Wednesday, December 11, 2013


December news

This was the 40th year for the Christmas dinners and they were a huge success. It would be nice to be able to list all the volunteers but someone would surely be missed so a big thank you to all the community members who helped make this year's event successful. Our volunteerism is one of the things that make this country special. Fort Loramie is number one in many ways.

Go over to our Facebook page to see some photos that Jim Rosengarten took at the Christmas dinner on Sunday.

"Fort Loramie, Main Street and Beyond" is sold out but we will probably be getting reprints in paperback. Price hasn't been determined. If you would like to provisionally order one in advance get in touch with one of us.

December photo

Monday, November 25, 2013


We are nearly sold out for the 40th year of the Wilderness Trail Christmas dinners with 435 reservations.

"Fort Loramie, Main Street and Beyond" is sold out but we will probably be getting reprints in paperback. Price hasn't been determined.

Scott Trostle will be speaking on the 1913 flood for the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District annual dinner at St. Michael's Hall on Dec. 5 at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 and there is a buffet. Call 937-492-6520

Friday, November 22, 2013


Email from Larry Monroe

Sounds like everyone there is going to be busy the next month. Sure is a change at St. Michael's !
Spent Oct 17-20 in San Diego at a Navy reunion (VP-48). On Sunday we went over to the USS Midway (CVA-41) which is now a museum. It was my home for two years during Viet Nam. Never thought I was going to get off of there during those dark days, now I'm paying to go aboard. If you ever get down that way it is worth a trip although a bit spendy at $19. Lots of aircraft and simulators that you can actually operate.

Best wishes for the holidays !"

Sunday, November 3, 2013


The Thanksgiving Holiday grew out of harvest festivals held by people since the beginning of time usually at the end of the growing season to celebrate a good harvest and to give thanks. The United States tradition is tied to a celebration supposedly held by the pilgrims in 1621. Different days were proclaimed by colonial governors until 1789 when President Washington proclaimed November 26 "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God".

Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date in all the states in 1863 by proclamation of President Lincoln due to campaigning by author Sarah Josepha Hale who wrote letters to politicians for 40 years promoting a national day for the holiday. Hale was the editor of "Godey's Ladies' Book" and author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

Thanksgiving existed every year by proclamation of the president and was always the last Thursday of November until 1939 when the last Thursday was November 30. The depression was still going on and merchants thought that if there was more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas people would buy more. They pushed President Roosevelt into moving the date to the week before. This caused a huge uproar. School holidays, tests and football games had to be rescheduled. Many states stayed with the original date and confusion reigned until 1941 when Congress proclaimed the holiday to be on the 4th Thursday of November.

Some information from Wikipedia.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Church photo

The work on the front of St. Michael's Church has been completed in time for the 175th anniversary of the parish.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


The Christmas dinners are filling up fast. There are already 345 reservations and we can't take many more than 400.

The museum won't be able to participate in the town Christmas activities this year because our dinners will still be going on so I'm sorry to say we won't have the train. I'm sure it will be set up somewhere else on that Sunday.

Jim Rosengarten spoke to Creative Marketing Strategies. They have new management and they may now be able to print on demand so we might be able to get more copies of "Fort Loramie Main Street and Beyond". They would be paperback.

The tables in the museum are very heavy and difficult to carry over to German Heritage so we may buy a couple of the lighter vinyl tables although it isn't certain whether or not they are sturdy enough.

The Fort Loramie Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual business expo Nov. 6 at 3:30-7:30 in St. Michael's Hall. Public is cordially invited. It's a chance for local businesses to show what they do. There will be refreshments and door prizes.

We got a donation of military effects that belonged to Homer Bornhorst who was in the Merchant Marines during WWII.

The Rosengartens donated a new cordless phone with 4 handsets so we can have phone service all over the museum.

German Heritage was a success. Except for two inches of rain Friday night the weather cooperated. We sold several books and we have only 7 copies left of "Fort Loramie, Main Street and Beyond". Steve Meyer was the winner of the afghan that was made by Judy Prueter and raffled off.

It looks like the work on the front of the church is finished.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

1938-39 first grade

If you know who any of the kids are let me know what row, etc. they are in.
I've been told that the boy on the far left of the back row is probably Jack Busse and one of the boys in the front row behind the word Ft. Loramie is probably Ed Rosengaren.

It happened in October

In Oct. 1918 besides WWI the Spanish Influenza was raging. Looking through old newspapers the deaths seem to be mostly young males in their 20's. The disease ravaged the Army camps where soldiers were gathering before being deployed overseas. Local victims were Grover Cox who died at Camp Sherman in Chillocothe and 34-year-old Henry Hasebrook. 28-year-old Dr. Ruhlman died in Minster. Almost every town in the area had one or two deaths. Schools and colleges were closed and church services were cancelled. Some businesses shut their doors. People were advised to not gather in groups.

