Current Events

 

 

President

John Miller

 

Vice President

Larry Claus

  

 

Treasurer

Mary Mitchell

Secretary

Pat Custer

  

Director

Jeannie Gore

Director

Mary Shelley

  

Director

Alicia Robles

Director

Dale Hoffman

 

 

 

 

 

 

  
  
  

 

Hello, and we hope this letter finds you well. What a year 2020 was! Yet in spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, your Bellevue Historical Society Board of Directors and other volunteers were hard at work behind the scenes to ensure that the Society’s mission carried on.

During this unprecedented time, our dedicated construction crew made significant progress on our future museum home, the Tremont House:  

  • The three front porches have been repaired and reinforced.
  • Bricks have been replaced where needed.
  • The roof has been repaired and is now leak-free, as is the roof on the Annex!
  • Concrete has been poured on the west and south sides of the building and a new handicap-accessible front porch is now in place.
  • 175 years’ worth of paint has been scraped and removed from the window and door trim, and all the trim is newly painted.
  • Exterior doors were installed on the second and third-floor balconies, and the transom glass above them has been replaced. A new door, same historic styleas the other doors, was installed at the top of the fire escape.
  • Six new pillars and four pilasters (side pillars) have been installed. We were able to preserve some of the original columns, four of which are being rebuilt through this winter with plans for installation in the spring.
  • The Annex (the building behind the Tremont House) was power-washed, weather-proofed as much as possible, primed and painted. This is where much of our collection is currently stored.


In addition, we continue our ongoing work to organize and document “Bellevue’s scrapbook” – the collection of artifacts and mementos documenting our shared history – in preparation for display.

Yes, great strides are being made toward opening a museum dedicated to Bellevue’s unique history – hopefully in time for the building’s 175th anniversary in late 2021!

Unfortunately, we had to cancel some of our 2020 fundraising and program events due to COVID-19 concerns, including our biggest fundraiser and Summer Signature event, the Taste of Tremont. We also had to cancel our Annual Meeting, our popular Annual Garage Sale, our 4th Annual Harvest Barn Dance (co-hosted with Historic Lyme Village), and our Great Gatsby Gala.

AND YET: Community support has continued to make the work possible. Many faithful members and friends sent additional donations. Our fundraising committee came up with the creative idea of a drive-through chicken BBQ fundraiser in September, and our amazing volunteers and customers brought it to fruition. Area businesses and individuals signed on as sponsors, allowing this event to raise $10,000. Our annual Bellevue Cemetery Walk, with area funeral director Brian Foos as guide, drew over eighty attendees. We continue to highlight Bellevue’s history on our Facebook and web pages. It would appear that the setbacks of 2020 have not dampened Bellevueans’ enthusiasm for their history!

Everyone has been affected in some way by this pandemic. But as you can see, the Society’s mission continues in spite of the many challenges we are all facing. That is why we are writing to ask you to join the Bellevue Historical Society for 2021 – and, if possible, become a Tremont House sponsor while you’re at it. Or if you prefer not to become a member but still want to be a Tremont House sponsor, you are welcome to do that, of course. All sponsors will be prominently recognized on a plaque inside the museum in proportion to their gift.

Our annual member dues are very reasonable and entitle you to receive our quarterly newsletter. The dues paid by our members in 2020 helped make the above-mentioned progress possible. But in 2021, we will need to raise a LOT of money if we want to open the Tremont House in time for the building’s 175th anniversary late in the year.

None of our volunteers – including board members – get paid.
For obvious reasons, the Society has to hire professionals to do some of the fabrication, construction and design, and we have been privileged to work with a number of area businesses who are as committed to creating a suitable home for the Bellevue Heritage Museum as our volunteers are.

Specifically – and these are very rough numbers – our building committee estimates we will need a MINIMUM of $120,000 just to open the ground floor as a museum. The projects listed on the next page are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for our work on the Tremont House to continue...


We need to raise …

  • $15,000 for heating of first floor and ductwork for second floor (each floor will eventually have
  • its own heating unit)
  • $12,000 for electrical (cost will depend on number of outlets, lights, etc.)
  • $ 4,500 for flooring on first floor
  • $65,000 for fire protection system (suppression system, alarms)
  • $ 7,500 for stairway
  • $ 6,000 for drywall
  • $10,000 for miscellaneous, overruns, etc.

These are rough estimates. And of course, they do not include our ongoing regular expenses for utilities and the like.


In short: After years of hard work by many people, we are SO close to opening our town’s history museum! How we look forward to sharing the memories and stories that the people of Bellevue have contributed in the form of photos and artifacts!

