As Lakeside Chautauqua, founded in 1873, begins its Sesquicentennial 150th Anniversary 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, so 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,” says 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 Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) in 2021 and 2022. The two grants, one used to digitize historical documents and the other to purchase archival and museum-quality storage materials for three-dimensional artifacts, furthers the Society’s mission to preserve, promote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. The Society most recently ordered special, museum-quality polyethylene foam and acid-free storage containers that do not have the chemicals that cause reactions in materials and make them degrade faster.
Fire at Shrock’s Marina, July 4, 1970
Fire hat from Lakeside Volunteer Fire Department (1970s)
Charlie Wolfe, Jr. and Dick Miller playing roque on Lakeside’s middle court, circa 1942.
Kaysie Harrington shows off a recent find from Danbury Schools
A 2021 grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation supported Archivist Kaysie Harrington with archiving Lakeside’s historical documents
Examples of artifacts collected by Lakeside Heritage Society
Kaysie Harrington, the Society’s Archivist and Manager of Operations, displays a donated roque mallet
Lakeside Heritage Society’s Archivist and Manager of Operations, Kaysie Harrington, works with two-dimensional historical documents
“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.”
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 helped provide that little boost. For questions about the history of Lakeside, visit Lakeside Heritage Society.
Lakeside Sesquicentennial programming is available at https://lakesideohio.com. For Foundation grant and donor information, contact OCCF: , ottawaccf “at” gmail.com, 419-635-7750, or visit during Wednesday office hours, noon-3 pm., 306 Madison Street, Port Clinton, OH.