The US Health Department issued information on the disease. They said that although it was generally known as Spanish flu it was unlikely it originated in Spain. There had been periodic epidemics in Europe and over the world of the disease which appeared to have originated in the orient and spread by ships. The Germans reported the disease on the Eastern front in 1917 and it had spread across Europe in May, June and July of 1918.
The symptoms were the ones familiar to us today with a sudden high fever that lasted 3 or 4 days after which the victim recovered unless complications such as pneumonia or meningitis developed. The Health Department provided a poem:

"Cover up each cough and sneeze
If you don't you'll spread disease."

By the middle of November the danger was mainly over although there were still a few cases cropping up here and there. Schools reopened and people went back to church and work and public attention turned to end of the war celebrations.

Also in October

This was on the front page of the Minster Post which can be seen on the Minster Historical Society's website.

Also in October of 1918 the Minster Post stopped printing in German and began publishing entirely in English. It was pointed out that fewer people could read German anymore and the paper needed a new printer. The Lanston Monotype Keyboard and Caster, "the most wonderful machine ever invented", was installed at Post Printing.

Cure for pneumonia

In 1918 in the Minster Post who copied it from another newspaper.

Take 6 or 10 onions, chop fine and put in a large spider over a hot fire. Add the same quantity of rye meal and enough vinegar to form a paste. Let it simmer 5 or 10 minutes and put in a cotton bag large enough to cover the lungs. Apply to the chest as hot as the patient can bear. Keep reheating and applying.

A spider was a cast iron pot with feet made to cook in a fireplace.

Old Minster Posts are available on the Minster Historical Society's website.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Grade 3 visit

The third grade visited the museum on Sept. 26th. This is part of the morning group. I wasn't able to be there for the afternoon groups. More photos are on our Facebook page.

Monday, September 16, 2013

September photo

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September updates

We had about 90 visitors to the museum this summer.

Don't forget about German Heritage Days on the 20th and 21st. It's in the park right on Rt. 66. There will as usual be music, German food, beer and a tv so you won't miss the game. There will be a vintage car show and the Kegs and Kraut 5k. Go to the Chamber of Commerce website or our Facebook page for more information. The Historical Association will have our usual display in the tent.

A beautiful plaque for the bell tower has been made and donated by Tom Barhorst of Vivid Mfg. Group and Studio Eleven Promotional Products and will soon be installed.

If you are newly retired and looking for something to get involved in the museum is a good place to go. We will need help with the Christmas Dinners. You can become as involved as much or as little as you wish. There are many small one-time, one-day jobs such as folding napkins, setting tables, washing dishes and hanging garland.

Representatives of the Fort Loramie Historical Association, the Minster Historical Society and the Lake Loramie Heritage Museum met recently to plan a joint event for next spring. Some ideas were to have a photo and artifact display and panel of long-time lake dwellers telling stories. This will probably be held during the boat and motor show the lake museum has been holding the last 3 years.

Janet Hoffman and 2 of her friends visited the museum recently from Columbus. She was looking for information on her great grandfather, Christian Wagler, who owned the brickyard in town and was one of the founders of the Emanuel Reformed Church. Dorothy Quinlin and Margie Iiams showed them around. We also had a group from Houston.

The museum has a considerable amount of genealogical and historical information. Contact us if you would like to do research.

The library needs legos. If you have any lying around that you no longer need take them to the library.

Monday, September 9, 2013


The old template was outdated and I was having trouble posting. I hope this new one will eventually work better.

It happened in September

In September 1926 a tornado passed north of Oran. On the Herman Bernhold farm the roof was torn off the barn and a metal corncrib almost full of corn was picked up off the foundation and carried east to the John Zumberger farm. Corn was strewn all along the way. On the farm of John Eilerman a chicken house was picked up and turned around. The storm also caused considerable damage in other places. A house in Sidney was struck by lightning and a tobacco crop near McCartyville was ruined. Another tornado caused damage west of New Bremen.

On September 4, 1922 a car accident between Wapakoneta and St. Marys nearly wiped out part of the Willman family of Willman's Dept. Store in Loramie. Joe Willman was driving his Chandler sedan. In the car with him were his brother, Frank, Marie Quinlin, Nora Lehmkuhl and 3 others. Two other cars were involved. The only person hospitalized was Miss Lehmkuhl who later lost an arm.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fort Loramie Library

Scott Trostle. author of "And Through the Black Night of Terror", will speak at the library Wednesday, September 4th at 6:30 pm about the great flood of 1913. Register by calling 295-3155 or emailing You probably won't be turned away if you forget. They just want to have an idea how many are coming.

