History of Ottawa County–The First 175 Years

Guest Blogger: Linda Huber, Board Member, Ottawa County Historical Society


In 2015, the Ottawa County Historical Society decided to celebrate the first 175 years of Ottawa County history by publishing a coffee table-style book with photographs and narrative.

The society brought together a team of dedicated county residents to research, write, edit and deliver an incredible story to the publishers.

Author-autographed copies of the finished book, History of Ottawa County—The First 175 Years, are now available for sale at The Fine Print bookstore.

Lakeside Chautauqua’s story is included, both in narrative and photos. There is also a special section on Fred Norton, “Ottawa County All-American.”

Lakesider David Glick will be presenting a lecture on Norton as part of the Lakeside Heritage Society Sunday lecture series on Aug. 20, entitled ‘Fred Norton: Marblehead Peninsula World War I Pilot & Hero.’

The stories of the book are not necessarily told in a chronological style. Rather, the county’s history is presented through a series of major themes – early geography and settlers; mainsprings of  development: quarries, railroads, lumber, agriculture and roads; sweeping changes impacting the 19th and 20th centuries; the Depression; American wars with its associated cultural changes; and finally ending with the geography we have today.

The Ottawa County Historical Society recognizes there can be no definitive “story” of Ottawa County. Our attempt has been to help the reader experience it in the same light as those who have come before and also provide a glimpse into the possibilities for its future.

It has been an exciting journey for us, and we hope you will enjoy the story as much as we did in its telling.

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