Sunday, August 17, 2008

President Taft at Cedar Point


My family and I visited Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio last week. We stayed at the Hotel Breakers for two nights and had a good time. The hotel is right next to the amusement park and our time at the resort was pleasant for the most part.

The Hotel Breakers was opened in 1905. The beach on Lake Erie is beautiful and that probably was one of the reasons it was built. As you go into the lobby of the hotel, there are lots of pictures of the historic past of the hotel. You see pictures of women and men in old-fashioned bathing suites as well as time lines of the hotel on the wall.

One item caught my eye. President Taft had stayed at the hotel in 1913 to speak at the dedication the Perry Peace Memorial. It was built on South Bass Island which is not too far from Cedar Point. It was the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. The picture above shows the beginning of this project.

Plans for the centennial celebration had been in the works for many months, and ceremonies would span two days. On September 10, 1913 thousands of people streamed to the island to visit the U.S. Brig Niagara, recently raised and reconstructed at Erie, Pennsylvania. During the course of the day a series of commemorative orations were offered by a number of dignitaries from the United States and Canada, with the featured address presented by William Howard Taft, former President of the United States. Shortly after 3:00 p.m. guns from the USS Michigan and other vessels were fired to signify the time when the Battle of Lake Erie ended, and cheering resounded across the island for several minutes. Following the day's celebration, 830 people were transported on various official vessels to Cedar Point, where the centennial banquet was held at the Hotel Breakers.

There were no details on this visit at the hotel. Further, other than the NPS site, I could find very little online. I wish I could have found the text of the Taft speech online. My family and I enjoyed the stay even if we did not have all the historical background.

2 comments:

Brian Steenbergen said...

I found the speech using a google books search:

http://books.google.com/books?id=VeeIaJ4c2IQC&pg=PA54&dq=perry+peace+memorial+taft

The book is "Ohio Archeological and Historical Publications".

Actually there are some relavant lines for today; but then again peace is always relavant.

M said...

Thanks for the link. I appreciate it.

Michael Lorenzen