Book sale Friday and Saturday September 13 and 14 in the Community Center in the park, 9 am to 12 pm.

If you have any legos lying around that you no longer use the library would be happy to have them.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


The 31st annual Lake Loramie Fall Festival will be held Sept. 13th through 15th. There is always a lot to see and do.

The Fort Loramie Community Garage Sales will be held September 14th. If you would like to be included on the map you can pick up a form at various places around town. Proceeds benefit the Youth Soccer League.

Ft. Loramie's German Heritage Days will be held September 21st and 22nd. Home Made German Potato Salad, Home Made Jaeger Schnitzel Sandwich on a Pretzel Bun, Home Made Potato Soup and Home Made German Chocolate Cake, as well as past favorites, Brats, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Sausage & Sauerkraut, Hog Wings, Jumbo Prezels, Reuben Bites, Cabbage Rolls and Apple Dumplings. The Kegs N Kraut 5K on Saturday morning is back. Car Show Saturday 11am, awards at 2pm! We will have our tent as usual.

August meeting

8 members attended the August meeting in the museum. Updates were discussed on the sidewalk repair, the website, the bell tower and the concrete fence from the church. It was decided to buy a new phone since the one we have is producing so much static that one can't hear. Some new light fixtures have been installed.

Time to start thinking about the Christmas dinners. This will be our 40th year. Volunteers will be needed. Contact Dorothy Quinlin, Alice Barhorst or Rosemary Brussell. Dorothy has received 153 reservations already. Don't wait too long if you want a certain day or a certain room.

Naomi Russell visited us last Sunday to play the organ that came from the Emmanual Reformed Church. Several friends came to listen to her play.

We are always in need of storage. If you have any file cabinets you want to get rid of we would be happy to take them off your hands. Contact Jim Rosengarten

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mislabeled photo

This photo has been mislabeled as being the laying of St. Michael's cornerstone but it has been established that this building cannot be St. Michael's. Does anyone know what it is? It might not even be a church and it might not be anywhere around here. It's probably the end of the 1800's or beginning of the 1900's. People came to the event by horse and buggy. In the distance there are 2 towers and in the upper left it looks like a hill.

Foreign origins

These families came from the town of Ostbevern in Westfalen which is now a part of the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. Let me know if you know of any others.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Also in August

Also in August: In 1912 Willman's store burned down, in 1919 there was an early frost, in 1934 concrete was being poured at the spillway, and in 1946 Al Gehring was building an addition to his cafe which is now the museum building.

It happened in August

In August of 1940, 17 members of the Fort Loramie FFA went on an 11 day, 1400 mile trip. A diary was kept by Leo Meyer and published in the Minster Post. Other participants were, Robert Olding, Leo Liening, Anthony Hoying, Homer Raterman, Frank Boerger, Irvin Loy, Clarence Harrod, Bernard Aselage, Herbert Aselage, George Boerger, Albert Boerger, George Bornhorst, Sylvester Hoying, Russell Lallemand, Robert Larger, Wilber Behr, instructor Joseph Schaad, and Albert Holtvogt who drove the school bus. They camped out along the way.

They drove through Pennsylvania and visited the Gettysburg battlefield. In Washington D.C. they saw the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the FBI building, and the House and Senate. They shook hands with the Secretary of Agriculture and watched money printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. They visited the Gallery of Fine Arts, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Supreme Court.

They took a steamboat up the Potomic and toured Mt. Vernon. They saw a government fish hatchery, stopped at Appomattox Courthouse and White Sulfur Springs where they drank some sulfur water that Mr. Meyer claimed tasted just like lime-sulfur tree spray. It sounds like a lot of fun was had by all.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

John Deere


The July meeting was held in the museum on the 18th with 10 members present.

One of the issues discussed was the condition of the sidewalk on the Elm St. side of the building. The concrete has sunk and the unevenness creates an unsafe condition. The museum is apparently responsible for the repair. Plans are afoot to repair all the sidewalks in the village. If the concrete is in good shape a product can be pumped underneath and the slab raised up which is less expensive than busting it up and relaying it.

Don Gusching deserves a lot of credit for staining the deck. He's a hero.

The museum was contacted by Bob Lammers of the Lake Loramie Heritage Museum who would like to coordinate with our museum and the Minster museum to set up a display next Spring at Earl's Pavilion. He is thinking about a display of artifacts and a possible panel discussion but all this is still in the planning stage.

