Lakeside Chautauqua displays memorabilia to celebrate 150th Anniversary

May 10, 2023 | Featured, Entertainment | 0 comments

A recent find from Danbury Schools.

Kaysie Harrington shows off examples of artifacts collected by the Lakeside Heritage Society.

Lakeside Chautauqua, which was founded in 1873, has begun its Sesquicentennial 150th Anniversary with a season-long celebration to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present and Look to the Future.” The Lakeside Heritage Society continues its time-intensive, often expensive work of documenting the community’s history and preserving artifacts of yesterday to encourage future generations of Lakesiders will know what came before.

“When people are giving us items, they are putting them in the public trust. They are trusting us as an organization to care for them,” said Kaysie Harrington, Archivist and Manager of Operations for the Society.

The unending job of preserving Lakeside’s deep-rooted past and traditions is made easier through grants, including back-to-back gifts received from the Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) in 2021 and 2022. The two grants are being used to digitize historical documents and to purchase archival and museum-quality storage materials for three-dimensional artifacts.

The difficult task will further the Society’s mission to preserve, promote and advance the history of Lakeside, the Marblehead Peninsula and the Chautauqua Movement in America.

The Lakeside Heritage Society serves as a public resource for that history.

“Do we have the same resources as the Smithsonian? No. But can we do what we can to increase our level of collections care, so people can continue to enjoy the items we are tasked with preserving and to use them to promote education and tell stories? Yes,” says Harrington.

The Lakeside Heritage Society offers a local history museum, research archives, and educational programming. Harrington notes that when a piece is not on display at the museum, it must be stored appropriately while it is “taking a rest” from environmental factors such as light exposure, that can damage items on display.

Charlie Wolfe, Jr. and Dick Miller playing croquet on Lakeside’s middle court, circa 1942.

The Society most recently ordered special, museum-quality polyethylene foam and acid-free storage containers that do not have chemicals that cause reactions in materials and make them degrade faster.

“OCCF is very proud to support the Lakeside Heritage Society in this way,” says OCCF Executive Director Shea McGrew. “This is why we exist… to help community nonprofits to further their impact and to touch the lives of the people of Ottawa County.”

The OCCF awards community grants in the fields of education, health and social services, economic development, natural resources, and the arts. Last year, the Foundation provided more than $82,000 in grants to 35 local nonprofit organizations, as well as more than $152,000 in scholarships to 121 deserving area students seeking further education.

The 2023 slate of nonprofit community grant recipients will be announced at a grants breakfast in June.

“If you are able to organize, store and care for your collections, you’re better able to rotate out your exhibits. It all works together to provide access to local history for our community,” concludes Harrington. “Supplies can be expensive. Any little bit helps us increase our level of collections care.”

The OCCF grants have already helped provide that little boost. For questions about the history of Lakeside, visit Lakeside Sesquicentennial programming is available at For Foundation grant and donor information, contact OCCF:,, 419-635-7750, or visit during Wednesday office hours of noon-3 p.m., at 306 Madison St., Port Clinton.

The Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) is a public charitable organization established in 1999 to improve the quality of life in Ottawa County. The OCCF administers more than 100 donor-established funds totaling approximately $11 million in assets. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $7 million in grants and scholarships.

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