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Darlene E. Kelley
donkeyskid@webtv.net
April 29, 1999
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Historical Collections of Ohio                    
The Kelley Family Book
compiled by Hermon Alfred Kelley  1897    
And Then They Went West by D. Kelley  1998     (Part 11)
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Growth of the Island

The Messrs. Kelley, after
perfecting their title to the fee of the entire island, and obtaining
possession of the same, commenced a system of improvements, in the
building of wharves,etc., to facilitate the sale of the products of the
island, such as wood, cedar, stone,etc.  Aware that the encouragement of
emigration would more rapidly develop the resources and enhance the
value of their purchase, they proceeded to place their lands in market,
at fair prices, and upon liberal terms of payment, at the same time
endeavoring to make judicious discrimination as to character for theft,
industry,etc.,of such settlers as might wish to become purchasers.  The
result of this care is apparent.  The earliest purchasers of lands
directly from Datus and Irad Kelley,were Addison Kelley, John Titus,
James Hamilton, Julius Kelley, Horace Kelley, J.E. Woodford, G.C.
Huntington, Patrick Martin, Bernard McGettigan, S.S. Duelle and James
Estes, most of whom,or their decendants, at the time of this account,
still are occupying portions of land purchased at that early day.  That
the possibilities of the future of the islands,high as was the estimte
put upon them at that time, were not fully appreciated, was, in after
years, fully developed.  The sales  of wood, cedar and stone, and the
tillable land, a strong limestone soil, proved to be of superior
quality.  And through the wood and cedar as articles of commerce, have
long since disappeared; the stone trade, from the small beginning of D.
and I. Kelley, with one wharf, has developed into proportions of which
some idea may be formed when it is stated, that the par value of the
capital stock of the stone companies was, at their organization, about
two hundred thousand dollars, the business furnishing employment to over
one hundred men.But another element, not at that time appreciated,
because unknown, was destined to enter into the question of future
values, and effect an entire revolution in agricultural prospects,
business and pursuits of the people.  It had been observed that at many
places on the island,wild grape vines were abundant of unusual size and
thrifty growth.  Acting  upon this obervation, Datus Kelley, about the
year 1842, procured a number of vines of the Isabella and Catawba
variety, from Rockport, his former residence, and setting them into his
garden, developed in due time the adaptability of the islands, both as
to soil and climate, to the culture of the grape.  Mr. Charles
Carpenter, who had purchased the farm of Horace Kelley, and had become
Datus Kelley's son-in law was a practical culturist, became impressd
with the importance of the grape culture, and of the success on the
island, set out his first acre of grapes planted as a field crop, and
enthusiastically urged his neighbors to do likewise.  The first wine
from the product of his vineyard was made in 1850, in the old log house,
his former residence with such primitive appliances in the shape of a
press, etc.,as were at his command. The effect of the demonstration that
the grape culture would be succesful was soon apparent.  Small
vineyards, the nucleus of larger ones, dotted the island.  Large profits
for a time resulted from sale of the fruit, packed in boxes for table
use. Farms divided in five and ten acre lots, were parcelled out to
different owners, the price of land, advanced three and four hundred
percent,and within a few years there were nearly one thousand acres set
to vines.  the excess of supply over demands , for table use, as also in
quality of the crop for that purpose, directed attention to the
manufacture of wine, and there were, in course of time, erected on the
island, cellars, which, included those of the Kelley's Island Wine
Company, were capable of storing a half a million gallons of wine.  The
average crop of grapes was about seven hundred tons, all of which was
manufactured into wine.  In 1866, was organized, the Kelley's Island
Wine Company, having a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, and
possessing, by the terms of its character, the privilege of increasing
its capital stock to two hundred thousand dollars.  The cellar built and
owned by Charles Carpenter was rented by the company, and the
manufacture of wine commenced therein the fall of the above named year.
The officers of the company were;  Addison Kelley, president; George
C.Huntington, secretary; A.S. Kelley, treasurer; and C.W. Farciot,
superintendent.  The business proving very sucessful, it was deemed
advisable by a majority of the stockholders to increase the capital
stack to the full amount allowed by charter.  Accordingly,in 1871, books
were opened for subscriptions to the new stock. Very nearly the full
amount was soon taken, and a new and larger cellar, in addition, was
built, with all the improvements and appurtenances necessary to the
prosecution of the business on a large scale,--the cellars, when
finished, having a storage capacity of some four hundred thousand
gallons, and being, in point of capacity and completeness of machinery
and outfit, the establishment devoted to the manufacture of wine in the
State.  The officers of the company of the increase of capital stock
were; Addison Kelley, Pres.; Normon Kelley, vice Pres.; A.S. Kelley,
Sec;  Erastus Huntington,Treas; and C.W. Farciot, Superintendent.  On
the 30th of August,1876, the upper stories of the two cellars, which
were adjoining, were destroyed by fire, entailing a heavy loss, with no
insurance , on the company.  New roofs were immediately placed upon the
two buildings, the machinery placed in the first one;  where the
business of pressing was resumed and there it remained. The lower rooms
of each cellar being arched, were not injured by the fire, and were used
as before for the storage of wine. 

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