Kelleys Is. 1866-1871 $24.99
Kelleys Is. 1866-1871 $24.99

Author: Leslie Korenko

Kelleys Island 1866-1871
The Lodge, Suffrage & Baseball

by Leslie Korenko




The Civil War is over and life moves forward on this little island in Lake Erie.
Islanders finally get a full-time Doctor - and a women at that! The Independent Order of Island Loafers still meets and debates all the hot topics of the day. The right to Suffrage is fully debated in the winter Lyceum. The Kelleys Island Wine Co. is established, changing the economics of wine making. Baseball takes over the minds and hearts of the island men.

Click HERE for the index. 

 Here's just a taste (448 pages, 361 pictures):

​​TRAVELLING WITH YOUR HUSBAND – Every man (except the model husbands, which are scarce and seldom to be met with) hates to be porter for very much baggage and if you chance to have more than one small hand satchel, you are constantly reminded of the fact everywhere you stop, by expletives and about having such an awful big trunk, or I don’t see what in thunder you want of so much baggage, [or] wonder if I have got them all this time. You will not forget you have trunks if you take a gentleman with you. Therefore I advise ladies to not encumber themselves with a gentleman when visiting is to be done. June 1866

AT THE LODGE - Rule First – Fill the tobacco box when you find it empty…There is a box nailed upon the post too high to look into but right to feel over into, labeled ‘Tobacco, Take a Smoke Free.’ It usually has pipes sticking out. If a member wishes to smoke and most all do, he reaches over into the box for tobacco to fill a pipe. If he finds tobacco there, he fills his pipe and takes a smoke free. But if he ‘feels’ and it ain’t there, he is expected to invest about 20¢ in tobacco and put it in the box, under the pains and penalty for not doing so, of being considered a low, mean, penurious, low lived, miserable, unworthy member. January 1868

DANGER ON THE ICE - Friday afternoon we again saw a boat coming, and as the ice near the Island was strong enough to hold a man, two or three went out to meet them and assist in pulling their boat out of the water and broken ice. With their help and long ropes, the boat, after hard work for two hours, was landed on solid ice. It proved to be the same boat which we had seen on Wednesday. The crew were wet and pretty well used up when they got on shore. January 1868

WINE - The true enjoyer of wine finds it exhilarates the spirits, increases the memory and promotes cheerfulness. If he be something of a wit, it draws out his hoarded stores of good sayings and lively repartee during the moment of relaxation from thought. The cheerful glass calls into action his better natural qualities, as with the ruby liquid he swallows a sunbeam of the sky. He makes his wine secondary to his conversation and when he finds the latter at what he thinks its keenest edge and brightest polish, he leaves the table to mingle with beauty and exchanges the wine for a sparkle of a more attractive and higher character, perhaps to bask in the purple light of love. February 1868

BASE BALL - When the balls are being made, you have to produce all the old socks for ravelings, but old socks won’t ravel, so you have to forward better ones. The good socks are unraveled for the balls and the poor are worn in tight boots, when at any other time a darned sock was out of the question. After the ball is made of the best material, the chances are of its being soon on the other side. Then you see old boot tops all over the room, if they don’t happen to have poor ones, a better pair will of course make a better ball. February 1869

THE FIGHTS - Some persons who have of late amused themselves prowling about nights, disturbing our citizens at hours ‘when all honest men should be in bed and thieves out stealing,’ may be surprised some time to find themselves ‘beyond the river’ and a small hole in their earthly tabernacle. The only guard we have here against evil disposed persons is a small instrument that barks six times and bites at the same time, and self-defense will ensure the use of one immediately. May 1869

SCHOOLS - It was suggested at the last meeting of the Board of Education that everything but reading and writing be taught in the English language, which suggestion was highly thought of. But as far as we think, that in this country, nothing but the Anglo Saxon should be taught in the Common Schools. Let us Americanize the people instead of doing the opposite. November 1869

THE ISLAND HOUSE HOTEL - The chief excitement here just now is to find a place to put somebody…I heard the story that the guests were hung up against the walls, and when asleep were taken down and others hung up in their places, but I believe this to be gross scandal and not to be re-lied upon. August 1870

THE ROWDY VISITORS - Vessels are landed here, manned by sailors, some of whom feel when they arrive here that they are on privileged ground. Where they can get as intoxicated as they wish, and act as they please. Making night and day hideous with their howls. Insulting inoffensive people with impunity and rendering it unsafe for females to leave their homes unprotected. December 1871

A WOMEN’S WORK - She must rise early to prepare breakfast or oversee it. Perhaps there are children to wash, dress and feed, or to get ready for school with their dinners. There is baking, sweeping, dusting, making beds, lunch for the men, maybe dinner and supper to be made ready at the proper time. The washing, starching, folding and ironing of the clothes, the care of milk including the making of butter and cheese, and the inevitable washing of dishes. March 1867

A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE - This Township now includes within its jurisdiction about 80 square miles of territory, ordinary mainland Townships but 25. Who says that we are not a great Township? Great in territory, great in fish, great in water, in stone, in grapes. Not as great as we was in Cedar and Wood, but getting to be great in Bees, boasters and busy bodies, and always have been great in our own estimation. March 1868

FAMILY – For many years, Grand Father and Grand Mother Kelley occupied the house always giving the friend or the stranger a hospitable welcome and annually spreading the Thanksgiving Feast for their children and grandchildren, all of whom Grand Mother said must be seated at the long table, even to the little one which had to be tied into a high chair and whose head wobbled around regardless of the consequences to its neck. January 1866

SUFFRAGE - It is argued that women do not know enough to vote, that they are incompetent. Are they not as competent as thousands of men who now vote? We ask that you shall give us the credit at least of being as intelligent as hundreds of foreigners who can neither read nor write and many of them so drunk as to require two men to lead them to the polls and hold them while depositing their ballot. Would that intelligence might be the basis of representation instead of sex or color. March 1867

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 THE GRAPE ROT - Every theory yet invented to account for the grape rot has been exploded by stubborn facts, and the wise ones are all at sea on the question – or rather they were all at sea until recently when an elaborate theory was originated by a prominent Islander which is believed to cover the whole subject and exhaust the question. It is this, that the grapes rot themselves, out of pure cussedness. This is now the prevailing belief. December 1867

TOBACCO - “Those who chewed the wad extensively now eschew it entirely. The depression on the tobacco market has hardly been felt yet although the pressure on the reformed chewers is said to be tremendous. While the price of tobacco remains unchanged, the price of spruce gum and oakum is rapidly advancing. It is also rumored that the enterprising firm on the corner intend hereafter to make guano and not tobacco a specialty in their business.” March 1869

PERSONALITIES - Extremely radical in your opinions and narrow minded as all radicals must necessarily be, you let no occasion pass, whether it be in the public schools, in the private families of Protestant citizens, or on the street corner, of attempting to force your (too many offensive) views upon us. In your persistence, instead of commanding the respect due your position, you excite only ridicule thereby actually contradicting your field of usefulness. February 1871

NEW YEARS DAY – This custom of ‘Calling’ on the ladies on New Years is very prevalent on the main land, but was not practiced to any considerable extent on the Island until this year, which we noticed all the men, old as well as young, out calling. The custom is good in many respects as it affords a good opportunity for old acquaintances to call upon their neighbors and find their lady friends prepared to receive them with their clean ‘bib and tuckers' on. January 1866