Churches

 

PLATINUM ($1000 or more):

 


BAS Broadcasting - 1281 N. River Road - Fremont, OH - 419.332.8212



 


Capitol Aluminum & Glass Corp. - 1276 W. Main Street - Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.7050

 


1831 W. Main Street - Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.5789

 


114 W. Main Street - Bellevue, OH  -  419.217.0006

 

 

 

GOLD ($999 to $500):

Caranfa Ford - 1370 E Main St, Bellevue, OH - 419.483.3535


 


The Bellevue Manufacturing Company  -  520 Goodrich Road  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.3190

 

 

 

SILVER ($499 TO $200):


7L Construction  -  553 Southwest Street  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.8347

 


Bunge North America  -  605 Goodrich Road  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.5340

 


First National Bank  -  120 North Street  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.2664
 

Bill and Scherl Koch
Bellevue, Ohio

 

BRONZE ($199 TO $100):


R.A. Bores Excavating, Inc.  -  2819 Dogtown Road  -  Monroeville, OH  -  419.465.4673

 


The Hub Newspaper  -  1110 Castalia Street,  Suite B  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.426.3491

 


The Medicine Shoppe  -  234 W. Main Street  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.3784

 


Seneca Caverns  -  15248 E. Township Road 178  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.6711


Jan and Ken Miller
Bellevue, Ohio


Buckeye Medical Clinic
1265 W. Main Street, Suite A  -  Bellevue, OH  -  419.483.1991

 

 

On August 25, 2020, Bellevue lost a valued citizen and one of the town’s treasures – Bill Oddo.  Bill has been a mainstay of the Bellevue Historical Society from its beginning.
Bill’s barber shop on Main Street was a gathering place for story tellers.  These stories sparked his interest in Bellevue’s history, so in 1983 Bill began writing a weekly article in the Bellevue Gazette spotlighting the town’s rich past.  These articles became one of the most popular features of the paper.
As a citizen, Bill has been very active in his church and community.   Bill’s faith was very strong as he served the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in many ways, especially in working with the CYO.  The Bellevue City Schools benefitted also from Bill’s efforts.  He was an organizer of the Bellevue Boosters Club and he helped to initiate the Halls of Excellence program at the High School (Bill himself was recognized for that honor in 2000) as well as the Athletic Department’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Bill’s contributions to the Bellevue Historical Society are numerous.  In 1987, he was a founding member of the Bellevue Heritage Museum which became the Bellevue Historical Society.  He served the Society for many years on the Board of Directors, most of them as president.  A pet project for Bill was the Tremont House Project. 
In 2002, Bill was the Society’s president when the building was purchased. 
He compiled the book, Bellevue - A Pictorial History to help pay for the Tremont House, obtaining a grant for its publication so that all profits would go to the project.  In 2005, he was instrumental in the process required to have the Tremont House listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  More recently, he dedicated all profits from his latest book, Stories of Old Bellevue – Vol. V, to the project.  Just a few days before his death, on a drive past the Tremont House, Bill was excited to see the progress that has been made this summer.  

In 2010, Bill received the Individual Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Association of Historic Societies and Museums for his work in helping to preserve local history.  A group of family and fellow Society members helped him to celebrate this award at a ceremony in Columbus.  At the presentation, his introduction began with, “For almost thirty years, Bill Oddo has been making history come alive in Bellevue, Ohio.”

On May 20, 2010, when Bill retired as president, the Bellevue Historical Society recognized Bill for his many years of dedication at a reception at the Willows Clubhouse.  Family and friends gathered to wish him well and to exchange stories.  Then-mayor David Kile proclaimed May 20, 2010 to be Bill Oddo Day. 
Bill will be remembered by posterity as Bellevue’s historian.  His many books and newspaper articles contain a wealth of information on Bellevue’s past that otherwise might have been lost.  We will surely
miss Bill.  He was THE reference person on questions about Bellevue’s history.

Details to be announced at a later date.

