by LHS Volunteer Dave Boling
Have you ever started a project and found that there were surprises along the way?
Such was the case last year when I began researching my program for the Lakeside Heritage Society about Lakeside missionaries. Surprises lead us in different directions. They can be distractions or they can deepen and expand the story you’re trying to tell.
And it all started with past Lakesider, Eleanor Durr!
In her book, Lakeside Lore, Eleanor tells the story of two of the many Methodist missionaries with ties to Lakeside, Franklin and Bertha Ohlinger. They spent their honeymoon here and Bertha gave a farewell address to the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society before the couple left for China. The Ohlingers were frequent visitors when they were in the United States. They stayed at the Searles Guest House (we know it today as "Idlewyld").
Eleanor also writes about her personal relationship with Dr. F. I. Johnson and his wife, Halla. The Johnsons were missionary leaders in the Methodist Episcopal Church a generation after the Ohlingers. Frend and Halla Johnson (she’s listed as "Helen" in an old directory) had a cottage on the Lakefront.
Both of these families left items that they acquired in their missionary work and world travels to the Upper Room Museum in Nashville.
I decided to follow up on Miss Durr’s stories and contacted the Museum to see if I could obtain some photos of some of the Johnson/Ohlinger items for my presentation. A month later, I received a call from their museum director informing me they had made the decision to close their museum. She asked if Lakeside would be interested in receiving some of the items; if not, they would be sold at auction. She preferred that the items be made available to Lakeside because we had connections with both the Johnsons and Ohlingers. We would be free to keep, store, or sell them as we saw fit. Soon thereafter, Dakota Harkins, Carol Morgan, and I, participated in a Zoom tour of the collection being offered, and we accepted the items with gratitude.
The Rev. Dr. Franklin Ohlinger and Bertha Ohlinger
The Ohlingers were German Methodist missionaries in China and Korea for more than 45 years. Franklin was a graduate of the German-Wallace College (now Baldwin Wallace University) in Berea, founded by German Methodist Bishop and Lakesider, William Nast. First stationed in China, the Ohlingers introduced the Gospel in the villages of China where it had never been heard. They used their linguistic skills to translate hymns and other English and German writings to the Chinese language. They were founders in 1881 of the Anglo-Chinese College in Foochow, where Franklin was the College President and Bertha taught. When Korea was opened to the West in 1887, they were among the first missionaries to enter the country. There, Dr. Ohlinger started one of the first printing ventures, published a newspaper, and continued to spread the Gospel message. (see Ohio's Yesterdays).
In this rather large collection gifted by the Upper Room Museum, there are a few gems related to Lakeside and our missionary heritage––for example, Bertha Ohlinger’s German Bible, and a hymnal in Chinese that she translated from English. Bertha was the first to translate English hymns to the Chinese language. The collection also includes a large bell and stand that belonged to her husband, Franklin, along with many other items that would have been typical for him to take as he traveled the Ohio countryside visiting churches when on furlough from his missionary work.
Franklin used photo images and artifacts like the Goddess of Mercy to help Westerners understand the culture of the Chinese and Korean people. The sessions must have been visual treats, featuring photos, art and traditional Asian costumes. Franklin could talk for an hour or more and not lose the interest of the crowd. A freewill offering would go to support their missionary work or sometimes a 25-cent admission would be charged. As much as the Ohlingers shared the Gospel in China and Korea, they shared Asian culture here.
Lakeside was home base for many missionaries like the Ohlingers, where they would rest, prepare for church visits, and for their return to the mission field. While at Lakeside they were an active part of the community, preaching at the camp meeting and the Lakeside church or speaking to mission groups and conferences like the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society.
Rev. Dr. Franklin Ohlinger died in 1919 after 46 years as a missionary in Korea and China. His wife and soul mate, Bertha, died in 1934. The Ohlingers are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. On their grave marker is inscribed, “Friends of the People of Korea and China.”
