Catawba Island Historical Society Events

Thoughout the year the Catawba Island Historical Society hosts popular speaking engagements. 


Read more to learn about past speakers and check back often for information on future events.

Future Events

“The Indian Tribes of Ohio and their Cultural Collision with the British, French and Americans”

Dr. Randall Buchman, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of History at Defiance College and author of multiple publications about the indigenous peoples of this area, will speak on October 8, 2018 about the cultural collision of Native Americans with Europeans and Americans post 1600 A.D.  His book, “A Sorrowful Journey” is one of the definitive resources for describing the exodus of the Ottawa and other Ohio tribes to west of the Mississippi River following passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.


Dr. Buchman grew up on a farm near the Portage River in Oak Harbor, OH.  He credits discovery of artifacts along the river banks for sparking his interest in the various American Indian tribes that populated Ohio. 


Following undergraduate work at Tiffin, Ohio’s Heidelberg University, and obtaining an advanced degree from Ohio State University, Dr. Buchman began his teaching career at Defiance College in 1964.  He retired from that position in 1996 to work for 6 years with the College’s Planned Giving staff.  In 2002 he became Historian for the City of Defiance.


Check back often for updates on events!


Past Events

‘Origins of the Islands of the Western Basin’

Dr. Charles E. Herdendorf, Ph.D., retired Professor of Earth Sciences at the Ohio State University and Director Emeritus at the Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory on Gibralter Island, presented his program titled ‘Origins of the Islands of the Western Basin’. It was held on Thursday, September 29. 2016 at 6:30PM at the Catawba Island Township Community Hall.   


Dr. Charles E. Herdendorf is President and Director of the Sheffield Village Historical Society & Cultural Center. He is a certified professional geologist and nautical archaeologist. Dr. Herdendorf is a past director of the Great Lakes Historical Society of Vermilion, Ohio and currently serves as a Director of the Lorain County Historical Society of Elyria, Ohio and a Trustee of the Firelands Archaeological Research Center of Amherst, Ohio.   

”History of Prohibition and Rum Running in Ottawa County”

Local historian, John Gibson, spoke about the ”History of Prohibition and Rum Running in Ottawa County” at an event sponsored by the Catawba Island Historical Society. The presentation was held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Catawba Island Township Community Hall. 


 Mr. Gibson is a graduate of Michigan State University in criminal justice, served as deputy sheriff in Huron County, and was an officer with the Sandusky police department. He taught American History and American Government at Sandusky High School, has worked as a private investigator, and retired from State Farm Insurance Company where he served as a special investigator specializing in arson cases. He currently teaches in the Lifetime Learning program at Terra State College. A Catawba Island resident for more than 50 years, he is a Trustee of the newly formed Catawba Island Historical Society. 

“Ancient Ohioans on the North Shore”

Brian G. Redmond, Ph.D., Curator and James Otis Hower Chair of Archaeology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, came to Catawba Island on Monday October 2, 2017  to speak about “Ancient Ohioans on the North Shore”.  


He reviewed evidence and highlighted his own excavations to tell the story of the first people of this region and how their cultures changed from Ice Age hunters and gatherers, through earthwork builders, to village farmers, all before the arrival of Euro-Americans in the 1700’s. 


Dr. Redmond’s lecture uniquely addressed the evolution of societies from the civilizations that preceded them. Redmond initially developed expertise in the archaeology of later prehistory, A.D. 500 to 1650. This broadened when opportunities arose to work at older sites in Ohio like Paleo Crossing and Sheriden Cave.