SUNBURY — How and why did Johnson’s Island in Lake Erie became a POW camp for Confederate officers is the topic for Roy Nichols’ program to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Myers Inn Museum Meeting Room. The program is free and open to the public.
Johnson’s Island is a 300-acre island in Ottawa County in Sandusky Bay near Marblehead. It is almost a mile long and a half-mile wide. Known as Bull’s Island after an early owner, E.W. Bull., it was sold to L.B. Johnson in 1852. According to the Duff Papers in the Ashland Library, the government leased 40 acres for a Confederate prisoners of war camp in 1861.
Nichols graduated from Ashland High School and got his B.A. from Gordon College in Massachusetts in 1967 and a M.A.T from Oberlin College in 1968. He taught history and American government at Midview High School in Grafton, Ohio, while he attended law classes and earned his law degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School in 1972. Upon retirement, he formed Nicholsworth Presentations and gives historical talks on a variety of subjects. He is also a professional storyteller and plays Santa. He is a member of the following groups: Vaudvillities (three shows per year), church choir, Silvertones Chorus, Forever Young Theater Group (once per year), Gillie Payers (three plays per year), and the Underground Railroad Study Group. He is also a Hanby House volunteer, and he enjoys karaoke and ballroom dancing.
Nichols is active in Faith Covenant Church, Blendon Senior Center, Westerville Senior Center, Gillie Rec Center, Storytellers of Central Ohio, two Civil War Round Table groups, Ohio History Connection, Hanby House in Westerville, Delaware County Historical Society and the Griswold Center.
The Myers Inn Museum, located at 45 S. Columbus St., faces the southwest corner of Sunbury Village Green. It is open 12-3 Thursday, Fridays and Sundays and 10-3 on Saturdays. Displays of local history are on display. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
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