An ice cream social, entertainment and the dedication of the Johlin Cabin will highlight the 75th anniversary celebration for Pearson Park Sunday, Aug. 30.
The Johlin cabin was donated by descendents of Jacob and Anna Johlin, one of the original families that tamed the Great Black Swamp. The 1867 cabin is undergoing restoration by Metroparks and The Pearson North Committee, a citizens group that has raised more than $300,000 for the project. The cabin will be the centerpiece of a new historical interpretation center for the Great Black Swamp.
Scheduled events for the anniversary festivities, which run from 2 to 6 p.m., include a model boat exhibition, a classic car show, an old-time baseball game and historical interpretation programs.
In addition, entertainment will be provided by the Cardinal Stritch Marching Band. The day will also feature family events such as nature walks, arts and crafts and, of course, ice cream and cake.
Oregon Mayor Marge Brown will speak at the cabin dedication, which will also feature other dignitaries.
Visitors will also get a glimpse of the upcoming historical programs which will be held at the cabin in years to come. The Historical Programming Department for Metroparks released its interpretation plan late last year. It calls for recreating an 1860s farmstead and using re-enactors to bring history to life. Educational programs will be offered for both school children and adults. The farmstead, which may feature some outbuildings and a barn, will be surrounded by a new Black Swamp.
This $1 million recreated swamp has been sculpted and funded by the Ohio Wetlands Foundation. The non-profit group has planted more than 102,900 indigenous trees and shrubs. The foundation has also created shallow pools, relocated the ditch that ran alongside Wynn Road and added a small pond.
This historical era is not the only one that will be relived Aug. 30. The celebration will also include a revisitation of The Great Depression the 1930s era when George Pearson, a Blade reporter, and the East Toledo Club led a citizens’ drive to raise funds to save this last remnant of the Great Black Swamp known then as The Bank Lands. Pearson was driven to action while riding the interurban rail car from his home in Curtice to downtown Toledo and watching desperate men felling trees for firewood.