Martha, of the Dairy King, has opened a branch at the lake across from the campground with a bait shop and a window selling pizza and ice cream.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Photo of the cannon

Friday, July 19, 2013

It happened in July

In July of 1919 the cannon and cannon balls acquired by the Village Beautiful Club had arrived and were soon to be mounted in the canal park. Preparations were being made for the homecoming celebration for local WWI soldiers.  The cannon was melted down for the war effort in WWII.

In July of 1939 a meeting was held in Ft. Loramie between Mayors Slattery of Ft. Loramie, Drees of Minster and Dickman of New Bremen concerning the problem of speeding on Highway 66 and through the villages. Also attending was Sgt. Radcliff of the state highway patrol who promised to patrol as much as possible although lack of manpower made that difficult. Route Marking Superintendant Schwab of the state highway department also attended and promised to place reflectors at the north end of the village. The possibility of hiring a special officer with the villages contributing to the cost was discussed but nothing definite was decided since the stretch of highway lies in 2 counties. Residents of Ft. Loramie and Minster had been up in arms for some time complaining that their lives and the lives of their children were in danger.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Foreign origins

These local families came from Neuenkirchen-Vorden.  The town used to be in the Duchy of Oldenburg but now is in Vechta, Niedersachsen.  This is from my research.  If you have contrary information please contact me.

Boeke, Boerger, Brandewie, Knapke, Korte, one of the Meyers, Renneker, Tangeman, Thaman, Winner.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Free boat rides

Free pontoon boat rides will be held again this Saturday, July 13 from 1-4 from Earl's Island Pavilion.  Reservations unnecessary.  Small groups can be accomodated but if you plan to bring a large group you should call 419-628-2024. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013


May the flags always wave.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bell photo

Quilt photo


The Wilderness Trail Museum is open 1-4 every Sunday in June, July and August. The public is invited to come in and visit or do research.

June 21st the GOBA (Greater Ohio Biking Adventure) tour came through town on their way from New Bremen to Sidney. They took the scenic route past the lake. More than 15 of them stopped at the museum. They all seemed interested in the history of the building and the area. We sold 2 books and got some donations. One of the bikers told us they have participants from many other states and countries including Japan.

The front of the church is being re-landscaped. The white concrete fence in front will be taken down and the museum will be acquiring pieces of it that will be installed in the backyard.  It is uncertain how old the fence is but a post card mailed in 1907 with a photo of the church doesn't have it.  It was repainted in 1919 probably for the homecoming of the troops from WWI.

The bell and tower from the old school have been sitting in the backyard along with a capstone from the school. There are plans to have a plaque fixed to the capstone. There are also plans for the bricks from the old school. They have a second historical connection. They were made at Wagler's Brickyard in Fort Loramie.

Fort Loramie Main Street and Beyond has sold so well that we will soon be out of copies. It would cost too much to have it reprinted so we are looking into e-books so it can be read on Kindle or Nook. Like it or not e-books are the future.

We have received donations from the Kroger Rewards program. Call Jim Rosengarten if you need help signing up.

Back in 1976 members of the community made squares for a huge quilt to benefit the Rescue Squad. Each square portrayed a local building. The museum ended up with the quilt. It would be nice to know who made the squares. If you made one of them or know who did let us know.

The Legion has a nice display of letters from soldiers in the wars. They also have done video interviews with several local men who were in the military. This can be seen whenever they are open or by getting in touch with Mr. Moore who would love to tell you all about it.

Jack Dillehay is looking for pictures of his father when he was a teacher and principal at the school. He also wants photos of the ball teams he coached. All he has are newspaper pictures and would like to find originals. A Mr. Nutt has been told that his Aunt Emma once dated the notorious John Dillinger. Does anybody know anything about it?

Local families whose ancestors came from the town of Steinfeld in the Duchy of Oldenburg now the state of Niedersachsen: Balster, Barhorst, Borgarding, one of the Bergmans, one of the Horstmans, Nieberding and Olberding.

As usual scroll down for more new stuff.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Old photo

Second from the left is supposed to be Boy Brucken.  Who are the other guys?

June story

In June of 1937 a Mr. Quinn of Sidney filed suit in Montgomery County claiming his bridge was stolen.  The iron bridge that stood about a mile north of  Ft. Loramie had been a part of the interurban railway that once ran from Minster to Ft. Loramie. 

Mr. Quinn sued the Union Paper Stock Company that he said cut up his bridge and Duberstein Iron and Metal that hauled it away.  The article in the Minster Post did not say on what grounds Mr. Quinn claimed the bridge was his.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ft. Loramie in June

Town is a busy place today.  Some major digging is going on in front of the church.  Cement trucks are in evidence.  Hamburgers and brats are being grilled outside Wagner's as every Friday there and at the store in Minster.  Worth stopping for.  The library has programs all summer.  Today a Bruckner Nature Center representative was talking to the children about animals and brought some snakes. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Boerger Pictorial History

Harry Boerger, who now lives in Florida, has collected hundreds of photos of local Ft. Loramie and Newport scenes and wants to make them available to the public.  He has been putting them on CD's and has finished 2 of them.  They can be had by emailing him at  Each CD costs $15 or 2 for $25.  Shipping is included.  Any profit he makes will go to Right to Life.