Dr. F I. and Mrs. Johnson
Lakesiders Frend and Halla Johnson were Ohioans who grew up in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Halla, a graduate of Marietta College, and Frend, of Ohio Wesleyan and Boston University, were married in 1897. Thus began a partnership in mission that took them around the world twice and led Frend to leadership roles in foreign mission work. Halla’s leadership included the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, a passionate advocacy for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and the founding by the WCTU of the Women’s National Union for Political Action. Halla led mission programs and pageants both at Lakeside and Chautauqua. This included several years at the Chautauqua Institution and Mountain Lake Chautauqua.
Together, the Johnsons started the American branch of the Save The Children Foundation, and Frend was a driving force behind the Methodist Children’s Home in Worthington, Ohio. Like the Ohlingers, the Johnsons would travel to local churches in support of missionaries and share their observations and “curios and costumes” from the foreign lands they visited. Places like Lakeside grew a wider understanding of the world through missionaries and the missionary leaders of Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Society of Friends and Presbyterian denominations.
Perhaps because they lost their only child, a daughter, in 1917, they were passionate advocates for children and for uplifting others. Their grave marker at Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware Ohio, is inscribed with the motto “NOT FOR SELF BUT FOR OTHERS.” More than just words, it was the guiding principle of their lives.
Johnson items in the collection include selections from their world travels. Of special interest is a pair of 4-inch girl’s shoes. Foot binding was the Chinese custom of tightly wrapping young girls’ feet as a sign of beauty and status. Feet altered by binding were called lotus feet. It was an incredibly painful process, significantly limiting the mobility of the women involved. By the early 20th century, foot binding had come to an end.
As Eleanor Durr recalls in Lakeside Lore:
I was program chairman of the Old timers Day program and several speakers had cancelled. At the last moment, I called on the F. I. Johnsons to ask if she would reminisce on early Lakeside. Mrs. Johnson was almost a legend. She had been chair of Camp Wesleyan, taught on missions and produced numerous pageants using the hundreds of costumes she had collected from every known mission field.
To my question ... Mrs. Johnson said, “give me 5 minutes.” In that time we were headed for the auditorium, where she tried out the microphone and put her thoughts together for a talk. All went well on Oldtimers Day. ... Seeing the many people in costume, she inquired, “Do you have a costume department?” “No,” I observed, “everyone has to skirmish for their own.” “Then would you like to inherit all of mine?”
Many silks, possibly some of those very garments, along with some of Bertha Ohlinger’s collection, made their way to the Upper Room Museum, and are now in the possession of the Lakeside Heritage Society.
Other Items in the Upper Room Museum Gift to Lakeside
One of the items most interestingly connected to Lakeside is a rare 15-inch Staffordshire porcelain symbolizing Faith, Hope and Charity, the values of the Good Templars. While it celebrates the organization’s first branch in England, established in 1868, the organization’s values were the same here at the Lakeside chapter.
The Good Templars originated in 1851 as a fraternal organization dedicated to temperance. The organization included both men and women as members and made no distinction of race, but they had a short history at Lakeside. They disbanded and sold their unfinished building to the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was destroyed in the great 1929 fire that swept through Lakeside.
One of the rarest items in the collection is a Chinese ceramic tomb figure from the Six Dynasties period. This female figurine is of a Classic form, tall and slender, in a slight forward posture, with lowered head and down casting eyes, suggesting her status as lady in waiting.
There are more common items as well, like wooden boxes, tea pots, and a Chinese Cinnabar Red Lacquer Vase with panels of a scholar and his attendants, in a rich landscape, between panels of flowers.
The Heritage Society thanks the Upper Room Museum for this significant, unrestricted gift. Special thanks go also to Mrs. Carolyn Putney, retired Curator of Asian Art at the Toledo Museum of Art, for her assistance evaluating the items. The Heritage Society Collection Committee is determining how to use them to help tell the story of Lakeside’s missionary heritage. Depending on their condition, some of the silks will be sold. We'd love to find a fabric artist in Lakeside who could use some of the fabric in a creative manner for the benefit of the Heritage Society. Stay tuned!
