worthy of being compared to the most prized productions of France;” but the alarming extent of wine adulteration and competition of California wines has seriously affected the industry. Nevertheless, there are several companies that manufacture large quantities of wine of a high grade. One of these has in its cellars two of the largest casks in the United States, each capable of holding 16,000 gallons of wine.


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Some fifteen or twenty years ago Put-in-Bay was a famous summer resort, but the destruction by fire in 1878 of the principal hotel, and in recent years the influx of unwholesome characters on excursions from the cities of Cleveland, Toledo and Sandusky, who are encouraged to come here and patronized the numerous saloons that have sprung up, has done much to bring the place into disrepute.  Happily, within the past year a project has been got under way which may once more bring this historic and picturesque isle again into popular favor as a summer resort. A large hotel and cottages are to be erected and efforts made to prevent the lawless element from monopolizing this, Nature’s outing place, for the people of Ohio.


The sanitary conditions of these islands are unsurpassed, and although there is nothing striking or grand in the scenery, yet taken altogether they form a scene of great beauty, while the morning and evening breezes that blow from the waters of Lake Erie are bracing and invigorating. Rock bass and perch abound in the water; better boating could not be desired. Propellers ply between the islands and steamers make several daily round trips to Sandusky


These islands are favorite places of resort for clubs from the larger cities. Ballast Isle is owned by the Cleveland Club; they have a fine club-house and numerous cottages are occupied in season by their Forest City owners. On Floral Isle the Toledo and Lake Erie Boating and Fishing Association have a fine club-house surrounded by the cottages of the club members.


Near the centre of Put-in-Bay Island is a subterranean cavern that is quite an object of interest. It is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide and has an average height of 7 feet. At the farther end is a lake, whose pure, limpid waters are ice cold and said to be fifty feet deep in one place and to extend under the rocks to regions and depths unknown.


Early in this century these islands were overrun with rattlesnakes. The caves, crevices of the limestone rocks, afforded secure retreats at all times, and in the spring season they were wont to come out and lie upon the warm rocks and bask in the sunshine. The name of this horrid reptile is perpetuated in Rattlesnake Island, so called because its line of rocky humps suggested to its christener the rattles of rattlesnakes.


JAY COOKE was born in Sandusky, Ohio, August 10, 1821, and went in 1838 to Philadelphia, where he entered the banking-house of E. W. Clarke & Co. as a clerk, and when twenty-one years of age became a partner. In 1840 he wrote the first money article that appeared in Philadelphia, and for a year edited the financial column of the Daily Chronicle.


In 1858 he retired from the firm of E. W. Clarke & Co., and in 1861 established a new firm of which he was the head. In the spring of 1861, when the Government called for subscription loans, the firm of Jay COOKE & Co. at once organized and carried into operation the machinery to obtain and forward to Washington large lists of subscribers. This was done without compensation.


In 1862 Mr. COOKE was appointed by Secretary Chase the special agent of the government to negotiate the five hundred million five-twenty loan. In this great transaction the government assumed no risks. If the loan failed the agent was to receive nothing, and with full success the remuneration was not one-twentieth of the amount which European bankers are accustomed to receive from a foreign power, in addition to absolute security from loss. The enormous negotiations of the great war loans of the United States were taken by the subscription agent, with the possible prospect of receiving no benefit therefrom, and the chance of ruining his own fortune and those of his partners.


The loan was sold, but even its remarkable success did not save Mr. Chase and Mr. COOKE from the detractions and accusations of the political enemies of the Secretary, who sought to damage his Presidential aspirations by charges of favoritism.


Whitelaw Reid, from whose Ohio in. the War this sketch is abridged, says: The clamor of the opponents of Mr. Chase increased and finally succeeded. The treasury attempted to negotiate its own loans and failed. The consequence was that the Rebellion, which might have been suppressed in the later part of 1864, was defiant when the first of January, 1865, came. The force of financial success would have defeated the Richmond conspirators, but, familiar with the condition of National finances, the rebels waited confidently for the relapse of the Union effort to subdue them. The prospect was dark and dreary. The treasury was in debt for vouchers for the Quartermaster’s


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department, the armies were unpaid and heavy arrearages due, and a debt of three hundred millions of dollars stared the new Secretary in the face, while the financial burden steadily accumulated at the rate of four millions of dollars a day.


