Newsletter Archive 1990s

1990 April – The Museum, in cooperation with Council and the Chamber, will dedicate a plaque to be placed on Kelley’s Hall designating the entire Island as an Historic District. Much of the research was done by Kevin and Betty Pape. The last remaining Bake Oven has been restored and rebuilt. The West Bay Dock is no more. It was 80 years old, built in 1910, and it did not go down easily when they tried to explode it.

1990 July – The Old Stone Church restoration is a bigger project than anticipated. Dry rot was found in the stringers and sills (floor supports) in the north part of the church and is sagging several inches. The bell tower needs work. The Bavarian Clock that Russ Matso made is on display at Matso’s Place.

1990 November – The new museum building is planned to be 40 x 60 feet. James Seaman is President. Dr. Ralph Ramey (Antioch College) talks about the Monarch Butterfly on Sept. 15. Church pews were rebuilt (Paul Johnson and James Seaman). Russ Matso’s hand-made Bavarian Clock is this year’s raffle. Steve Yatson was the winner.

1991 May – James Mullen (OSU) to speak on Commercial Fishermen of Lake Erie. The Assoc. clarifies that they are not a party to the hindrance of some construction activities (the K I Ferry Boat dock and complex). The Church is available for weddings.

1991 July – The topic for the July 13 meeting is Zebra mussels by John Hagmen of Stone Labs. The home tour is cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. Of 21 known living individuals once engaged in Commercial Fishing, 17 attended Prof. Patrick Mullen’s (OSU) program along with Ben Elfers to a standing room only audience. James Culp presents a program on the Tin Goose. The oldest house on the Island becomes Janice’s Antiques. The original log house was built in 1835. A hand-made quilt is offered for the raffle; June Campbell organized the raffle (and likely made the quilt).

1991 October – O. Hugh Lange presents a plan for fund raising for the new museum building. Russ Matso works on drainage around the bell tower and roof, and Robert Holmes does plaster work in the church. Thomas Claubaugh donates wood working tools owned by the Woodford family. This collection is one of the most complete in existence of hand tools used by 19th century craftsmen and they are in excellent condition. Annalee offers to sell gift shop items in her gift shop at Neuman’s Boat dock. Items can also be purchased in Sharon VanAuken’s Southwinds Gift Shop at Matso’s Place.

1992 May – Plan to raise the 2000+ pound bell so a new floor can be installed. Annalee organizes the Art Show and Russ and Bea Matso retire and Matso’s Place, The Lodge, is sold.

1992 July – Ronald Bechtel is remembered. Constitution changes planned to increase the Board to 9 members plus other changes. Report on the Tour of Homes. Paul & Bev Johnson donate a B&B weekend at the Sweet Valley Inn as a raffle prize. Russ Matso and Betty Pape put together an Island Tour Guide. Michael Mielke did the photographs. Commercial Fishermen’s Pot Luck of July 11 was a success with nearly 100 attendees. Fish stories from a dozen former commercial fishermen were shared.

1992 October – Constitution change includes 3-year terms, overlapping. The Island School Board donates display cases. The Tour Guide is published. Hill’s History of Kelleys Island has been reprinted. Items added to the collection came from Sandra Sun Ward, Dorothy Sun, LeRoy Myers, Barbara Schock, Edna Bauman and Ward Bloom.

1993 April – Henry T. Beatty is remembered. Church restoration completed with plastering, painting, pews repaired, and electricity installed. The under structure was reinforced and some supports replaced.

1993 July – Awards were presented to long-time members Lydia Bechtel, Florence “Sis” McKillips, and Dr. Richard C. Knopf. Vi Feyedelem sewed this year’s raffle quilt. An unnamed person relates some memories from when he/she was young. The long ferry rides from Sandusky, staying at Esther Ward’s boarding house, Matso’s Bar, Island Market, Brown’s General Store, Joe Matso (magician and story-teller), Henry Beatty, Liz Martin (who kept the ritzy bar), Floyd Erne, and Kurt and Heinz Boker.

1993 November – Design work moves forward for the new building. A family history of Helene Coulon, whose great grandparents were John & Johanna (Raab) Himmelein. Lydia Bechtel, past president and long-time Treasurer, steps down. KI Historical Assoc., KI Chamber, and KI Landowners Assoc. worked the summer cleaning the Glacial Grooves. It was hoped the grooves could be sealed or covered to protect them.

1994 May – Fritz & John Ziegler designed and printed the fund-raising brochure. Lease completed for 3.09 acres east of the museum property. The bell tower has been restored inside and out. Sandi and Teri Betzenheimer donated a quilt in honor of their parents, Alvie and Rita Betzenheimer.

1994 July – At the annual meeting O. Hugh Lange presents a program on the History of Kosters. Potluck honoring former Island teachers (Claudia Brown and Jessie Martin attended). Past students shared memories. A quilt was donated by Sandi and Teri Betzenheimner. Butterflty Festival is planned. Included is a drawing of the proposed new museum building.