In the future some will be available at local businesses and some of the pictures can be seen right now on the Fish Report.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Town photo

                      Looking west on Elm St.

May newsletter

The museum will be open as usual this summer on Sundays from 1 to 4 in June, July and August. Admission is free. Tours can be arranged for other times and the museum is available for anyone doing genealogical research. We encourage the public to drop in and visit. There will be some new displays including the giant quilt made in 1976 by members of the community for the Bicentennial.

The heavy three-part mirror in the dress shop that fell over and broke in 2011 has been ably repaired by Ted Bornhorst and returned to its usual position. There are plans to anchor it to the wall. Tom Busse has been painting and repairing.

A new sump pump and two water heaters have been installed. The water is back on and the restrooms once again operational. Rapid Development replaced the roof and donated their labor. Also several people donated money for both of these projects.

We have had several donations this year that are much appreciated. We survive on what we make from the Christmas dinners and donations and the sale of our books. Local people have been generous with their time and money. Their support reflects how much they care about the preservation of their history. Remember that if you shop at Kroger's or work at Walmart you can get donations for the museum.

A project we could use help with is a sound system so we could play Christmas music through the building. Our sound system at the moment consists of two broken cassette players and a couple of antique speakers. Another thing we need is a new website or an update of the old one.

The meeting was attended by former resident, Harry Boerger and his wife, Rita. Harry has collected hundreds of photos of local scenes and is planning to make them available to the public on CD's.

A bike tour is expected to run through town on June 21st and we expect to be open for that.

For more information about us click on the tabs at the top of the page and scroll down for more articles.


The Oklahoma tornado brings up memories of the April 11, 1965, Palm Sunday tornado here. The tornado came through Fort Loramie at 10 pm. The storm which roared into Shelby County from the west cut a swath a half mile wide along Ft. Loramie-Swanders and Meranda Roads. Three people were killed including Mrs. Bernadine Barhorst and an elderly couple in the Anna area. Twenty five houses were destroyed and 40 barns destroyed or heavily damaged. A train was derailed near Anna.

Wilma Brunswick who lived in Cynthian Township wrote about the tornado. This is part of her story. More of her memories can be found in our book, Fort Loramie, Main St. and Beyond.

"The atmosphere had a greenish tint. Around 10 pm it rolled in from the Darke-Shelby County line to Shelby-Logan County line, a length of 20 miles.

The Martin Bender family was moving from the John Bender farm. It took down trees and the barn but the brick house was intact. The neighbors were on their knees around the beer keg praying.

Then it hit Cast Stone Products and did damage. It skipped across and wrecked Tom Moeller's body shop. It skirted the south end of Loramie. Dick and Dolores Wehrman along Ft. Loramie-Swanders Rd. could look up into the funnel and said it was full of flying debris.

Then it crossed over Ft. Loramie-Swanders Rd and hit the Phil Ernst farm on the north side of the road and took everything. Then it came across the road and struck the buildings on the Bill Holthaus farm. It hit and missed farms as it passed from one side of Meranda Road to the next. It hit the Fred Barhorst farm on Kuther Road after it had demolished Cuba School. Then to Bob Platfoot's buildings, twisting the house. Then it started down Meranda Road with a vengeance. The Bill Wenger farm with beautiful well-kept buildings - nothing left.

It pulled electric light poles and laid them down on the ground. Some had straw spears driven into them like you would a nail. There was a farm atop a hill at Shelby-Logan line. There wasn't even a board left. Before it hit Cuba School it roared down Hardin-Wapak Road, took Flaute's barn, wrecked Lentz's buildings, and then hit Barney Ahrns'. One of the girls had a stick driven through her chest and out of her back.

Albert and I were upstairs in our bedroom watching tv. The tv went off came back on and went off and stayed off. No lights. I looked out of the east window and it looked like you opened a coal burning stove. It rained so hard it rained the grass out of the ground. Albert went out on the north porch and he could hear chain saws everywhere."

There are many websites on the internet to explore.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Willman burglary

On May 22, 1924, Willman's store was burglarized.  Sales people the next morning found a door unlocked and other unusual things they noticed led them to make a hasty inventory. They found about $400 worth of clothing, shoes and watches missing. The burglers had used a skeleton key to get in and had gone through the store putting things in sugar sacks they found in the basement.