 

Author: Bill Oddo
$25.00
Stories of Old Bellevue - Book V by Bill Oddo features stories by Bill which were originally  written for publication in The Bellevue Gazette.  It consists of 122 pages of stories about Bellevue natives who became famous or who were successful in a variety of ways, Bellevue landmarks such as "The Rock" and the Bellevue Public Library,  Bellevue businesses and much more.
Be sure when ordering online to give us the address you would like the book mailed to.
 

For those in the Bellevue area, books may be purchased at:  Hunters Needs, 1831 W Main St  (Route 20 West) Bellevue, OH 44811  419-419-483-5789

 

 

 

Thank you for your support of the Bellevue Historical Society.
It's greatly appreciated!

 

 The Tremont House Restoration Project is on the move.
Watch as we post photos of our progress.

 The wall you see being installed in the photos will be the new south exterior walls for the Tremont House.

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Due to the great support of the strength of steel the Tremont House will stand 100 more years.  Thanks to Thomas Steel Inc. of Bellevue, for their support in many ways. The knowledge and experience the company has shown and given to the Bellevue Historical Society for the Tremont House Restoration Project is above and beyond.

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We would like to sincerely thank Capital Aluminum and Glass Corporation of Bellevue, for donating the 6 over 6 windows for the Tremont House.  Your generosity is truly appreciated and the new windows and glass will help us see a very clear path to the Tremont House Restoration Project.

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new windows installed
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new windows
windows frames out

 

 

 

The Tremont House was built in 1846.  Next year (2021) will be its 175th birthday!  If you worked in the Tremont House (at Leonard’s Pharmacy, for instance) or have stories about the Tremont House, please let us know.  We would like to collect as much as we can about this grand old building to help celebrate its 175 years of life.

Welcome to the Bellevue Historical Society's Tremont House. It is one of the oldest and most distinctive buildings in Bellevue. It was opened in 1846 by Loel and Samuel B. Chandler who operated a hotel on the second floor to serve stagecoach passengers traveling on the Western Reserve and Maumee Pike which today is U. S. Route 20. Its elegance in such a remote region must have been awe inspiring at the time. The three-story brick building featured Greek Revival architecture with six fluted columns on each floor. A belvedere on the roof topped off its classic lines. Named after a famous hotel in Boston, an early advertisement by the Chandlers boasted that the Tremont House was "as good a building as can be found in Northern Ohio." At the heart of the community of Bellevue, the Tremont House is the most prominent building in street scenes throughout the

town's history. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The Society plans to return The Tremont House to its 1846 grandeur. It will become the home for the Society's vast collection of artifacts and pictures which tell the story of Bellevue's history.


Located at the intersection of North West Street and East Main Street, the Tremont House's location alone makes the site significant. In 1662, British King Charles II granted a Charter to the colony of Connecticut. This land became known as the Western Reserve. It extended 120 miles from Pennsylvania's western border to the line which is Bellevue's present day West Street. What an appropriate name! Of the vast Western Reserve, 500,000 acres of the western part were given by Connecticut as reimbursement to those Connecticut citizens whose property was burned by British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. They received approximately one acre of land for each dollar of loss by fire. Therefore, this region became known as the Firelands. This also accounts for the obvious New England influence in the area's architecture and culture. Present day West Street is the dividing line between Sandusky and Huron Counties.


Main Street, Route 20, was a part of the Western Reserve and Maumee Pike which was established in 1823 as the first east-west road from eastern Ohio to Toledo. Stage coaches regularly stopped at the Tremont House to allow passengers to rest and refresh themselves.




