A gathering of the Historical Society’s lifetime members

Sep 27, 2023 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Quintin Smith, owner of Gideon Owen Winery, speaks to the Catawba Island Historical Society.

CATAWBA ISLAND – The 158 lifetime members of the Catawba Island Historical Society (CIHS) are called its Council of Nabagon, a name drawn from the legends of local Ottawa Indians. They were invited to a recent reception at Gideon Owen Winery to thank the owners for their their support of Catawba Museum at Union Chapel.

The annual event also provided an occasion to summarize activity during the museum’s 2023 operating season.

The reception was preceded by tours of the Gideon Owen cellars led by the winery’s proprietor, Quintin Smith. He and his wife, Donna, purchased the building and surrounding property in 2019.

Those touring learned that the facilities date back to 1872 and were first occupied by a cooperative of local grape-growers called The Catawba Island Wine Company.

As a further nod to the area’s viticulture, Brad Indoe – the winery’s winemaker and vineyard manager — gave an informative presentation about establishing arbors, harvesting grapes, and producing wine. His remarks were accompanied by the sampling of some of Gideon Owen’s award-winning vintages.

“Our lifetime patrons pay a single $1,000 membership fee,” said David Wonnell, President of CIHS. “That support, in large measure, enables us to operate the museum without having to charge admission.

“We thank them by inscribing their names on a plaque at the museum entrance, gifting each a leatherbound edition of the book Legends of Catawba, which was signed and edited by local historian Donald Rhodes, and hosting this annual appreciation reception.”

Anyone interested in helping to preserve and protect the heritage of Catawba Island can learn more about joining the Historical Society at www.catawbaislandhistoricalsociety.com.

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