When news of the burglary came out village people started to remember things they had seen. A car was seen parked in an unusual place. Then William Meyer and his sons who worked the Barney Ernst farm near Shorts Landing took shelter from a storm in an old log cabin and found sacks of Willman goods hidden there.

Three men who had been living at the reservoir were arrested. All had criminal records and were wanted for various other crimes. One of them was wearing a coat with a Willman tag in it.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lake Loramie spillway

More updates

The heavy mirror in the dress shop that fell over and broke in 2011 has been ably repaired by Ted Bornhorst. Rapid Development replaced the roof earlier this year and donated their labor.

Mr. and Mrs. George Fischer and son of Cincinnati visited the museum on May 4th. They stayed at the lake and spent the weekend visiting local museums.

Speaking of the lake, there are plans to replace the spillway. No definite date has been announced but it won't be this year.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


The plumbing has been fixed and the water turned back on.  The restrooms are once again functional.

We received 2 old photos from Larry Monroe of Apple Valley California.  One is of the canal boat in Newport and the other is a picture of a street in Newport.  He also sent a donation.

Harry Boerger is planning to visit this area in the middle of May.  He lives in Florida.

The Lake Loramie Heritage Museum will be open Saturdays 1-4 starting May 4th.  June 15th, 9-4 there will be a gathering and display of antique boats, motors and fishing tackle at Earl's Pavilion.  July 13th pontoon boat rides 1-4 starting from Earl's Island.  Both free events.  For information or if you have any artifacts to donate call the park office at 937-295-2011.  The museum is on Rt. 362 across from the swimming beach.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sherman School 1953

Row 1 top - George Barhorst, Mary Seger, Tom Eilerman, Ellen Eilerman, Eddie Barhorst, Irene Wappelhorst.

Row 2 - Karen Pleiman, Ben Geise, Pat Eilerman, Ionia Siegel

Row 3 - Helen Siegel, Vernon Siegel, Margie Marshall, Arthur Cetone (teacher), Barb Barhorst, Art Seger, Margaret Siegel.

Row 4 - Margie Wappelhorst, Richie Eilerman, Jeannette Siegel, Ted Barhorst, Marie Seger, Don Wappelhorst.

Sherman Special School

On June 22, 1850 the qualified voters of McLean Township, School District No. 4 met at the house of Henry Sherman. He was elected clerk and John Rottinghaus was elected treasurer. It was resolved by the board that an 18x18 foot schoolhouse be built on the North East corner of the land owned by Henry Sherman. An agreement was entered with John Sherman for building the schoolhouse for which he was to receive $25 when the building was completed.

In 1851 the 25 to 32 scholars were taught for 4 months by William Sherman and 2 months by Henry Sherman for which they were paid $14 a month. Subjects taught were reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar and German language.

In 1883 the district became Sherman Special School District. The present Sherman School was built on the corner of Barhorst Rd. and Rt. 705 in Section 10 of McLean Township in 1903. The contract went to Ben Gerling and Louis Ley of Minster for $1,947.09.

The school closed in 1954 and the students transferred to Ft. Loramie. The children living at Shorts and Filburn's Landings at Lake Loramie attended Sherman School until 1951. The building is now a house.

Starting in 1914 students were taken to school by wagon and sled. The contract was put out for bids and there was only one bid which was rejected so it was put up again and 2 people bid on it. James Chambers promised to do it for $2.35 a day and the board had to provide the wagon. The contract went to William Combs for $2.25 a day. James Chambers conveyed pupils to school from 1917 to 1919 and Elmer Chambers held the job from then until 1936.

Some of the teachers:

Timothy Sullivan - 1888
John Barhorst - 1889
F.J. Kohls - 1891
John Barhorst - 1894-1895
H.J. Sherman - 1895-1898
William J. Borger - 1899
Frank Niederkorn - 1903-1907
Louis Brucken - 1908-1910
Florian Notheis - 1910-1913
Marie Trimpe - 1913-1915
Florian Notheis - 1915-1918
Pauline Ernst - 1918-1919
Joseph Gigandet - 1919-1924
Alma Gigandet - 1924-1926
Robert Gigandet - 1926-1930
Charles Sharp - 1930-1932
Irene Behrns - 1932 for one month
Charles Sharp - 1932-1933
Herbert Walter - 1933-1935
Florence Sommer - 1935-1941
JoeKloecker - 1941-1947
Ruth Carter Barhorst - 1947-1950
Arthur Cetone - 1950-1954.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Note of appreciation

Joyce Alig, President of Mercer County Historical, read our book, "Fort Loramie, Main Street and Beyond", and sent this:

"Going through your new book about Fort Loramie has been a true pleasure.
First, the cover and the quality of the pages and the neatness of the presentation and the highlights of color throughout this book are quite impressive, especially for a book addressing a local history of a community. Your Fort Loramie Historical Association can be most proud of this book."