Tour of The Tremont House:


The ground floor has housed many mercantile establishments over the years including several groceries (among them A & P), a hardware store and the one most remembered by Bellevue natives, Leonard's Pharmacy, which occupied the space from the 1960's to the 1990's. Before 1900, the original six columns on this floor were removed and the front wall extended to directly below the front line of the second and third floor porches. The Society plans to move the front wall back to its original position and to reinstall the columns on the ground floor to match those on the upper floors. Last March, when the tin ceiling from the late 1800's was removed, there was evidence that there was originally a curved staircase in the center of the building from the first to the second floor. This was quite a discovery! There is also evidence that the building survived several fires in its early history. When the restoration of the building is finished, this floor will house a museum.
The steel stairway to the second floor was installed in 1933 as a fire safety measure.


The second floor did not survive long as a hotel as railroad travel became much more popular, replacing stagecoaches. Other uses for the second floor rooms have been Burrow's cigar factory, a real estate office and an electrical engineer's office. Perhaps at one time there was a residential apartment on that floor as a full bathroom was installed. There is evidence on the porches that the original front façade may have been covered with stucco or some other enhancement over the brick. The original windows were small paned 6 over 6 windows with full working shutters on the outside that could be closed to shut out light and/or cold. The rooms were heated by stoves, first coal or wood, later gas. There were chimneys, no fireplaces. After the renovation, this floor will hold an office, storage room and some display space.


Looking out the front window of the second floor (or from the balcony), try to imagine how things would have looked in 1846 and in later years. Stagecoaches traveled Main Street in 1846 when most travel was still accomplished by horse. Across the street is the town square where many of the town's most important events took place. In 1884, hundreds gathered to watch the balloon "Queen City" ascend; in 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at a rally as he campaigned again for that office; in 1914, all of the school children of the city gathered there, each waving a flag, to have their photo taken celebrating the 100th anniversary of " The Star Spangled Banner"; in 1953, the reviewing stand for the city's Centennial parade celebration was on the square with Mayor Homer Crecelius and Governor Lausche officiating; and in the 1970's the city's Cherry Festival took place on the square. The square was the scene of Victory Loan Drives in World War I and the site of the large Roll of Honor in World War II which listed all of the residents in Bellevue and the surrounding townships who were serving their country. The Square was the heart of the community.

A prominent landmark on the square in the early 1900's was the WCTU fountain. In 1907, the ladies of the Women's Christian Temperance Union raised $700 for the purpose of erecting a drinking fountain at the square. It was made of richly carved and polished granite and inscribed "For Humanity's Sake." Four columns supported the dome which was surmounted by a granite ball 14" in diameter. It was 11 feet in height and was in operation during the summer months. Supplied with city water which was filtered and cooled by ice installed daily in the base, the fountain provided a refreshing drink of water which the ladies of the WCTU hoped would replace the need for stronger drink. It was placed right in the center of the square. In 1920, city officials began an effort to remove the fountain from the square. The heavy flow of traffic through town caused city officials to declare the fountain a traffic menace. At that time, Route 20 did not go east through town, but made a bend at the square and continued on Monroe Street. Thus, the fountain was right in the middle of a very busy street. There seemed to be much confusion about whether motorists should drive to the right or to the left of the fountain. The ladies of the WCTU strongly objected to the moving of their fountain. Finally, on June 5, 1922, between 4 and 7 A.M., a city crew with the aid of a derrick moved the fountain to the edge of Monroe Street on the east side of the square. The WCTU ladies took the city officials to court. The case was in the courts for more than a year and on July 24, 1923, a Huron County judge ordered the fountain be replaced to its original position on the square because of the sneaky way that it had been moved. However, the state highway department declared that if placed in its original position, it would be declared a menace to traffic and it would be permanently removed. The ladies and the city officials eventually compromised and the fountain remained on the east side of the square. The story does not end there. In 1936, the fountain was sideswiped by a truck and the dome crashed to the ground. The fountain had fallen into disuse in later years, so the base was removed to storage, but it was resurrected after a time and now it is again a source of refreshment for Bellevue citizens as it is the drinking fountain at Robert Peters Park.


