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Robert J. Dodge Collection - MS 157

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Contents | Series Description | Inventory

Introduction

The Robert J. Dodge Collection dates from 1887 to 1982. A major part of the collection was donated by the collector in 1980. The remainder was deposited with the Center for Archival Collections in 1982. In all, it totals approximately 4 1 / 2 linear feet. The collection includes correspondence, personal papers, literary productions, news clippings, maps, printed materials, and photographs focusing on Put-in-Bay, Ohio and South Bass Island during the 1950s.

Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for research and preservation purposes. This register was prepared in April 1983, by Rebecca A. Lentz, graduate student in history.

Biographical Sketch

Robert J. Dodge (1920- ) is employed as a local records archivist for the Ohio Historical Society at Kent State University. Although he was born in Toledo, Ohio, Dodge is a third generation South Bass Islander. After serving in Patton's Third Army during World War II, Dodge returned to Ohio State University and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946. He received another bachelor's degree in 1958 and a masters in 1961. From 1958 to 1965, he taught history and geography to fifth and sixth graders at Longfellow Elementary School in Fostoria, Ohio. During the summers from 1955 to 1970, Dodge served as the ranger-historian at the Perry's Victory Monument near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. While working on his doctorate, he was an instructor of history at two branches of Kent State, East Liverpool and Salem. He received his Ph.D. from Kent State in 1975. Shortly afterwards, he was hired for his present position by OHS because of his expertise in preserving local records.

His other expertise lies in the area of the Erie Islands with a special focus on Put-in-Bay. His thesis, "The Struggle for Control of Lake Erie," was published for the National Park Service as a handbook under the name The Battle of Lake Erie (1962). In 1964, The Northwest Quarterly printed Dodge's article, "A Short History of Perry's Monument." Dodge corrected an error in the Encyclopedia Britannica with his article "Oliver Hazard Perry" (1966), an account of Commodore Perry's victory during the battle for Lake Erie. His dissertation was a slight variation from his earlier works, since it not only included the battle of Lake Erie but also the history of Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island. It was published in 1975, under its original title, Isolated Splendor: Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island.

Robert Dodge came by his appreciation for the islands and Lake Erie from his grandfather, Elliot J. Dodge, and father, Gordon A. Dodge. After moving his family to Put-in-Bay from Wisconsin, E. J. Dodge began a hauling and transportation business on the island. In 1906, he purchased a steam yacht called Wayward which he used to transport passengers between the mainland and the islands. In 1909, he commissioned the building of Tourist, which he used primarily for hauling. From 1912 to 1915, E. J. Dodge was contracted to haul the stones used in building the Perry's Victory Monument. Gordon helped his father and ran the business after Elliot's death in 1935, until his own retirement in 1954. Gordon Dodge died in 1960.

Scope and Content

The Robert J. Dodge Collection consists of correspondence, selected personal papers from Elliot J. And Gordon A. Dodge, literary productions, research notes, newspaper clippings, maps, pamphlets, brochures, programs, photographs and negatives. The collection was amassed over his lifetime and culminated in his manuscript, Isolated Splendor. Although some of the material is from the nineteenth century, most of the items cover the period from the late 1940s through the mid 1960s. The collection does not provide material for an in-depth academic study of Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island, nor of particular aspects of island life. However, it can be used as a starting point for general study and information, especially in the area of popular history.

A major portion of the general correspondence is comprised of responses by persons inquiring about or providing information for Isolated Splendor. Other letters include arranging speaking engagements or lectures given by Robert Dodge.

Elliot J. and Gordon A. Dodge, grandfather and father of the collector, respectively, were engaged in the shipping industry of Put-in-Bay and the personal papers section of the collection reflects this involvement.

Research notes, bibliography cards, and manuscript proof sheets document the writing of the manuscript, Isolated Splendor.

Newspaper clippings, maps, pamphlets, brochures, and programs supply data about various businesses, organizations, and events on South Bass Island and other areas of general interest.

The strength of the collection is contained in its photographic materials. Over 100 samples of photographs depicting scenes of the Island's transportation services, ice fishing, the regatta, Perry's Victory Monument, Put-in-Bay, the sports car races, vineyards, and grape festivals are included. An extensive grouping of approximately 1100 negatives complements the prints and expands the collection by providing an excellent picture of life on South Bass Island during the 1950s as seen through the eyes of Robert J. Dodge.

Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
1961, 1963-1966, 1973-1979, 1981, 1982
Arranged alphabetically by subject file; chronologically within each file.
Includes letters concerning the Battle of Lake Erie Sesquicentennial, the Put-in-Bay Centennial Celebration, lecture arrangements, research, and responses to published materials written by Robert Dodge.

INDIVIDUAL FILES

PERSONAL PAPERS
1892, 1906, 1908, 1913, 1916, 1927, 1947, 1953, 1957, 1963
Arranged chronologically
Includes receipts, shipping agreements and certificates of inspection for the Tourist owned by Elliot J. Dodge and bills of sale signed by Gordon A. Dodge.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

MANUSCRIPTS
1972-1974
Includes proof sheets for the manuscript, Isolated Splendor: Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island by Robert J. Dodge.

ARTICLE
1964-1966
Includes the proof sheet and article on "Oliver Hazard Perry" by Robert J. Dodge as printed in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

RESEARCH NOTES
Not dated.
No discernible arrangement.
Includes bibliography listings and note cards used in writing Isolated Splendor.

NEWS CLIPPINGS

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
1898, 1911, 1942, 1943, 1947-1957, 1961-1969, 1971-1978, 1980-1982, n.d.
Arranged alphabetically by subject file; chronologically within each file.
Includes clippings pertaining to the island airport, passenger boat lines, Elliot and Robert Dodge, ice fishing, Perry's Victory Monument, vineyards, and grape festivals.

MAPS

MAPS
1811-1814 (reproductions), 1950, 1956, 1964-1966, 1970, 1972-1978, n.d.
Arranged alphabetically by subject file; chronologically within each file.
Includes photocopies of early maps of the Great Lakes region and contemporary maps of northwest Ohio and the Put-in-Bay area.

PRINTED MATERIAL

PAMPHLETS, BROCHURES, PROGRAMS, STAMPS
1887, 1924, 1929, 1930, 1935, 1938, 1942, 1943, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953-1955, 1956, 1959-1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, n.d.
Arranged alphabetically by subject file; chronologically within each file.
Includes material on sesquicentennial celebrations, airline schedules, music camp information, passenger boat line schedules, Perry's Victory Monument ceremonies, Put-in-Bay schools, sports car races, the regatta, and grape festivals.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL

POSITIVE PRINTS
1813 (reproduction), 1889, 1909, 1911-1913, 1920s, 1947-1957, 1974, n.d.
Arranged alphabetically by subject file; chronologically within each file.
Includes prints of the island transportation systems, fishing, the regatta, Perry's Victory Monument, Put-in-Bay, sports car races, and grape festivals.

NEGATIVES
1938-1940, 1944-1957, 1959, 1960, n.d.
Arranged alphabetically by subject file; chronologically within each file.
Includes negatives of the island transportation systems, beaches, fishing, the regatta, New York City, Perry's Victory Monument, Put-in-Bay, sports car races, grape festivals, winter scenes, and items from World War II.

Inventory

Box 1

Folders
  1. Correspondence--Battle of Lake Erie Sesquicentennial, July-August, 1963
  2. Correspondence--Put-in-Bay Centennial Celebration, 1975, 1977, 1979
  3. Correspondence--Miscellaneous, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1973, 1974, 1977
  4. Correspondence--Research and lectures, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1976, 1982
  5. Correspondence--Responses to published material, 1963, 1964, 1976-1978, 1981
  6. Individual Files--Personal Papers, 1892, 1906, 1908, 1913, 1916, 1927, 1947, 1953, 1957, 1963
  7. Literary Productions--Manuscripts, 1972-1974
  8. Literary Productions--Article, 1964-1966
  9. Literary Productions--Research notes, n.d.

Box 2: Literary Productions

Folders
  1. Research note cards, n.d.

Box 3: News Clippings

Folders
  1. Airports and airplanes, 1947, 1952, 1954-1956, 1962, 1966, 1972-1974, 1977, 1980, 1982
  2. American Legion, 1948, 1950, 1956
  3. Battle of Lake Erie Sesquicentennial, 1963
  4. Battle of Lake Erie Sesquicentennial, 1963
  5. Battle of Lake Erie Sesquicentennial, 1963, 1968, 1974, n.d.
  6. Boats and passenger boat lines, 1947, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1963
  7. Put-in-Bay Centennial, 1977
  8. Elliot J. Dodge, 1911, 1953
  9. Robert J. Dodge, 1953, 1963-1967, 1975-1978, 1980, n.d.
  10. Erie Islands, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1968, 1969
  11. Erie Islands, 1971-1975, 1977, 1980-1982
  12. Fishing, 1949, 1951-1957, 1965, 1966
  13. The Herald (Put-in-Bay), 1898
  14. Inland Lake Yachting Association Regatta, 1952-1955, 1966
  15. Miscellaneous, 1913, 1945-1950, 1952-1954, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1982, n.d.
  16. Perry's Victory Monument, 1942, 1943, 1951, 1966, 1967, 1982
  17. Put-in-Bay Schools 1948, 1953, 1956, 1977, n.d.
  18. Sports car races, 1953, 1957
  19. Vineyards and grape festivals, 1947-1954, 1973
  20. Vineyards and grape festivals, September 27, 1981