David Boling's program for the Lakeside Heritage Society, Lakeside, the Missionary's Friend, is available online. Click these links to watch it:
Written by Dave Boling
Lakeside in the summer of 1882 was abuzz with activity. There were bishops, local church leaders, and missionaries. Former first lady Lucy Webb Hayes and her husband Rutherford B. Hayes were present as were evangelists and those who dreamed of being gospel bearers in Ohio after their time at Lakeside that summer.
At its core, everything about Lakeside gives birth to love. Sometimes from the preacher’s pulpit, sometimes among those who meet for the first time and discover they are connected in ways far beyond their imagination to places where only God had dreamed.
Such was the story of Henry Willis and Anna Ruddick.
Henry grew up in the Brethren church, in its Ohio heartland, near Ashland, Ohio. He was just beginning his ministry as a Methodist evangelist when he came to Lakeside that summer to hear Rev. Thomas Harrison, known around the country for his evangelistic zeal. Harrison would preach at least twice each day of the camp meeting and bring hundreds of people to their knees in prayer, praying for God’s forgiveness and grace. It was said that “Lakeside had never before enjoyed such a tidal wave of salvation.” The whole auditorium, or tabernacle in camp meeting terms “was at times converted to an altar for seeking souls.”
Young Henry, 24 years old, saw Harrison as a mentor, a guide, if you will of how an evangelist labored in the fields of God. He had no idea how much he would impact his life when he arrived at Lakeside that summer.
Anna Ruddick, age 20, lived in Clyde, Ohio, with her parents. She was a teacher and her father was the pastor of the Methodist church in Clyde. I can imagine he was probably Florence Nickerson’s pastor for he pastored Florence’s church and had been a teacher in Clyde as well. Surely, Anna and Florence knew each other.
It was during the camp meeting that Henry and Anna met for the first time. They were like spirits, with a common desire to spread the Gospel. “They quickly discovered their hearts were indeed joined together.” In the biography of Henry Willis written in partnership with his wife the author says it this way, “After much pure association together, and after much prayer on the part of both, it became evident that God intended them for each other, in the journey and work of life.”
After Lakeside they went their separate ways, Henry to Ashland, Anna back home to Clyde. Apparently, separation does indeed make the heart grow fonder. Henry proposed and they were married on October 12, 1882 by Anna’s father in Republic, Ohio. They became husband and wife partners in evangelism, working across northern Ohio. Henry was called the “Boy Evangelist from Ohio.” It was a compliment that would humble his heart, as Thomas Harrison, who he had heard at Lakeside was known the “Boy Evangelist” a moniker he carried with him his entire life.
Soon they felt called to Philadelphia, they connected to again to Thomas Harrison, and served in his church. While there, they talked about becoming missionaries and decided to write to Bishop William Taylor, the leader of Methodist missions in Africa. (You may recall, he too was a speaker at Lakeside.) Taylor laid out all the challenges of being a missionary and despite all the perils of missionary work, Anna and Henry left New York harbor for Africa on January 22, 1885. They reached Africa a month later.
Anna was especially plagued by illness while in Africa and it was decided in August of 1885 that they would sail back to the United States. It’s not recorded, but one can imagine that it must have been a heart-breaking time for both Henry and Anna who wanted to serve by “winning souls for Christ” only to be stopped by illness.
But it was Henry who became seriously ill on the ship after leaving Africa and on August 30, 1885 he died and was buried at sea. Anna made it back to the States where Rev. Thomas Harrison helped her through the challenging times of losing her husband and recovering her health. Later that year he preached a memorial service for Henry Willis. Anna was 23 years old.
Anna went on to be an evangelist in her own right, traveling to camp meetings and Chautauquas, leading people to Christ. Did she remarry? Did she move back with her parents in Ohio? When did she die? Where is she buried? Did she ever return to Lakeside? These questions and others are lost to history.
Nonetheless, it’s a Lakeside love story, one of many, across its history. If only the trees could talk, the stories they could share.
