MARBLEHEAD, OH [DOM] – The Ottawa County Historical Society is honoring Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Marblehead as the oldest Orthodox Church Building in the State of Ohio, and celebrating the role of immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries in the development of Ottawa County, with an official State of Ohio historical marker permanently placed on church property.
Holy Assumption parish was established on March 20, 1898, 125 years ago. Dedicated to the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption) of Mary, the Mother of God, the present church ediface was constructed in 1905-06. The parish community was primarily comprised of Carpatho-Russian immigrants from the regions of present-day Slovakia and Moravia, who settled in Marblehead and on nearby Kelley’s Island, and found work in the stone quarries there.
Appealing to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia for his help in building their church, the Tsar sent the congregation 4 large icons, or holy pictures, a chalice set, and his personal check in the amount of $1200, which in today’s money would amount to $41,023.64.
The newly completed church was dedicated in 1906 by Archbishop Tikhon, head of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America. Both he and Tsar Nicholas were later murdered by the Bolsheviks, and both have been glorified by the Orthodox Church as saints.
The reverse side of the historical marker honors the other immigrants who settled on the peninsula, laboring in the quarries and on the farms, and founding places of worship, most which still exist today.
The dedication program will open with a welcome to those in attendance by Patrick O’Keefe, President of the Ottawa County Historical Society. Laura Russell of the Ohio History Connection will give opening remarks. Remarks on Immigrants of Ottawa County will be given by Kristina Smith, historian of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Port Clinton. At this time the historical marker will be unveiled.
The dedication will take place in front of the church on Saturday, April 1 at 2:30 p.m. Following the dedication ceremonies, the church will hold an open house with light refreshments. A short Vespers service in the historic church will follow which is open to all.