This was the condition of affairs when Mr. Feasenden was at the head of the Treasury Bureau. The government could only pay in vouchers and these were selling in every part of the country at a discount of twenty-five to thirty per cent. and gravitating rapidly downward. This was known to the Confederate authorities and excited the hopes of the Rebel armies at home and their sympathizers abroad. Had this condition continued gold would have reached a much higher premium, the vouchers of the government become unsaleable and ruin resulted. The government then tried to obtain money without the aid of a special agent. The endeavor was made, backed by the assistance of the National banks, but proved entirely abortive. With all this powerful machinery the receipts of the treasury averaged but seven hundred thousand per day, one-sixth of the regular expenditure. Mr. Chase and the leading friends of the government earnestly advised Mr. Fessenden to employ Mr. COOKE as the special agent of the Treasury Department, and the Secretary sent for the banker.


The interview was successful. Mr. COOKE asked the amount of the daily sales which would meet the urgent demands upon the treasury. The reply was “Two million five hundred thousand dollars; can you raise the money?” “I can,” was the ready reply. “When will you commence?” “On the first of February,” and the conference ended. This was on the 24th of January, 1865. His commission was sent to Mr. COOKE; he organized his staff of agents and by the first of February was in full operation. Innumerable assistants were appointed; special and travelling were set at work; advertising was ordered by hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in a few days money began to flow into the depleted treasury and cash instead of vouchers paid the purchases for the maintenance of the government and the subsistence of the army.


From the first organization of Mr. COOKE’S machines for popularizing the loan the daily sales averaged from two to three millions of dollars and steadily increased, until at the close of the loan the receipts averaged five millions of dollars per day. In about five months the last note was sold, fifteen or sixteen millions of dollars being sold occasionally in one day, and once forty-two millions. The result of these grand successes was the speedy collapse of the hopes of the Rebels. The vouchers of the government were paid off and new purchases were paid for promptly at a saving of from thirty to fifty per cent. on former prices. Since the close of the war Mr. COOKE has continued to act for the government in connection with other parties m many important matters. He was also the most efficient assistant in the establishment of the National banking system.


It should be added that Mr. COOKE’S profits from the percentage allowed by the government were far less, than has been generally supposed; they were three-eighths of one per cent. There are on file in the Treasury Department letters from him making repeated offers to give up the percentage and do the work for nothing if the government would release him from his liabilities for loss through any of his thousands of agents—a risk which constantly threatened him with ruin. The department always refused this offer.




An Ohio ChautauquaLakeside is a peculiar place, a summer resort on the northeast shore of the Peninsula, about ten miles from Sandusky, with which there is constant communication by steamers passing to and from the islands. It is modelled after Chautauqua, and is owned by an association of gentlemen connected with the Methodist Episcopal church. It was founded in 1873 for the renovation of health and moral and religious instruction.


The location is in a forest, on a level site, with an expansive lake view, the nearest prominent visible object being Kelley’s Island, rising from the water four miles farther out in the lake. The grounds contain 175 acres, fronting the lake with a wharf. It is enclosed by a high barb fence, the entrance gates guarded, and it is under stringent police regulations. Neither tobacco nor liquors are allowed to be sold.


The visitor is taxed for the use of the grounds; it is 25 cents for a single day, $1 for a week, and $2 for the season.  I came here Saturday, by steamer, from Sandusky, to rest over the Sabbath.  In the evening the police brought into the business office a neighboring farmer who had evaded paying entrance fee by crawling, snake-like under the fence.  The tongue-lashing he received from the gentleman in charge showed “the way of the transgressor is hard”—that is, when caught.