Written by Evan Engelhart
Established in 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard is the nation’s longest standing armed forces on the seas. Since then, the U.S. Coast Guard has protected the country’s coastlines and served proudly in every one of our country’s conflicts. The Coast Guard is both a federal law enforcement agency and a military force. In times of peace, the Coast Guard operates as part of the Department of Homeland Security, enforcing the nation's laws at sea, protecting the marine environment, guarding the nation's vast coastline and ports, and performing vital life saving missions. In times of war, or at the direction of the President, the Coast Guard serves under the Department of the Navy, defending the nation against terrorism and foreign threats.
The Lakeside Marblehead U.S. Coast Guard Lifeboat Station was established on June 20, 1874, making it one of the first on the Great Lakes. The official opening of the station was in September of 1876 with Lucien M. Clemons as the first keeper. The station is located on the South shore of Lake Erie in Marblehead, Ohio and is responsible for a 458 square mile section of Lake Erie extending from Locust Point to Vermillion. Today, there are 38 active duty members and 10 reservists that staff the station.
In 1834, a newly-arrived pioneer named Alexander Clemons began to quarry and ship limestone from the 133 acres he had purchased near the Marblehead Lighthouse. Clemons was not only a commercial leader in the area but is credited as being one of the founders of Lakeside.
On May 1, 1875, Alexander's three sons Lucien, Hubbard, and A.J. Clemons witnessed the capsizing and sinking of the 102 foot schooner Consuelo as it left Kelleys Island loaded with stone blocks. A southwest gale had been blowing, but the three brothers commandeered a twelve foot skiff and rowed out to the wreck, finally managing to save two of the six crewmen aboard. They were in danger of sinking themselves and were finally assisted by the tugboat Winslow. For their “extreme heroic action”, Lucien was awarded the first Gold Lifesaving Medal ever awarded by Congress. His brothers each received the Silver award.
In 1876, the U.S. government extended its series of lifesaving stations to the south shore of Lake Erie by building a facility in Marblehead on the site of the present U.S. Coast Guard Station at the base of Frances Street. Lucien Clemons was appointed “keeper” of the Marblehead Lifesaving Station and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1897. The U.S. Lifesaving Service ultimately consisted of 376 stations with 77 on the Great Lakes with six of those in Ohio at Ashtabula, Cleveland, Fairport, Lorain, Marblehead and Toledo. These stations were crewed by six “surfmen” and the keeper and were capable of affecting rescues from land, using the breeches buoy and cannon-fired line, or from the water using a rowed surf boat. The stations used a ramp from the station to the water with a rail system for launching and retrieving the boat. The boats were typically about 26 feet in length.
In 1915, the U.S. government combined the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard, and the Marblehead station became a Coast Guard facility. The building stood until 1921 when it was replaced by a two story white wooden structure. This building was ultimately replaced in 1982 by the present brick station. In 1939, the U.S. Lighthouse Service was added to the Coast Guard, and they assumed responsibility for the Marblehead Lighthouse. Thus, Marblehead had two of the main agencies which made up the modern Coast Guard. Today, Station Marblehead is one of the largest and busiest Coast Guard stations on the Great Lakes.
For this week's Manifest Blog, we have decided to introduce our staff and highlight some of the great work they do in the Archives and Heritage Hall Museum for the 2020 season. Some may be new faces, some may be old faces, but we are all here to help serve you and help with any historical needs you may have!
