This is Our Story

​​​​The Kelleys Island Historical Association (KIHA) was formed in 1980 with the primary objective of purchasing the Old Stone Church.​
       In 1865, German-speaking Protestants of Kelleys Island organized the German Reformed Church located on Division Street. After it was vacated in 1956, it suffered from neglect and deterioration. This historic church became the property of Historical Association in 1986. Repairs and maintenance to the church have been ongoing.
       In June 2010, the Association opened the doors to its new Museum, which stands on the location of the 'haul shed' that was used to house the horses and buggies while parishioners attended services in Church.

​The purpose of this association shall be:
1.       To bring together those people interested in history, and especially the history

           of Kelleys Island;
2.       To collect contributions to operate a museum;
3.       To restore historical sites;
4.       To publish and sell historical publications;
5.       To provide education material and functions to the general public;
6.       To raise funds for the promotion of all the above-described activities; and
7.       Do all else that would be necessary or proper in the promotion of the

           above-described activities or related to the above-described activities.​

OUR OFFICERS – serve for one year
PRESIDENT - Chuck Herndon
VICE PRESIDENT – Teri Behrends
TREASURER – Chris Carrig
OUR BOARD MEMBERS – serve for three years

MEETINGS - The Board meets once a month, generally on the second Saturday.
​​Janet Killam               2018 - 2021*
Teri Behrends  ​          2018 – 2021*​ 

Chris Carrig               2016 - 2019

Patti Fresch               2016 - 2019  
Chuck Herndon        2016 - 2019
Leslie Korenko          2016 - 2019
Fred Walcott              2016 - 2019
Dawn Soldner            2017 - 2020*

Ned Williams             2017 - 2020*
NEWSLETTERS - Leslie Korenko


*Subject to 2 term limit effective 2017


TERI BETZENHEIMER-BEHRENDS - That new garden alongside the church? That was Teri's idea. The quilts? Also Teri's work. She carries on the tradition of her family in maintaining and caring for the parsonage and the Old Stone Church. The Betzenheimer family moved into the parsonage in 1919, acting as caretakers for the Church. Teri's father, Alvin, and his siblings were born in the parsonage and the Betzenheimer family lived there all their lives, until Sis Betzenheimer moved out around 2010. That adds up to almost 90 years of Betzenheimer residency. Teri joined the Board in 2009, and has since served as its Secretary and Vice President. In 1994 Teri made a quilt for a raffle, and has made 22 quilts, one each year, for the museum benefit. Her quilts are always gorgeous and the raffle tickets are a major source of income for the museum. Like any superhero, she has a day job working for an insurance agency in Port Clinton.

CHRIS CARRIG - Chris is our newest Board Member, elected in 2016. He writes: “I have a deep love for the island that started when my parents began taking me there in the 1960s; my grandparents were visiting Kelleys Island forty years before that.  Our family home, which I intend to make my permanent residence someday, was built by my parents and lies just across the road [from the museum]. I believe in the importance of volunteerism, and have enjoyed doing so over the years. I do have board experience as well, most recently with the St. Francis de Sales Parish Federal Credit Union (now All Saints FCU.)  At St. Francis de Sales I was the board Secretary for eight years before accepting the part-time paid position of Manager/Accountant and Board Treasurer.  Since then, we merged with All Saints, which ended my Manager role, but chose to stay on as a Trustee.  Before that, I managed the charitable bingo game at St. Francis de Sales church, responsible for nearly eighty volunteers.  I have participated in KIHA events, namely the Tour of Homes and yard sale during Treasure Island and the Butterfly Festival. As I said, I have a deep love for Kelleys Island and its rich heritage and history, which the Historical Association is key helping to preserve.  I would like to be a part of that mission.”

PATTI FRESCH - Patti became a Board member in 2013.  She is a past member of Women Civic were she served as secretary for several terms, and various other service clubs in the Sandusky area.  She is an island resident and is committed to keeping Kelleys Island history alive. She is a previous owner of the Island House and has worked on Kelleys Island as a bar tender for many years.  She and Steve James maintain a greenhouse on the Island and provide produce year round. She has three children and four grandchildren who continue to make history on the island and loves the phrase "The past is how we got here"!


CHUCK HERNDON - Chuck joined the Board in 2010 and became this association's President in 2011. Chuck Herndon is retired from the Columbus College of Art and Design as a Professor Emeritus. He is an artist, sculptor, painter, photographer, writer, geologist, swimmer, gardener, chicken farmer, grass cutter....He received a BA from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve), a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he studied for six years, and an MFA from Syracuse University. He taught on the college level for thirty seven years. For all of that time and the time before he considered Kelleys Island to be his home. His teaching schedule permitted him to be on the island four days a week during the school sessions.  In the seventies and early eighties he served on the Kelleys Island Fire Department. In the eighties and nineties he was on the KI Village Council, became Council President and Chair of the Planning Commission. During that time the council received a grant for $80,000 to commission Grey and Pape to conduct an historical survey of the island and to draw up a nomination, which, when accepted, placed the island on the National Register of Historical Places. For a few years he spearheaded the development of a Master Plan for the Island and a new Zoning Code. Much of that work is still in effect today.  He built a studio on the island in 1980, while supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. He put together his sculpture garden over the last twenty years, built one gallery in 1999 and another in 2002.  Based on tours of the gallery, the board of the KIHA brought Chuck on, confident in his ability to design museum spaces.  

