Event Summary

Join us on the shores of Lake Erie as we introduce you to three notable and unique men: Captain Oliver Hazard Perry from the War of 1812, Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the U.S., and boyhood misfit turned genius, Thomas Edison. Each of these remarkable men shaped our nation in such a significant way that the impact was felt around the globe. We will also visit Johnson’s Island, site of great escapes and spiritual revival among Confederate prisoners held there during the Civil War. Wednesday evening will be a highlight as we dine with veterans from across the wars at the Ohio Veterans home (3416 Columbus Ave, Sandusky, OH 44870). We will end in time to make the opening session at the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention at the Kalahari Resort where Bill Potter will be speaking.

Oliver Hazard Perry Memorial

Oliver Hazard Perry Memorial 1

Oliver Hazard Perry

Ferry to Put In Bay 2

Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery 3

Johnson’s Island Military Prison

Thomas Edison’s Home 4

Thomas Edison

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Home 5

Rutherford B. Hayes

Bill Potter

Rich Fellowship

Ticket Pricing Information

Adults (12+):$99 $89.10
Youth (5-12):$69 $62.10
Family (4 members):$299 $269.10
Additional Family Members:$29 $26.10

Included in This Car Tour

  • Admission to all venues
  • All guide and docent fees and gratuities throughout the tour
  • Ferry fees to/from Put in Bay
  • Electronic headset receiver for ease of hearing guides
  • Biblical/providential interpretation from Bill Potter
  • Rich fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Landmark Events’ signature service throughout the tour

Not Included in This Tour

  • Transportation, tolls and parking fees
  • Accommodations
  • Meals — plenty of places to picnic!

Tour Highlights

You are invited to join veteran military historian Bill Potter — a graduate of both Cedarville University and the University of Dayton — to explore some of the most important historic sites of Northern Ohio.

Oliver Hazard Perry

As the bicentennial of the War of 1812 comes to a close, We will visit the location of the headquarters of one of the most important American officers in that war, a man whose eponymous middle name suggested what he would become best known for: courage and victory, Oliver Hazard Perry.

Oliver Hazard Perry Memorial

Oliver Hazard Perry

The Mother of Presidents

Ohio has often been called “The Mother of Presidents” and among the best of them is Rutherford B. Hayes. Elected in a monumental controversy and scandal over the election results from Florida in 1876, Hayes followed his victory with the termination of reconstruction in the south, civil service reform, and a reassertion of the power of the presidency. At the end of his life he said his service in the Civil War, where he was wounded five times as Colonel of the 23rd Ohio Infantry, was the greatest honor of his life, having also served as both Governor of Ohio and President of the United States. We will visit both the elegant home and the Presidential Museum of Rutherford Hayes in Norwalk and discuss the providential events in the life of the 19th President.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Home

Rutherford B. Hayes

Johnson’s Island

Ohio provided several large Civil War POW camps in the War Between the States. Johnson’s Island Prison in Lake Erie housed many officers and other Confederate soldiers and was the scene of a few incredible prison breaks across the ice of the lake, as well as significant spiritual awakening among the men housed there. Join us to hear the stories and remember the unusual providences and controversies of prisoner incarceration and the bitter hardship of such life during the war.

Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery

Johnson’s Island Military Prison

Thomas Edison

The history of science and invention rarely take their place among the most visited historic sites. The home of inventor Thomas Edison is an exception. Though his workshop was uprooted and transported to Michigan, his home remains in Milan, the birthplace of one of the great geniuses of America and the location of his early education and formative years.

Thomas Edison’s Home

Thomas Edison

Ohio Veterans Home

In 1886, the Ohio General Assembly authorized the creation of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home at Sandusky, Ohio. On November 19, 1888, the first seventeen Civil War veterans arrived there. As the United States became involved in other conflicts, the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home admitted honorably discharged veterans from the Mexican Border War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. We will tour their fine museum as well as enjoy a heart-warming dinner with veterans from across the wars on Wednesday evening.

Event Speakers

Historian Bill Potter

Historian Bill Potter

An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. Mr. Potter has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Mr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Bill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Virginia.

Event Schedule

Note: Schedule times are subject to change.

Wednesday, May 11
8:30am   Picnic pavilion at Catawba Island State Park
(4049 E. Moores Dock Rd., Port Clinton, OH 43452)
    2 miles ≈ 5 mins.
10:00am   Miller Ferry to Put in Bay
(5174 East Water St., Port Clinton, OH 43452)
12:30pm   Miller Ferry back to Catawba
(5174 East Water St., Port Clinton, OH 43452)
    14 miles ≈ 25 mins.
2:00pm   Johnson’s Island Cemetery
(3155 Confederate Dr., Lakeside Marblehead, OH)
($2 in quarters required for toll gate to access island)
    20 miles ≈ 30 mins.
3:30pm   Ohio Veterans’ Home Museum
(3416 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870)
5:00pm   Optional dinner/lecture/fellowship time
5pm complimentary dinner with the veterans after tour of museum (in vet home). Mr. Potter will give a brief lecture entitled ‘War Changes Everything Except Sacrifice & Valor’
Thursday, May 12
10:00am   Rutherford Hayes Home / Museum
(1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont, OH 43420)
    35 miles ≈ 40 mins.
1:30pm   Milan Historical Museum / Tom Edison House
(10 S. Edison Dr., Milan, OH 44846)
3:30pm   Closing comments — Tour ends at 4pm

Note: Following the tour, Bill Potter will be speaking at the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky. Convention registration separate through the TTD web site.


For those attending the Teach Them Diligently Conference at the Kalahari Resorts, convention rates are available through Teach Them Diligently. If you are coming just for the tour, there is a wide variety of accommodations throughout the Sandusky area.

Study Preparation

Key People

  • Oliver Hazard Perry
  • President Rutherford B. Hayes
  • Lemonade Lucy
  • Bennett G. Burley
  • General Isaac Trimble
  • Henry Kyd Douglas
  • Thomas Alva Edison

Key Events

  • The War of 1812 and the Battle of Lake Erie
  • Election of 1876
  • Life in the midst of Lake Erie prison
  • Confederate plot to free prisoners on Johnson’s Island
  • World-changing inventions

Key Issues

  • War of 1812 causes and strategies
  • Civil War POWs
  • Ohio in the Civil War
  • The ending of Reconstruction
  • Abolitionism
  • Science and Providence

Recommended Reading List

  • A Signal Victory: The Lake Erie Campaign, 1812-1813 by David Curtis Skaggs
  • The War of 1812, by Benson Lossing
  • Oliver Hazard Perry: Honor, Courage and Patriotism, by David Curtis Skaggs
  • Portals to Hell: Military Prisons of the Civil War, by Lonnie R. Speer
  • Rebels on Lake Erie, by Charles Frohman
  • Johnson’s Island Prison During the Civil War, by Shepherd
  • Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President, by Ari Higgenboom
  • The Fraud of the Century, by Roy J. Morris
  • The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Edison Invented the Modern World, by Randall Stross

Upcoming Events

Grand Canyon Expedition
Sept 3-7, 2024

Spirit of the West Tour
September 23-27, 2024

Virginia Historic Triangle Tour
October 18-19, 2024