Many turn out as Lockport celebrates 175th anniversary
Good crowds turned out as the Stryker Area Heritage Council and Lockport Mennonite Church hosted events to commemorate the the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Lockport, one of the area’s earliest settlements.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, over 80 people gathered at the church for the beginning of a historic tour around the area.
Stryker Area Heritage Council President Rose Burkholder welcomed the crowd and acted as emcee. SAHC Trustee Terry Perkins gave a presentation about the early history of Lockport and then the church served a light lunch
Following the lunch, a driving tour began around the Lockport area. Buses were provided by the Lockport Mennonite Church and St. John Christian Church that helped to make the traveling much easier for the group.
The first stop was at the restored Goll Barn in Goll’s Woods. Kris Jemmott and Bob Apgar from the Friends of Goll Homestead, spoke about the history of the barn and homestead built by Peter Goll, Jr. and his family during the Civil War.
It was the second public viewing of the restored triple jettied barn by the group.
From there, the tour participants traveled just north of Lockport to the Gish home on County Road I-50. Home owner Jeff Rutledge told about Arthur Gish who bought the Lockport mill property from Abraham Wurts and operated the gristmill.
His wife, Stacy, offered the group the opportunity to look through the first floor of the home they have been busily restoring.
The group traveled to the Floral Grove Cemetery, just south of West Unity, where SAHC Trustee Kent Julliard spoke about the Emanuel German Methodist Episcopal Church. He also pointed the group to several graves of prominent citizens of Lockport, including Samuel Brownewell whose grave marker is one of his millstones.
The next stop was at the former Lockport United Brethren Church built in 1887. Nick Woodall, pastor of the Stryker United Brethren Church, gave the history of the Lockport church which still stands on the west side of what was known as Mill Street.
Larry Radloff spoke at the next stop about his home that used to belong to S. A. Brownewell, co-owner of the Lockport grist and sawmill. The home was also a hotel, and Radloff has been busy restoring the home, which has included the addition of a second story that used to house weary travelers.
While at the stop, Myrna Grove spoke about the Lockport school that used to be located just to the north of the Brownewell home/hotel.
Returning to the church, presentations were given on several prominent Lockport residents and families by Tom Stuckey, Elwood Graber, and Bobbi Schlosser. Bob Hausch spoke about the bridges at Lockport, Carol Sloan gave some readings and Myrna Grove spoke about the Lockport Mennonite Church that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008.
Flyers showing the gravesite locations were made available for those who wanted to walk through the Lockport Cemetery next to the church.
An area of historic photographs and artifacts were displayed in the church foyer, while several paintings of the history of the Lockport Mennonite Church by Karen Wyse were displayed at the front of the sanctuary.
On Sunday, October 2, the members and guests at the Lockport Mennonite Church enjoyed a service that incorporated Lockport history into it. A potluck dinner was held at noon.
Many thanks and congratulations to the people who served on the planning committee for the Lockport 175th anniversary celebration, which included Rose and Glen Burkholder, Sue and Ben Buehrer, Jack Hancock, Bob Hausch, Leon DeGroff, Helen Bell and Myrna Grove. Thanks also to the site interpreters, St. John Christian Church in Archbold for the use of their bus and the Lockport Mennonite Church for their hospitality, the luncheon, and the bus for the riders.
A video is being prepared by SAHC of the tour for those who would wish to have a copy of the day’s events.
Lockport brochure tells past history
A brochure developed by the Stryker Area Heritage Council details the early history of the village of Lockport.
Area historians Kevin Maynard and Richard Cooley combined their talents to produce the new informational piece. The brochure was developed to enhance the historical commemoration as the community of Lockport celebrated its 175th birthday this year.
To open a copy of the brochure, click on the cover picture displayed here.