Lakeside Heritage Society welcomes back former intern, Evan Engelhart, into a new role as the Manager of Operations. Evan was an intern for LHS while completing his B.A. in History at Heidelberg University. He returned to work as the LHS Archival Intern and continued to work as an intern through the 2017 summer season and into 2018 in the Archives. Evan graduated from Heidelberg University in May of 2017 with a degree in History and minor in Public History and is currently pursuing a graduate degree and teaching license in special education through Ashland University. He also has other experience at local museums as he spent two years working at Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in Fremont, Ohio. When not at Lakeside, Evan spends his mornings coaching football for the Perkins Pirates. This will be his fourth year coaching but his first year with Perkins and is very excited to see what they can accomplish with their new staff! He is very excited to come back to Lakeside and is looking forward to a fun filled summer with LHS! Stop in to the Archives this summer to meet Evan or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Favorite Museum Artifact: 1800s fire extinguisher
Hobbies/time spent outside of work: Coaching football or anything on the Lake and near water
Hometown: Bellevue, OH
Lakeside Heritage Society also welcomes back another past intern, Haley Hoffman. Her new role in the organization is the archival assistant. Haley grew up in Marblehead and went to Danbury High School. She has been coming to Lakeside her entire life but only recently learned how much history is in this small community. Haley just graduated from Bowling Green State University with a B.A. in History this spring. She was an LHS intern in the summer of 2019 and came back for the winter of that same year. Haley also worked as a student assistant for the BGSU Center for Archival Collections during her senior year in college. Haley will be returning to Bowling Green State University to obtain a master’s degree in Public History in the fall; she hopes to someday become a certified archivist. Haley is excited to return to the Lakeside Heritage Society and apply what she has learned about archiving to help organize and preserve the history of Lakeside.
Favorite Museum Artifact: Sunday School Chautauqua Desk
Hobbies/time spent outside of work: reading, drawing, and spending time on Lake Erie.
Hometown: Marblehead, Ohio
The Lakeside Heritage Society welcomes Laurie Switzer as the professional librarian. Laurie retired as an Educator from Strongsville City Schools. During her career, most years were served at Strongsville High School as the Media Specialist for instructional technology integration and digital literacy. That work included database management of both print and non-print media. Earlier, she taught courses featuring journalism and mass media. After retiring, Laurie was the K-12 Outreach and Special Projects Administrator at Cleveland’s public media entity, ideastream® for seven years. During that time, she managed large public media grants, produced digital media, and served as the instructional designer of NewsDepth, a multimedia current events program for students. For that work, she received four regional Emmy® nominations and was awarded two Emmys.
Laurie earned her undergraduate in Communications from the University of Mount Union, and completed a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology at Kent State University followed by post-graduate work in Educational Administration at Cleveland State University.
As a past Chair of the board for INFOhio, Ohio’s digital preK-12 library for all Ohio students, Laurie is pleased to continue using her knowledge of MARC records, cataloging, and media management to assist the Lakeside Heritage Society in preserving Lakeside’s memories.
Favorite Museum Artifact: The building itself!
Hobbies/time spent outside of work: Relaxing in Lakeside, reading, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.
Carolyn Beears’ Lakeside story is very much like the multiple personalities story Three Faces of Eve.
Carolyn’s Dad was a Methodist Local Pastor and he served as the Dean for Cleveland District Institute in Lakeside several times. Carolyn and her sisters got to be the camp kids and enjoy Lakeside along with the Instituters during the 1950’s.
The apple does not fall far from the tree and Carolyn served on the staff of Reach Out Conference Camp in Lakeside for 27 summer camps. Carolyn’s best Lakeside memories are camp memories in Wo-Ho-Mis and The Chapel in the Woods and South Auditorium.
A third Lakeside personality came into being about 10 years ago when Carolyn was invited to be the Museum Specialist at Heritage Hall. Carolyn enjoyed a 30-year career doing museum education at the Health Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. Spending the last 10 summers in Lakeside with the Lakeside Heritage Society has been a wonderful gift from God.
Favorite Museum Artifact: The collection of Fine Print Book Store Scavenger Hunt mementos
Hobbies/time spent outside of work: During the winter Carolyn spends her time as a choir member and the Fellowship Chairperson for her church.
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
My name is Lisa Bauer and my responsibilities are to catalog and accession objects that have been acquired by the Lakeside Heritage Society. I also input data on memberships and donations. I began working at the LHS archive building in 2017, after retiring from a teaching career. I have lived in the area for 35 years, and my husband and I were both teachers at Danbury Local Schools. Since my retirement, I have been keeping myself busy working at the archives and as a substitute teacher at Danbury. I am also a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, and soon will be a member of the Ottawa County Board of Elections.