1994 October – Ground breaking for the museum to be held June 17, 1995. The windows in the Church will be replaced, and the old glass re-installed.

1995 April – The annual Plant Sale will be held, and a fund raising dinner is planned.

1995 July – We held an Art Show and the Island Singers performed at the church. Roger Long (of Marblehead) will speak about Confederate spies captured in the area. The Erie Co. Genealogy Society visited the Island.

1995 Fall – Due to a series of unfortunate events, there was no Fall newsletter

1996 October – Ed and Fran Kuchar contribute to the new roof for the church. The Art Show moved to Kelley’s Hall and a silent auction was held, featuring ‘nut gatherers’ print and museum horse replica. It will become a bi-annual event. Reverse Raffle was won by Walter Johnson. The tour of homes was a big success (to be bi-annual), alternating with pig roast.

1996 March – Gerald West hosted a fund-raising cocktail party and Knut and Judy Lahrs hosted a wine and cheese party for volunteers. There was a Tour of Homes. The new windows were installed in the church. Ila Dick organized two bake sales.

1996 July – Russ Matso and Florence McKillips resign. Julia Martin Kennedy and Lois Brown take their places. Reverse Raffle is a new venture. Decision made to convert shed to office and storage. Lee and Barb Shadle applied for and received for KIHA the Kaplan Award, (included is a magazine article, plaque, Key and $500 award). The church organ was refurbished. An Art Exhibition at Kelley’s Hall and the Island Singers perform.

1997 Spring – Dody Twyford helps with displays and the Sweet Valley Inn is added to the Town Square collectibles.

1997 July – Sandy Kilko and Barb Shadle restock the gift shop in the church. John & Jeff Kilko transform the shed into an office. Pig Roast planned for July. Fran Minshall, Rita Eaton and Marge Clapper organize festivities. Teri Betzenheimer Behrends donates a quilt: Grapevine Star (her 3rd) and this is the first year that the map of the Island was added to the corner. Gloria Shollenberger donated a wall hanging too, “Mariner’s Cross.” Sue Clepper to present four programs for kids.

1997 December – Tour of Homes and potlucks are planned. The Butterfly Festival merges with Treasure Island Day and Marge Clapper chaired the festival. This year there will be a double raffle with a quilt from Teri Betzenheimer and Gail Mack (baby quilt). Members and officers of KIHA: Julia Martin Kennedy, Sandy Spayd Kilko, Rita Bash Eaton, Lois A. Brown, Ila Dick, Byron Crabill, O. Hugh Lange, Frances Minshall, Barbara Wilson Shadle and Phyllis Pahler.

1998 April – Meet me at the …. event planned for Martin’s Ice Cream with a stroll down memory lane. Also mentioned are Sandy, John, Heather & Brooklyn Kilko and Julia Martin Kennedy. Baby Ohlemacher planned the plant sale and this is the second summer for the Gift Shop.

1998 July – Repairs to the Bell Tower to cost $9,800 (Save the Bell Tower). Teri Betzenheimer’s quilt ‘Starburst’ was made in memory of her mother. Gail Mack donates a lap or baby quilt. An organ concert is planned for July 19. Meet Me at the Museum night will feature a 10% discount in the gift shop, lemonade, desserts. New volunteers include Bob Luckay, Marv Byer, Sherry Otto, Gloria Shollenberger, Joan Brown and Bev Johnson. Betsy Walcott organizes the volunteers. Marshall “Bro” Bockerman donates a hook latch rug he made. Each block features a special feature of the Island. Milton Blatt tells a story about Ice Fishing on New Years Day in 1938. they sold the fish they caught to Dr. Cook, Mrs. Perkinson, Carl Miller and Mamie Bauman. Anne Cleary Sennish talks about Tarzan the Talking Dog. He could say “I want a hamburger,” (sort of). She also mentions Captain Frank Hamilton, ‘a gruff and profane lakes captain,’ and Irma Conkle. A special request is made for ‘stories’ about life on the island.

1998 November – Betsy Walcott runs our Gift Shop, there is an update on building fund donations, a 1940’s story about an evening prank by Anne Sennish, Jane Ebert holds a concert on the church’s pump organ. There is a list of donations to the Save the Bell Tower fund.

1999 April – New by-laws, and a history of the birth of the Historical Assoc. Stanley Potokar tells the story of life on the Great Lakes in the late 30’s and 40’s. His book is the ‘Peregrine.’ A history of the Villa at Long Point. Anne Sennish writes about Mrs. T. C. Hamilton, her grandmother. Roger Williams tells the story of how in 1939 he and Roy Hamilton Jr. freed a boat that was aground.

1999 November – An update on museum construction and lessons you can take from geese. The new newspaper, Kelleys Life, pledges to donate 20% of subscription proceeds to KIHA.