Museum news

Sometime during the winter the sump pump in the museum broke down and the basement was flooded with 10 inches of water.  The pump has been replaced but we lost 2 water heaters.  Donations would be appreciated.

It probably seems like we need something all the time but it is an old building and needs constant maintenance.  Everytime we turn around something else breaks down.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Inside Bruckens

Let me know if you know who any of these people are.

It happened in April

1919 - Ohio State Senator Ake introduced a bill banning German from the public schools.

The village school children celebrated Arbor Day by planting 2 weeping birch trees in honor of former pupils, Louis Daniel and Grover Cox, both casualties in WWI.

1947 - After 30 years the Village Beautiful Club voted to change its name to the Agenda Club.

1943 - The Bureau of Mines revealed that dolomite, an ore needed for the manufacture of war weapons, was discovered in several locations in Shelby County.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Flood photo

March newsletter

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the 1913 flood. There has been a lot of coverage on television and books have been written about it. There are photos on our Facebook page. You need to be on Facebook yourself to see it. There are memories by people who lived through it on the Ft. Loramie News blog.
There are plans to place a plaque on our barn on Elm Street marking the Buckeye Trail which goes right past there. Many have hiked the trail which is marked with blue blazes on trees and poles.

Tom Busse has been at work. He painted and rearranged the shelves in the doll room and did the same with the Civil War case in the military room. When he took the paper off the inside of the case he found it had been painted in 1970's harvest gold.  Mercifully it has been redone in white.  The roof on the old part of the building has been replaced.  Plans have been made to replace the curtains in the parlor which have been there since we acquired the building forty years ago.

Al Freytag, a long-time member of the historical association has passed away.  He and Mrs. Freytag have always been generous benefactors of our organization and many others.

Mary Oldiges, curator of the museum in Minster, is doing their display this year on the businesses that are and were on Fourth St.  One of them was the Bornhorst Shoe Store. We have artifacts from that store so we are loaning some of them to Minster for the summer.  Mary said she is impressed that Fort Loramie still has most of its old buildings intact. 

We still have copies of our latest book, Fort Loramie Main Street and Beyond.  It costs $35 plus tax.  You can get your copy at the Silver Cross in Fort Loramie or call one of the officers. 

If you would like to join the Fort Loramie Historical Association the dues are $10.  Call Sheila Quinlin at 937-295-4019.  We are also happy to accept donations.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The 1913 flood

In Ft. Loramie flood waters took out the aquaduct and water was up to the swing bridge at Elm St. Mrs. Mary Fortman who lived just south of where the golf course is now said the water was up to their garden and they could take a boat and row all the way to Ft. Loramie 2 miles away.

According to Scott Trostel in his book, "water in the Loramie Reservoir had risen so rapidly that the feeder was overflowing by four feet. There was a growing fear the bulkhead on the west end of the reservoir would let go. Mr. J. Pauwell, caretaker at the reservoir engaged a large number of men, estimated at between 50 and 60, to fill sacks with sand and dirt which was used to reinforce the levee bank. Their work was dangerous and they were in peril of being swept into flood waters at any moment. It was said that had this precaution not been taken there was not the least doubt that the whole bank in the vicinity of the feeder would have been washed away and probably the larger part of Fort Loramie would have been drowned with water."

There was flooding from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh and north to Lima and south to the Ohio River but the towns that suffered most were Dayton, Piqua and Troy.

The flooding was caused by 3 days of rain from March 21 to 24th. Easter Sunday was March 23. 8 to 11 inches of rain fell on the Great Miami River watershed. The ground was frozen and saturated resulting in 90% runoff.

In Dayton flood waters reached 20 feet in the downtown. Wikipedia says 360 people died, 20,000 houses were destroyed and damage reached 100 million dollars. The National Guard was unable to reach the town for days. Houses floated away with people on the roofs.

In Piqua 39 people died. 17 died in Troy. In Sidney the Big 4 bridge was in danger of floating away. A train was pulled onto it to hold it down.

Towns were isolated. Trains didn't run. Roads were closed. Bridges were washed out. Newspapers couldn't publish. People had no heat or food.

The flood effectively put an end to the canal and gave birth to the Miami Conservancy District.

For thrilling stories of rescues and photos see Scott Trostel's book, "And Through The Black Night of Terror". Some of it is on line.

The Great Dayton Flood, Wikipedia

Saturday, March 2, 2013

1946-47 Ft. Loramie basketball team

L-R, Gene Hoying, Bill Peterson, Harry Frilling, Paul Ahlers,  Maurice Brandewie, Norman Paulus, Remy Beaver, Marion Paulus.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Looking South on Main St. last summer.