The third floor of the Tremont House boasts a wonderful ball room with vaulted ceiling. This was a community meeting room which would have been very grand in 1846. For many years the International Order of the Odd Fellows (IOOF) met here as well as the Knights of St. John and The Star of Italy fraternal organizations. The fact that there are no supporting columns in the large room indicate that the building must have been built by a master craftsman. After renovation, this room will once again become a meeting room available for community events and private parties.


The framing in the attic is a marvel of engineering knowhow. Since the building is not square (only 2 corners are 90 degrees), it took extensive knowledge and craftsmanship to design the rafters made from hand hewn virgin timber. According to framing expert Rudy Christian, the masterwork of framing is unique for its rhomboid shape. He states, " The structural and joinery systems chosen by the builder are examples of very advanced knowledge of heavy timber frame and truss construction and the workmanship clearly indicates the work of a master builder."


 

Timeline:


1776 - American Revolution
1792 - Firelands region established
1803 - Ohio admitted as a State
1813 - Perry's victory in the War of 1812 at Put In Bay
1815 - First settler in Bellevue - Mark Hopkins
1839 - Bellevue gets its name, Completion of Mad River & Lake Erie RR through Bellevue
1841 - Rally at Bellevue's Egle House for Presidential candidate Wm. H. Harrison (Tippecanoe)
1846 - Opening of the Tremont House
1846 - President James K. Polk annexed the Republic of Texas to the U. S. leading to the Mexican American War
1851 - Bellevue incorporated - population about 800 (President Millard Fillmore)
1861 - Start of the Civil War


So, the Tremont House was built only 31 years after the first settler came to Bellevue, and 15 before the Civil War began.
The Bellevue Historical Society purchased the Tremont House in 2002. In 2007, the Society was able to have a mortgage burning ceremony. Much credit goes to Bill Oddo whose book, Bellevue - A Pictorial History, published in 2005, helped to raise the funds to pay off the mortgage.

After much discussion of the needs of a museum in the present day - handicap access and bathrooms, fireproof stairway, elevator, etc. - it became evident that the Tremont House could not become a usable space without compromising the integrity of the building. It was just too small to accommodate all of the things necessary to make it usable as a public building. Therefore, in 2007, the Society purchased 102-104 North West Street which is adjacent to the Tremont house to the north. This building which has no historic value will be used for all those extra necessities so that the Tremont House can retain as much of its original configuration as possible.
The Bellevue Historical Society plans to restore the Tremont House to its original grandeur. The first floor will become a museum of Bellevue artifacts, the second floor will house an office, storage rooms and some display space, and the third floor ballroom will retain its original purpose as a meeting space for Bellevue residents.
The Society is always interested in any Bellevue related artifacts that may be donated to the museum. Photos, advertising items, products of Bellevue industry, and any other pieces from Bellevue's history are welcome. Monetary donations may be made to The Bellevue Historical Society, P.O. Box 304, Bellevue, Ohio 44811.
Check out our websites - BellevueHistoricalSociety.com and TremontHouse.org or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Do you have questions about our organization or any of our projects?  Then please contact us - we'll be happy to answer your questions.
For contact information, please use the following
 

Mailing Address:
The Bellevue Historical Society
PO Box 304
Bellevue, Ohio 44811

Office Phone:  567-228-0833
 

E-mail: 
BellevueHistoricalSociety@yahoo.com
 

Visit Us on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/bellevuehistorical
 

Websites:
www.BellevueHistoricalSociety.com
www.TremontHouse.org

Every small town organization wants and needs more volunteers. The Bellevue Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization with no paid employees or staff and we need you!

Throughout the year, the BHS has many interesting fundraising events and we joyfully welcome everyone’s wilingess to help.
There are no long term volunteer commitments. Many events are quick and short term and an excellent way to meet new people too!  Just let us know what you enjoy:  ticket sales, love greeting people, decorating, organizing, drawing, making signs, baking, running errands, prepping food, flower arranging, it's endless!   All you have to do is let us know your interests and we’ll contact you.  Thank You!