President Hayes and Mouse island, a Catawba Island connection

Oct 13, 2021 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Terra State’s Dan Baker will speak at a Catawba Island Historical Society presentation about President Rutherford B. Hayes’s connection to Catawba Island Township.

The Catawba Island Historical Society will resume its Cultural Lecture Series on Wednesday, Oct. 20 with a 6:30 p.m. presentation about Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States, and his connection to Lake Erie’s Mouse Island, which is part of Catawba Island Township.

The speech will be given at the Township Hall, 3307 NW Catawba Rd., and features Dan Baker, historical lecturer at Terra State Community College and part-time employee at Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums at Spiegel Grove in Fremont.

Prior to his presidency from 1877 to 1881, Hayes had served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Governor of Ohio. He and two associates acquired Mouse Island in 1874. Mouse had earlier been called Ship Island according to some late 18th century maps. During Hayes’ tenure as the Nation’s Chief Executive, it was sometimes referred to as the “Summer White House.”

Hayes never had a full-time residence on Mouse Island. It was acquired as a recreation respite for his family. His wife, Lucy, was particularly fond of going there to fish. His sons built two rustic vacation cabins and ruins of their foundations and fireplaces remain even though the wooden structures have been lost to time and neglect.

In 1966, a private party acquired the Island. It is now closed to visitors.

The speech will include more detail about Hayes and his wife and children, as well as the role Hayes played in shaping America in the 1800’s.

There is no admission fee. Masking for Covid-19 is voluntary.

Baker resides in Gibsonburg, Ohio. He is a lifelong student of history, has an Associate Engineering Degree, and is a retired Hospital Facilities Director and Project Manager.

Craig Koerpel, President of the Catawba Island Historical Society, noted Baker’s presentation will immediately follow the annual CIHS Membership Business Meeting at 5-6 p.m.

Members of the Society are invited to attend the Business Meeting and then stay on for the Hayes presentation.

For further information please contact the Historical Society at Catawba Museum at Union Chapel by phone at 419-967-5363 or by sending your email inquiry to info@catawbaislandhistoricalsociety.com.

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