February Newsletter

The February meeting was a busy one with much to discuss. We received $2,000 in donations recently. We appreciate the support of the community. It shows that you take the preservation of your history seriously. Albert Freytag gave us a large photo of the fire department taken in the 1890's

We have sold about 415 copies of Ft. Loramie, Main St. and Beyond. If you don't have your copy yet they are still available at the Silver Cross in Ft. Loramie and by contacting a member.

Last Christmas just before the dinners the big three-piece mirror in the dress shop fell over and 2 of the mirrors broke. It was hurriedly taken apart and moved to the barn and there it has laid since then. Dorothy Quinlin, who was nearly a victim of the disaster, is working on getting it repaired. We would like to return it to its rightful place and anchor it to the wall so it doesn't fall again.

Tom Busse has been painting the window frames upstairs and the shelves in the doll room. The fancy drapes and swags in the formal rooms upstairs have been there for nearly 40 years and are showing their age. If you are someone who enjoys sewing something like that and might like to donate your time and possibly the fabric to design and make new ones contact Tom Busse at 937-295-2519.

The shingles on one of the roofs are falling like leaves and will soon be replaced. An old building needs constant maintenance.

We have ideas for new displays. Something will be done to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the March 1913 flood. There will be a display of old cookbooks in the country store.

We need to hold more events particularly for the school children. One idea is an art contest coordinating with the art teachers and using Ft. Loramie as the subject. If you have any other ideas for displays or events contact one of us. Fund-raising ideas would also be welcome. We would like more people to become involved. If you are recently retired and are looking for something to get involved in we can always use help.

As usual we will be open this summer on Sundays from 1-4 in June, July and August.

The dues are $10 a year. Contact Sheila Quinlin at 937-295-4019.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A February story

February 7, 1919

Two high-spirited Minster boys named Gerwells and Schemmel got themselves in trouble in Ft. Loramie.  Mr. Gerwells made an insulting remark to Pvt. Arthur Kiefer in the presence of ladies and was asked to apologize.  When he refused Pvt. Kiefer knocked him out.  Later, Gerwells and Schemmel threw a pop bottle through the window of Brucken's Pool Room.  They were arrested and taken to jail where they set fire to the bed clothes.  The next day they were taken before Mayor Quinlin who fined them each $5 and sentenced Mr. Gerwells to 10 days in jail.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Flood photo

Picture taken during the flood in March 1913. Do you know where this is?

January newsletter

The Christmas dinners were a big success and we are gradually taking down the decorations. We are planning to go in most Monday mornings so if anyone would like to help, stop in when you see the white pickup truck in front or the lights on. There's no hurry to undecorate but you can visit or do research. I should warn you that the water has been turned off for the winter so the pipes don't freeze.

We get a lot of people coming to town and hoping to visit the museum. Unfortunately right now we can't have someone there all the time. But if you know you are coming to town you can contact us ahead of time. There are phone numbers on the door. There is almost always someone willing to come and open up for you.

So far we have sold 365 copies of Ft. Loramie, Main St. and Beyond out of the 500 that were printed. We have sold enough to more than make up for the cost of printing. For those who bought the history book there's a correction on page 201. The picture that is labeled Dirksen School is actually an old farmhouse. Books are still available at the Silver Cross in Ft. Loramie or from Jean Rosengarten at 937-295-3998.

I know we seem to be obsessed with Germans here but we are also interested in French and Irish or any other ancestry. If you have any photos to lend or donate get in touch with one of the officers. We will copy and return.

We appreciate all the help and donations we have received lately. If you wish to volunteer or become a member the dues are $10 and you can become involved as much or as little as you wish. As a member you don't have to do anything at all if you don't want to and you don't have to be a member to help.

There are tabs at the top of the blog now that you can click to find more information about us. Scroll down for more things that might have been added since the last time you looked.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Boerger photos

Christopher Boerger, born 10 August 1811, died 17 January 1876 in Ft. Loramie. Married 6 August 1839 in Cincinnati.
Maria Gertrud Meyer Boerger, born 29 March 1816, Nellinghof, Neuenkirchen, Oldenburg. Died 8 Nov. 1890 Ft. Loramie.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January updates

Dustin Bornhorst of Indianapolis contacted us about family tree research.

We are still looking for farms that have been in the family for 100 years. Also farms that were in the family for 100 years before they were sold. Sad that so many are going out of the family right now.

We also would like stories or photos about the 1913 flood and about prohibition. I know no one wants to turn in their family members but it was a really long time ago and nobody here supported prohibition. It was a dumb law. You don't have to tell names.