JANET KILLAM - Janet joined the Board in 2015.  Janet boasts that the island is her most favorite spot on earth so fortunately for her she inherited her family's North Bay cottage.  It has been in the family since the late 1940s.  Her parents, Leo and Marian Goldner, were founding members of KI Landowners Assoc. and Janet serves on its board.  She's a long time member of the KI Audubon Club, the book club, she is trying to find her artistic side in the art class, is learning knitting at the Zion Church knit group, loves fish, paddle board, is an avid gardener and helped bring the infectious sport of Pickleball to the island. Janet was one of the forces behind the opening of the Parsonage Resale Shop.

LESLIE KORENKO - Leslie joined the Board in 2013 but she is not new to this Island's history. Leslie has a unique take on the Island's past, since she wrote five books about its history, which we call 'the definitive history of Kelleys Island.' She serves as our Secretary (she really keeps us organized). Among her many accomplishments, she has made huge strides in inventorying the backlog of artifacts in our collection. Leslie dragged us into the digital age by redesigning our website, scanning old newsletters, and putting our collection online so people can search it at home. She even set up our on-line gift shop. She also posts those great news items and historical tidbits on our Facebook page, monitors our email and answers all the questions that people ask about the Island's history and genealogy.

DAWN SOLDNER - Dawn is a full time resident of Kelleys Island and a homeowner here since 2002. She is actively learning the history of the island and is pleased to help preserve and promote the history of the island through working with the Kelleys Island Historical Assoc. She has previous experience with committee work as a former nurse and educator, and experience working with a variety of community groups as well. She is responsible and likes to get things accomplished. 

NED WILLIAMS – Ned was elected in 2017 and is the third generation of his family to own their cottage, and the fourth to spend part of his life on this island. It began with his great-grandfather Norman E. Hills, whose book, “A History of Kelley’s Island,” is sold in the museum gift shop. He developed a fascination with the history of Kelleys Island and he can often be found in the library learning about the old island families and pouring over the research of Kurt Boker and others who have written and documented facets of the Island’s history. He believes in knowing and preserving its history, and  sharing that history with all who live and visit here.

FRED WALCOTT - Fred has served on the Board since 2010, because his wife, Betsy, was very active and interested in history. When she passed away, Fred wanted to honor her and joined the Board. He believes we should help the property owners and visitors appreciate the Island's rich history, starting with the purchase of the Island by the Kelley brothers in 1833. That beautiful stone bench located right next to the museum building was donated to her memory.

Lydia Bechtel, Lois Brown, June Campbell, Mike Feyedelem, Don Haas, Chuck Herndon, Rick Holmes, Julia Kennedy, Sandy Kilko, O. Hugh Lange, Nadine Mack, Jessie Martin, Russell Matso, Florence McKillips, James Seaman, Roger Williams 


Henry & Rosella Beatty, Ronald & Lydia Bechtel, Geraldine Betzenheimer, Lyle & Geraldine Bickley, Milton Blatt, Dr. Heinz & Catherine Boker, Nick & Sharon Bianchi, Kurt Boker, Evangeline Bonchi, Charles & Ann Brown, Nadine Brown, George & Jeanette Cleary, Robert & Helene Coulon, Marilyn Dauch, Robert & Dennis Davey, Stephen & Phyllis Davey, Dr. Ramie & Ila Dick, Jean Dwelle, Joel Feyedelem, Joseph & Monica Feyedelem, Michael Feyedelem, Raymond and Gizelle Feyedelem, Lizabeth Fresch, Donald & Anneliese Haas, Kenneth & Patricia Haig, Dr. Charles & Katheryn Herndon, Dawn Kekelik, Nancy Kelley, John & Julie Kennedy, Professor Richard Knoph  [Knopf], Jo-Ann Kaneen, Arthur Lange, Ivan Lange, O. Hugh Lange, Mrs. Lewis Laylin, Helen Marchky, Lloyd Marchky, Mary Marchky, Charles & Jessie Martin, Mrs. Lucille Mathews, Russell & Beatrice Matso, Lisa Matso, Connie Matso, Paul Matso, Werner & Joan Minshall, William & Francis Minshall, Leroy & Corradine Myers, Michael & Sally McCune, Florence McKillips, Norbert McKillips, John & Catherine McManamon, Donald Nath, John & Virginia Neuman, Mary Norris, Robert & Elizabeth Overcasher, John & Barbara Ohlemacher, Rev. Roger & Alice J. Perl, Emily Perl, Iola Riedy, Al & Marge Rummel, Robert & Nancy Ritchie, Betty Ryan, Mary Schock, Clyde Schroeder, James & Patricia Seeholzer, Robert Schnittker, Ruth Schnittker, Claude Smith Sr., Norbert & Sue Stamm, Dr. Richard & Mary Ellen Wilke, and Shirley Woell.

Firelands Council of Historical Societies, Inter Museum Conservation Association, Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce,, Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Preservation Organizations Resources, Ohio Local History Alliance, Ohio Museums Association, Peninsula Museum Council

Steve Mack/Stadtmiller Realty, Vi's Island Treasures​​, Charles Herndon Galleries, Crafts Cottages, Lake Disposal, Kroger, Amazon Smile, GFS, Dockers/Portside Marina.​
Find out more about these businesses.


What could be more exciting than a re-write of our Constitution and By-Laws? That was the task we faced in 2014 as we began a review of our official documents. Our members, approved these changes at the annual meeting in August 2014 and revised them in 2017, adopting a 2-term limit for Board Members.

While KIHA has always made certain that our member information is kept secure, and in June 2018 the Board adopted a formal Privacy Police which can be viewed