Side A: Established in 1898 as the Russian Orthodox Church of the Dormition, Holy Assumption was founded by Carpatho-Russian immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Constructed in 1905-1906, it is considered to be the oldest Orthodox church building in Ohio. Archbishop Tikhon, head of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America, consecrated the church and celebrated the first Liturgy. Tsar Nicholas II of Russian personally donated the four icons on the iconostas, or icon screen, as well as liturgical items. Both the Tsar and, by then Patriarch, Tikhon were murdered by the Bolsheviks during the 1917 Russian Revolution and were glorified as Saints of the Orthodox Church. Holy Assumption Orthodox Church continues to be a beacon of the Orthodox Faith on the Marblehead peninsula.
Side B: Ottawa County’s development between 1820-1920 was dependent on the labor of new immigrants who brought their religious and cultural practices with them to Ohio. By 1870, one in four county residents were foreign-born. The quarries in eastern Ottawa County were worked by Carpatho-Russians, Slovaks, Poles, and Irish. In western Ottawa County, the farms, lumber mills, and orchards were worked by Germans. Port Clinton’s St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, organized in 1875, was founded by these German immigrants. Putting down roots, these new Ohioans’ built churches that continue to shape the modern landscape and established a richly diverse local culture that defines Ottawa County.
Sponsors: William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, Ottawa County Historical Society, The Ohio History Connection