Favorite Museum Artifact: My favorite artifact on display in the museum is a photo circa 1900 of a woman standing by the East Second Street gate. I am always fascinated by old photographs; they tell a story of a moment in time that is long gone.
Hobbies/time spent outside of work: I enjoy traveling, reading, hanging out with friends, and taking walks with my dog, Scruffy. During the “stay-at- home” months I started teaching myself how to play my husband’s guitar. My favorite artifact on display in the museum is a photo circa 1900 of a woman standing by the East Second Street gate. I am always fascinated by old photographs; they tell a story of a moment in time that is long gone.
Former LHS Manager of Operations, Dakota Harkins, has now taken over educational programming for Lakeside Chautauqua as Director of educational and heritage programming. For any programming suggestions or questions, contact Dakota at email@example.com
Written by Evan Engelhart
The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors, ushered in a period in American history known as Prohibition. Prohibition officially went into effect on January 17, 1920, with the passage of the Volstead Act. Despite the new legislation, Prohibition was difficult to enforce. The increase of the illegal production and sale of liquor, the proliferation of speakeasies and the accompanying rise in gang violence and other crimes led to waning support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s. In early 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th. The 21st Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933, ending Prohibition.
Lakeside’s view of Prohibition and the consumption of alcohol have long been noted. Since the founding of the Methodist camp meetings, alcohol has not been welcome on Lakeside grounds. Still today, you cannot purchase or publically consume alcohol within Lakeside. Lakesiders have historically been supporters of Prohibition and the restraint of alcohol.
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) has long had a residence in Lakeside. The WCTU was founded in 1873, with its first apparent reference to Lakeside in 1878, when the program listed a session sponsored by the “Women’s National Temperance Union.” In the late 1880s, the Lakeside Company offered the WCTU a lot to build a headquarters on site. This designated lot was on the corner of Fifth Street and Central Ave, which became 461 Central. This is a clear sign that the Lakeside Company supported the WCTU’s presence in the community and supported their position to end the consumption of alcohol in Lakeside.
According to a 1929 Port Clinton Republican Herald article, famous Evangelicalist Billy Sunday spoke to a crowd of up to 5,000 at Hoover Auditorium. Sunday spoke out against the ratification of the 21st Amendment. He was so against it, he stated that if he had to, he would dry up America himself and that the greatest clamanity that could befall the nation would be the repeal of the 18th Amendment. Sunday’s speech drew one of Lakeside’s largest crowds in Hoover, even today.
Several Peninsular News articles published shortly before the end of Prohibition told the stories of those in the community bold enough to break Prohibition laws in Lakeside. One story from March of 1930 tells the tale of a number of Lakeside and Marblehead boys who came across some washed up liquor and kegs of beer from the water. They then decided to drink that liquor on the shores of Central Park, in the shadow of the old bell. Later that same year, were two articles posted on the same day, a few days after Christmas. The first one explains how a holiday party turned sour when a fight broke out after a night spent with “fire water” and “liquid lightning”. Deputy Sheriff Phillip Lynch was able to restore the peace in Lakeside and the Christmas cheer party was over. That same night, three young men were caught breaking into the local priest’s basement in search of the sacramental wine. There had been wine gone missing “for some time”, so the priest set a trap. He attached an electric bell to the cellar door that would ring in the first floor bedroom. He caught the three youth red handed and handed them over to law enforcement but did not press charges.
These stories, and many more untold stories, tell the tales of alcohol and its consumption within Lakeside’s gates. Once referred to by President Woodrow Wilson as, “a great social and economic experiment”, Prohibition was difficult to enact and even more difficult to enforce. Like much of the country by the early twentieth century, Lakesiders' were ready to rid themselves of alcohol to create a safer, purer, and morally straighter country. While the rest of the country eventually reverted on that goal, Lakeside has historically steered towards a dry community.