Box 4: Maps and Printed Materials

Folders
  1. Maps--early Great Lakes, 1811-1814 (reproductions)
  2. Maps--Northwest Ohio, 1964-1966, n.d.
  3. Maps--Put-in-Bay, 1950, 1956, 1970, 1972-1974
  4. Maps--Put-in-Bay, 1975-1978, n.d.
  5. Association of Yachting Clubs Skippers Register, 1973
  6. Battle of Lake Erie Sesquicentennial, 1963
  7. Canadian-American International, 1953
  8. Put-in-Bay Centennial Celebration, 1977
  9. Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, 1962
  10. Put-in-Bay drama, 1924, 1953, 1973, 1976
  11. Ice Yacht Racing Yearbook, 1972-1973
  12. Inland Lake Yachting Association, 1972-1973
  13. Inland Lake Yachting Association Regatta Yearbook, 1963-1964
  14. Inland Lake Yachting Association Regatta Yearbook, 1966, 1969
  15. Inland Lake Yachting Association Sesquicentennial, 1963
  16. Island Airline Schedules, 1967, 1970-1976, 1980, n.d.

Box 5: Printed Materials

Folders
  1. Island Festival and Opera, 1960, 1965, 1966, n.d.
  2. Mad Anthony's Drumbeat, 1961, 1962
  3. Midwest Fisherman, 1950, 1951, 1953
  4. Miscellaneous Lake Erie booklets, 1982, n.d.
  5. Miscellaneous Ohio booklets, 1935, 1963, 1966, 1969, n.d.
  6. Miscellaneous Put-in-Bay brochures, 1930, 1953, 1968, 1972-1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, n.d.
  7. Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, 1956, 1966, 1979, n.d.
  8. Music camps, 1959-1962, 1964-1967
  9. Music camps, 1968-1974, n.d.
  10. Parkway annual report, 1960
  11. Passenger boat line schedules, 1948, 1950, 1955, 1965-1966, 1969, 1971-1974, 1980, n.d.
  12. Pelee Island Then and Now, 1967
  13. Perry's Victory Monument Sesquicentennial, 1963
  14. Perry's Victory Monument ceremonies, 1942, 1959, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1974, n.d.
  15. Perry's Victory and International Memorial, 1966, 1974
  16. Put-in-Bay schools, 1938, 1963, 1965, 1973, 1974, 1977
  17. Put-in-Bay schools, n.d.
  18. Rattlesnake Island stamps, n.d.
  19. Put-in-Bay Yacht Club anniversary yearbook (includes article by Dodge and one by Henry F. Birkenhauer), 1986
  20. Statement of E. J. Dodge, 1933?

Box 6: Printed Materials and Photographs

Folders
  1. South Bass Island Community, 1943
  2. Sports car races, 1954, 1963
  3. The Franz Theodore Stone Lab, 1929, 1972, n.d.
  4. Toledo pamphlets, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1970
  5. Vineyards and grape festivals, 1887, 1949-1951, 1953-1955, n.d.
  6. Volunteer Fire Company, 1974
  7. Vote on Sunday liquor sales, 1974
  8. Put-in-Bay Yacht Club Yearbook, 1972, 1974
  9. Photographs--Airports and planes, 1929, 1947, 1952, 1954, 1956
  10. Photographs--American Legion, 1948, 1950
  11. Photographs--Battle of Lake Erie, 1813, 1913 (reproductions)
  12. Photographs--Beaches during all seasons, 1950-1953, 1955, n.d.
  13. Photographs--Boats and passenger boat lines, 1889, 1909, 1911, 1920, 1950, 1955, n.d.
  14. Photographs--Erie Islands and docks, 1950, 1955
  15. Photographs--fishing, 1950, 1953, 1954
  16. Photographs--Inland Lake Yachting Association and the regatta, 1948-1950, 1952, 1953
  17. Photographs--Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, 1950
  18. Photographs--people, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1956, n.d.
  19. Photographs--Perry's Victory Monument, 1913, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1974
  20. Photographs--Put-in-Bay, 1912, 1922, 1950, 1952-1954, 1957, 1974, n.d.
  21. Photographs--Put-in-Bay harbor, 1920s, 1948-1950
  22. Photographs--Sports car races, 1952-1954
  23. Photographs--Vineyards and grape festivals, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, n.d.