Bellevue is a special place, thanks to businesses and people like you that call it home. We love this town, which is why we are so passionate about preserving its history.
 

Whether you have lived in Bellevue all your life or are a to people like you! new resident, whether you are now settled here or somewhere else – in some way, you are part of Bellevue’s story. Perhaps your ancestors started out here or your business is here. Maybe you simply appreciate the uniqueness of buildings like the Tremont House.
Whatever your connection to Bellevue is, we thank you in advance for your 2021 membership contribution and – if you can – for considering a Tremont House sponsorship at whatever level is comfortable for you.

If you make a sponsorship pledge totaling $250 or more, you can pay in installments by December 31, 2021 if you choose.  We just want to have some idea of your intentions for budgeting purposes.

Bottom line: It is your continued generosity that will enable the momentum to continue in 2021! Stay well and again – thank you!

Sincerely,
Board of Directors
Bellevue Historical Society

 

See here how to Donate or Become a Member.

Museums Aren’t Just For Big Cities

In a well-intended effort to continue to celebrate Bellevue’s heritage, the Bellevue Historical Society is gathering an impressive collection of everyday artifacts which will be showcased in a museum fashion inside our locally restored Tremont House historic landmark.  The museum collections are currently being cataloged utilizing PastPerfect Museum Software archiving miscellaneous items such as old books and articles, signs and maps, period clothing, household products and toys, machinery made in Bellevue, old advertising materials and more!   Our goal is to showcase a large part of what our hometown Bellevue community was built on.

 

The Historical Society is requesting "Anything Bellevue" that is historical in nature and helps us build our archives about Bellevue History.  If you have items you think might be of interest we would enjoy hearing from you. 
Please be aware that any time we accept a donated item, it is with the understanding that the item is donated unconditionally to the Bellevue Historical Society, which assumes full ownership to do with as best judged by the Society's Board of Directors, without restriction as to how/when the item is displayed, used, sold, disposed of, etc.; that the Society is not obliged to permanently exhibit any item; and that the donor, his/her heirs, family members, or any other party cannot reclaim the item at any time in the future.   
For your convenience, please print this donation form by clicking on this link and complete with your item.  Thank You!

 

cherry festival collection

cherry festival collection

horse blanket clip

horse blanket clip

local artist george white

local artist george white

ohio cultivator sign

ohio cultivator sign

 

How It All Began

In the mid-1980's, a group of history loving Bellevue citizens, Bill Oddo and Gene Leonard among them, applied for incorporation in the State of Ohio as the Bellevue Heritage Museum and Society.  Their goal was to preserve items pertaining to Bellevue's development and to promote interest in local history.  A charter (#706297) was granted and a museum of Bellevue artifacts was opened at 115 S. Sandusky Street, Bellevue, Ohio / Huron County.  In 1988, this organization was granted 501c(3) non-profit tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.

In the early 1990's, the museum was moved to 200 East Main Street.  In 2000, the name of the organization was officially changed to the Bellevue Historical Society and Heritage Museum which remains its formal name today. In 2002, the Society took a giant leap of faith and purchased the Tremont House at 101-103 East Main Street from the estate of Gene Leonard.  108 North West Street, the current office of the Society, was acquired in 2005.  In 2006, most of the museum artifacts were placed in storage so that the funds of the Society could be devoted to the purchase of the Tremont House.

The Bellevue Historical Society is governed by a Board of Directors which consists of 7 to 10 citizens.  Members of the Board are elected at the Society's annual meeting held each March.  The Bellevue Historical Society is an all volunteer organization with no paid employees.


Our Mission
The mission of the Society is to preserve the history of Bellevue, Ohio, for future generations through the preservation of historic buildings and artifacts pertaining to the growth and development of Bellevue, Ohio.
 

What Do We Do?
The  Bellevue Historical Society:

  • Helps and encourages young people, stimulating them to learn about their heritage
  • Helps older people to recall the past by presenting programs of interest
  • Presents programs on preservation and historical interest in the area
  • Actively collects photos, documents, videos, artifacts, etc. regarding Bellevue, Ohio history and development
  • Maintains an archive of material for the history of Bellevue, Ohio which will be prominently displayed in the future opening of the Tremont House Heritage Museum


The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Tremont Trumpet, whose purpose is to inform members of Society activities as well as to add to their knowledge and enjoyment of Bellevue history.  It is the desire of the Society to encourage local residents as well as visitors to Bellevue to appreciate this area's rich history and to enjoy learning about its development.

If you would like to become a member of Bellevue Historical Society, or would like more information, please click HERE to CONTACT US.

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!
 

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

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.

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

Coming Events