On the evening of Monday, January 1, 1855, a New Year’s Party was held at the Townsend House in Sandusky, Ohio. Many prominent early Sandusky residents served as managers of the event, including Major John G. Camp and his son, John G. Camp, Jr. Jay Cooke’s father Eleutheros Cooke, and his brother Pitt Cooke, were also managers of the party.
Serving on the Committee of Arrangements was Orville J. Victor, who would become well known as an author and editor. R.T. Greene, who also served on the Committee of Arrangements, was a close friend of Herman Melville. The character of Toby, in Melville’s novel Typee, was based on the life of Richard Tobias Greene. In the early 1850’s, R. T. Greene was associated with the Sandusky Mirror newspaper, a competitor of the Sandusky Register. According to the book Herman Melville's Whaling Years, Mr. Greene was also instrumental in the opening of the first telegraph office in Sandusky, Ohio.