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Sandusky County celebrates bicentennial 'plus one'

Pandemic delayed events for 200th anniversary in 2020
Published By Fremont News Messenger on April 2, 2021
Gary Click In The News

FREMONT - The festivities surrounding Sandusky County's 200th birthday were supposed to take place last year, but a COVID-19 pandemic and safety concerns put everything on hold.

With another year in the books, the county's bicentennial has not been forgotten.

Community members and local political leaders celebrated 200 years "plus one" with a Bicentennial Birthday Bash Thursday at the Sandusky County Courthouse.

More events planned this year

Peggy Courtney, a Bicentennial 2020 Committee board member, said there are several outdoor bicentennial events planned for 2021 around Sandusky County.

Historic walking tours, vintage baseball games at Spiegel Grove, a Black Swamp History Festival at White Star Park and a Grand Slam celebration at Terra State Community College will all take place this year, Courtney said.

She said it took five years of planning for the county's bicentennial schedule of events.

"It's exhilarating to be here today," Courtney said on the courthouse's steps, adding, "We hope the community will come out (for bicentennial events) even though it's 2000 'plus one'."

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Sandusky County Bicentennial Committee to cancel all events scheduled through 2020.

Visit from traveling history museum

Thursday's courthouse celebration marked the first step in celebrating the county's bicentennial.

A traveling history museum created for the bicentennial was parked across from the courthouse.

The roles of manufacturing and agriculture, an oil boom, Sandusky County military history and the county's history before 1820 are among the exhibits in the traveling museum.

Courtney said the traveling history museum will be deployed throughout the county at public events this year.

Inside the museum, visitors got a chance to learn about Sandusky County's history through exhibits such as "Taming the Great Black Swamp."

Dignitaries took part in Thursday's event

For Thursday's bash, State Sen. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, sent a resolution in honor of the bicentennial.

Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, read a proclamation on the courthouse steps.

John Havens, the 2020 bicentennial committee's chairman, dressed as Gen. Ralph Buckland for the event.

Havens detailed high points in the county's history, such as the creation of Fort Stephenson and Col. George Croghan's defense of the fort in the War of 1812.

Courtney said the bicentennial walking history tours will take place May 22 at the Sandusky County Historical Society on Birchard Avenue.

The Black Swamp History Festival is scheduled Aug. 13-14 at White Star Park in Gibsonburg, with a number of vendors and living history actors on hand.

There will be fireworks set off over White Star Park's quarry on the second day of the festival, Courtney said.

A vintage baseball game and Grand Slam Celebration will take place at Terra State on Oct. 9.

"It's time to keep adding to our rich history and look to the future of our Sandusky County," Havens said.

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