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October 1, 1987


PIX #1 - The Follet House, Sandusky's museum, has gained attention for its Confederte Cemeter memorabilia.

(Author Note: Today's article is excerpted from a recent issue of Buckeye North, and reprinted by permission. It pertains to a house built by Oran Follet in 1834-37 in Sandusky and also contains other history of that area which will interest readers of this column.)

Sandusky is a beautiful Midwestern port city with the good fortune to be lo- cated on Sandusky Bay -- one of the finest natural harbors in North America, making it an ideal spot for fisherman, boaters, and those intereted in early history of that area.

There's much to see in Sandusky that will interest the Fostoria Historical Society members as well as others not in the Fostoria area.


While industry thrives there, Sandusky is most noted as the home of the world famous amusement park, Cedar Point. Sandusky is also a great city for "house sightseeing" because there are 1,457 buildings, structures and sites of historic or architectural significance.

The National Register of Historic Places lists 140 of them and the buildings reflect nearlyall styles of Victorian architecture, historic brick and frame structured vernacular homes.

Originally, the home of Ottawa Indians who lived along the shoreline, white settlers first came to Sandusky in 1810.

The Mad River Railroad, Ohio's first railroad, originated in Sandusky in 1835 in what is now Battery Park. That railroad ran as far as Fostoria, but was abandoned after a few years.

Sandusky was the birthplace of Jay Cooke, the man responsible for financing the Union forces during the Civil War, and during the first half of the 19th century it was an important station and terminus for one branch of the Under- ground Railroad -- a term used to indicate stations where slaves escaping from the South could stop for rest and food on their way to Canada.


Sandusky's local museum, The Follett House is a beautiful example of Greek Revival architecture. It was built by Oran Follett in 1834-37, with lime- stone taken from what was once a quarry across the street.

The Museum is best noted for its outstanding collection of Civil war arti- facts, especially jewelry made by men from the Johnson's Island Confederate Prison to earn money. Lights and bricks from the prison buildings and wood- en tombstones from the Confederate cemetery are also on display. Other Civil War artifacts include swords, guns and uniforms.

Beautiful examples of Victorian clothing, furniture and quilts made in the 1800s are on display as well as relics made by local Indians. The Museum is also furnished with period furniture.


Located at 404 Wayne St., near downtown, the Follet House is open from 1 to 4 p.m., daily June through Labor Day. In April, May, and September through December, from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Group tours can be arranged by calling (419) 627-9608.

At Battery Park is Adventure Plus, a company which leases power and sailboats and offers boating lessons. Another sandusky attraction is Mills Creek Golf Course, a public nine-hole course located at 1933 Mills St.

The Sandusky Speedway is a half-mile semi-banked asphalt oval track with a racing tradition which began in 1948. It is one of the few tracks in the country which runs open-wheeled semimodifieds on a weekly basis. Located at 614 W. Perkins Ave.

Docked on the Jackson Street pier in the downtown is a G.A. Boeckling, Sand- usky's sentimental steamer. Built in 1901, it ferried passengers to Cedar Point until 1951, at which time it was sold to a Wisconsin company. In 1982, the Friends of the Boeckling bought the steamer back and now are working on plans for its restoration and use.


I and many other older readers will remember the G.A. Boeckling and the ride on it from Sanduskyto Cedar Point.

Back then, Fostoria residents were able to get to Sandusky via special excur- sion trains on the LE&W. The train ride ended near the dock where the G.A. Boeckling provided the rest of the transportation to the Point.

The trip provided a full-day outing at low cost.


Another place to visit is Johnson's Island, where the Confederate Cemetery is located, dating back to the war between the North and the South. See Pot- luck article of Sept. 4, 1980, giving the history of the cemetery and photo- graphs.

The site is reached by traveling east toward Baypoint on Ohio No. 163. At the road intersection where Dino's restaurant is, turn right and go to the end of the road, turn left and proceed to the Ohio Historical marker, turn right and proceed across the causeway which leads to Johnson Island and the cemetery.


Readers will recall the Kansas, Ohio series a year ago. A recent letter from Harold Freese, a native of Kansas who later lived in Fostoria, but now di- viding his time between Minnesota, from summer fishing, Nebraska to see old friends, where he also lived, and Texas for the winter, sent his comments about names and faces he recalls from long ago:

"Thanks for sending those clippings, especially the one about Kansas. John Jones lived across the street south from my grandparents, and Byron Jones lived across, west. Byron had a son named Forest and I don't know what ever became of him. John Paul Jones of Fostoria was in my high school class.

"I'm sorry that I didn't meet Harry McDaniel at the homecoming. His sister Donna and I were playmates when we were kids. I also knew his father Ira and mother Mable, as a youngster."


"In the article of the Academy you mentioned the Ashcraft residence on Fre- mont Street. Mars Werner and family lived there for a few years and I was in the house a number of times. It was a grand house.

"I knew very little about the class of '91, but when the Electric Autolite opened a plant in the old Peabody Bug Plant, C.O. Miniger got my father to be millwright there and he worked there until he retired.

"You mentioned Bob Lockhart and he was in my class in high school. I remem- ber when he received his appointment to Annapolis and that's about the last I knew of him.

"The Mickey brother lived on Wood street, just back of where we lived on College Avenue. Their adopted son "Frank" was also a schoolmate. Frank went to Dartmouth and I lost track of him then."

(Author's Note: Freese's reference to Class of '91 was the Potluck article dated May 7, 1987.)

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