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Historic Perrysburg, Inc. Welcomes Ellen Kennedy at Annual Dinner
Historic Perrysburg, Inc. (HPInc.) celebrated the organization's 46th year with a dinner and speaker Thursday, May 4th at the Carranor Club. This event featured keynote speaker Ellen Kennedy, who is the Education and Visitor Experience Director for the National Museum of the Great Lakes.
Ms. Kennedy's talk was titled A History of Passenger Travel on the Great Lakes. In 1817, the Frontenac and the Ontario were the first steamships built for the Great Lakes and the first to truly cater to passenger travel. Over the following 200 years, passenger travel expanded across the Great Lakes and facilitated travel, immigration, and recreation. Shipping lines competed to have the most lavish accommodations, the fastest ships, and the safest records. By the early 20th century, Great Lakes passenger ships could rival the luxury of a transatlantic passage.
Ms. Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in history from Clemson University and a Master's degree in history and museum studies from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She worked at several historic sites before joining the staff of the National Museum of the Great Lakes in June 2015.
Step Back in Time with Historic Perrysburg Inc.
Historic Perrysburg Inc. sponsored Judith P. Justus as a speaker at Way Public Library on Sunday, February 19, 2023 to present “Step Back in Time with Historic Perrysburg Inc." Nearly 70 people were in attendance.
Justus discussed the history of Native Americans in the Perrysburg area and the first settlers, the Spafford Family. Both groups left their imprints on the Perrysburg landscape. Five different tribes of Native Americans were in this vicinity during the 1700 and 1800’s. Their stories relate their determination in defending their homeland against the ever-increasing unscrupulous invaders. Tecumseh, Little Turtle, Blue Jacket and Pontiac are some recognized participants.
The first settlement in 1810, nicknamed “Orleans” was down by the river under the bluff where Fort Meigs would be built. Amos Spafford was a government employee sent and stationed by the government as collector and postmaster for Port Miami of Lake Erie. He was given squatter rights on the Spafford Grant #64 River Tract of 160 acres. He brought 60 families from Cleveland where he was employed as the first map maker of that settlement. The area’s little community was devastated and wiped out several times by the Maumee River violent spring ice thaws. After the last swamping and damage of their log cabin homes, Amos petitioned the United States government to send surveyors to create a safe town “up on the bluff”, that became Perrysburg in 1816.
Mrs. Justus is a retired high school band director and was an instructor at the University of Toledo in University Studies. She is on the board of five historical groups and co-founder in 2002 of the Perrysburg Area Historic Museum, Inc (PAHM). She has been president of PAHM for 17 years and serves as director of the 200-year-old Spafford House Museum that opened in 2014.
This Perrysburg historic dialogue was accompanied with a power point presentation and a display table of artifacts, including some that are from a Second Street site and others from farms in the township.
John Dillinger Slept Here: Gangsters in Wood County
In partnership with Historic Perrysburg, Inc., Carranor Hunt & Polo Club welcomed 82 guests April 14, 2022 to hear local historian Richard Baranowski present "John Dillinger Slept Here: Gangsters in Wood County." The event was part of their PODIUM Dinner & Speaker Series. Guests enjoyed dinner while they listened to the speaker.
Mr. Baranowski is a reference and local history librarian at Way Library. He has also authored articles on a variety of subjects in history, library science, and of popular interest. He is the author of Perrysburg Village Voices, a history book on Perrysburg written for the Bicentennial in 2016. He also wrote Now Hear This! Perrysburg Veterans in War and Peace, containing stories of local veterans ranging from WWII to the Gulf War.