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A Wholesome Community.—The place has a large hotel, a business office with a post-office, bathing houses on the shore, about 400 cottages, and an auditorium—a huge open shed with seats for 3,000. The cottages are scattered about in the woods, generally are mere shells, externally painted, internally not so; built usually at a coat of from $350 to $400 each; some, from $1,000 to $1,600. Then, tents are brought here and some go into camp. On rare occasions 6,000 have slept on the grounds. The visitors are largely school marms, mothers with children, and boys camping out. The cost of living and boarding is cheap. Some females hire cottage rooms and do their own cooking. I felt it good to pass a Sabbath in a place from whence unwholesome people were excluded, and the moral air was so good. The Methodists, from their eminently social nature, are the best of all religionists to manage such a retreat, On my trip over we passed Marblehead light-house, which is about two miles from Lakeside. Near that point are the famed Marblehead limestone quarries, which supply the beat of limestone. The light-houses on the lakes are largely built with it, while a large portion of northern Ohio gets its lime from there.


Preaching to the Wyandot.On the boat with me was an old gentleman, Rev. William RUNNESS, a superannuated Methodist minister, who began his life in Portland, Maine, in 1802. He preached among the Wyandots once a quarter the last four years they remained in Ohio, he being the presiding elder in the district embracing them. As the Wyandots had no written language, he preached to them through an interpreter. This was Jonathan POINTER, a colored man, taken prisoner when a youth in the war of 1812 and adopted by them.


The Wyandots were very emotional and excellent singers. Some of their members were prone to prolixity in speaking, and “sometimes,” said he, they had to choke them off. On one occasion I saw one of the sisters get very much excited during one of their meetings, when ‘Between-the-Logs,’ an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a native Wyandot, struck up a tune and put her down. Then several speakers spoke and without interruption. ‘Between-the Logs’ followed them, and had uttered but a few words, when the squelched sister, who had a loud, ringing voice, began, at the top of her register, singing”


          “How happy are they

           Who their Saviour obey.”


Between-the-Logs’ was fairly drowned out, and took his seat, as much overcome by the merriment as the music.”


Saved Enough to Bury HimselfOn the boat with us was an old gentleman whose talk was lugubrious. He was lamenting the degeneracy of the young men. “In old times,” said he, “boys were bound out to trades, and boarded with their employers, who looked after their habits, required them to keep good hours, and watched them with a father-like interest. With the introduction of machinery this la now all gone by. The young men are largely careless of money and dissolute. In my village of 1,000 people there are not three young men who do not drink and smoke; not one who has saved enough money to pay his funeral expenses, and yet there is not one who could not have saved enough to bury himself three times over.”


Considering the profession of my informant, his illustration was exactly in his line, and shows how prone mankind are, when they open their mouths, to introduce the shop—he was the village undertaker.


When the old gentleman thus spoke, it was doubtless under a dreadful sense of great depression from the memory of unpaid bills. He had my sympathy.


Soldiers’ Reunion.—At Lakeside was recently held one of those soldiers’ reunions that have been so frequent since the war. These, with thinning, dissolving ranks of the old veterans—now fast getting into the sere and yellow leaf—will soon pass away and be held no more. Photography will preserve for posterity views of many of these meetings, and so help to keep alive and cherish the memory of those brave men who grilled all to save our beautiful country. The reunion that was lately held here was that of the Twenty-third Ohio, Gen. Hayes’ old regiment. I have recently seen a photograph h of it by Mr. Oswald, photographer, of Toledo. In the background. near together, are Mrs. Hayes, Stanley Matthews, Gen. Comly and Gen. Hayes. And it is a sad reflection that the ex-president is the only one of the four named at this present writing living.


Mrs. Hayes’ Sympathy for the Soldier.On their left is the drum-major, a very old man, then up in the eighties, having enlisted at the age of 60 years. Mr. Oswald himself is shown in the foreground, holding a child. The interest in this picture is greatly enhanced by the presence of Mrs. Hayes. Indeed, without her, it could not be the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Oswald tells me that when the regiment went into winter-quarters the general was wont to put his family into a hired house near by, when Mrs. Hayes became a sort of mother to the boys: Whenever any of them were sick her sympathies were keenly aroused and she was all attention.


