Monday, November 01, 2010

Record of Proceedings of the Firelands Historical Society in October, 1895

On October 10, 1895, Rush R. Sloane opened the meeting of the Firelands Historical Society. Mr. Sloane was Vice President of the Society, which met in Sandusky for that particular meeting. Several persons attending the meeting had resided in the Firelands area for fifty years or more, and Judge Sloane asked those individuals to stand. The group sang a “Pioneer Song,” which had been written by General L. V. Bierce, and was sung to the tune of Old Lang Syne. Judge Sloane commented on the great work that the pioneers of the Firelands had done in recording their early history. Judge Sloane said, of the Firelands Pioneer, “I want to say to you that any one who has in his library a bound volume of the Pioneer, published by this Society, has a work of great value.”

The first meeting of the Firelands Historical Society took place in 1857. Each of the thirty-two townships of the Firelands region had chosen two individuals to gather and report the history of their township. Eleutheros Cooke and F.D. Parish were the two individuals chosen to record the history of Sandusky. Parish was also elected to be secretary for the Firelands Historical Society. In the October 10, 1895 proceedings, several individuals discussed historic items that they donated to the Firelands Historical Society. The discussions held by the members of the Firelands Historical Society were recorded in the many volumes of the Firelands Pioneer.

The key speaker at the Fall 1895 meeting of the Society was James M. Richardson, of Cleveland, who was president of the Western Reserve Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Before he gave a patriotic address, Mr. Richardson stated that the members of the Firelands Historical Society were doing a noble work in preserving the history of the Firelands. He continued, “You are not only a product of civilization, but you are one of its most potential agents; you are architects of fate, working in the walls of time: you are a part of that full force which underlies our nation.”

Several volumes of the Firelands Pioneer are available in the Reference Services area of the Sandusky Library. These include the “Old Series,” the “New Series” and the “Third Series.” There is both a general index to this set of journals, as well as an Obituary Index. Many personal stories, portraits of individuals, chronicles of settlers, and numerous other accounts of the early pioneers of Erie and Huron Counties can be found in this important resource for local history. Artifacts from these early settlers may be viewed at both the Firelands Historical Society Museum in Norwalk, Ohio and the Follett House Museum in Sandusky, Ohio.

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