Box 7: Photograph Negatives

Folders
  1. Airport and airplanes, 1947, 1950, 1951
  2. Airport and airplanes, 1950s, 1952-1954
  3. Airport and airplanes, 1954, 1955
  4. Airport and airplanes, 1956
  5. American Legion, 1948-1950, 1952
  6. Antique cars, 1948
  7. Beaches, 1950, 1952
  8. Beaches, 1953-1955, n.d.
  9. Boats, 1938-1940, 1947
  10. Boats, 1948, 1950, 1951
  11. Boats, 1952, 1954-1957
  12. Boats, 1960, n.d.
  13. Boats, n.d.
  14. Caves, 1950-1951
  15. Put-in-Bay drama, 1953
  16. Put-in-Bay drama, 1954, 1955

Box 8: Photograph Negatives

Folders
  1. Erie Islands and docks, 1940s, 1947, 1950, 1954, 1956, n.d.
  2. Fishing, 1947, 1948
  3. Fishing, 1948, 1950
  4. Fishing, 1951-1956
  5. Fishing, 1957, n.d.
  6. Inland Lakes Yachting Association Regatta, 1947, 1949, 1950
  7. Inland Lakes Yachting Association Regatta, 1951-1954
  8. Miscellaneous, 1947-1948, 1952
  9. Miscellaneous, 1952, 1954-1956
  10. Miscellaneous, 1955, 1956
  11. Miscellaneous, n.d.
  12. Miscellaneous, n.d.
  13. Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, 1940, 1952, 1956, 1957
  14. New York City, 1949
  15. New York City, 1949-1950
  16. New York City, 1949-1950
  17. New York City, 1950

Box 9: Photograph Negatives

Folders
  1. Passenger boat lines, 1947, 1948
  2. Passenger boat lines, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1954
  3. Passenger boat lines, 1950, 1952, 1954
  4. Passenger boat lines, 1955, 1957, 1959
  5. Passenger boat lines, n.d.
  6. People, 1940, 1945-1940
  7. People, 1950-1952, 1957
  8. People, 1952-1955
  9. People, 1955, 1956
  10. People, n.d.
  11. People, n.d.
  12. People, n.d.
  13. Perry's Victory Monument, 1940, 1947
  14. Perry's Victory Monument, 1948, 1949
  15. Perry's Victory Monument, 1950

Box 10: Photograph Negatives

Folders
  1. Perry's Victory Monument, 1951, 1952
  2. Perry's Victory Monument, 1952, 1953
  3. Perry's Victory Monument, 1954, 1955
  4. Perry's Victory Monument, n.d.
  5. Perry's Victory Monument, n.d.
  6. Put-in-Bay buildings, 1940, 1947, 1948
  7. Put-in-Bay buildings, 1950-1952
  8. Put-in-Bay buildings, 1953
  9. Put-in-Bay buildings, 1954, 1955
  10. Put-in-Bay buildings, 1956, 1957, n.d.
  11. Put-in-Bay buildings, n.d.
  12. Put-in-Bay buildings, n.d.
  13. Put-in-Bay harbor, 1938-1940, 1948
  14. Put-in-Bay harbor, 1950, 1952
  15. Put-in-Bay harbor, 1953-1955, 1957, n.d.

Box 11: Photograph Negatives

Folders
  1. Put-in-Bay schools, 1947-1948
  2. Put-in-Bay schools, 1948
  3. Put-in-Bay schools, 1952, 1953
  4. Put-in-Bay schools, 1956, 1957
  5. St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1956
  6. Sports car races, 1952-1954
  7. Vineyards and grape festivals, 1947-1949
  8. Vineyards and grape festivals, 1950
  9. Vineyards and grape festivals, 1950
  10. Vineyards and grape festivals, 1951-1954
  11. Winter, 1940, 1952-1955
  12. Winter, 1955-1957
  13. World War II, 1944-1945
  14. World War II, 1945
  15. World War II, n.d.

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