It is a precious time to the old soldiers—these reunions—the last of which, alas, is too near. The careless thinker, or observer, can have no conception of the sad joy of these men when they meet with more than brotherly affection and talk over their mutual experiences in that period of stupendous events of bloody fields and agonizing hearts: The influence of these meetings upon these patriotic men, and the power of comradeship in the scenes through which they passed pare beautifully delineated in a speech of Gen. Hayes at Cincinnati, August 10, 1889, before


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the Ohio Commadery of the Loyal Legion. From it we make this extract:




Commander and Companions: Among our most cherished associations we have come to know that comradeship in the Union Army holds a place in the very front rank. It has given us a host of army societies, great and small. . . . For us and those who are nearest and dearest to us, what an addition ‘the war for the Union has contributed to the attractiveness of our American society! Strike out from each of our lives, since the grand review at Washington, in May, 1865, all entertainments whose chief satisfaction, happiness and glory can be fairly traced to the comradeship of the war, and who does not see how meagre and barren those years would become


Memory’s Review.—The interest which the war has imparted to our lives is not to be measured by the contemplation merely of assemblages that are marked by the turmoil and blare of multitudes marching with banners and gathered by music and cannon; but we must reckon, also, the ever-recurring hours of domestic and other quiet scenes, when in narrow and noiseless circles the tremendous events of our recent history, with their countless incidents, sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic and pathetic, are recalled, and pass and repass before us in never-ending review. The pictures on our walls, the books we read with most delight, the magazines and newspapers, the collections of mementos and relies gathered in those golden years, all do their part to keep in fresh remembrance the good old times when we were comrades and almost all seemed and were, true and brave.


Soldiers’ Friendships.—It is often said that, outside of the family, no tie is stronger more tender, and more lasting than that of com  radeship. This is not the time nor place to compare as critics or philosophers the various sorts of friendship which grow up between men according to occupation and other circumstances. The fact we do know, and rejoice to know, is that to meet our old commander, or the brave, good men we commanded, or the trusted comrade of many a camp and march and battle, is always like good news from home, and fills the heart to overflowing with happiness which no words can fully tell.


ELMORE is nineteen miles west of Port Clinton, seventeen miles southeast of Toledo, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad and Portage river. Newspapers: Independent, Independent, W. L. FOULKE & Co., editors and publishers; the Elmore Tribune, Independent, BRADRICK Bros., publishers. Churches: 1 Presbyterian, 1 Disciples, 1 German Methodist, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 United Brethren, l German Lutheran, 1 German Reformed, and 1 Catholic. Bank: Bank of Elmore, John H. McGEE president, Thomas E. BAYNES, cashier. Population, 1880, 1,044.          School census, 1888, 414.


OAK HARBOR 18 ten miles west of Port Clinton, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad and the W. & L. E: Railroad. Newspapers: Ottawa County Exponent, Democratic, J. H. KRAEMER, editor; Press, Democratic, George GOSLINE, editor and publisher. Churches: 1 Disciples, 1 Methodist, 3 Lutheran, and 1 Catholic.


Manufactures and Employees.—Charles A. LEOW, carriages, etc., 6 hands; H. H. Mylander, staves and headings, 33; J. Watts, planing mill, 5; Ampach Bros., saw mill and hoop factory, 55; Wash. Gordon, planing and saw mill, 25; C. Roose, staves and headings, 42; Portage Mills, flour, etc., 2.--State Report, 1887.


Population, 1880, 987. School census, 1888, 551. Capital invested in manufacturing  establishments, $127,000; value of annual product, $181,000.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888.


Tile and brick are manufactured here of an excellent quality, and it is in a natural gas field.


CARROLL, P. O. Lacarne, is six miles west of Port Clinton, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad. School census, 1888, 227.


GENOA is twenty-two miles vest of Port Clinton, thirteen miles southeast of Toledo, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad. It has six churches. Population, 1880, 930. School census 1888, 373; L. N. SADLER, school superintendent. PUT-IN-BAY is on an island in Lake Erie, twelve miles north of Port Clinton, twenty two miles northwest of Sandusky. It is a famous summer resort, with daily steamers from Sandusky and Detroit during the summer season. Population, 1880, 381. School census, 1888, 231.


LAKESIDE is a summer resort on Lake Erie, and on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad, ten miles north of Sandusky.


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