They all have important ties to Stryker’s history and they will have a part in a historical program given by members of the Stryker Area Heritage Council on Saturday morning, March 8.
Anyone from the area is invited to the Stryker American Legion on 110 North Defiance Street beginning at 8:30 a.m. to hear more about the items that are all usually on display at the council’s Stryker Area Heritage Center, also known as the former railroad depot. Those who attend will learn how the items and the people involved all had an important part of Stryker’s history.
Harry Wickey was a famous artist, known primarily for his etchings and sculptures of farm animals. He also made quite a few sketches of people and worked in other media.
Heritage council members Helen Bell and Sue Buehrer will be showing some of his drawings that hang in the depot and explaining their significance during the program.
From the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s, the Stryker Boat Oar Company was the major employer in the village of Stryker. Through their history, they produced wooden oars that were used to power watercraft in the U.S and all over the world.
However, working in wood was not without its dangers, and the company had to face two devastating fires and an explosion that injured a number of workers.
Bill Priest and Anna Sprow will tell about the history of the firm and show some of the products from the company that are now housed in the former Stryker train depot.
William Knight was an engineer with a group of Union soldiers who penetrated Confederate lines and stole the stream locomotive, “The General.” The theft began the infamous Andrew’s Raid, known as “The Great Locomotive Chase.”
SAHC historians Fred Grisier and Terry Wieland will show some of the late William Knight’s memorabilia on display at the museum and explain how the Stryker resident’s part in the raid was important for the war.
They will also tell about a baggage cart that handled the luggage and freight items at the Stryker depot during the heyday of travel by train. The council recently refurbished the cart that once served the local train station.
Anyone who has information about the subjects or has items that pertain to the subjects is also invited to come and share.
The program is part of the effort of the Stryker Area Heritage Council to capture and retain the history of the area. There is no charge to those attending.
Along with the presentation, the Stryker American Legion will be holding a breakfast that morning from 7 to 10 a.m. that is open to the public.
The Stryker Area Heritage Council will open the depot immediately after the program for people who would like to look over the historical items on display there.