August 2021 Front Page News - MBI Historical Museum's Auction


MBI Historical Museum Auction 2021

The July 24th, 2021, auction fundraiser for the Middle Bass Island Historical Museum (MBIHM) was a huge success. There have been several fundraisers put on by Mary Roesch (and friends) over the years for various Middle Bass causes, but 2021 was a banner year.

So, why should one donate to build local history museum? Here are two good reasons:

  1. “Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana
    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, twice shame on me!” A 1947 Scottish Saying regarding WWI and WWII.
  2. The mission of the MBIHM is to acquire, document, protect, preserve, and exhibit the island’s artifacts and cultural history which reflect the story of Middle Bass Island for residents, visitors, and future generations. Middle Bass needs a building to make this dream come true.

In spite of a morning rain threat (that never materialized) the weather was “full July” and reassuringly warm and sunny. Middle Bass residents turned out in droves. The “silent” auction and “live” auction were hotly bid. Over 100 quality lots were sold. Many commented that the selection of Island art and gifts was incredible and they spent more money than they anticipated because there were so many great items.

The top selling item was a Hornbeam Epoxy River Dining Table by MBI cottager Bill Yarnell. Bill is owner of Yarnell Tree services in Mantua, Ohio. He has collected special logs for decades. He recently invested in a sawmill and lumber kiln and is selling some very exotic northern Ohio slabs. Bill is also a craftsman and the table was the “Hollywood Oscar” of his career. Gavel price? $8,000.00.

The most endearing live auction item was last on the docket, “Sunset Boat Cruise with Mystery Captain”. The mystery captain turned out to be Eddie Sheller. Bidding was fierce but when Ryan Main burst on to the stage and made Eddie take off his shirt, bidding really heated up! Squealing like teen girls at the 1965 Beatles concert at Shea stadium, Jan Ross and Cheri Nelson won the bid. It was a generous gift for the Museum fund for the topless captain!

On a personal note, May Roesch’s son, Matt Roesch, is a Case Western Reserve law graduate who left a thriving practice to pursue his dream of owning his own high end retail wine store (Anvil Wines, Denver, Colorado). He donated a 6-bottle basket of rare and limited Riesling wines from important and historic German vintners. Some of the vines used in the production of these wines were over 100 years old.

The Lake Erie Islands were famous for their Rieslings and most of our island vintners had roots in Germany. It was a fitting island gift for the fundraiser.

I was proud to win the bid for my wife Kyle. She is in human resources for a large healthcare system and she has been working 24/7 for the last two years dealing with the fall-out from the Covid pandemic. Frankly, she is exhausted. I wanted to do something spectacular and special for her. She likes dry white wines. Matt assured me that these were rare wines of the highest diplomatic order. These bottles would start riots by wine enthusiasts if ever offered in the open market.

When I asked Matt if I should mix them with ginger ale, add ice, and sip them through a straw from a mason jar, he politely laughed and patiently said that they were best served “neat” in a Waterford or Baccarat stem (no ice, straw, mason jar or Ginger Ale).

You can still donate to the 501(c)3 Middle Bass Island Historical Museum. Send your checks made out to “Middle Bass Island Historical Museum” to:

Middle Bass Island Historical Museum
981 Muller Road
Middle Bass Island, Ohio 43446

Donate now before history passes you by!

Note on the story: “Every Detonation needs a catalyst so things can go bang. This year’s MBI Museum fundraiser was amazing thanks to Mary and her volunteers!” (Overheard at the auction, a metaphor to describe Mary Roesch, as in “You da Bomb!”).


Editor’s Note:

All the news in the Put-in-Bay Gazette is based on facts, either observed and verified first, second or third hand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources or from wide-spread rumors. We never use fact-check websites because our island news is too new for the fact checkers to accurately check.


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